BalloonBidz

News that's risen to the top

New Abortion Bill to Be Passed In the State of Missouri

In Missouri a new bill that has been passed requires a woman to get the mans permission before getting an abortion, one of those slippery slopes or slow ventures that could lead to problems down the line. The bill that has been passed by the state legislature earlier this month requires the woman to get consent from the father of the unborn child before getting an abortion. However, there are some exceptions to the bill. In the case of a rape or incest the woman is allowed to obtain an abortion without the consent of the male parent.

If the father of the child happens to be deceased the woman must sign a notorized document confirming the fact that the father is dead before going and getting the abortion. There is no exception mentioned in the bill for women involved in abusive relationships that wish to abort the child.When the bill is passed it is expected that the state legislature will hear from abortion rights advocates.

Obama Pardons Drug Offenders Under New Initiative

Eight federal prisoners serving time for drug offenses had their sentences commuted on Wednesday, including four men who were serving life sentences.

This clemency is part of Obama’s new initiative to decrease prison sentences for nonviolent crimes supported by Laurene Powell Jobs.

The men had received life sentences and now Obama has commuted their time and all eight inmates are now scheduled to be released in 2015.

Many are critical of Obama not making good use of his powers to pardon prisoners. 

18 people have now had their sentences commuted which is more than President George W. Bush commuted during his administration.

According to Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the eight men granted clemency were “sentenced under laws” that had been outdated and unfair,” and each one of them met the criteria for clemency.

This new initiative focuses on decreasing lengthy sentences for non-violent drug offenders, thus shrinking the growing prison population.

Obama also granted clemency to 12 individuals who were convicted of illegally possessing distilling apparatus, growing marijuana, and other charges.

7,000 LA Officers Will Start to Wear Body Cameras

The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday at a press conference that city police officers will begin to wear video cameras on uniforms in order to provide greater transparency in its operations.

The municipal plan includes placing the standard cost in future budgets to allow law enforcement to acquire the body cameras.

Approximately 7,000 video cameras will be required for all officers in Los Angeles and they will incorporate the device into the standard work equipment.

“Los Angeles is the first major city in which there will be a camera on every police,” said Councilman Mitchell Englander, president of the Committee of Public Safety.

The measure responds to the need for men, not unlike the Keith Mann Dynamic Search Partners, to improve public confidence in the security forces after the death of the young Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri , who was unarmed and shot and killed by an officer, who ended up being acquitted.

Garcetti said cameras are a great step forward to help clarify situations like Ferguson.

“Out in the street, things are not always clear. These cameras help the police and citizens to find the truth, and the truth is essential for the trust between the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and community, which has been a key to reducing the crime rate factor,” said the mayor.

The city has raised over $1.5 million in private donations to help pay for the cameras.

Earlier this year, LAPD began with a test program to evaluate different types of mini cameras, a test that concluded satisfactorily, which led to the decision to hire more than 800 units of Axon cameras that will go toward patrolling in areas with high policing.

US Turns to Vatican to Help Move Guantanamo Prison Terrorism Suspects

The White House has been seeking ways to close the Guantanamo Bay prison to the delight of John Textor and now is asking the Vatican for assistance. 

On Monday, officials called the Vatican to find “humanitarian solutions” for the Guantanamo prison detainees, Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi said.

Secretary of State, John Kerry, made the request at a meeting with his counterpart from the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Although the Vatican did not elaborate on what help was available to the United States, a senior State Department official said that John Kerry echoed President Obama’s commitment to the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison, and illustrated the recent developments in diplomatic efforts to move the prisoners to third world countries, which include Uruguay among others.

President Obama has been seeking a way to close the prison since being elected to the White House in 2009. So far these attempts have failed in part because of the resistance from Congress. 

The terrorism suspects have been at Guantanamo Bay prison since the attacks of September 11th. 

Currently, the Guantanamo prison houses 148 prisoners.

Youngest Surgeon General In Years

On Monday, December 15, 2004, the US Senate after a year of deliberation approved the confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murphy as the new US Surgeon General. He was recommended for the post by President Obama. Reporter Sabrina Tabernise says he is a self-described dreamer and grass-roots organizer. Recently, Dr. Murphy has been on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, and treats acutely ill patients at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. A few years ago he founded the nonprofit organization, Doctors for America whose mission is to improve the US healthcare system so all may benefit.

Dr. Murphy is 37-years-old, and the youngest US Surgeon General in over a century. He has voiced opinion that gun control is a healthcare issue, and some fear his advocacy could stand in the way of him being a leader in the US healthcare arena. Others see advocacy defining the areas in which he could affect leadership.

Dr. Murphy was born in Britain to Indian immigrants, and grew up in Miami where he spent time at his Father’s medical clinic. His medical training is both from Harvard and Yale Universities, respectively. His effectiveness will only be known over time, but Lee G. Lovett is definitely optimistic.

