We are at a critical moment in Indiana’s history.
And much is at stake.
Our image. Our reputation as a state that embraces people of diverse backgrounds and makes them feel welcome. And our efforts over many years to retool our economy, to attract talented workers and thriving businesses, and to improve the quality of life for millions of Hoosiers.
All of this is at risk because of a new law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that no matter its original intent already has done enormous harm to our state and potentially our economic future.
The consequences will only get worse if our state leaders delay in fixing the deep mess created.
Half steps will not be enough. Half steps will not undo the damage.
Only bold action — action that sends an unmistakable message to the world that our state will not tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens — will be enough to reverse the damage.
Gov. Mike Pence and the General Assembly need to enact a state law to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, education and public accommodations on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Those protections and RFRA can co-exist. They do elsewhere.
On Friday, Motherboard revealed that fully functioning Uber accounts were for sale on the dark web. Today, it appears that some people have fallen victim to fraudulent trips being made with their login credentials.
“It happened this morning,” Phil Turner, an apparent victim, told me in an email. “I got a notification on my phone from Uber saying ‘your taxi was on its way/it arrived’ etc., but thought it must be a glitch of the app.”
It wasn’t. Instead, Turner says he was told by an Uber representative that “I’ve checked your account details and it looks like someone has accessed your account illegitimately. We believe that your email account may have been hacked as access was gained to your account by sending a password reset link to your email.” The representative then changed his password, sent him the new one, and suggested that he change it again himself, as well as the password on his email account.
A small corner of the prison industrial complex crumbles.
On Feb. 20, prisoners wielding pipes, sharpened broomsticks and kitchen knives seized control of the privately run federal prison for nearly two days. The prisoners—undocumented immigrants awaiting deportation while serving federal criminal sentences, many for illegally entering the U.S.—mutinied after years of built-up exasperation over inadequate medical care, filthy toilets and maggot-infested food. They set fire to three of the 10 Kevlar tents that lend the South Texas prison its nickname, Tent City, and damaged the plumbing and electrical systems. The FBI was called in to negotiate; armored vehicles were sent inside; tear gas was fired. Somehow, the inmates managed to slice open the tents that hadn’t been torched. Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence told reporters that inmates were “pouring out like ants coming out of an ant hill.” By the time prison authorities regained control of the prison, the $60 million facility was reduced to a shambles; the federal Bureau of Prisons declared it “uninhabitable.”
In the riot’s wake, all 2,834 inmates were transferred to other facilities. Nearly all of the 400 people employed by Management and Training Corporation (MTC), the private company the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) paid to run the prison, were laid off. When I traveled to Raymondville, an impoverished town 50 miles north of Brownsville, Willacy County leaders were waiting to see how long it might take for the prison to reopen—or if it would reopen at all. A decade ago, persuaded by a consortium of private prison salesmen, the county had entered into a kind of Faustian bargain, staking its financial future on a continual supply of state and federal prisoners. Now, as Willacy County faces a gaping hole in its budget, $128 million in debt still owed on Tent City, and the loss of its largest employer, I’d come to find out if the prison that was supposed to be the county’s economic salvation would end up being its undoing.
Accused racist killer Frazier Glenn Miller, who has been in jail a year since three fatal shootings in Overland Park, Kan., has been granted one of his two wishes: He will get a speedy trial. He won’t get Internet access in his jail cell.
Johnson County District Judge Kelly Ryan set a trial date of Aug. 17 on Friday after Miller, 74, shouted “Hell, no,” when asked if he wanted to waive his right to a speedy trial, the Kansas City Star reports.
Miller entered not guilty pleas during the same hearing on charges of first-degree capital murder in the deaths of William Corporon, 69, his 16-year-old grandson Reat Underwood and Terri LaManno, 53.
Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., has said he was targeting Jews when he opened fire outside the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom care center on April 13 of last year. All three victims were Christians.
