Illinois police seized computers and mobile phones while raiding a house whose owner was suspected of parodying the town mayor on Twitter.
In all, five people following the Tuesday evening raid were taken to the Peoria Police Department station for questioning, local media report.
“They just asked me about the Twitter account, if I knew anything about it,” Michelle Pratt, 27, told the Journal Star.
She said she was in the shower when officers arrived.
“They brought me in like I was a criminal,” she added. “They said they had a search warrant and took all the electronic devices that had Internet access. They said there had been an Internet crime that occurred at this residence.”
Iconic Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia once again hosts the world’s best surfers for the 41st running of the Bells Beach Contest. New feature in this broadcast: drone cam!
A little debate never hurt nobody:
Two groups came together Wednesday night to create understanding between groups commonly seen at odds.
Two professors of history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sat on a panel with two atheist experts for a discussion to dispel misconceptions and seek understanding.
A debate seeks a winner, where discussions seek understanding, explained panel moderator Paul Reeve, a University of Utah history professor.
“We are seeking understanding tonight, and that is the purpose for our panel here,” Reeve told a crowd of roughly 300 at Salt Lake City Main Library’s Nancy Tessman Auditorium.
American Atheists hosted the panel as a lead-in to its national convention that begins Thursday in Salt Lake City.
“We’re hoping that we can use this as a stepping stone to reach a healthier Salt Lake City,” American Atheists President David Silverman said.
In my continued research on Pakistan, the women of the FATA, and particularly the Swat Valley, good news is rare. So rare in fact, when I do come across it - I end up having one of those “thank gosh” moments.
When you spend a significant amount of time commiserating with the struggle of any particular group, the need to share the equitable moments grows.
This may seem a small step to us, in Pakistan, for women, this is a giant leap.
Dr Shazia Qureshi has been appointed principal of the Punjab University Law College (PULC) following her promotion as associate professor. Dr Shazia is the first woman principal of the college in its 146-year history.
Dr Shazia did her LLM from the Cambridge University and obtained a PhD from the Lancaster University.
She is also an extraordinary person:
In her progress report, Dr Shazia’s advisor Prof Sigrun Skogly wrote that she had actually completed her PhD thesis in less than three years, which was “highly unusual”.
The Street Children’s World Cup is one of my favorite programs currently working to solve the problems related to homelessness, poverty, gender, and family in some of the most deserving and simultaneously undeserved communities in the world.
Over 230 children from 19 countries will participate in a girls’ and a boys’ football tournament, a festival of arts and a participatory conference for children’s rights. We believe that no child should have to live on the streets.
After being picked up from the streets, given education, and put through six months of rigorous football practice, on Wednesday night, nine children from Karunalaya, an organisation that works for child rights, flew to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, to represent India at the Street Child World Cup (SCWC).The team of nine children, rehabilitated at Karunalaya after escaping abusive backgrounds, left for Rio De Janeiro on Wednesday. They will represent the country at the Street Child World Cup — Photo: G. Krishnaswamy
In this second edition of the world cup, scheduled to take place from March 28 to April 7, these children will fight it out against 15 other teams of boys from 18 countries.
Sixteen-year-old T. Gopinath, trying hard to control his emotions, says, “This is unthinkable for all of us. Our focus now is to come back with the cup and make everyone proud.”
Paul Sunder Singh, secretary of Karunalaya, said, “The last six months has been quite hectic and tiring for these children. They had an emotional farewell when they left our Karunalaya home this evening.”
If you have not heard of the ‘Street Child World Cup’ it is an orginization that hosts formerly homeless children in international soccer competition:
The Street Child World Cup is a global movement for street children to receive the protection and opportunities that all children are entitled to. Ahead of each FIFA World Cup, they unite street children from across five continents to play football and unite in a unique international conference. Together through football, art and campaigning their aim is to challenge the negative perceptions and treatment of street children around the world.
The first Street Child World Cup was held in Durban, South Africa, in March 2010 The event brought together teams of street children and former street children from Brazil, South Africa, Nicaragua, Ukraine, India, the Philippines and Tanzania. The participants were between 14 and 16 years old at the time of the event and all had experience of living full time on the streets without family. Each squad of 9 players included 3 girls. A representative team of young people from Manchester, UK, also took part in the tournament. This team was mentored by UK children’s TV presenter Andy Akinwolere, and his journey was covered on the BBC Children’s TV show, Blue Peter.
