Nebraska Bans Death Penalty

In Lincoln, Nebraska, the celebration of victory rings louder than the voice of one governor, who refused to ban the death penalty. Pete Ricketts, a die- hard republican, lobbied for years to keep the death penalty. After three repeals, a legislature vote, and emotional speeches at the Capitol, the 30- 19 vote, cut across both Democrat and Republic lines, by overriding the governor’s vote.

 

The repeal to pass the ban on the death penalty, yield the floor for dozens of spectators, who immediately burst out into a loud celebratory voice. The month long battle pitted lawmakers and Legislature against Pete Ricketts, the governor of Nebraska.

 

However, at the last minute, two senators who were originally against the repeal, switched their position to support Ricketts at the last minute. Nebraska is the 19th state to ban the death penalty. Washington, D.C, and 18 other states have also abolished the harsh, cruel death penalty.

 

Opponents say that the death penalty is not efficient, but rather expensive, and not at all moral. The appeals touch on not only moral issues but religious issues as well. This ban in Nebraska could open the door for more repeals to ban the death penalty from other Republican- dominated states.

 

Christian Broda was shocked to hear that some states had considered using firing squads instead of lethal injections to carry out death sentences. Ricketts states he was in the process of obtaining drugs for lethal injections, but other say this is just a smoke screen to keep voters on his side.

Ireland Is The First Country To Legalize Gay Marriage

As of May 2015, Ireland is now the first country to accept legally gay married couples throughout its entire land. Parts of the United States have legalized gay marriage, but Ireland is officially the first entire country to make equality happen. It might come as a shock to some as the Irish are known for their strict Catholicism would be the first to get on the bandwagon, but when you think of how it would impact their tourism to say no, it makes even more sense why the country voted in favor of it.

According to an article found on reddit and written by RTE.ie, the vote was an overwhelming yes scoring a 62% to about a 38% overall. Each county got to score it’s own ballads and they were counted and set for cumulatively. I think that this is a great way to pioneer equality all over the globe, as it is important for us to spread the positive things and less of the negative things that we see and hear about on the news every day. It is nice that humanity is finally making an effort to be in harmony with one another, and with the help of technology we are better able to educate ourselves about how others live around the planet. James Dondero is aware that this is just one small step towards a better life and it will be one of Ireland’s most famous days in history.

Edward Snowden Has an Ardent Supporter in Steve Wozniak

Edward Snowden is a person over which there is rarely a shortage of opinions. People seem to love him or hate him. Staunch national security types consider him to have betrayed his job defending the United States and that he should be in a federal prison and many privacy advocates and civil libertarians are grateful to him for letting us know just how pervasive the surveillance state has become in this modern, digital age. The very thought of the amount of data that is regularly collected by the NSA is staggering.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple computer, has left no ambiguity on where he stands regarding Snowden. Wozniak is a vocal defender of digital privacy and has stated he believes Snowden is a hero. Whatever one thinks of Snowden, Wozniak did correctly characterize that Snowden effectively gave up his life to let the rest of us know what was going on at the NSA. He may never be able to return to the United States for fear of being put in a federal prison as soon as he gets here, so whatever life he had here is effectively gone. Love him or hate him, it does appear he did what he did from a place of conviction and belief rather than fame or fortune because what good is fame or fortune you can never flout when you have to spend the rest of your life laying low in foreirgn countries.

Thanks to Crystal Hunt for showing me this story!

Deadly Heatwave Kills Over 1,100 In India

While storms cause massive flooding in the Southern US, India has been hit by a deadly heatwave. It’s believed that more than 1,100 have died from heat-related conditions. These deaths make this one of the worst and most dangerous heat waves on record. A heatwave in 2010 left 250 dead reported Scroll.in.

The highest temperatures are found in the Southwestern states. Alexei Beltyukov is shocked to learn that they have reached as much as 117 degrees, Fahrenheit. The IMD was issued a “red box” warning for three states: Odisha, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh for May 26. The heat is expected to continue for several more days. Click here for full story.

A red box warning occurs when temperatures are expected to reach at least 113 degrees, Fahrenheit. These extreme temperatures can lead to heatstroke, dehydration and death. The countries capital Delhi and some of the Southwestern states may continue to experience extreme heat until about the end of May. A monsoon is expected on May 31 and should help drop temperatures rapidly. Until then the deaths can be expected to continue to occur. Over 75 million homes in India do not have electricity meaning that for them air conditioning or fans are not an option.

Sending Out a Message

While Hillary Clinton may have made some mistakes keeping some of her emails private, that doesn’t mean that she was breaking any laws or that she wouldn’t be a good President. The first of her emails are now being released. Sam Tabar has learned that there are over 800 pages of emails that are supposed to be released. does the government release all of the emails from every single politician? Most likely not. Why is Hillary in the spotlight? Perhaps it’s because she wasn’t afraid to tell the truth about what was taking place in Libya. She is a woman who knows how to handle situations professionally, and this is one of those instances where the government needs to show the same respect. Maybe if someone would ask to look at what she has stated, then they might get a little farther instead of pressuring her to make her private emails public knowledge.