A suspect who sparked a massive arson fire last year that gutted a multi-story apartment complex under construction in Los Angeles was captured on surveillance tape reviewed by authorities, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.
The video showed the suspect parking a car on the 110 Freeway before walking into the building with “cans of fuel,” the paper said, based on a recording of a community meeting last week addressed by Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Ruda.
The suspect “torched that building up from the freeway side and then escaped,” Ruda told the roughly two dozen people at Echo Park’s neighborhood council meeting, the Times reported.
The United States pledged $507 million in humanitarian aid at an international donors’ conference for Syria on Tuesday as the United Nations issued an appeal for $8.4 billion in commitments this year — the organizations largest appeal yet for the war-ravaged country.
Earlier, Kuwait, which is hosting the third annual conference, pledged $500 million. In his opening remarks, Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah said the Syrian conflict is the “biggest humanitarian crisis in recent history.”
The civil war, now in its fifth year, has killed at least 220,000 people and displaced 11 million, according to U.N. figures. Of the displaced, nearly 4 million have been forced to flee to nearby countries such as Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, stretching resources there to the limit.
The brutal killing of yet another blogger in broad daylight in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka has sent shockwaves through the country.
On Monday, blogger Oyasiqur Rahman was hacked to death, just weeks after an almost identical killing of Avijit Roy, an American blogger of Bangladeshi origin. Rahman, who was in his 20s and went by the alias Babu — as well as the pen name Kucchit Hasher Channa, meaning Ugly Duckling — was attacked Monday morning near his home.
Both men were vocal in their criticism of Islamist extremism and militancy.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has signed an executive order protecting the city’s LGBT community from discrimination and denounced the state’s controversial new religious freedom law.
Ballard, a Republican, denounced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law last week by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
“Indianapolis will not be defined by this,” Ballard said. “Indianapolis will not be defined by this. Indianapolis welcomes everybody.”
This is also why you don’t wade or swim in streams or rivers in the UK - apparently it’s not uncommon there to miss-connect a house’s sewer pipes to the storm sewer line instead of the wastewater sewer line.
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have found a novel use for tampons. They’re begun employing them in the fight against pollution — or more specifically, as a method for identifying where wastewater is leaking into streams and rivers.
Most tampons are made of natural, untreated cotton, a material that readily absorbs a class of chemicals called optical brighteners. Optical brightening agents (OBAs), which have a “whitening effect” and also enhance color brightness, are used in toilet paper, detergents and shampoos. That makes them an ideal indicator of the presence of wastewater — from baths, washing machines, sinks and showers.
As engineers at Sheffield have shown, even the smallest trace of an optical brightener can be picked up and absorbed by a tampon suspended in the pool of a stream. Placed under a UV light, the tampon will glow if it has indeed absorbed the chemicals.
UPDATE MARCH 30: NEW TIME FOR LIVE STREAM - 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT
NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project will be flying a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space from the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, in June.
The public is invited to tune in to an hour-long live, interactive video broadcast from the gallery above a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where this near-space experimental test vehicle is being prepared for shipment to Hawaii. During the broadcast, the 15-foot-wide, 7,000-pound vehicle is expected to be undergoing a “spin-table” test. The event will be streamed live on ustream.tv on March 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT. JPL’s Gay Hill will host the program while LDSD team members will answer questions submitted to the Ustream chat box or via Twitter using the #AskNASA hashtag.
The LDSD crosscutting demonstration mission will test breakthrough technologies that will enable large payloads to be safely landed on the surface of Mars, or other planetary bodies with atmospheres, including Earth. The technologies will not only enable landing of larger payloads on Mars, but also allow access to much more of the planet’s surface by enabling landings at higher-altitude sites.
More information about the LDSD space technology demonstration mission is online at:
The LDSD mission is part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in future missions. NASA’s technology investments provide cutting-edge solutions for our nation’s future. For more information about the directorate, visit: