Brain Ethics Wed, 21 Jul 2021 22:22:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Brain Ethics 32 32 CSGA Anti-Racism Policy Written and Supported by Students Wed, 21 Jul 2021 21:50:00 +0000

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) – School leaders in Albemarle County are championing the district’s anti-racism policies and programs, saying it is a student-led effort.

This comes as a result of confusion among parents and guardians about what is taught in a program called “Courageous Conversations,” piloted at Henley Middle School.

Graham Paige, chairman of the county school board, said he heard both sides of the parents’ argument at board meetings.

“Some say that we are trying to divide the students, that we are trying to promote racial hatred, and then others, in fact, really the majority I think, are really saying that they support the program and that they can see it. ‘importance of the program in our schools,’ he explained.

Julie Govan, a relative in Henley, said she heard from parents worrying that students are too young to learn about certain topics related to race and identity. Even though she says she understands, she supports the program.

“Kids don’t wait to be told when to have conversations. This means that we are essentially forced to choose between two things: children having these conversations without the support of informed adults who have training or children having conversations without the support of informed adults, ”said Govan. “If I have to choose both, I would always prefer the knowledgeable teacher who leads the conversation or manages the conversation or navigates to avoid harming a student when a conversation goes awry and the kids decide they want to run with it.” . “

Paige has said in previous meetings that several parents have claimed the program teaches Critical Breed Theory, or CRT. In a letter, the board said it was wrong.

The district, however, has a program called “Culturally Appropriate Education”, also known as CRT, for teachers, which goes hand in hand with the district’s anti-racism policy.

“We try to make sure that all of our students recognize the importance of all other racial groups and the contributions of all racial groups,” Paige said.

The anti-racism policy it coincides with was written by students in 2018 and was officially adopted in 2019. The district was one of the first in the Commonwealth to do so.

Now the policy is both shaped and supported by students, including Mary Govan, a rising junior at Albemarle High.

“As an Asian American I can’t escape these topics and I need my teachers and peers to know how to have these conversations with me when I’m around and feel safe,” said Govan at a board meeting in June. ten.

Govan is a member of the county’s Student Equity Advisory Team (SEAT).

“It gives everyone the opportunity to express who they are and what they have to offer,” Govan said.

Karen Waters-Wicks, who helps facilitate SEAT, said it was all student-centered, dating back to the early days of anti-racism policy.

“They believed, as the authors of this policy, that students continue to have a voice in this work,” Waters-Wicks said.

Paige said the district has no plans to reverse its anti-racism policy. He said it works to help close the achievement gaps between different groups of students and to make students feel more comfortable in school.

Copyright 2021 WVIR. All rights reserved.

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Southbury officials warn residents after coyote attacks Wed, 21 Jul 2021 21:27:00 +0000 Authorities ask people to stay with their pets outside, especially at night

SOUTHBURY, Connecticut – Those with pets in Southbury will want to pay special attention following several attempted coyote attacks on Tuesday.

Southbury Animal Control said on their Facebook page that one of the attacks injured a dog. The dog was taken to a veterinarian for his injuries and given a rabies vaccination booster.

Animal Control requires all pet owners to immediately report any encounters with wild animals.

The dog has been placed in confinement for 45 days and will be monitored for symptoms of rabies. Authorities have said that if an attacked pet had not been vaccinated, the animal could be placed in a six-month quarantine, or even subject to mandatory euthanasia to mitigate a risk to public health and safety.

Southbury Animal Control has reported that the town has seen an increase in rabid wildlife over the past two years.

They ask all owners to ensure that all pets, both indoors and outdoors, are up to date with their rabies vaccinations and not to leave them unattended. Always stay with the animal outside, especially at night.

Some common symptoms of rabies can be unprovoked aggression, difficulty walking, and excessive salivation. If anyone or their pet has been in contact with wildlife, call Southbury Animal Control and follow up with a healthcare provider and / or veterinarian. For further questions or to report animal or animal contact, please call Southbury Animal Control at 203-262-0613.

Learn more about the coyote’s behavior and facts from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) website. Learn more about rabies and its symptoms here.

RELATED: Yes, Extreme Heat Influenced By Climate Change Is Killing Marine Life

RELATED: Scooter The Dog Was Found In A Ditch, Missing His Ears. He made a full recovery after being adopted


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President Raisi’s human rights record – Iran Center for Human Rights Wed, 21 Jul 2021 17:43:05 +0000

The following interview with Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, was produced and published by Iran Primer and republished here with permission.

