Republican Todd Akin and his wife Lulli, pictured attending a ham breakfast at the Missouri State Fair. Mr Akin’s comments that ‘legitimate rape’ is unlikely to cause pregnancy have bolstered the Democrats’ campaign for a second week.
Republican Todd Akin and his wife Lulli, pictured attending a ham breakfast at the Missouri State Fair. Mr Akin’s comments that ‘legitimate rape’ is unlikely to cause pregnancy have bolstered the DemoShow more

US politician's rape comments a gift for the Democrats

WASHINGTON // Democrats have seized on remarks by a Republican senate hopeful about "legitimate rape" that are proving a public relations gift almost scripted to slot into a key campaign theme of theirs - that the Republican Party is waging a war on women.

Todd Akin, a six-term Republican congressman from Missouri who is trying to unseat the Democrat incumbent in that state's US senate race in November, sparked outrage by saying that "legitimate rape" is unlikely to cause pregnancy,

On Sunday, he told a TV station that abortion should not be allowed in rape cases because pregnancy was unlikely to result.

"If it's legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Mr Akin said, citing "doctors".

His comments helped provide Democrats with a second straight week of ammunition with which to put Republicans on the defensive.

Last week, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential hopeful, had to defend his party's position on health insurance for the elderly after presenting conservative budget cutter Paul Ryan as his running mate, by implication endorsing Mr Ryan's proposals for deep cuts in social welfare programmes.

Mr Romney has had to act swiftly to distance himself from Mr Akin, calling the comments "insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong".

The Republican Party also moved quickly to pressure Mr Akin to step aside in a senate race it had hoped to win in November in its bid to seize control of the US Senate.

The Republican National Committee said it would redirect US$5 million (Dh18.3m) in funding earmarked for the Akin campaign.

Democrats have seized on the opportunity to pour scorn on Mr Akin's remarks and draw broader conclusions about the Republican Party's position on women and women's health care in particular.

"Rape is rape", Barack Obama, the US president, said on Monday during a White House news conference. "The underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health-care decisions - or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape - I think those are broader issues, and that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party."

Debbie Wasserman Schulz, a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives from Florida, wrote in an email to the party rank-and-file the "real issue" was not Mr Akin's choice of words.

"The real issue is a Republican party - led by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan - whose policies on women and their health are dangerously wrong," she said.

Jeffrey Weiss, who has worked on several Republican presidential campaigns, conceded that Democrats would now "make hay" with Mr Akin's remarks to divert attention away from Republican attempts to focus on the economy.

"For Romney to win this election, his campaign needs to focus on Obama's record on the economy," hr said yesterday. Republicans have a chance to refocus the debate at their national convention at the end of this month, but with less than 90 days to the election, Mr Weiss said the latest uproar "will waste precious time".

Whether Democrats can implicate Mr Ryan in the furore remains to be seen. He and Mr Akin this year co-sponsored a bill that would curtail a long-standing exemption to the federal ban on abortion funding for rape survivors unless the woman experienced a "forcible rape". The bill did not make clear the difference between "forcible rape" and rape.

Jennifer Lawless, the director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University in Washington, suggested that the connection that Mr Obama was making between Mr Ryan and Mr Akin was "particularly damaging".

"There's no question that Paul Ryan is ultimately anti-choice," she said. "But when you link him now to somebody who is not only anti-choice but is also using language that is utterly offensive, it becomes that much more serious a problem for Republicans."

Mr Akin's remarks, she said, had been handed to Democrats on a "silver platter" as they were consistent with Democratic efforts in recent months to paint Republicans as waging a war on women.

"I don't think the Democrats ever would have imagined that something so offensive and egregious would have been uttered by a high-profile senate candidate," she said.

Women make up the majority of registered voters in the US and are traditionally more likely to vote than men. In a tight race, the women's vote could prove crucial.

"Romney has been trying to woo women voters and suggest that this 'war on women' rhetoric is nothing but rhetoric," said Ms Lawless. "This situation does not help him make that point."

So far Mr Akin has said he will not step down from the Missouri race.

He has apologised for the "mistake I made".


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded


Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens


What: 2006 World Cup quarter-final
When: July 1
Where: Gelsenkirchen Stadium, Gelsenkirchen, Germany

England 0 Portugal 0
(Portugal win 3-1 on penalties)

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now


Display: 6.1" Super Retina XDR OLED, 2778 x 1284, 458ppi, HDR, True Tone, P3, 1200 nits

Processor: A15 Bionic, 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine 

Memory: 6GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB

Platform: iOS 16

Main camera: Dual 12MP main (f/1.5) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4); 2x optical, 5x digital; Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/3060fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps; HD slo-mo @ 120/240fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4; Animoji, Memoji; Portrait Lighting

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/3060fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD slo-mo @ 120fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 4323 mAh, up to 26h video, 20h streaming video, 100h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30m; MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Biometrics: Face ID

I/O: Lightning

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + SIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Blue, midnight, purple, starlight, Product Red

In the box: iPhone 14, USB-C-to-Lightning cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh3,799 / Dh4,199 / Dh5,049

The specs

Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder and 3.6-litre 6-cylinder

Power: 220 and 280 horsepower

Torque: 350 and 360Nm

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Price: from Dh136,521 + VAT and Dh166,464 + VAT 

On sale: now

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The specs: 2018 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Price, base / as tested Dh99,000 / Dh132,000

Engine 3.6L V6

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Power 275hp @ 6,000rpm

Torque 350Nm @ 3,700rpm

Fuel economy combined 12.2L / 100km

Race card

6.30pm: Handicap (TB) $68,000 (Dirt) 1,200m

7.05pm: Meydan Cup – Listed Handicap (TB) $88,000 (Turf) 2,810m

7.40pm: UAE 2000 Guineas – Group 3 (TB) $125,000 (D) 1,600m

8.15pm: Firebreak Stakes – Group 3 (TB) $130,000 (D) 1,600m

9.50pm: Meydan Classic – Conditions (TB) $$50,000 (T) 1,400m

9.25pm: Dubai Sprint – Listed Handicap (TB) $88,000 (T) 1,200m


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside






Director: Damian Szifron

Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Ralph Ineson

Rating: 2/5

if you go

The flights

Etihad, Emirates and Singapore Airlines fly direct from the UAE to Singapore from Dh2,265 return including taxes. The flight takes about 7 hours.

The hotel

Rooms at the M Social Singapore cost from SG $179 (Dh488) per night including taxes.

The tour

Makan Makan Walking group tours costs from SG $90 (Dh245) per person for about three hours. Tailor-made tours can be arranged. For details go to

The UAE Today

The latest news and analysis from the Emirates

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      The UAE Today