A captured Ugandan rebel commander made his first public appearance Monday at a hearing before the International Criminal Court, where he stands accused of crimes including murder and enslavement.
Speaking calmly in his native Acholi dialect, Dominic Ongwen, a commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, the rebel group that has terrorized parts of sub-Saharan Africa for decades, identified himself as a former child soldier born in northern Uganda in 1975. He also said “I’d like to thank God for creating Heaven and Earth, together with everyone that’s on Earth.”
Dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and blue and gray plaid tie, his hair closely cropped, Mr. Ongwen did not resemble his guerrilla photographs, which show a man with dreadlocks wearing a green military beret and camouflage fatigues.
Here’s a quick history of Alexander’s case: in her initial trial, she was denied Stand Your Ground immunity (yes, the same Stand Your Ground immunity granted to George Zimmerman when he killed Trayvon Martin), and found guilty of three counts of domestic aggravated assault. She received a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. Alexander appealed her trial successfully and was granted a re-trial. Florida state prosecutor Angela Corey sought to change the terms of Alexander’s sentence in the retrial to require her to serve three consecutive — rather than concurrent sentences — of 20 years, coming to 60 years in total. Again for the retrial, Alexander was denied Stand Your Ground immunity.
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Ayanna Banks Harris, co-organizer with the Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander (CAFMA), added,
“Marissa will re-enter the world with a felony conviction, restricted with a 2-year house arrest, shackled with an ankle monitor, unemployed, with undetermined custody of her children and unable to vote for minimally 7 years. It is important to us that we don’t use the language that Marissa’s release from jail is equivalent to her being free. This is not freedom. This is simply a release from jail.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Oklahoma’s request to join a challenge to the federal health care law.
In a one-sentence order on Monday, the nation’s high court denied Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s writ of certiorari.
Pruitt wanted the court to review Oklahoma’s lawsuit that challenges the tax subsidies offered under the Affordable Care Act, arguing it was important to consider state sovereignty implications.
Kurdish forces have driven Islamic State (IS) militants from Kobane, officials say, ending a four-month battle for the northern Syrian town.
Fighters from the Popular Protection Units (YPG) were said to have entered outlying areas in the east of the town after the jihadists retreated.
However, the US said it was not yet prepared to declare the battle over.
Kobane was seen as a major test of the US-led coalition’s strategy to combat IS in Syria with air strikes.
Tens of thousands of people fled over the nearby border with Turkey after IS launched an offensive in September, capturing about 300 nearby villages before entering the predominantly Kurdish town itself.
Maybe it’s time for activists to start working state by state to put restrictions on schools that receive vouchers making them meet at least the standards that our public schools must. This plan worked exceedingly well for abortion opponents, so let’s make sure that public voucher money is spent on quality education and not religious indoctrination.
This week is “National School Choice” week. Although many of the participants and supporters of the event join solely to support public school choice options, like charter schools and magnets schools, the organizers’ true purpose is to push private school choice options, specifically vouchers.
Unfortunately, that nuance often gets lost in this well-funded event, which is oddly filled with Heritage Foundation 5k races, Heartland Foundation bowling parties, and even official dance performances. School Choice Week might be a big, expensive production, but that doesn’t mean the public - or even all its participants - wants private school vouchers. To the contrary, the vast majority of the public opposes vouchers, whether in opinion polls or at the voting booth.
It makes sense that vouchers are unpopular. Vouchers don’t improve academic achievement. They also predominantly flow to religious schools, thus requiring all taxpayers to subsidize religious indoctrination. And, voucher programs contain virtually no accountability measures, whether to ensure that the voucher schools are actually teaching students, have valid curriculum, are teaching students from a gas station or even have working bathrooms.
Don Feder of the World Congress of Families is pretty sure that “Barack Hussein Obama is perhaps the greatest tragedy to befall the Jews since the destruction of the Second Temple” in 70 AD. This apparently means that, according to Feder, the Obama presidency has been worse for the Jewish people than such atrocities as the Holocaust and the Pogroms.
“Our president is a world-class crescent-kisser,” Feder writes. “In his State of the Union address - between striking Mussolini-like poses and lying about employment - the president disclosed that as part of the ‘partnership’ between America and Islam (we buy their oil, they kill us), ‘I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.’ Is it a stereotype if it’s true?” (The remark was actually delivered in a 2009 speech in Cairo.)
After falsely claiming that Obama “studied in a madrassa,” Feder writes that “the president is anti-Americanism incarnate.”
Barack Hussein Obama is perhaps the greatest tragedy to befall the Jews since the destruction of the Second Temple. He’s trying to force Israel into a suicidal pact with the gentle folk of Hamas and Fatah. Every time Palestinian terrorists (Hamas and Fatah) kill more Jews, he calls for calm on both sides - as if Israel was doing anything but defending itself.
His hatred of Netanyahu borders on the pathological. When Boehner recently invited the Israeli Prime Minister to address the House of Representatives, Obama threw one of his hissy fits, letting it be known that Bibi would not be asked to stop at the White House. That must be a terrible blow for the Prime Minister. Now, the administration is threatening to retaliate against Bibi. Where Churchill was defiant, Obama is petulant.
Our president is a world-class crescent-kisser. He’ll periodically tell us how it’s his duty to defend Islam from scurrilous attacks. I must have missed that in Constitutional Law class.
In his State of the Union address - between striking Mussolini-like poses and lying about employment - the president disclosed that as part of the “partnership” between America and Islam (we buy their oil, they kill us), “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” Is it a stereotype if it’s true?
- See more at: rightwingwatch.org
@BarackObama must give INDIA a permanent seat in UN for raping gals all over the world #RapePublicDay pic.twitter.com/NGRKIEGJS9
While India marked its 66th annual Republic Day on Monday, some Pakistanis on Twitter attempted to put a damper on celebrations by pointing to the country’s rape statistics.
Several high profile rape cases in India in the past few years have garnered national attention and made headlines around the world. A recent poll from the Thompson Reuters Foundation ranked India as the second-worst country in the world for women’s safety at night.
Using the hashtag #RapePublicDay, many Pakistanis criticised the Indian government’s handling of rape cases.
National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill dismissed that argument, calling the rhetoric surrounding the legislation misleading and saying it amounts to overturning “Roe v. Wade completely, period.”
“If you say ‘viability,’ that’s the time where a fetus can live independently outside of the womb. That’s 24 to 26 weeks. But most people don’t know that,” O’Neill said. “So when you just say, ‘Oh, do you want to ban abortion at 20 weeks?’ People go ‘Yeah, that’s really late!’ No, it’s not. And most people don’t know that it’s not late.”
Putting abortion legislation on the floor also has the potential to spark internal GOP arguments that Congress is not going far enough for some conservatives. Franks said he would like to push things further but that incremental progress makes far more sense for Republicans now in the driver’s seat on Capitol Hill.
But in fact, some 95 percent of the addicted soldiers, according to the same study, simply stopped using. Very few had rehab. They shifted from a terrifying cage back to a pleasant one, so they didn’t want the drug anymore.
Bruce Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you: It’s your cage.
This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts. Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find—the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about “addiction” altogether and instead call it “bonding.” A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.
So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.