ONTD Political

Last week, the global drug company Pfizer announced sweeping new restrictions on the distribution of seven of its products, preventing them from being used to carry out the death penalty. Pfizer came into possession of those products, which include sedatives, paralytics, a pain medication, and a drug used to prevent or treat low levels of potassium in the blood, when it acquired the pharmaceutical company Hospira, in September. Its decision is an enormously significant one for the death penalty in the United States, and ends a long and chaotic chapter in which governments, drug companies, and activists worldwide have gradually closed the open market for the federally approved drugs that have been used for lethal injections.

“Manufacturers never wanted their medicines to be used to end the lives of prisoners,” Maya Foa, the director of the death-penalty team at Reprieve, an international human-rights organization, told me. Foa advised Hospira and other pharmaceutical manufacturers on ways they could protect their products from being misused in the death penalty. “Their business is in making medicines to save and improve the lives of patients. The last thing they want is for the medicines they promote as lifesaving to be used in lethal-injection executions.”Read more...Collapse )


Note: A number of states are mentioned in this piece. Other than OK, which is discussed extensively, I wasn't sure which ones to tag. I finally decided I'd rather err in the direction of thoroughness than the reverse and tagged them all!
Oklahoma governor vetoes bill that would make it a felony to perform abortions

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a controversial bill Friday that would have made it a felony for doctors to perform abortions, saying she felt the bill was too vague and unable to withstand a legal challenge.

Fallin’s decision came a day after lawmakers in the state approved the unprecedented bill, well before a deadline for her to sign the measure, veto it or allow it to become law without her signature. The bill would have also barred physicians who participated in abortions from getting medical licenses, though it allowed an exception for doctors performing abortions deemed necessary to save the mother’s life.

“The bill is so ambiguous and so vague that doctors cannot be certain what medical circumstances would be considered ‘necessary to preserve the life of the mother,’” Fallin, a Republican, said in a statement announcing her decision.Read more...Collapse )
A federal judge today temporarily blocked state officials from cutting off Planned Parenthood from more than $1.3 million in funding.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett of Cincinnati barred Ohio Department of Health Director Richard Hodges from enforcing a defunding law approved by Republican lawmakers and signed by GOP Gov. John Kasich that was to have taken effect today.

Ruling that Planned Parenthood has demonstrated a "likelihood of success" in winning its legal action, Barrett granted a temporary restraining order through June 6.

"There is also no doubt that the Ohio legislature enacted (the law) for the purpose of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking to obtain an abortion," Barrett wrote in his order.

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of a black Georgia death row inmate convicted in 1987 of murdering an elderly white woman, finding that prosecutors unlawfully excluded black potential jurors in selecting an all-white jury.

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Independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen has won Austria's presidential election, preventing Norbert Hofer from becoming the EU's first far-right head of state, the BBC has been told.

Mr Hofer led narrowly after Sunday's election but postal votes counted on Monday gave Mr Van der Bellen victory.

Mr Van der Bellen campaigned on a pro-EU platform, backed by the Green Party.

Mr Hofer, of the Freedom Party, had tapped into anti-EU sentiment and fears about rising numbers of asylum seekers.

The official result is expected to be announced shortly.

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They haven't technically announced it yet bc Innsbruck fucked up and needs to recount (afraid of Strache I guess :P), but Hofer already conceded on Facebook.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Sunday his visit to Hiroshima, the first city to suffer an atomic bombing, would emphasize friendly ties between former enemies, and reiterated he would not apologize for the devastating attack.

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Murder suspect admits he is misogynist

The man held on charges of murdering a 23-year-old woman told the police that the crime was motivated by his hatred for women.

The man is suspected of killing the victim, with whom he had no prior contact, in Gangnam on Tuesday night.

The suspect has since told the police that he committed the crime because he “hated women for belittling him.”

Seoul Seocho police said the victim had been drinking at a bar on the first floor of a four-story building located between Gangnam Subway Station (line No. 2) and Sinnonhyeon Subway Station (line No. 9). She was killed in the bathroom halfway up the staircase from the restaurant leading to a karaoke on the second floor.

The victim’s boyfriend discovered her bloodied body collapsed on the bathroom floor. She had been stabbed three to four times on the left side of her chest.

