April 27th, 2010
It was just a whacked out robbery/coincidence. The original story would have you think other motives were at play.
Suspect in death of Miss. supremacist speaks out
PEARL, Miss. -- A black man accused of stabbing an outspoken white supremacist to death in Mississippi said Monday he didn't know about the man's racist views before the killing.
Vincent McGee, 22, told an Associated Press reporter that he didn't learn until after Richard Barrett had been killed that he was a racist leader. McGee, who is charged with murder, spoke to AP outside the home where Barrett's body was found stabbed, beaten and burned last week.
"I know - now I do - I didn't know at first," McGee said of Barrett's views.
McGee blurted out comments even though deputies told him he was not allowed to do interviews. McGee wouldn't comment on whether he killed Barrett, and was cheerful and joked with deputies.
He also claimed to have killed 25 people, then smiled and stuck out his tongue. Deputies escorting him didn't appear to take his claim seriously and the sheriff didn't immediately return a telephone message.( Collapse )
The legality of a state regulating the sale and rental of violent video games to minors will be decided finally by the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices decided today. (pdf file)
Whatever the outcome, the decision of the justices could have a much wider impact on how freedom of speech is treated in the United States.
SCHWARZENEGGER, GOV. OF CA V. ENTERTAINMENT MERCHANTS, ET AL. was one of two new cases the court granted Monday for a decision next term, which kicks off on Oct. 4.
In granting the write of certiorari, the court also denied the motion of California state senator Leland Y. Yee to file a friend of the court brief.
While cases like this have been repeatedly won by the video game industry in different states, the U.S. Supreme Court decision will have national implications. A decision to not hear the case would have affirmed California's previous judicial defeats and serve as another in a long line of gaming industry victories against state authorities trying to legislate against violent games.
The California fight began in late 2005 when the state's Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed into law regulations that would fine retailers of up to $1000 against people who sell intensely violent games to minors. While no such laws exist pertaining to the sale of violent movies or DVDs, state officials argued that extremely violent games could prove harmful to minors.
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From another article:
"I signed this important measure to ensure parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children," Schwarzenegger said after green-lighting the appeal last year. "By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled, this law would allow parents to make better informed decisions for their kids. I will continue to vigorously defend this law and protect the well-being of California's kids."
Oh, the irony of Ahnold saying violence is bad. Or maybe "hypocrisy" is a better word.
A Haitian judge said Monday he has dismissed kidnapping and criminal association charges against 10 American missionaries detained for trying to take a busload of children out of the country after the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Judge Bernard Saint-Vil said Laura Silsby, the last of the 10 missionaries jailed in Haiti, still faced a lesser charge for allegedly organizing the effort to transport the 33 children to an orphanage they were setting up in the Dominican Republic.
Silsby faces up to three years in prison if convicted on the remaining charge, the "organization of irregular trips," from a 1980 statute restricting travel out of Haiti signed by then-dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier.
Silsby declined comment from her jail cell. Shiller Roi, a lawyer for Silsby, declined comment, saying he hadn't yet received the judge's written decision.
The judge told The Associated Press that the charge of organizing the trip was also pending against Jean Sainvil, a Haitian-born pastor from Atlanta who also helped organize the venture. Sainvil did not immediately respond to message left on his voicemail.
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Color me shocked.
Christian Boone , Bill Torpy and Bill Rankin provide a detailed and disturbing account of how police — especially Sgt. Jerry Blash — investigated a Milledgeville, Georgia woman's allegation that Roethlisberger raped her. Of this allegation, Roethlisberger now says, "Though I have committed no crime, I regret that I have fallen short of the values instilled in me by my family." It's not clear exactly what he means by this — but it does seem that he'll escape criminal prosecuton. The missteps below, which read like a primer on how not to handle a rape case, may explain why:
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Source. Also Related: Multiple companies ditch Tiger for cheating but not a possible rapist?
A sharply divided federal appeals court on Monday exposed Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to billions of dollars in legal damages when it ruled a massive class action lawsuit alleging gender discrimination over pay for female workers can go to trial.
In its 6-5 ruling, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the world's largest private employer will have to face charges that it pays women less than men for the same jobs and that female employees receive fewer promotions and have to wait longer for those promotions than male counterparts.
The retailer has fiercely fought the lawsuit since it was first filed by six women in federal court in San Francisco in 2001 and said it would appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ruling "opens up every company in America that has employees to class actions like this," said Theodore Boutrous, the company's lead lawyer on the largest gender bias class action in U.S. history.