What is interesting about this is it calls into question just how early children start prejudging based on race:
In addition to asking whether infants consider an individual’s prior history of fair and unfair behavior in making their social selections, we asked whether information about the social category membership of an individual affects infants’ social selections. In the current study, we operationalized social category membership in terms of the race of the individuals, as adults systematically use race as an indicator of social category membership (Fiske and Neuberg, 1990; Hewstone et al., 1991; Stangor et al., 1992). Evidence suggests that same-race social preferences are in place by the school-aged years: elementary-aged children reveal a racial bias in their friendships and in peer nominations, preferring same-race peers (Aboud et al., 2003; Bellmore et al., 2007). Work using experimental paradigms also demonstrates that the impact of race on children’s social preferences can be traced back to at least the early preschool years. Three- to five-year-old children systematically select same-race unfamiliar peers and adults as potential friends over those of another race (Katz and Kofkin, 1997; Kinzler and Spelke, 2011). Moreover, children prefer others who exclusively affiliate with members of their ingroup: Caucasian preschoolers selectively preferred characters in vignettes who were depicted playing with other Caucasian characters as potential friends, rather than those depicted with Black characters (Castelli et al., 2007). In addition to possessing race-based social preferences children as young as three also show adult-like implicit race biases in an age-appropriate version of the Implicit Association Task (Dunham et al., 2013).
It is not entirely cut and dry:
We were motivated to investigate the impact of race on infants’ social selections as current research suggests infants show an early sensitivity to race in their attentional patterns. Evidence from visual preference studies suggests that race influences infants’ looking preferences for different faces: infants as young as 3 months of age prefer to look at same-race over other-race faces (Kelly et al., 2005). Existing research on social selections based on race in infancy, however, has yielded mixed results. On the one hand, preliminary findings using live, interactive paradigms with 12-month-old infants indicate that Caucasian infants prefer to take toys offered by Caucasian versus Asian individuals when given no other information about the individuals (Shin et al., 2011). On the other hand, Kinzler and Spelke (2011) found that 10-month-old infants selected toys associated with a Caucasian adult at equal rates as toys associated with a Black adult, providing no evidence for race-based social selections in infancy. Thus, the extent to which infants consider race in their social selections is an open question.
In conclusion, the results of the current study suggest that infants can use fairness concerns to guide their social selections. However, infants also take into consideration the race of individuals, and the consequences of the behavior of these individuals for their own- versus other-race individuals.
If we want to find a way to overcome racism - understanding how it affects young children, and why, is undoubtedly going to be the catalyst - which makes this report very important to adding to the available knowledge on how and why brains make judgments on race.
Indeed, the results of Experiment 2 suggest that when given the opportunity to select individuals on the basis of fairness, on the basis of race, or based on the consequences of the distributor’s actions for own- versus other-race individuals, infants most strongly consider the consequences for own- versus other-race members. These findings may suggest that when confronted with selecting between individuals on the basis of who abides by a fairness norm versus on the basis of who advantages own-race (versus other-race) individuals, infants may more strongly weight the consequences for individuals of their own race, and, by extension, for the self. Thus, infants may strategically select social partners who previously advantaged members of their own social category, suggesting that they may use group membership to predict the consequences of future interactions for themselves. Thus, our work is consistent with the conclusion that infants and young children may be strategic in their prosocial considerations (Dunfield and Kuhlmeier, 2010; Vaish et al., 2010; Shaw et al., 2012), factoring in not only whether an individual acts fairly, but also the potential consequences of this behavior for their own interactions with others.
This suggests the ideas we have about the causes of racism - ignorance and hatred are too simple to explain why racism appears inherent in very young children.
While education and personal experiences, which dispense with ignorance, do help to create non-prejudicial adults (They simply educate out of it) the study suggests that while education can defeat racial judgments over the long term - these are not necessarily the causes of racism. Something else, inherent in children, is.
