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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 4,650

Journal Archives

Californian law change means pet shops can sell only rescued animals

Source: BBC

California is set to become the first state in the US to ban the sale of non-rescue animals in pet shops. The new law, known as AB 485, takes effect on 1 January. Any businesses violating it face a $500 (£400) fine.

The change means cats, dogs and rabbits sold by retailers cannot be sourced from breeders, only from animal shelters.

Animal rights groups have heralded it as a step forward against so-called "kitten factories" and "puppy mills".

They say the current "high-volume" industries, where pets are bred for profit, can lead to inhumane treatment and long-term emotional and physical health problems in some animals.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46717173

Republican wins Georgia secretary of state election viewed as referendum on voter suppression allega

Source: ABC News

Republican wins Georgia secretary of state election viewed as referendum on voter suppression allegations

In a runoff contest widely viewed as a referendum on allegations of voter suppression and disenfranchisement that marred Georgia's midterm races this year, Republican former state Rep. Brad Raffensperger has won the election for state secretary of state, the Associated Press projects.

Raffensperger defeated former U.S. Rep. John Barrow in the race, which advanced to a second round after no candidate received a majority of the votes last month.

Normally something of an afterthought at the national level, the secretary of state election gained prominence in the aftermath of Georgia's high-profile gubernatorial contest. It was a prime example of the Democratic voter enthusiasm in 2018, but one in which Democrat Stacey Abrams nevertheless fell short of upsetting her Republican rival, Gov.-elect Brian Kemp.

On Election Day last month, Raffensperger received 49.09 percent to Barrow's 48.67 percent, a difference of just over 16,000 votes. Voting that night, and early voting in the weeks prior, overseen by the secretary of state's office, featured scores of complaints across Georgia about voter registration purging and difficulties in obtaining absentee ballots and confirming their receipt and legitimacy.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/georgia-secretary-state-runoff-framed-proxy-gubernatorial-rematch/story?id=59483556

Jeffrey Epstein, multi-millionaire sex offender, settles suit and apologizes

Source: NBC

A politically connected multi-millionaire sex offender accused of sexually abusing dozens of teenage girls struck a last-minute deal to avoid a civil trial that would have allowed some of his victims to finally testify against him in open court.

The deal included a financial settlement, the details of which were kept confidential, NBC Miami reported. It also included an apology from Epstein to Edwards, who'd accused Epstein of trying to ruin his reputation as retaliation for having represented his accusers.

The apology offered no words of remorse for Epstein's alleged victims, several of whom had been expected to testify in the trial, the Miami Herald reported. The women had been expected to testify that they had been sexually abused and that Edwards hadn't done anything illegal or criminal.

Epstein — a financier who was friends with the likes of Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Great Britain's Prince Andrew — has been accused of sexually abusing dozens of teenage girls in the early 2000s.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/jeffrey-epstein-multi-millionaire-sex-offender-settles-suit-apologizes-n943481

Federal judge finds female genital mutilation law unconstitutional

Source: Chicago Tribune

In a major blow to the government, a federal judge in Detroit has declared the nation’s female genital mutilation law unconstitutional, thereby dismissing nearly all of the charges against two Michigan doctors and seven others accused of subjecting at least nine minor girls to genital cutting in the nation’s first FGM case.

The historic case involves minor girls from Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, including some who cried, screamed and bled during the procedure and one who was given Valium ground in liquid Tylenol to keep her calm, court records show.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman concluded that Congress did not have the authority to pass the 22-year-old federal law that criminalizes female genital mutilation in America. FGM is banned worldwide and has been outlawed in more than 50 countries, though the U.S. statute had never been tested before this case.

Friedman’s ruling stems from a request by Dr. Jumana Nagarwala and her co-defendants to dismiss the genital mutilation charges, claiming the law they are being prosecuted under is unconstitutional.

Read more: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-female-genital-mutilation-law-20181120-story.html

Democrat Stacey Abrams Ends Bid For Georgia Governor, Decrying 'Suppression'

Source: NPR

Republican Brian Kemp will be the next governor of Georgia, with Democrat Stacey Abrams conceding Friday afternoon following a bitter 10-day battle since election day last week.

The contest between the two had been one of the most closely-watched — and bitter — of the cycle. Abrams, who was vying to become the first black woman ever elected governor in U.S. history, had alleged throughout the campaign that Kemp, who stepped down as secretary of state after the election, had been working to disenfranchise minority voters and suppress new registrations.