What role did Raisi play in the 1988 executions of thousands of Iranian political prisoners? How important or central was the decision of the four-member commission to execute these prisoners?


The mass execution of some 5,000 captive political prisoners has been widely regarded as an extrajudicial massacre which has amounted to a crime against humanity. These prisoners had already been prosecuted and sentenced to prison terms. They were finishing their prison term; some had even served their sentence and were due to be released. However, as the end of the Iran-Iraq war approached, the Iranian government at the highest level decided that a purge of political prisoners was essential to its survival.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the then supreme leader, issued a brief order that any prisoner who still held to his political beliefs should be executed. He appointed four men, including Ebrahim Raisi, to what later became known as the “Death Committee” to organize and carry out his order. At the time, Raisi was a 28-year-old prosecutor. As a member of the Death Committee, Raisi is said to have been instrumental in planning and organizing the massacre within months. The executions have long been seen as an indication of his brutality and loyalty to the system.

What did Raisi do as a lawyer or prosecutor after that? What are the best known or most notable cases associated with it?

Raisi has been continuously promoted to the most important positions in the judiciary. Shortly after the 1988 mass executions, Raisi was promoted to Attorney General of Tehran, a post he held until 1994. He then spent a decade, from 1994 to 2004, as director of the National Inspection Organization, the most powerful under judicial oversight body. He was then appointed first deputy head of the judiciary from 2004 to 2014. His posts often overlapped. He was also Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for the Clergy from 2012 to 2021. From 2014 to 2016, he served as Attorney General of Iran while serving, from 2015 to 2018, as head of the Astan Quds Foundation, a economically powerful religious institution. . From February 2019 until his assumption of the presidency in mid-2021, he was head of the judiciary.

What position did he take on the prisoners seized during the demonstrations of the Green Movement in 2009?

In addition to his notorious role in the 1988 massacre, he is known as a key player in the repression of the Green Movement in 2009. As the first deputy justice, he championed a campaign that included arrest, torture and the execution of protesters. It is particularly associated with the fate of two political prisoners, Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad Reza Alizamani, who have been accused of participating in the Green Movement protests that began after the disputed presidential election in June 2009. However, the Rahmanipour and Alizamani would have been arrested early on like March 2009, which called into question the way they could have participated in protests weeks or months later. The two men were executed in January 2010. A few days later, Raisi said: “Two people who were executed and nine others who will soon be executed were arrested for good during the recent riots. The two men were “affiliated with one of the counterrevolutionary currents and were involved in riots with motives of hypocrisy and overthrow of the regime,” he said.

What was his record as head of Iranian justice between 2019 and 2021?

During his tenure as head of the judiciary, he led a campaign of repression that made the justice system a direct instrument of security and intelligence agencies. His last act as head of the judiciary was a long directive under the title of “Regulations for the implementation of the law on the independence of the bar”. The directive deprived the Iranian Bar Association of its independence in all of its governance matters. It is considered an illegal directive, since only Parliament can change the laws governing the governance of the Bar Association. The legal community in Iran was outraged. Other acts accomplished during his short tenure as head of the judiciary included:

Sadeghi and SotoudehExecutions

Iran had one of the highest per capita death penalty rates in the world in 2020. The death penalty was handed down against:

  • Protesters and dissidents, like Ruhollah Zam, a dissident journalist who was kidnapped in Iraq, brought back to Iran and tried in 2020
  • Non-Persian ethnic minorities, including Arab, Baloch and Kurdish political prisoners
  • Young delinquents
  • Man charged with alcohol consumption in 2020, first execution for the offense in two decades

Mistreatment of political prisoners

People continued to be tried for peaceful activism. Political prisoners, especially women, have been subjected to harsher treatment, including:

Lack of responsibility

Senior security officials have not been prosecuted for major incidents, including:

  • The killing of at least 300 peaceful protesters and bystanders during street protests in November 2019 with little or no repercussions.
  • The downing of a Ukrainian airliner, killing 176 people, in January 2020, even after the Revolutionary Guards accepted responsibility.

Imprisonment of human rights lawyers

Human rights-focused defense lawyers continued to be jailed and prevented from doing their jobs. The main issues included:

What has Raisi done on the issue of corruption, a major political issue in Iran?