The appeals court upheld a lower court ruling allowing the lawsuit to go forward as a class action, which attorneys for the Wal-Mart employees said encompasses more than 1 million women. Wal-Mart disputes that figure and asserts fewer than 500,000 women are covered by the decision Monday.
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Read some of the voices in Kandahar:
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Law students get a diploma in three years. Medical students receive an M.D. in four. But for graduate students in the humanities, it takes, on average, more than nine years to complete a degree. What some of those Ph.D. recipients may not realize is that they could spend another nine years, or more, looking for a tenure-track teaching job at a college or university — without ever finding one.
As the recession has downsized university endowments and departments, the sense of crisis that has surrounded graduate education for more than a decade has sharpened. “What’s worse than desperate?” asks William Pannapacker, an associate professor of English at Hope College, in Michigan, who writes a column for The Chronicle of Higher Education under the name Thomas H. Benton.
A graduate-school Cassandra, Dr. Pannapacker calls the graduate apprenticeship system bankrupt and warns students against the heartbreak of pursuing a Ph.D. While finishing his own degree in American civilization at Harvard in 1999 (another difficult job year), he helped organize a protest at the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association, an organization of scholars and professors of language and literature.
On a large reproduction of Goya’s bloody painting “Saturn Devouring His Son,” he wrote, “Enjoying your apprenticeship yet?”
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It took me seven years to earn my Ph.D. “After undergrad!?” is one refrain I hear after confessing this fact. “Yes,” I explain, “after undergrad.”
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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, on a visit to Italy, responded to a reporter's question about his close relationship with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, denying there was anything romantic about their "marriage."
The NYT reports:
During a visit to Italy, Mr. Putin mocked a question from an Italian reporter who wanted him to explain the secrets to success in a “political marriage.” Mr. Putin has led Russia jointly with Mr. Medvedev for the past two years, after term limits prevented Mr. Putin from running for a third consecutive term as president.( Collapse )
Mr. Putin said the question had been phrased “in a very literary way.”
“Mr. Medvedev and I are people of a traditional orientation,” Mr. Putin said. “I can tell you this with complete certainty. As for marital unions, you have exaggerated a bit. But we are friends, friends for many years, I have already said this. And the way that we have arranged our work today — it seems to me, we can be proud of this.”
after finding a whole thread of Putin/Medvedev Rule 34 on 4chan I gotta say this story dredges up some horrible memories
Is this the UK's first post-race election? I posed this question first to my cousin, and regretted asking it almost immediately. She told me she went to a Liberal Democrat campaign dinner recently, attended by Nick Clegg, only to be asked by a well-meaning party member: "So, how long have you been here?"
My cousin, who is mixed-race and was born and raised in the UK, at first misunderstood the question. When she finally realised that the assumption, due to her colour, was that she must be a recent immigrant, she replied that she had never lived anywhere else.
"Oh", the party member replied. "And do you like it here?"
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The guy at the top is David Lammy, my MP. Dude is awesome, as was his predecessor, and I <3 my constituency for voting them both in.
(removed description of the raid)
Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Chen is protected from a warrant by both state and federal laws.
The federal Privacy Protection Act prohibits the government from seizing materials from journalists and others who possess material for the purpose of communicating to the public. The government cannot seize material from the journalist even if it’s investigating whether the person who possesses the material committed a crime.
Instead, investigators need to obtain a subpoena, which would allow the reporter or media outlet to challenge the request and segregate information that is not relevant to the investigation.
“Congress was contemplating a situation where someone might claim that the journalist was committing a crime [in order to seize materials from them],” Granick says.
California state law also provides protections to prevent journalists from being forced to disclose sources or unpublished information related to their work.
“California law is crystal clear that bloggers are journalists, too,” she says.
Apple is on the steering committee for the REACT task force that raided Chen’s house. Formed in 1997, REACT is a partnership of 17 local, state and federal agencies tasked with investigating computer- and internet-related crimes.
Among the items seized from Chen’s house were four computers and two servers, an iPhone, digital cameras, records from a Bank of America checking account and the printout of an e-mail sent to Chen from Gawker Media Managing Editor Gaby Darbyshire earlier that day. The e-mail referred to California’s shield law and specifically stated that police cannot use a search warrant against a journalist to identify a confidential source, or obtain notes and other unpublished information from a news story.