Those charges spilled out well beyond Nov. 6, with the race too close to call. Abrams had been fighting to include additional provisional and absentee ballots into the count, hoping that could help her close the roughly 18,000 vote deficit she needed to force a runoff next month.

But with a 5 p.m. Friday deadline for all of Georgia's counties to certify their election results, a path for Abrams was looking slim. It's now up to interim secretary of state Robyn Crittenden to certify the state's results.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2018/11/16/668753230/democrat-stacey-abrams-ends-bid-for-georgia-governor-decrying-suppression

Trump announces Kavanaugh replacement for DC circuit court

Source: The Hill

President Trump announced Tuesday he is nominating Neomi Rao to fill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s vacant seat on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Rao currently serves as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA.

She is a vocal advocate of Trump’s efforts to slash government regulations, crediting the reductions with stimulating job growth.

“I think the reform efforts are part of what has stimulated economic growth and job creation and promoted technological innovation. And from my perspective, our reform efforts have really focused on promoting the rule of law and emphasized the productivity and potential of the American people that’s possible when you get rid of unnecessary economic burdens,” Rao said at an American Bar Association conference earlier this month.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/416470-trump-announces-kavanaugh-replacement-for-dc-circuit-court

Legal Expert: There Is 'No Legal Ethics Issue Here' That Would Force Matthew Whitaker to Recuse Hims

Legal Expert: There Is ‘No Legal Ethics Issue Here’ That Would Force Matthew Whitaker to Recuse Himself

Elihu Root Professor of Law at NYU Stephen Gillers told Law&Crime that objections to Whitaker are “compelling,” but there is ultimately “no legal ethics issue here.” Prof. Gillers is one of the most cited legal ethics scholars.


You may recall that Jeff Sessions recused himself by citing Title 28, Chapter I, Section 45.2 of the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) — “Disqualification arising from personal or political relationship.”

Sessions stated that he had to recuse himself from the heading up the Russia probe because he served as a campaign advisor for the Trump campaign.

“That regulation states, in effect, that department employees should not participate in investigations of a campaign if they have served as a campaign advisor,” Sessions said at the time.

There's more of interest to read here, including the entire regulation. Interesting read, and I'm not sure this specific issue breaks our way. Whitaker shouldn't be the Acting AG, imo, simply because he hasn't been confirmed by the Senate to any post during this administration.

More protection: UN says Earth's ozone layer is healing

Source: ABC News

Earth's protective ozone layer is finally healing from damage caused by aerosol sprays and coolants, a new United Nations report said.

The ozone layer had been thinning since the late 1970s. Scientist raised the alarm and ozone-depleting chemicals were phased out worldwide.

As a result, the upper ozone layer above the Northern Hemisphere should be completely repaired in the 2030s and the gaping Antarctic ozone hole should disappear in the 2060s, according to a scientific assessment released Monday at a conference in Quito, Ecuador. The Southern Hemisphere lags a bit and its ozone layer should be healed by mid-century.

"It's really good news," said report co-chairman Paul Newman, chief Earth scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "If ozone-depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen huge effects. We stopped that."

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/protection-earths-ozone-layer-healing-58971673

Location of large mystery source of banned ozone depleting substance uncovered

Source: Phys.org

The compound, carbon tetrachloride, contributes to the destruction of the Earth's ozone layer, which protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

As a result, the production of carbon tetrachloride has been banned throughout the world since 2010 for uses that will result in its release to the atmosphere. However, recent studies have shown that global emissions have not declined as expected, with about 40,000 tonnes still being emitted each year.

The origin of these emissions has puzzled researchers for many years.


Their results, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, show that around half of the 'missing' global emissions of carbon tetrachloride originated from eastern China between 2009 and 2016.

Read more: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-large-mystery-source-ozone-depleting.html

NYPD pulls thousands of body cameras from streets after cop's explodes

Source: CNET

The New York Police Department removed thousands of officers' body cameras Sunday after one cop's camera exploded.

The Staten Island officer was on duty around midnight Sunday when the Vievu LE-5 camera started to smoke, the department wrote.

The police officer quickly removed the device, which then exploded on the ground. No one was injured, the department said.

The NYPD statement pointed to the camera's battery as a possible source of the problem, and said that the cause and scope of the defect are being investigated.

"All officers assigned LE-5 cameras were instructed to immediately remove the cameras and bring them back to their commands," the department said in its statement.

Read more: https://www.cnet.com/news/nypd-pulls-thousands-of-body-cameras-from-streets-after-cops-explodes/
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