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Wed, 22 May 2019
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Alabama's state senate passes bill banning nearly all abortions

Alabama senate abortion ban

The Alabama Senate has passed an abortion ban that would be one of the most restrictive in the United States. The bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of a pregnancy unless a woman's life is threatened or in case of lethal fetal anomaly.
The Alabama Senate passed a bill Tuesday evening to ban nearly all abortions. The state House had already overwhelmingly approved the legislation. It's part of a broader anti-abortion strategy to prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the right to abortion.

It would be one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the United States. The bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of a pregnancy, unless a woman's life is threatened or in case of a lethal fetal anomaly.

The vote was 25-6, with one abstention.

Doctors in the state would face felony jail time up to 99 years if convicted. But a woman would not be held criminally liable for having an abortion.

There are no exceptions in the bill for cases of rape or incest, and that was a sticking point when the Alabama Senate first tried to debate the measure last Thursday. The Republican-majority chamber adjourned in dramatic fashion when leaders tried to strip a committee amendment that would have added an exception for cases of rape or incest.


Eye 1

Police release footage of elderly man being shoved off city bus, passenger facing murder charge

Bishop Fournier
© Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
The surveillance video shows Bishop allegedly push Fournier out of the door of the stopped bus.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has released video of a woman, identified by police as 25-year-old Cadesha Bishop, pushing an elderly man off a bus in Las Vegas.

Witnesses say the victim had been asking Bishop to be nicer to the passengers before being pushed out the doors and onto the ground.

The incident took place on March 21, 2019.

The victim, identified as 74-year-old Serge Fournier, was left hospitalized. He reportedly died from his injuries on April 23.

Heart - Black

Malaysian teen commits suicide after followers encouraged her death in Instagram poll

© Dado Ruvic / Reuters
Malaysian police are investigating the case of a teenager believed to have jumped to her death after asking her social media followers to vote on whether she should kill herself.

The 16-year-old girl, who was not named, had run a poll on photo-sharing app Instagram with the question "Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L", hours before jumping off the roof of a building in Sarawak, on Malaysia's east, on Monday, district police chief Aidil Bolhassan told Reuters.

The 'D/L' meant 'Death/Life', and the poll had showed 69% of the girl's followers chose 'D', he said.

Heart - Black

Ethiopian garment industry workers paid lowest wages in the world by company that owns Guess and Tommy Hilfiger brands

garment workers ethiopia
© Reuters
Workers sew clothes inside the Indochine Apparel PLC textile factory in Hawassa Industrial Park in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples region, Ethiopia November 17, 2017.
With a monthly salary of US$26, Ethiopia has the lowest wages for garment industry workers in the world, as the East African nation aims to become the next manufacturing hub for the fashion industry, according to a new study from New York University's Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.

The report, "Made in Ethiopia: Challenges in the Garment Industry's New Frontier," reveals that the African country's bid has come at the expense of workers exploitation, something former Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, was aware of but described as a "generational sacrifice" in order to develop the national industry.

In the investigation, the authors focused on the Hawassa industrial park, about 225 km south of Addis Ababa, the country's capital. Established by the government in 2015, it currently employs about 25,000 workers producing clothes for international labels such as Levi's, Guess, Izod, Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, most of them belonging to the holding PVH.


Will the rise of the PC police kill classic movies?

john wayne
The rise of political correctness can be seen across movie screens this weekend.

"The Hustle," a gender-swap remake of 1988's "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," rails against the patriarchy between sight gags. "Avengers: Endgame" shoehorns a minor gay character into the story as a super-virtue-signal. "Long Shot" shows Seth Rogen apologizing for the United States bombing Japan to help end World War II.

Even older films, and the stars who made them great, are now seen through the PC prism. Just ask the estate of John Wayne. The legendary star got pummeled a few months ago, decades after his passing, for a racially insensitive Playboy interview in 1971. Some critics demanded that his name be stripped from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif.

Singer Kate Smith's film career is dwarfed by her radio, TV and stage accomplishments. Yet Smith's recording of two 1930s songs deemed racist convinced two professional sports teams - the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Flyers - to strip her iconic rendition of "God Bless America" from their programming.


