- The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (which gives travel warnings, advice, and restrictions) lifted its advisory against traveling to Tokyo following March’s tsunami and earthquake; however, it is still advised that no one travels north of Tokyo unless it is essential.
- Laurent Gbagbo, former president of the Ivory Coast, is expected to come out of the presidential bunker where he has been hiding for months in wake of the country’s civil war, sparked by its November elections. However, it does not appear the civil war will be coming to a close anytime soon.
- Qaddafi and his forces in Libya are still going strong, increasing attacks on the city of Misurata. Libyan rebels are upset at NATO for the lack of aid coming their way; however, NATO is having difficulty devising of an air campaign that would ultimately force Qaddafi into surrender.
- Idaho House passes Senate Bill 1165 that criminalizes abortions performed after 20 weeks. There is no clause for rape or incest. The only representatives from North Idaho who opposed the measure that were present for the vote were both representatives of Moscow. The total vote count was 54-14. It now moves on to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk to be signed into law
photo © 2006 Ken Banks | more info (via: Wylio)
A New York Times article caught my eye. It was the case of a girl in Washington that had nude photos of herself circulated around her school. Middle school that is. She had sent the photo to a boy she was dating. Then after they broke up, a former friend who dated the boy after her convinced him to mass text the student body with the photo, including some derogatory remarks to accompany it.
The school found out and made teachers lecture the students on the ramifications of “sexting”, or sexually explicit text messages and photographs on a cell phone. The police were soon involved and actually charged the main perpetrators with a few counts of child pornography; luckily for them, the matter was settled outside of the courtroom, and there would be no long-term consequences for any of those involved.
That is, of course, except for the girl whose name and image was dragged through the dirt.
While the girl did decide to take the picture, maybe she shouldn’t shoulder all the blame. It is easy to point the finger at the person, but what about the media that throws sex into every day life? Continue reading
photo © 2005 Alexandra Lee | more info (via: Wylio)Kristen Carey
On March 23, the Idaho State Senate approved SB 1165, a bill that would criminalize abortions performed after 20 weeks of gestation. The claim was that it is a matter of protecting a fetus from pain. While this is not a big shock to those of us who are familiar with the state’s history on a woman’s right to choice, the fine print of this measure is jaw dropping. This is seemingly another push for the anti-choice crowd to do what is legally possible to encroach on abortion rights; the devil is certainly in the details.
The Spokesman Review ran a very interesting article on the bill.
There are no provisions for victims of rape or incest. The mental health of the mother is also not addressed. What is possibly most baffling though is the blind eye toward the health of the fetus itself. Simply put, if the fetus develops a defect in which there is no way it could live outside the womb, after 20 weeks the mother must still carry it to term. The mother would be forced to deliver a dead baby. Continue reading
It’s become a cliché, but it’s true that the global recession has hit all of us pretty hard, particularly in the realm of education. Across the nation legislatures at the state and federal levels are cutting programs in order to cope with shrinking budgets, and unfortunately education is a prime target. As a result, Idaho public schools are facing ever-increasing numbers of students per classroom, in addition to four percent reductions in teacher salaries. In a state reluctant to raise taxes, it can seem like the only viable alternative is to spend as little extra as possible and make do with what little (that itself is diminishing) we have. In this sense, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is commendable for seeking to cut costs on education spending, as he knows the purse strings are drawn tight in the state congress.
However, do Luna’s proposals for public education in Idaho really make an environment in which “Students Come First,” like the charming title of his legislation promises? One of the more talked-about elements of his proposal requires high school students to complete several online courses to achieve a total of four credits by graduation. To facilitate this, Luna suggests eliminating 770 teaching jobs in Idaho in order to ensure a laptop is available to all ninth graders at the beginning of their high school years. Luna proposes investing $50 million over two years to purchase the necessary software and hardware for this initiative. Continue reading
Last Friday, the Kenworthy Theater once again opened its doors for this year’s production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. It was full of people waiting in anticipation of what was sure to be a spectacular show.
Heather Shea Gasser and Lysa Salsbury, the show’s producers, started the night off by giving recognition to not only the hard working cast and generous sponsors but also to the organizations that would be benefitting from the performances’ proceeds. This year, ten percent all ticket sales went to the international V-Day Campaign while the rest were split between Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse and Fanm Kouraj.
Fanm Kouraj, or Courageous Women, is an organization started by Haitian school teachers to end violence against women and children within Haiti. Much of the activism done within the group is the performance of theater pieces and workshops that educate on sexual health and sexuality. This year’s spotlight monologue “Myriam” was dedicated to the memory of Myriam Merlet, the founder of National Coordination For Advocacy On Women’s Rights who was tragically killed in January 2010 Haitian earthquake. Continue reading
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