During his presidential run in 2021, Raisi’s campaign focused on his anti-corruption record, including the trial of Akbar Tabari, the first deputy of former justice chief Sadeq Larijani. Tabari was tried in 2020 for corruption and money laundering. Raisi’s team led the prosecution and sentenced Tabari, who was sentenced to 31 years in prison. The trial had overlapping political implications. This weakened Sadeq Larijani as a potential candidate for the next Supreme Leader. Sadeq’s brother Ali Larijani, an influential former speaker of parliament, was also subsequently disqualified from running for president against Raisi. Three members of the Larijani family have held important government positions since the 1980s. The high-profile Tabari affair has undermined the future of two political rivals of the Larijani family who could have blocked Raisi’s path to being either president , be the next supreme leader.

What is his record on the use of Islamic law in relation to the civil code? Is it more associated with one than the other?

In his many judicial posts over the decades, Raisi has been primarily associated with the Revolutionary Courts and the Special Court for the Clergy, both of which implement the Islamic Penal Code. He has no history in civil lawsuits.

Where did Raisi get his legal education? And what kind of law? Did he study law in a seminary or in a law school? How has his judicial or legal career evolved?

According to Raisi, he studied for a few years in a seminary in Mashhad, his hometown, after completing the sixth grade. At the age of 15, he enrolled in a religious seminary in Qom. He was 18 at the time of the 1979 revolution. At the age of 21, with limited qualifications, he was appointed prosecutor, simultaneously, in Karaj and Hamedan, the two capitals of two large provinces. Raisi’s official curriculum vitae states that he obtained a master’s degree in civil law in 2001. It also claims that he entered a doctoral program in civil law at Motahari University in 2001 and obtained his doctorate in 2013 .

Photo credits: Raisi via Tasnim News Agency (CC BY 4.0); Raisi and Larijani By Mehr News Agency, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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EGFR activation limits liver cancer response to lenvatinib Wed, 21 Jul 2021 16:40:04 +0000
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    In the race for governor, remember Mills extended Medicaid, saving lives and reducing medical debt Wed, 21 Jul 2021 13:20:29 +0000 By David Farmer When voters in Maine approved the extension of Medicaid at the polls in 2017 and Governor Janet Mills implemented the extension immediately after taking office, four things happened.

    By David Farmer

    When voters in Maine approved the extension of Medicaid at the polls in 2017 and Governor Janet Mills implemented the extension immediately after taking office, four things happened.

    The first: Thousands of people in Maine no longer had to choose between seeing a doctor when they fell ill or injured and putting food on the table.

    Second, fewer people died.

    A new study on medical debt, released this week by JAMA, found two other important pieces of information. Residents of states that did not expand Medicaid have more medical debt than residents of states that immediately adopted the expansion. And people in states that have been slow to embrace the expansion have more medical debt than people in states that immediately extended coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

    Maine’s story of the Medicaid expansion is one of political disappointment. Year after year, time and time again, the Legislative Assembly has shown responsibility and compassion and voted to expand access to affordable, high quality care.

    And time and time again, former Gov. Paul LePage has blocked implementation. Even after voters embraced the expansion through a citizens’ initiative (disclosure: I worked on the campaign), the governor refused to follow the law and allow people access to health care.

    It was bad policy, and it was needlessly cruel.

    This year, fortunately, the legislature and governor have made another improvement to Medicaid by ensuring that it also covers dental care.

    Here’s a breakdown of the numbers.

    According to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the expansion of Medicaid has provided nearly 78,000 people in Maine with access to health care through May 2021.

    This translates to more than 15,000 people who have received treatment for an addiction disorder. About 7,000 people have received treatment for diabetes and 7,400 people have been treated for hypertension. It also means that 4,700 people received colorectal cancer care and 6,400 received breast cancer screening.

    There is no doubt that such blanket has helped save lives.

    New research released this week examines the economic impact on people who have obtained coverage. The discoveries are intuitive.

    Here’s how the New York Times described them: “Americans owe almost twice as much medical debt as previously known, and the amount owed has become increasingly concentrated in states that do not participate in the program. Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act.

    The bottom line is that the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid have not only saved lives while bringing new federal dollars to states, but have also improved the financial situation of thousands of low-income families, including them. Maine families.

    Together, Maine’s decision to expand Medicaid and provide health care and now dental care to more than 70,000 people may be two of the most important policy decisions for working families in Maine.

    People can get the health care and soon the dental care they need. They have less medical debt. And their life is noticeably better.

    Now, as we read the headlines on the next gubernatorial race, we see that the old LePage – the person singularly responsible for blocking health care for over 70,000 – is showing up again. This time he tries to “clean up” his act.