Darbyshire and Chen wouldn’t respond to requests for comment, but according to a letter Darbyshire sent to Detective Matthew Broad, of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department, when Chen encountered officers in his home Friday evening, he asked if they had seen a copy of Darbyshire’s e-mail, which he had printed out earlier in the day. The officers said they had seen it and took it into evidence. One officer told him that in 25 years of working such cases, he’d never seen a letter like that.
The e-mail did little good, however. The officers told Chen and his wife to stand aside while they finished sweeping the house. Before they left, one of the officers told Chen “something about this possibly being a misunderstanding that could be cleared up if I answered some questions.”
Granick notes that the warrant involved in the search of Chen’s house was also overly broad since it allowed officers to seize entire computers instead of limiting the search to material directly related to the iPhone story in question.
“Certainly when you’re talking about a journalist’s computers, you’re talking about [other] sources and information and reporting,” she says. “There’s nothing in the warrant that limits the search, once the computers are seized, to whatever it is that they’re investigating in this case.”
Read More http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/04/iphone-raid/#ixzz0mK0lsUSf
police working directly under authority of Apple. -UNREAL-
Why Aren’t Tea Partiers Protesting Arizona’s Big Government Overreach On Immigration?
Tea Party activists go out of their way to insist that they’re not partisan, racist, or filled with hate; they’re just patriots who want to stop a “socialist” government machine from controlling their daily lives.
The new immigration law in Arizona should be ripe for the Tea Parties to take up. SB-1070 is the “broadest and strictest immigration measure in generations,” giving police unprecedented power to detain anyone they suspect of being an undocumented immigrant and making “the failure to carry immigration documents a crime.” Even traditionally far-right figures like former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee have worried that the law might lead to racial profiling abuses by the government.
But as the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson notes, this Tea Party support hasn’t materialized:
Activists for Latino and immigrant rights — and supporters of sane governance — held weekend rallies denouncing the new law and vowing to do everything they can to overturn it. But where was the Tea Party crowd? Isn’t the whole premise of the Tea Party movement that overreaching government poses a grave threat to individual freedom? It seems to me that a law allowing individuals to be detained and interrogated on a whim — and requiring legal residents to carry identification documents, as in a police state — would send the Tea Partyers into apoplexy. Or is there some kind of exception if the people whose freedoms are being taken away happen to have brown skin and might speak Spanish?
Not only are Tea Partiers not speaking out against SB-1070, they’re actively supporting it. The Arizona Tea Party Network called on its members to support Brewer’s big government. In fact, the sponsor of SB-1070 is state Sen. Russell Pearce (R), a Tea Party backer.
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Terry Goddard Leads Jan Brewer In Arizona Gov's Race: Hispanic Voters Flocking To Democratic Candidate
State Attorney General Terry Goddard (D) leads Republican incumbent Gov. Jan Brewer in Arizona's 2010 gubernatorial election, according to a new survey from Public Policy Polling released on Tuesday.
The poll finds Goddard ahead of Brewer 47 percent to 44 percent in what is becoming an increasingly competitive match-up. An earlier poll from several weeks ago found the candidates to be locked in a tight contest, highlighting a dramatic shift in the race since last fall when the Arizona governor held a 10-point lead over her Democratic challenger.
Hispanic voters also appear to be flocking to Goddard -- his support among that group has more than doubled since September. Hispanics prefer Goddard over Brewer by a 71 percent to 25 percent margin, according to the poll.
Where Brewer was getting only 59% of the Republican vote in our last poll, she's now at 73%. But Goddard has seen a similar improvement in his own party, improving from 77% of the Democratic vote to 88%. The main reason for the overall tightening is that where Brewer trailed Goddard by 12 points with independents previously, that's now just a 2 point deficit.On the bright side for Brewer, the latest polling data suggests that the Governor's handling of immigration issues has given her a much-needed boost among Republican voters amid a crowded primary race for the GOP nomination for Arizona governor.
Former Goldman executive can’t say whether bank should have sold what it knew was a ‘shi**y deal.’
Today, a group of current and former Goldman Sachs employees are testifying before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations regarding whether or not the investment bank misled investors by selling assets that it knew were junk and was actively betting against. One of these assets, known as Timberwolf, was a collateralized debt obligation that allowed investors to bet on subprime mortgages. According to emails obtained by the committee, Goldman executives acknowledged that Timberwolf “was one shi**y deal,” but the firm continued to sell the asset to investors. The subcommittee’s chairman, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), grilled former Goldman executive Dan Sparks for selling Timberwolf as a “top priority,” even after the “shi**y deal” email was written. Sparks repeatedly refused to answer the question, leading Levin to say that “if you can’t give a clear answer to that one, Mr. Sparks, I don’t think we’re going to get too many clear answers from you.” Watch it:
Timberwolf lost more than 80 percent of its value within five months of its issuance.