Among those big unanswered questions lurking in the shadows of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties is whether or not RFRA could be used to undermine existing protections against discrimination, like those under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the federal law that outlaws discrimination on the basis of a host of factors, including sex. Add to that question the role of state-level RFRAs like the one recently passed in Mississippi, which appears to be an open invitation for businesses to discriminate in the name of religious belief, plus the fact that state and local anti-discrimination laws, when they exist at all, ofter a patchwork of protections, and the legal landscape that emerges is frankly a mess.
Title VII prevents employers from discriminating in their employment practices (such as hiring, firing, and promotions and pay) based on race and color, sex, national origin, and religion. The law includes a broad exemption for religious employers and provides that houses of worship and religiously affiliated organizations like universities and hospitals may discriminate in employment practices on the basis of religion, allowing them to prefer members of their own faith in hiring regardless if the employee’s work is religious in nature or not.
But Title VII does not recognize a religious exemption to its prohibition on sex discrimination. That’s important in the context of the contraception challenges, and as more and more employers voice workplace objections to gender equality as an issue of religious freedom.
Despite the fact that the government moved to dismiss TerVeer’s claims, it is important to note that Chai Feldblum, commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and key advocate behind advancing workplace protections for the LGBT community, has made the case that marriage equality helps pave the way for workplace protections under existing laws like Title VII. Feldblum argues:
[A]ssume a male employee is fired because he marries another man. The reason for that employee’s firing makes reference to the sex of the people involved, and the antipathy to marriage by a same-sex couple is deeply embedded in a history of gender roles and sex stereotypes. From my perspective, that is a simple case of sex discrimination.
In other words, like the administration’s position on marriage equality, its position on workplace protections for the LGBT community appears to be evolving.
In a surprise announcement as Washington was winding down for Easter, the State Department said federal agencies will have more time to weigh in on the politically fraught decision — but declined to say how much longer. Officials said the decision will have to wait for the dust to settle in Nebraska, where a judge in February overturned a state law that allowed the pipeline’s path through the state.
Nebraska’s Supreme Court isn’t expected to hear an appeal to that ruling until September or October, and there could be more legal maneuvering after the high court rules. So President Barack Obama will almost surely have until after the November election to make the final call about whether Keystone XL should be built.
Approving the pipeline before the election would rankle Obama’s allies and donors in the environmental community, but nixing it could be politically damaging to vulnerable Democrats running this year in conservative-leaning areas.
How Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are
rushing to cash in on cannabis.
By Mat Honan
A clone of the Charlotte’s Web strain, developed by the Stanley brothers, crossed with another strain of industrial hemp. BENJAMIN RASMUSSEN
LIKE MANY PEOPLE in San Francisco, Sasha Robinson is working on a startup out of his home. His living room is a riot of wires, battery packs, pliers, and metal casings. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was a bomb maker. But these are just the raw materials for a new gadget he’s creating. It’s something revolutionary, he thinks, and he should know. In the 2000s, Robinson ran software development at industrial design firm Moto, where he oversaw new product development for the Flip HD camcorder. Before that he was at Juniper Systems and Silicon Graphics, two of the Valley’s foundational tech firms. His cofounder, Mark Williams, has also bounced around Valley software firms, but his main experience was at Apple, where he managed a Mac OS design team. These guys have tech cred.
They also met at a Burning Man party. “We would hang out socially and always ended up talking about ideas and inventions,” says Williams, explaining how they came up with their new product in his living room. “We were sitting on my couch in my apartment, smoking. I was over 40 then, we could really feel it in our bodies. We were social smokers, but we both felt it …”
“Wait. Are you talking about tobacco here,” I interjected.
So, officially, the Firefly is for pipe tobacco. But I didn’t try any pipe tobacco in it. You probably won’t either. I did, however, sample some marijuana, for which it’s really, really great. A personal disclosure: I’ve smoked a lot of pot. I’m no stoner, but I’ve been smoking it for more than 25 years, and in that time I’ve used all sorts of vaporizers. They’ve evolved a great deal over the years, from giant complex tabletop devices to today’s generation of e-cig-style vapes that deliver brain-hammering doses of butane-extracted cannabis oil. The Firefly does those devices one better, magically and almost instantly vaporizing actual plant material at the touch of a button. It is just wonderful.
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