    But the former governor has a file, and that file includes his decisions to prevent people in Maine from getting the health care they need. It includes a ruling that leads to higher medical debt for working families. Fewer cancer screenings. Less treatment for substance use disorders. Less money for the state.

    When she ran for governor, Mills promised she would expand Medicaid. She kept her promise and it made an incredible difference for families across the state.

    When you are sick or injured, you should be able to get the help you need. Medicaid and its expansion are living up to the people of Maine.

    Farmer is a public affairs, political and media consultant in Portland, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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    India forms panel on euthanasia law Wed, 21 Jul 2021 06:47:43 +0000

    The Unity Government of India has formed a committee of experts to make suggestions for the creation of a law allowing the death of people in special circumstances on humanitarian grounds.

    The practice, called euthanasia or compassionate killing, is illegal in most countries.

    The Law Commission of India had in 2006 drafted a law that would have allowed the withdrawal of treatment services for terminally ill patients in special circumstances, but the law has not been tabled in parliament.

    In 2013, the government attempted to propose a law, but again abandoned the proposal, pointing out that a 2011 Supreme Court ruling established detailed procedures and criteria to be met for the removal of life support systems. The 2011 judgment only allowed such an option if the patient was either brain dead or in a permanent vegetative state.

    In March 2018, the Supreme Court of India amended the existing provisions to allow the withdrawal of treatment and life support systems for patients in a permanent vegetative state, giving legal status to what is called a “Living will” that anyone can create in their lifetime.

    Such “living wills” may state that the person should be allowed to die through the withdrawal of life support systems, food or treatment if that person ends up suffering from a terminal illness or is in a vegetative state. .

    In the meantime, various courts have rejected “active euthanasia”, where a person or their loved ones seek permission to end someone’s life for compassionate reasons by means such as lethal injections, rather. than withdrawal from treatment and / or food.

    Painless death from such injections is legal in some countries such as Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands, as well as in the US states of Washington and Oregon. However, any form of active euthanasia is illegal in India.

    As such, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has again formed an “expert committee” to examine the issue of euthanasia and make suggestions for legal reforms.

    In a recent statement, the Indian government’s Department of Health and Family Welfare said the committee had not submitted its recommendations and that further action would depend on them.

    “The expert committee formed under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to discuss the issue of enabling legislation to regulate euthanasia in the country has not yet submitted its recommendation to the government. Any further action depends on the recommendation of the Committee, ”he said.

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    Former judge questions executions Tue, 20 Jul 2021 20:39:00 +0000

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) – Floridians for alternatives to the death penalty are circulating a video of a former Florida Supreme Court judge who believes the state has executed innocent people. The retired judge is also wondering about the costs.

    Gerald Kogan spent 11 years on the Florida Supreme Court, the last two as chief justice.

    “Originally, I believed in the death penalty. I thought it was an appropriate sentence, ”Kogan said in the Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty video.

    More than two dozen people were executed while Kogan was in court.

    “Our system is not perfect,” Kogan said.

    In the recently released video, Kogan, who died earlier this year, questioned what he calls an imperfect system.

    “I started to realize that we are executing people who are probably innocent,” Kogan said.

    The state does not keep records on the costs of an execution, but in the video, Kogan estimated that each costs $ 5 million from conviction, to appeal, to burial.

    Prosecutor Brian Haas said mistakes may have happened in the past, but not anymore. We asked him directly if he thought his office had convinced an innocent person.

    “No, I don’t,” Haas said. “It is expensive. It is expensive, but I think the family members of the victims in the cases I deal with absolutely believe it is necessary.

    But the Florida Catholic Conference is quick to point out that there have been 30 modern exonerations.

    “We don’t know how many more innocent people are on death row today, which is why we support the total abolition of the death penalty,” said Ingrid Delgado of the Conference.

    99 people have been executed since the state resumed executions in 1979. The most recent dates back two years. Florida now demands a unanimous jury verdict and allows a judge to overturn a death sentence. Death row prisoners also have an automatic appeal to the State Supreme Court.

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    Constitutional challenge case filed in New Jersey euthanasia appeal Tue, 20 Jul 2021 18:09:00 +0000
    The amicus brief argues that the physician-assisted dying for terminal illness law is against the individual, and is not limited to those near death and unconstitutional because of the way it has been. promulgated.

    – Marguerite Doré

    BELLEVUE, WA, USA, July 20, 2021 / — Lawyer Marguerite Doré, President of Choice is an illusion, who has fought against the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia in the United States and around the world, has released the following statement as part of the filing of a constitutional challenge amicus brief, which seeks to invalidate the New Jersey Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminal Illness Act. The case of Petro et al v. Grewal is pending before the New Jersey Superior Court, Appeal Division, A-003837-19.