Virginia gun lobby pushes for right to drink alcohol while carrying a gun in public.
Earlier this month, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signed legislation allowing “concealed carry permit holders to bring loaded handguns” into establishments that serve alcohol. The law allows permit holders to carry guns in restaurants, “as long as the holders do not consume alcohol.” A leading Virginia gun lobby is now arguing that the law unfairly stigmatizes gun carriers as second-class citizens because there is an exception that “allows law-enforcement officers and commonwealth’s attorneys to carry concealed weapons and consume alcohol.” Philip Van Cleave, leader of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, complained, “We’re not allowed to drink, but they (law enforcement officials) can. … That’s two classes of citizens.” But Van Cleave has a solution:
Van Cleave said one proposed bill would allow no one but an on-duty officer doing undercover work to drink alcohol while carrying a concealed weapon. The other bill will say that anyone can carry a concealed gun and drink if they wish, “as long as they are not drunk.”In a letter to McDonnell on behalf of the state’s police chiefs, Virginia Beach Police Chief Jake Jacocks, Jr. opposed the new law, arguing: “We can fully expect that at some point in the future a disagreement that today would likely end up in a verbal confrontation, or a bar fight, will inevitably end up with gunfire if you sign this legislation into law.” The chances of that happening would only increase if the Virginia gun lobby has its way.
“Whatever the General Assembly assumes will apply to everyone,” he said. “Police officers and permit holders are all in the same tent; so I say: General Assembly, you choose. But whatever it is, we’re equal.”
MONTREAL — A pregnant woman who was slated to be sent back to her native Guinea Tuesday morning has won a stay of her deportation.
Vic Toews, the public safety minister, made the announcement in the Commons during the daily question period.
Earlier in the day, Sayon Camara Sow was hiding in a car at Montreal's Trudeau Airport while her lawyer waged a desperate last-ditch battle to allow her to remain in Canada with her husband.
A lawyer for Camara Sow, 42, spent part of the morning before a Federal Court judge via conference call.
Had the appeal been rejected, two Canada Border Services Agents were at Trudeau waiting to escort the woman on an afternoon flight out of the country, back to Guinea where she was sold by her family into a forced marriage and assaulted by her former husband.
Camara Sow, who is 24 weeks pregnant, spent the weekend in immigration detention before being released by the Immigration and Refugee Board Monday on a promise to show up at Trudeau Tuesday.
She is diabetic and could be risking her health and that of her unborn child by leaving the country, her Montreal physician, Dr. Fanny Hersson-Edery, said Monday.
She had a miscarriage last year and is being followed at a high-risk pregnancy clinic at the Rosemont-Maisonneuve Hospital.
Earlier, Immigration authorities had rejected Camara Sow's bid to stay in Canada, on the grounds they doubted the legitimacy of her marriage in 2008, mainly because her husband spent several months seeking work in Alberta while she remained in Montreal.
Source (which also has a source for its source again)
At that time Cameron, as he is now doing in the Radio Times, maintained that he supported the BBC, it was a ‘fantastic cultural asset’ which had to ‘prosper’ he said. Yet he wanted to freeze the licence fee immediately. According to the BBC Trust this would mean £80 million in unplanned cuts. Of course we now know that the BBC capitulated to the Murdoch Empire after complaints that its free website which was outs-tripping its commercial competitors had dislocated the media market. So cuts were put in train as were plans to chop the popular radio station 6 Music and the Asian network.
The BBC blinked first and now with a general election that is ferociously unpredictable and one where Murdoch’s influence has been reduced, perhaps they wished they hadn’t. Life was so simple before this election campaign threw everything into a state of flux. The price for Murdoch’s support to get him into No 10 Cameron was to turn Ofcom into a toothless tiger thus paving the way for a Fox style news.
The BBC would be diminished and Murdoch, possibly junior, would be able to take over his dad’s role in British politics. As Lance Price when he was working in Downing Street put it Rupert was the 24th member of the Cabinet, rarely heard but whose presence was always felt.