Based on the surveillance video, the police arrested a 34-year-old man surnamed Kim who worked as a part-time waiter at a nearby restaurant.

Kim was recorded entering the bathroom before the victim and nonchalantly leaving.

The police caught Kim as he turned up at the restaurant he works in, wearing the same clothes from the night before and with a 32.5 centimeter-length knife inside his pants pocket. The weapon was from the restaurant kitchen.

Kim admitted his crime and told the police that he did not personally know the victim but that he hated women for ignoring him. He said he took out the knife with malicious intentions.

The police are investigating whether he intended to sexually assault her.


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OP Note: There aren't a lot of English articles on this although it's been a huge controversy in Korea for almost a week. I visited the Gangnam memorial site on Saturday to add my own post-it and to mourn for the young woman's death. For context, Korea ranked 117th on the WEF's gender equality index (lagging behind countries like the UAE and Qatar) and our gender pay gap is 35%, the worst of all industrialized countries. The society is still deeply rooted in a patriarchal Confucian way of thought and I have so many horror stories about sexual harrassment, stalking, and everday misogyny. Though things are slowly getting better, this incident has shed light on how far Korea still has to go as a society.
Tim Canova says he has raised $1 million in his Democratic primary battle against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a sign that she faces her first election battle in more than two decades for the South Florida seat.

Canova’s campaign announced hitting that milestone on Friday.

His campaign said that he had raised $1,017,632.57 since starting about four months ago. The average contribution was $18.55, and 98 percent were from donors who gave less than $200, according to his campaign.

“We are proud that our campaign is powered by average people like teachers, nurses, small business owners, union members, students and seniors,” Canova said in a press release. “We truly are a grassroots movement that will restore a voice in our democracy to everyday people and demand accountability from our leaders.”

Wasserman Schultz remains ahead of Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, in fundraising. She raised $1.8 million through March — her campaign won’t reveal how much she has raised since that time. Their next campaign reports are due to the Federal Election Commission July 15.

Canova’s surprisingly strong fundraising for a first-time candidate has forced Wasserman Schultz to campaign more in earnest than she has in past reelection cycles, when she easily swatted away long-shot Republican candidates in the liberal district that stretches from her Weston home into Miami-Dade.

Wasserman Schultz last faced a true election battle in 1992, when she ran in a Democratic primary for the state House and won. She easily won her first congressional race in 2004, facing only a Republican opponent. In 2011, President Barack Obama tapped her as Democratic National Committee chair.

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When a Venezuelan entrepreneur we know launched a manufacturing company in western Venezuela two decades ago, he never imagined he’d one day find himself facing jail time over the toilet paper in the factory’s restrooms. But Venezuela has a way of turning yesterday’s unimaginable into today’s normal.

The entrepreneur’s ordeal started about a year ago, when the factory union began to insist on enforcing an obscure clause in its collective-bargaining agreement requiring the factory’s restrooms to be stocked with toilet paper at all times. The problem was that, amid deepening shortages of virtually all basic products (from rice and milk to deodorant and condoms) finding even one roll of toilet paper was nearly impossible in Venezuela—let alone finding enough for hundreds of workers. When the entrepreneur did manage to find some TP, his workers, understandably, took it home: It was just as hard for them to find it as it was for him.

Toilet-paper theft may sound like a farce, but it’s a serious matter for the entrepreneur: Failing to stock the restrooms puts him in violation of his agreement with the union, and that puts his factory at risk of a prolonged strike, which in turn could lead to its being seized by the socialist government under the increasingly unpopular President Nicolas Maduro. So the entrepreneur turned to the black market, where he found an apparent solution: a supplier able to deliver, all at once, enough TP to last a few months. (We’re not naming the entrepreneur lest the government retaliate against him.) The price was steep but he had no other option—his company was at risk.

But the problem wasn’t solved.

No sooner had the TP delivery reached the factory than the secret police swept in. Seizing the toilet paper, they claimed they had busted a major hoarding operation, part of a U.S.-backed “economic war” the Maduro government holds responsible for creating Venezuela’s shortages in the first place. The entrepreneur and three of his top managers faced criminal prosecution and possible jail time.

All of this over toilet paper.

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OP comment: Socialism + anti-Americanism =
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