    “’Assisted Dying’ is a euphemism for physician-assisted suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia. The amicus brief argues that the physician-assisted dying for terminal illness law is against the individual, and is not limited to those near death and unconstitutional because of the way it has been. promulgated.

    “The law is based on similar laws in Oregon and Washington State. Oregon law came into effect in 1997. Nearly identical Washington law came into effect in 2009.

    “All three laws apply to people with a life expectancy of six months or less. These people may in fact have years or decades to live.

    “A well-known example is that of Jeanette Hall. In 2000, she made the final decision to use Oregon law. Her doctor convinced her to be treated for cancer instead, so she is alive today, twenty-one years later.

    “The New Jersey Constitution protects against the passing of deceptive laws, which has happened here. The title and conclusions of the law are misleading as to the content of the law, which makes it unconstitutional.

    “The New Jersey legislature understood that it was enacting a strictly voluntary law limited to the dying. According to the title of the law, it was not clear that the law would legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia.

    “According to the Attorney General, the law only applies to people, patients and providers, who voluntarily choose to participate in the provisions of the law. As for the trial judge, he was not persuaded that the Act specifically provided for assisted suicide and euthanasia. But the law does not have to be voluntary. The Act deals with assisted suicide and euthanasia.

    “The title of the law also uses the expression ‘assisted dying’, which means assisted suicide and euthanasia.

    “The law does not impose any control on the administration of the lethal dose. No doctor, not even a witness, is required to be present at the death.

    “The drugs used are soluble in water and / or alcohol, so they can be injected into a sleeping or restrained person without their consent. Even if the patient struggled, who would know?

    “People assisting in suicide or performing euthanasia may have an agenda. Take the example of Tami Sawyer, administrator of Thomas Middleton in Oregon where assisted suicide is legal. Two days after her death by assisted suicide , she sold her house and deposited the proceeds into bank accounts for her own benefit.

    “Also consider Graham Morant, who was convicted of advising his wife to take her own life in Australia. His motive: to obtain life insurance.

    “New Jersey law has a formal application process for obtaining the lethal dose. Once the lethal dose is dispensed from the pharmacy, there is no monitoring. No witness, not even a doctor, is required to be present at the time of death. If the patient opposes or even struggles, who would know?

    “Deaths under the law are declared as natural on the death certificate. In this situation, the heir of a patient, who participates in the death of the patient, is allowed to inherit.

    “With the passage of the law, residents of New Jersey with money – middle class and above – have become sitting ducks to their heirs and other financial predators. Passage of the law created a perfect crime.

    For more detailed information, read Dore’s brief.

    Marguerite Doré
    Choice is an illusion
    +1 206-697-1217
    write us here

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    ]]> 0 Adds Over 300 New Words, Including “Zaddy” and “Ghost Kitchen” – NBC 6 South Florida Tue, 20 Jul 2021 08:38:35 +0000

    The world has changed a lot over the past year – and, of course, so have our vocabulary. has added over 300 new words and definitions to its Last update to include new terminology and slang.

    “It’s a complicated and demanding society we live in, and the language is changing to help us cope,” John Kelly, editor of, said in a statement. Press release.

    Coronavirus pandemic (the word of the year 2020) may slowly drift away from its position at the forefront and center of most conversations, but its impacts are lasting.

    Long haul, “”long haul“and”long covid“were all newly defined this summer.

    And the protests last summer over the George Floyd murder spurred several diversity initiatives across industries, inspiring new acronyms.

    The words DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) as well as JEDI (justice, diversity, equity and inclusion) were added.

    “Some major products have been renamed as a result of criticism and reviews of the racist stereotypes evoked by their original names,” Kelly said. “Two such changes are now reflected in our dictionary: Edy’s pie (formerly Eskimo Pie) and Aunt Jemima (now called Pearl Milling Company). “

    A distinction was also made between “marginalize, “a previously defined word, and”minorize, “a new word.

    “This crucial, albeit subtle, terminological innovation encourages people to see membership in minority groups not as something intrinsic or unchanging, but as a social construct – as a reality created and maintained by a group and experienced by another, ”he explained.

    Definitions of “Black codes“and”Jim crow“have been updated to reflect the past year, just like”one drop rule“- a social classification, codified in law in some states during the 20th century, which identifies biracial or multiracial individuals as black if they have known black African ancestry, even from a black ancestor of several generations.

