The Good: Supreme Court Rules Capital Punishment Unconstitutional
After Washington State’s Governor Jay Inslee, contested the legality of the death penalty in 2014, the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled to outlaw capital punishment, becoming the 20th state to stop the practice. Inslee claimed that the penalty has a history of arbitrary application that singles out persons of certain races and socioeconomic status’.
Commenting on the Thursday ruling Inlsee said: “The court makes it perfectly clear that capital punishment in our state has been imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner and serves no criminal justice goal.” Later adding: “This is a hugely important moment in our pursuit for equal and fair application of justice.”
Among the plaintiff’s arguments, judges were shown evidence that the availability of resources like counsel and funds along with the location of the crime played more of a factor in a person’s conviction than evidence. In essence, a minority with no access to quality legal representation was more likely to receive the death penalty regardless of their innocence or guilt as opposed to another convict living in a different county charged with the same crime.
Convicts who are currently on death row will have their sentences commuted to life in prison. Although Washington doesn’t have a high rate of death penalty cases, the ruling sets a positive precedent for other states and future cases.
The Bad: Brett Kavanaugh Sworn Into Supreme Court
Despite 3 allegations of sexual misconduct, thousands of protesters and an FBI “investigation” Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in this week as the United States’ 114th Supreme Court Justice officially making our highest court predominantly conservative. President Donald Trump welcomed Kavanaugh to the bench saying he was: “very, very, very happy” with the Senate’s 50-48 vote to install Kavanaugh.
As Kavanaugh was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, protesters and commotion could be heard from the courthouse steps where 164 people were arrested after breaching the security barriers exclaiming their frustration and outrage.
Although Kavanaugh received support from key political players, more than one Senator expressed their disapproval with not only Kavanaugh, but his initial nomination as allegations circled. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called the vote: “a low moment for the senate, the court and the country” adding that Kavanaugh “doesn’t belong on the nations highest bench.”
After being nominated by Trump to replace Anthony Kennedy as Supreme Court Justice earlier this year, Kavanaugh was accused of assault by Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick who alleged Kavanaugh assaulted them while in High School and College. After the allegations rocked the media and the U.S. political scene a FBI probe into the allegations was conducted, however dozens of participants said they were unable to participate in the investigation because they couldn’t reach FBI investigators to give their statements. Several people who went to school with Kavanaugh came forward to different major media outlets to give their side of the story which seemingly went unnoticed by the majority of the Senate.
Kavanaugh will begin serving immediately.
The Good: Hurricane Michael Decreasing In Power
As rescue efforts and evacuation orders are still being made, Hurricane Michael, the largest storm to hit the U.S. since 1992 begins to lose power.
Since making landfall Wednesday, Michael leveled communities throughout Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolina’s leaving an estimated 480,000 people without power and 6 dead. Despite Michael’s powerful onset at landfall, meteorologist’s report that the once category 3 hurricane has decreased to a tropical storm and is headed offshore as it makes it way over South Carolina.
Donald Trump praised local, state and federal authorities for their response and reassured victims: “We will do everything in our power to help those in need, and we will not not rest or wager until the job is done and the recovery is complete.”
The Red Cross and ‘Operation BBQ Relief’ are ensuring hot meals are being made available to displaced residents while FEMA and the U.S. Coast Guard are focusing on restoring electricity and conducting search and rescue missions.
Panama City residents in Florida suffered some of the worst damage as entire neighborhoods were left mangled and ruined. Many residents who stayed in their homes during the storm described seeing floating cars by their windows, uprooted trees, and are now forced to try and salvage the remains. Frank Knight and his wife Terri were among those who’ve lost a majority of what they had.
“Just like everybody else, we didn’t want to leave what we had,” Knight said, “Basically, I had no choice.” Pointing to the wreckage and fighting back emotion Knight added: “Everything we have is right there — gone,”
Tropical Storm Michael is expected to drop between 7-10 inches of rain in the Carolina’s before spinning offshore late this week.