You don't say! US journalism has become 'more subjective' according to RAND study

journal keeping
© CC0/Public Domain
U.S.-based journalism has gradually shifted away from objective news and offers more opinion-based content that appeals to emotion and relies heavily on argumentation and advocacy, according to a new RAND Corporation report.

In a unique analysis on news discourse and presentation, researchers found that the changes occurred over a 28-year-period (1989 to 2017) as journalism expanded beyond traditional media, such as newspapers and broadcast networks, to newer media, such as 24-hour cable channels and digital outlets. Notably, these measurable changes vary in extent and nature for different news platforms.

"Our research provides quantitative evidence for what we all can see in the media landscape: Journalism in the U.S. has become more subjective and consists less of the detailed event- or context-based reporting that used to characterize news coverage," said Jennifer Kavanagh, a senior political scientist and lead author of the report, which is second in a series of research into the phenomenon of "Truth Decay," the declining role of facts and analysis in civil discourse and its effect on American life.

Comment: Even a biased institution such as the neocon RAND Corporation is capable of producing a truthful report. Their assessment of the degradation of both print and broadcast media from relatively objective discussion and analysis of events to dissemination of personal points of view is a valid observation.

The proliferation of digital portals that allow individuals to get one's message out has both democratized and increased freedom of expression and yet muddied the business of news gathering.

Heart - Black

Harvard's Lampoon magazine slammed for photoshopped image of Anne Frank in bikini: 'Hateful, ignorant, pedophilic'

anne frank at desk
© Wikipedia
Anne Frank in 1940
The Harvard Lampoon, a long-running campus satirical magazine, has apologized after publishing a photoshopped image of 15-year-old Holocaust victim Anne Frank in a bikini.

"Gone before her time: Virtual aging technology shows us what Anne Frank would have looked like if she hadn't died," read the headline above the fake image, with the accompanying caption, "Add this to your list of reasons why the Holocaust sucked."

Paulette Schuster, a student at Harvard whose grandfather survived the Holocaust, described the image, which was published and distributed to dorms on the Ivy League university's campus over the weekend, as "unfunny, hateful, ignorant, pedophiliac and dehumanizing."


Russia & China to ink deal for construction of two nuclear reactors

nuclear plant
© Reuters / Regis Duvignau
A contract for the development of two new units at China's Xudabao nuclear power plant will soon be signed by Moscow and Beijing. It is part of the biggest nuclear energy deal between the two countries in a decade.

Under the deal, two Russian VVER-1200 units worth a total of $1.7 billion will be built by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom).

Construction of Unit 3 of the Xudabao nuclear power plant is expected to start in October 2021, according to CNNC. It will be followed by Unit 4 in August 2022. The single unit construction period lasts 69 months, and the construction interval between the two units is 10 months.


Bibi's son bashed Berlin, but is Germany's sweet talk towards Israel 'hypocritical'?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his son, Yair

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his son, Yair
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son has accused Germany of backing left-wing NGOs that seek the "destruction" of Israel. RT heard different opinions on whether Berlin is right to do so.

Yair Netanyahu, 27, lashed out at Germany on social media over the weekend, asking Berlin to "stop interfering in our internal business and stop funding hundreds of radical left wing NGOs in Israel that seek its destruction." He was commenting on a tweet by the German Foreign Ministry that said the nation stands "shoulder to shoulder with Israel." The tweet was meant to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Israel's admission to the UN.

Dollar Gold

Russia boosting gold & dumping dollar from foreign currency reserves

bank vault
© Getty Images / Colin Anderson
The Central Bank of Russia reports that foreign exchange reserves saw a significant boost of nearly $3.3 billion in April as the country pursues a policy of increasing its forex funds and diversifying them away from the US dollar.

The latest growth of 0.7 percent brought Russian international reserve funds to nearly $492 billion against $487.8 billion seen at the end of March, the latest data published by the regulator shows.

The state international reserves are highly liquid foreign assets comprising stocks of monetary gold, foreign currencies and Special Drawing Right (SDR) assets, which are at the disposal of the Central Bank of Russia and the government.