If it wasn’t so serious it would be a delicious irony that it was Murdoch’s empire that pushed for the TV debates. No doubt assuming that a former spinner for ITV would be able exploit his knowledge of television on his way to the premiership. Cameron proclaiming that he is pro-BBC could be his revenge for Cleggmania.
Source: Left Foot Forward
UPDATE 15:26hrs: Laura Kuenssberg, on News 24, has just revealed Lardner has been suspended from the Tory party and will now not contest the seat at the general election. It is too late for the Conservatives to field another candidate.
A Conservative Party candidate who said Enoch Powell “was right” and described Ian Smith as his “hero” has exhibited his exremist views once more by describing homosexuality as “not ‘normal’ behaviour” and defending section 28 - remarks which have now been removed from his website, but not before Left Foot Forward got a screengrab (click to enlarge):
Philip Lardner, Tory PPC for North Ayrshire and Arran, wrote:
“As your MP I will support the rights of parents and teachers to refuse to have their children taught that homosexuality is ‘normal’ behaviour or an equal lifestyle choice to traditional marriage… I will not accept that their behaviour is ‘normal’ or encourage children to indulge in it.
“The promotion of homosexuality by public bodies (as per ‘clause 28′/section 2a in Scotland,) was correctly outlawed by Mrs Thatcher’s government.“
Lardner’s remarks are yet another indication of the forces of homophobia at play in David Cameron’s modern Conservative Party, following shadow home secretary Chris Grayling’s remarks that B&B owners should be allowed to refuse entry to gay couples and shadow defence minister Julian Lewis’s comments on the age of consent and HIV. Grayling and Lewis remain Conservative candidates and remain on Cameron’s front bench.
Cameron’s allies in Europe are even more homophobic than his own MPs. In 2000, Michal Kaminski, leader of Cameron’s MEPs, gave a TV interview in which he refers to homosexuals as “pedaly”, literally pedals which is the near equivalent of “faggots” but also implies paedophilia. Kaminski has never apologised for the remarks and has never been criticised by Cameron for them.
Only last November, Cameron’s Lithuanian partner, Valdemar Tomasevski, described homosexuality as an “evil” from which children should be protected and says “we cannot allow these people to claim … that homosexuality is normal”. Cameron has never condemned Tomasevski, who remains a key ally.
Left Foot Forward has been unable to get any comment from the Conservative Party or Mr Lardner. He remains a Tory candidate.
Source: Left Foot Forward
The Femivore’s DilemmaBy
Four women I know — none of whom know one another — are building chicken coops in their backyards. It goes without saying that they already raise organic produce: my town, Berkeley, Calif., is the Vatican of locavorism, the high church of Alice Waters. Kitchen gardens are as much a given here as indoor plumbing. But chickens? That ups the ante. Apparently it is no longer enough to know the name of the farm your eggs came from; now you need to know the name of the actual bird.
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Web Producer: Forrest Carr
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik tells KGUN9 News that SB 1070, Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration, is a "racist law," and says he has no intention of complying with it. In doing so, Dupnik becomes the first major local law enforcement official to officially rebel against the bill since Governor Jan Brewer signed it into law on Friday.
Dupnik told KGUN9's Steve Nunez that the law is "disgusting" and "unnecessary." Dupnik said his deputies plan to keep on doing what they've always done. He said when illegal immigrants wind up in his custody, his deputies will detain them for federal agents, but will not take them to the county jail.
Dupnik said he realizes that, under the terms of SB 1070, he could get sued for failing to comply with the law. But he indicated that's a risk he's willing to take. Dupnik insisted that federal law supersedes state law.
In an e-mail exchange with KGUN9 News Tuesday afternoon, SB 1070's sponsor, State Senator Russell Pearce sharply criticized Dupnik's position. Pearce wrote, "Illegal is not a race, it is a crime. I guess the 9 Sheriffs who support this bill are racist." [Note: Duh]
By contrast, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever now tells KGUN9 that he does plan to comply with SB 1070. But in an interview with KGUN9's Craig Smith on Tuesday morning, Dever also said he does not expect it to have much of an effect on the way his department operates.
Alabama Gubernatorial Candidate Tim James: 'This Is Alabama; We Speak English'
(April 27) -- Tim James is betting his election that Alabama voters prefer what he calls "common sense" to "political correctness." The Republican gubernatorial candidate is running a provocative ad arguing that Alabama's driver's license exam should be given only in English.