The Bad: The World Has Until 2030 To Fix Environmental Problems
A historic and stomach churning report was published Monday calling upon the world and it’s leaders to correct our environmental issues before they hit critical mass. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the world will have until 2030 to correct it’s fossil fuel emissions problem before global warming causes earth’s atmosphere to rise to a dangerous 1.5℃. Scientists predict the rise in temperature will affect the world’s polar ice caps and coral reefs which could result “extreme droughts, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.”
The report’s findings are based on 3 years of research and our current greenhouse gas levels which have already warmed to the earth by 1℃. Although the report indicates that correcting the problem is doable, it also acknowledges it will require massive global changes to energy, transportation and industries.
The report also mentions the 2015 Paris Agreement which was a landmark decision among nations around the world to combat global warming by investing in clean energy and removing the use of fossil fuels. Recently President Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement claiming it was unfair for the country and was backed by Republicans who have called the recent IPCC report a “fantasy”.
Scientists urge leaders to make efforts towards a cleaner world using current examples of climate change as evidence of a potentially worse situation on the horizon. Unprecedented heat waves in Europe, droughts in South Africa, sea levels rising from the Arctic and intense rainfall from hurricanes like Harvey are all believed to be a result of global warming. Even more concerning is that even if the temperature is kept at 1.5℃. or just below, the effects will still be widespread. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore who has publicly been a proponent of combating climate change made a comment on the report saying: “Today the world’s leading scientific experts collectively reinforced what mother nature has made clear — that we need to undergo an urgent and rapid transformation to a global clean energy economy,”
The Good: Former President Of Interpol Held On Corruption Charges
After a frightening disappearance from his office, family and country, it was announced Monday that Interpol’s President Meng Hongwei has been detained by the Chinese government and has submitted his resignation to the world police organization.
The investigation into his initial disappearance began after his wife told French Police that she hadn’t seen or heard from Hongwei in 10 days and then received a text message with the knife emoji from his phone. French authorities announced his disappearance Friday and took precautions to protect his family. Hongwei, who is also China’s Vice Minister of Public Safety was elected as Interpol’s president in 2016 and will be replaced next month at Dubai’s general assembly.
Warnings of Hongwei’s potential corruption was brought to light as he was being elected to the presidency with some saying he would use his position to prosecute China’s detractors and enemies under the guise of eradicating corruption. Under Hongwei’s rule China was successful in cracking down on corrupt leaders within the government as well as formers authorities who fled.
So far China has remained silent on the progress of their investigation or if Hongwei will face official charges.
The Bad: Bulgarian Journalist Found Raped & Murdered
30 year old Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova was found in the Northern city of Ruse, Bulgaria Saturday, raped & murdered according to Bulgarian police. Marinova is the 3rd journalist to be killed in the European Union this year.
Initially many suspected the killing to be connected to Marinova’s work which consisted of exposing corruption in Eastern Europe, however the arrest of the only known suspect indicates the attack may have been spontaneous. With the blood of Marinova found on his clothing, Severin Krassimirov, 21, a resident of Bulgaria was taken into custody in Germany; no other details have been released regarding his involvement in the murder. Chief prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov mentioned that Krassimirov is also wanted in connection with another rape and murder.
Despite evidence that the murder may have been random, Bulgaria has been known for deep roots of corruption and the silencing of journalists such as Marinova. Two other journalists who worked with Marinova, Attila Biro and Dimitar Stoyanov who appeared on her television show “Detector” were later detained by the Bulgarian government. Currently, Bulgaria ranks lower than any other European Nation regarding the protection of free press.
More Things You Should Know:
- Africa’s Youngest Billionaire Kidnapped
- FBI Arrests Massachusetts Mayor On Fraud Charges
- Fyre Festival Organizer Billy McFarland Sentenced To 6 Years
- New York Prosecutors Drop One Charge in Harvey Weinstein Sexual Assault Case
- Selena Gomez Receives Mental Health Care After Emotional Breakdown
- Man Arrested For Planning Election Day Bombing In New York
- 20 Pass Away In Limo Crash In New York. Driver Lacked Appropriate License. Vehicle Failed Inspection.
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