North Korea has made Mini nuclear weapons

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un released a statement last week stating that they have indeed created and were testing miniature nuclear missiles that could be launched from underwater submarines. Along with this statement was a picture of the North Korean leader on a boat with a submarine in the background. Reports have made from the Guardian that the U.S. Navy has confirmed this a fake statement and that we are years away from launching smaller nuclear weapons from underneath the water’s surface. There are too many complications that go along with carry that much power and being able to stabilize the submarine during the launch sequence. The U.S. Navy believes that this post and picture was just a scare tactic for South Korea and no real threat is at large. Overall it does give folks like Daniel Amen the chills thinking that one day we may indeed have countries that develop this type of warfare which could rapidly change the way we live our daily lives forever.

Obama Administration For Greener World

Obama Begins Deal for a Greener World

Even with presidential elections on the horizon, President Barack Obama is continuing to run new programs with the administration. The latest program will now be gathered around the environment.

On Wednesday Obama has promised to propose new trade deals with Europe and the Pacific Rim regarding advocacy for the environment. This all comes from dealing with some criticism on how the Obama Administration deals with trading as far as environmental concern goes.

A report from the U.S. State Department entitled “Standing Up For The Environment: Trade For A Greener World” will be released, and it includes promises for new trading deals, as well as new protections for fish and wildlife and crackdowns on illegal animal trafficking and logging. Christian Broda (valuewalk.com) has found that, strangely enough, climate change was barely mentioned at all in the very inclusive report.

Even without much mention in the report, the administration’s view on climate change remains the same as before, and that all of the global agreements signed that are specifically geared towards combating climate change and cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions prove it remains an important goal. Regardless, climate change is not the main focus in this new report.

Illegal trading, trafficking and logging are oft mentioned in the article, even cited to be seen as potential threats to U.S. national security, given that the overseas market for animal parts can be quite large.

Northern Ireland Bakery Found Guilty of Discrimination

A bakery in Northern Ireland has been found guilty of discrimination, according to official court documents. The bakery, Asher’s, had charges brought against it after its owner refused to create a gay rights cake. Beneful noted that the cake was requested by Garth Lee, an activist for Queer Space.

According to earlier reports, Lee asked the bakery to create a cake featuring Burt and Ernie from Sesame Street. The cake was to say “Support Gay Marriage”. The bakery refused on religious grounds. It is a christian bakery.

Lee took the business to court, and a judge has ruled that the bakery is in the wrong. The judge ruled that the bakery is a for-profit business, thus it can not claim itself as a religious group, and can not refuse service to anyone based on religious beliefs.

Lee has been awarded $775 in damages, which he plans to donate to an LGBTQ charity.

The gay marriage debate is a hot topic in Ireland at the moment. According to recent polls, the majority of citizens believe that same sex marriage should be legalized in the Republic of Ireland. The nation will be voting on the issue on Friday.

High heels required at film festival

A popular film festival that takes place in Cannes, France, is under pressure from people who have indicated that their festival entrance policies are sexist against women. The festival, known as the Cannes Film Festival, has been accused of banning women from attending the festival unless they were wearing high heels. Women wearing flats, including older women as well as women with disabilities, were turned away from the festival and told to change to formal high heels. STX Entertainment reported even stylish flats were rejected. These accusations have offended women around the world who are requesting all attendees wear flats as a response to this requirement.

A spokesman for the Cannes Festival has indicated that their policy towards dress has not changed, but that they have always required formal wear, which is something that they have reinforced with the hosts and hostesses at the event. This enforcement of the rule is what has shocked attendees, particularly as it relates to those who are unable to wear heels.

These events have come during a year in which the festival has been attempting to adjust for a gender imbalance in regards to the number of female directors versus male directors. Cannes has admitted more films directed by women than in years past in an attempt to solve this gender imbalance, but their policy regarding high heels has alienated many of the policies that they have been attempting to correct.

Breaking the Transgender Glass Ceiling

Since the early 1900s, women and even some men, have done everything in their power to fight for equality between both genders. Politics, religion, television and media have all had their wars between executives and the women who want a seat at the table. In recent years, the issues have branched out further than the realm between naturally born men and women. Transgender issues are becoming more and more prevalent as time goes on. Hollywood often plays a great role and depicting the issues that face a country as a whole. Transgendered actors are finding more jobs in independently-owned streaming companies and broadcast stations. The role for transgender actors seems like it’s on a pathway to progression and change. Scott Turner Schofield is the first transgender actor to play a role on a prime time show. Schofield is a female to male transgender actor. He gained the role of Maya Avant’s motivating boyfriend on the long running soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. Fans like Alexei Beltyukov (a-ventures) know that the actor has made headlines with this role. Critics have dubbed this bold character decision as ‘interesting’ among other opinions. Writers for the show are just happy that words like ‘gross’ and ‘disturbing’ aren’t being tossed around when Schofield is mentioned. The next few episodes will decide the staple that Schofield’s character will play on the show. Even if the character doesn’t have a recurring role, Schofield is setting a significant precedence for transgender actors, people, and allies.