"This is Alabama; we speak English," James says. "If you want to live here, learn it." The campaign spot has had more than 60,000 views on YouTube.
The son of former Alabama Gov. Fob James promises to do away with the 12 foreign languages the test currently offers if he is elected in November. In the ad, James suggests his goal is to save taxpayers money. "Maybe it's the businessman in me," he says.
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By MARCY GORDON and TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writers Marcy Gordon And Tom Raum, Associated Press Writers – 1 min ago
WASHINGTON – The CEO of Goldman Sachs testily defended his company's ethics and business practices during the nation's financial crisis on Tuesday, saying customers who bought securities from the Wall Street giant came looking for risk "and that's what they got."
"Unfortunately, the housing market went south very quickly," Lloyd Blankfein told skeptical senators on an investigatory panel. "So people lost money in it."
Live footage (yes it is 7:30pm Eastern but it is STILL going on) can be found at CSPAN, Yahoo, MSNBC, ABC, Huffington Post Live Blog Post.
Update: As of 9pm Eastern the grilling is hold for tomorrow.
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In what could perhaps be described as a slight u-turn, Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan President and fierce critic of Twitter, has announced he intends to begin using the service.
"Comandante Chavez is going to open his Twitter account soon to wage the battle online," said Diosdado Cabello, head of the country's telecommunications regulator, according to Bloomberg.
"I'm sure he'll break records for numbers of followers," Cabello added.
The decision marks a change for Chavez, who in January of this year denounced the social networking platform as "terrorism".
Exactly what caused him to change his mind is unclear, though it is possible he may have seen HuffPost's photo slideshow of other world leaders who tweet.Chavez may be disappointed, however, when he discovers his user name is already taken.
Fla. councilman unsure if Muslims, gays should hold public office
Ending nearly three weeks of controversial back-and-forth, University of North Florida professor Parvez Ahmed was confirmed to the city's Human Rights Commission Tuesday night.
The City Council vote was 13-6. Voting in favor were members Bill Bishop, Reggie Brown, Richard Clark, Michael Corrigan, John Crescimbeni, Ronnie Fussell, Johnny Gaffney, Art Graham, Kevin Hyde, Warren Jones, Stephen Joost, Denise Lee and Art Shad.
Daniel Davis, Ray Holt, Glorious Johnson, Don Redman, Jack Webb and Clay Yarborough voted no.
As discussion began, Redman called Ahmed to the podium and asked him to "say a prayer to your God." The comment elicited a negative reaction from the audience and from Deputy General Counsel Cindy Laquidara, who rushed to the microphone to ask to speak with Redman privately.
After a moment of confusion, Redman said he wouldn't ask Ahmed to pray but instead if the council's opening prayer offended him. When Ahmed asked Redman why that was relevant, and that people had a right to pray to whomever they please, Redman said Ahmed would be offended by a prayer to Jesus, and therefore was not suitable to serve on the commission.Several other council members spoke on both sides, including Art Shad, who apologized to Ahmed and said he hoped the city wouldn't be tainted by the vote of the vocal minority.
Note that this is a SECOND member of the Council, not the original one who asked Ahmed to answer question about gay marriage and "under God" that asked him to pray in front of the meeting. Also, one member who voted against (Glorious Johnson) did so because she felt he would be a distraction to the HRC (which has a total of 20 members).
By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS and PAN PYLAS, Associated Press Writers Nicholas Paphitis And Pan Pylas, Associated Press Writers – 6 mins ago
ATHENS – Greece was pushed to the brink of a financial abyss and started dragging another eurozone country — Portugal — down with it Tuesday, fueling fears of a continent-wide debt meltdown.
Stocks around the world tanked when ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Greek bonds to junk status and downgraded Portugese bonds two notches, showing investors that Greece's financial contagion is spreading.
Major European exchanges fell more than 2.5 percent, and on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average finished down more than 200 points. The euro slid more than 1 percent to nearly an eight-month low.
"We have the makings of a market crisis here," said Neil Mackinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.
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Prime Minister Stephen Harper defended the government's decision not to fund abortions in its G8 child and maternal health-care initiative for developing countries, saying he wants to focus on non-divisive policies.
"Canadians want to see the foreign aid money used for things to help save the lives of women and children in ways that unite the Canadian people," Harper said Tuesday during question period in the House of Commons.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff led off question period in the House by accusing the government of reversing a 25-year-old position of consensus in Canada on the issue.