    “ has also expanded its definition to ‘cultural appropriation‘to accommodate the widespread adoption of cultural elements from very small groups, including minority groups as well as subcultures within dominant groups. “

    Because racial and ethnic groups have been the target of violence this year, the definition of “terrorism“was also expanded to include” intimidation or coercion by instilling fear. “

    “These are difficult topics – and for many, traumatic. Increasingly, various forms of media are alerting users to disturbing or offensive content with a ‘content warning, ‘ or CW to shorten it. These two terms, as well as a new entry for the abbreviation TW for the ‘trip warning, ‘ are now on “

    As much of the world shifted to remote working, the technological vocabulary broadened to encompass the changes.

    Synchronous“and”asynchronous“have been added, to represent new learning methods for students around the world.

    Schools have become creative and so have entrepreneurs. “Ghost kitchen“(a commercial establishment that prepares and cooks restaurant-style foods for delivery directly to customers or to one or more restaurant-dining establishments),”lateral restlessness“(a job or occupation that earns money in addition to his regular job and main source of income) and”disjointed“(having or showing wit and determination, especially despite obstacles) have all won new entries.

    The social media phenomenon of “deplatform“is now defined as the prohibition (to one or more people) from sharing his point of view in a public forum, in particular by prohibiting a user from posting on a website or a social network application.

    And what’s a dictionary update without a few slang entries?

    Phew, “”again, “”sh-tshow“(Public’s Choice Word of the Year 2020),”a cap“and”zaddy” (not to be confused with “silver fox“) have all been added to the list.”You all“has even earned its own definition – instead of just being a variation of you all, marking the words “distinct importance in the lexicon” and “spread of Southern American English dialects into the main vernacular. “

    Perhaps these lighter slang and pop culture newcomers in our dictionary reflect another important aspect of our time – cautious optimism and a more optimistic mood about the future after a trying 2020. said Kelly.


    This story first appeared on MORE FROM TODAY:

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    Editorial: Timely moratorium on the federal death penalty | Notice Tue, 20 Jul 2021 04:30:00 +0000

    Terre Haute in neighboring Vigo County, Indiana, has become the scene of an abuse of the federal death penalty, a punishment long reserved as a last resort in the US justice system.

    Instead, the executions turned into a political spectacle.

    A repeat of this sad chapter of history is unlikely, at least for a few years. Current United States Attorney General Merrick Garland has imposed a moratorium on federal executions while the Department of Justice revises its policies and procedures, including drugs used for lethal injections. This step is prudent after the events of 2020 and early 2021.

    A resumption of federal executions – after a 17-year hiatus that spanned the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama through the first three years of Donald Trump’s term – was announced on July 25, 2019 by the Attorney General of Trump, William Barr. It was the morning after Special Advocate Robert Mueller finished his testimony to Congress on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible Trump collusion. The ad appeared intended to distract the public’s attention, disguised as overdue justice for the families of the victims.

    After legal challenges, a string of 13 executions over a six-month period began in July 2020, continued throughout President Trump’s re-election campaign against future winner Joe Biden, and then finally ended days before Trump’s term ends on January 20, 2021.

    All of these executions took place at the Terre Haute federal correctional complex, which houses the country’s only federal death chamber. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, Barr resisted stopping the deadly injections. This has turned into a super-spread of coronavirus situation, with correctional officers, prison office enforcement team roving staff, media witnesses, and inmates contracting COVID.

    It was a weird episode. The number of executions was the highest under any president since the 19th century.

    No executions have taken place since President Biden took office. The moratorium Garland announced on July 1 included no timeline for the review, only an explanation of its purpose, the Associated Press reported.

    “The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system not only enjoys the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, but is also treated in a fair and humane manner,” he said. Garland said. “This obligation has particular force in cases of capital punishment. “

    The review does not prevent federal prosecutors from seeking the death penalty, nor does it prevent future administrations from resuming federal executions. However, this gives reviewers time to assess the execution protocols put in place under Barr. Specifically, they will study the drug pentobarbital, which replaced the now difficult to obtain mixture of three drugs previously used for lethal injections. In addition, the reasons for the disproportionate number of black and minority inmates on death row will also be rightly examined.

    American support for the death penalty has reached historic lows, although approval still hovers around 55%, according to the non-partisan Death Penalty Information Center. This growing unease, the recent unseemly taint of politics within the execution process, methods and racial inequalities validate the timing of the moratorium.

    Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind.

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