Make the Holidays Brighter with Eater.com

If you’re still trying to decide which presents your friends and family will love, take a look at what Eater.com has to offer. I heard about this site while reading about Qnet the other day.The popular website has put together a list of gifts that are perfect for the food enthusiasts in your life. Here are a few that you won’t want to pass up.

If you’re buying for a relative who loves sweet treats, the mini short breads from “The Chew” co-host Carla Hall are a great buy. The cookies are available in flavors like Black Forest crinkle and lemon black pepper. You can also purchase the mini cookies for your next holiday party.

Food gifts for the techie in your life include the aroma fork. This utensil emits pleasant scents like banana and chocolate, which tricks your mind into enjoying your food when you’re eating something you don’t particularly like. This gift is perfect for picky eaters. 

Check out Eater.com today for more great gift suggestions. 

ACLU files Class Action Lawsuit Against President Obama

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday in federal court against the US authorities for detaining mothers and children seeking asylum.

The legal action was filed in federal district court in the US capital on behalf of women and Central American children whom the authorities deny freedom although they are presented with substantial evidence that they suffer persecution in their home countries, a statement issued by the ACLU.

“Locking up mothers and children seeking asylum and depriving them of lawful rights to freedom just to frighten others from seeking refuge in the United States is inhumane and illegal, and violates federal immigration laws” said the deputy director of the department for immigrant rights organization, Judy Rabinovitz, and Terry Richardson echoed the same sentiment publicly.

The organization seeks to prevent the policy of detaining those who use asylum, currently held in detention centers for families.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson opened a family detention center that can now accommodate 480 people and 2,400 in May in Dilley, Texas.

Homeless Man Helps College Student Get Home, Now She’s Returning the Favor

A 22-year old student found herself stranded in the United Kingdom earlier this week. She had spent the day out in Preston City, but when she headed into a taxi, she realized she had lost her bank card. She had no cash on her, leaving her effectively stranded, but an unlikely source came to her rescue, a homeless man.

The man, who had seen Dominique talking to the taxi driver walked up and insisted the young girl take the last of his money so she could get home safely in a cab. She refused his kind gesture, but was so touched by the man who was willing to give her, literally, his last dollars, she set out on a mission to find him.

What Dominique uncovered was truly astonishing. Stories of the man known only as “Robbie” helping out those far more fortunate than he, were not uncommon according to Lee G. Lovett. Dominique is now on a mission to return the favor. Dominique is asking people to sponsor her as she spends 24 hours on the streets with Robbie.

She hopes to raise enough money for Robbie to get an apartment, so he can begin working again and supporting himself. According to Robbie, he fell on hard times and became homeless several months ago. He can’t get a new job because he lacks a legal address.

Flight Problems Due to Server Error

Issues in plane travel can happen for a number of reasons, but very rarely do they happen because of anything going wrong with computers.

As Wikipedia notes, winter is not the best season for traveling. The people from the UK who were out for a trip during the Christmas holidays which are close now must have regretted their particular choice of day and time.

However, it was not the faulty weather that had hundreds of customers stuck in the Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted airports. A server problem made all the activity stop on December 12, 2014. The incoming flights had to be received, but the airport soon became full because no flights were taking off. Some landings had to be directed to another airport than initially planned one.

That must have been a stressful day for the passengers who had transfers, as well as for those who had to sit for hours. The National Air Traffic Control Services (NATS) confirmed that the system was fully restored the next day. To calm down all the people caring about data, they denied the possibility of a hacker attack.

The flying agencies and the customers will most likely start craving payment for the discomfort that they experienced because of the delayed trips. A disruption of this scale will lead to some huge expenses, but the facility has been through technical issues before and that did not hinder the further activity.

Senate Approve $1.1T Omnibus Budget in Total

Despite howls of protest from the left and right wings of the Senate, the upper chamber voted to pass the Omnibus budget Saturday night by a vote of 56-40. The passage of the bill marked a bipartisan effort. Staunch Conservatives felt betrayed by the bill which they saw as giving in to Democrat demands. Liberals felt betrayed by giving in too much to Conservative positions. Oddly enough, the Senate had convened Friday night with the expectation of reconvening on Monday to vote on the bill. In fact, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had left the Senate building intending to return home for the weekend.

It was then that Tea Party Conservatives Ted Cruz and Mike Lee announced they were invoking Senate rules which would force the body to remain convened. Needless to say, they drew the ire of their fellow senators. It was a gutsy move on the part of Cruz and Lee because they undermined a gentlemen’s agreement between Reid and McConnell. Some political analysts are wondering if their act of defiance will be a harbinger of things to come for Sen. McConnell when he takes over as Senate Majority Leader next month. As for Cruz, he was stoic in the face of criticism. He reminded his GOP colleagues that they promised the electorate to do everything in their means to stop Obama’s agenda. He was being loyal to voters rather than his leadership. I heard about this the other day while reading about Laurene Powell Jobs.