"You simply cannot promote reproductive health for women unless you respect a woman’s right to choose and unless you include access to safe and legal abortion," he said.
"How is it acceptable ... to have one policy at home for Canada and another abroad?"
For months, it was unclear whether abortion would be included in Harper's G8 initiative. In March, under questioning from the opposition, Harper would only say that the government would not be "closing doors against any options, including contraception."
But on Monday, International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda said the government would consider funding family planning measures such as contraception, but not abortion.
Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae pointed out that thousands of young women have been raped in Congo, and asked if it is now the government's policy to deny those women access to abortion.
NDP Leader Jack Layton also accused the government of imposing a "conservative morality agenda" and has decided to reopen the debate on abortion.
Harper repeated that the government's policy when it comes to maternal health respects definitions used by the World Health Organization and many other countries in the G8 and around the world.
"We understand that other governments, other taxpayers may do something different. We want to make sure our funds are used to save the lives of women and children and are used on the many many things that are available to us and, frankly, do not divide the Canadian population," Harper said.
International health and women's groups have also said any omission of abortion would be at odds with the G8's established goals at previous summits.
In March, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the health initiative should include access to safe and legal abortion.
okay, words simply cannot express how much I hate Harper and his government. He's the one who is making it a hot-button divisive issue. Also check out the source for an interactive map of the legal status of abortion around the world and QUELLE SURPRISE, the countries with the fewest legal restrictions on abortion tend to have the lowest maternal mortality ratios. But who cares about that when you can make some bullshit ideological objections?
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee business students that financial regulation legislation now before Congress must be passed in order to protect the financial security of all Americans.
"This is an important and just cause," Geithner said in remarks prepared for delivery. "It requires reform. Not small changes at the margin, but comprehensive change, clear rules with teeth, enforced by people who care."
Geithner, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, was in Milwaukee for a "Middle Class Task Force," designed to lobby in favor of the financial regulation bill.
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The Conservatives value marriages where one partner stays at home.
So the Tory tax break would give £150 a year to a married couple with one earner on £35,000 and the other not working, but would not apply to a married couple both earning £15,000 each, unless one stops work or more than halves their income. I have yet to see anybody explain why that is fair, even among those who disagree with JK Rowling's powerful single mother's manifesto and so think a pro-marriage tax break is a good thing in itself.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies had previously set out why fewer than three in ten married couples benefit.
But the IFS' new detailed manifesto analysis of tax and benefits proposals today reveals for the first time how many married couples are excluded from the tax break because husband and wife both work, and earn over £6500.
The answer is that 5.8 million married couples - so 11.6 million people in all - won't get the marriage tax break because they both work and pay tax, and so have no unused personal allowance to transfer.
That is very close to half of all of Britain's married couples who can't qualify because they don't follow the 1950s sole male breadwinner model which the policy rewards. (Another 0.8 million single earner married couples have the wage-earner paying higher rate income tax: they are excluded by the "ProgCon" amendment of excluding higher rate-taxpayers, to avoid a sharply regressive distribution, rather than the underlying "TradCon" policy design that excludes married couples who both go to work).
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Source: Next Left
Bill would repeal longtime homosexuality investigation
By Micaela Massimino
The state Department of Mental Health no longer conducts such research, but a decades-old law orders the agency to investigate "the causes and cures of homosexuality."
For Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, that mandate has been on the books far too long. The Assembly is set to vote today on the Long Beach Democrat's measure to repeal that requirement.
Assembly Bill 2199 targets language in the state's Welfare and Institutions Code telling the agency to "plan, conduct and cause to be conducted scientific research into the causes and cures of sexual deviation, including deviations conducive to sex crimes against children, and the causes and cures of homosexuality, and into methods of identifying potential sex offenders."
The measure's supporters, including the gay rights group Equality California, say that mandate wrongly links sexual orientation to child molestation and sexual deviance.
AB 2199 keeps the call for "scientific research into the prevention of sex crimes against children." The bill passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee 4-0 earlier this month, with one Democrat and two Republicans not voting. The Appropriations Committee voted 17-0 on Wednesday to send it to the floor.
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Rove Wishes ‘They Hadn’t Passed’ Arizona Immigration Law, Predicts It Will Face ‘Constitutional Problems’
Chief political strategist for former President Bush, Karl Rove, has joined the growing list of Republicans to come out against Arizona’s new immigration law.
Rove downplayed criticism that the law will encourage racial profiling and civil liberty violations, expressing his optimistic sense of faith in the nation’s “modern police forces.” Nonetheless, he said he foresees “constitutional problems with the bill” and stated that he “wished they hadn’t passed it”:
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After considering the issue, the Osaka Prefectural Government has begun regulating boys love manga.
As previously posted, Osaka Prefecture was "considering the regulation of women's comic magazine and Boys Love materials". Known as "yaoi" in the West, boys love, or BL, focuses on homosexual relationships between male protagonists. The intended readers are not gay men, but rather, women. These manga are created largely by females. Manga for gay men is known as "Men's Love".
The Osaka government has dubbed eight boys love manga as "harmful publications" and cannot be bought by anyone younger than 18 years old. The Asahi Shimbun did not list the titles of those eight "harmful" manga.
"Harmful publications" contain sexual acts or other prohibited content on at least 1/10 of its page count. [or 10 pages or more, according to the Japanese article in the Asahi Shimbun. -OP] According to website Anime News Network, Osaka has been keeping a running tab of "harmful publications" that includes some women's magazines and a handful of shojo magazines.
The appeal of BL for female readers is the flexibility it gives them in identifying with characters in the manga. Perhaps the submissive lead is closer to their personality - or maybe, it's the dominate male protagonist. Or maybe they aspire to be like one of the characters in the manga. BL gives female readers that freedom by not pigeonholing them into narrowly defined gender roles. Besides manga, there are BL video games geared towards female players.
In the past, boys love manga was not heavily regulated for reasons that have included "no one would be stimulated with sexual feelings by them". [Also according to the Asahi Shinbum, the whole reason it wasn't regulated was ＢＬは同性愛という性的少数派を扱っており、「誰もが性的感情を刺激されるものではな
ボーイズラブ雑誌、Ｒ１８に 大阪府が「有害図書」指定 - 社会 [Asahi via ANN (English)]
...the fangirls will not take this well. Especially since Tokyo's attempt to regulate manga that seemed to feature underage girls went down in FLAMES because manga writers started howling it was attacking freedom of expression. But funny how no one is standing up to defend BL. :/
And I foresee the rather young governor of Osaka finding himself drawn in ways he never imagined, because that's what yaoi fangirls do in retaliation.
For thousands of New Jersey high school students who staged mass walkouts from their classrooms today to protest proposed cuts by Gov. Chris Christie, one question remains: Will their efforts make a difference?
"Sadly, no," said Bhriana Smith, 16, a student at Newark’s Science Park High School. "I wish it did, but it won’t."
"Effect? Not much because of the disorganization, but hopefully we got our message out," her classmate, Kharis Xavier, said.
United by a Facebook page that called for students to "rise up and do something," there was no denying that the scores who rallied to support their teachers found the attention they sought — even if some were disciplined for their actions.
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1. Alienate The Majority of Moderate Hard Working Americans While Supporting Racist Rightwing Paranoid Old Rich Christian White Males Corporate Wall Street Overlords.
3. Republican Permanent Majority
Senate Republican Candidates Mired In Season Of Discontent
A series of recent developments in various Republican Senate races has once again called into question whether the party's committees are squandering a historic opportunity as they approach the 2010 elections.
In several races throughout the country, candidates who either have the explicit backing of the party apparatus or are widely considered the establishment picks find themselves either in deep electoral holes or seriously challenged on personal or policy grounds.
As a whole, the GOP still stands to make major gains when voters go to the polls in eight months. But political observers and even some Republican strategists are wondering how and why the party is in its dysfunctional state when, traditionally, its guns should be united against Democrats.
"The GOP is going through a revolutionary change at the grassroots, but the national GOP has been tone-deaf," Craig Shirley, a longtime GOP communications hand, offered as an explanation. "The conservative/Tea Party/populist movement has been liberated from having to explain and apologize for the past transgressions of the national GOP and are in no mood to be dictated to. The status quo no longer holds sway over the base of the party, rather it is they who hold sway over the national GOP."
Those frictions were in evidence this past week when candidates implicitly and explicitly backed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee candidates, including a sitting senator, found themselves attacked from within the party.
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A Greenpeace activist poses during a "Chernobyl day" demonstration ahead of the anniversary of Chernobyl nuclear accident on April 24, 2010 in Nice, southeastern France. April 26, 2010 marked the 23rd anniversary of the catastrophe, the worst nuclear accident in history.( Collapse )
VALERY HACHE | AFP/Getty Images