For those who have screeched into a McDonald’s at 10:35 am, yearning for a combination of egg, sausage and fast-food biscuit, only to find out it would be another 24-hours before your cravings could be satisfied, we have good news: Your cries have been heard. Your suffering is not in vain. Starting this fall, McDonalds will start testing all-day breakfast service in select locations. Though the handful of restaurants experimenting with 24/7 Egg McMuffins are only in the San Diego area, the move is the first sign that the round-the-clock breakfast revolution is upon us ... Discuss
A horrifying case is emerging from a San Francisco jail, where public defender Jeff Adachi says four police deputies forced prison inmates to fight "gladiator-style" and placed bets on who would win. Adachi says the deputies staged “outrageously sadistic scenarios that sound like they’re out of ‘Game of Thrones,'” promising hamburgers to the winner and says inmates were “threatened with Mace, handcuffed beatings, and transfers to dangerous housing quarters if they refused to fight.” Inmates were also threatened with tasering if they sought medical attention for any injuries sustained in the fights, the inmates say.
Deputy Scott Neu, one of the deputies accused of orchestrating the fights, allegedly told the inmates that "anything goes ...Just don’t punch the face so no one can basically see the marks. But anything goes, other than the face.” Neu had been previously accused of forcing inmates to perform sexual acts. That case was settled out of court. But new lawsuits allege that Neu forced inmates to gamble with their food, clean up human waste and vomit without protective gear.
All the deputies involved in the case are white—the inmates in question are not. Adachi says at least two bailiffs knew about the fights, but didn't say anything. Neu and others have been transferred to administrative roles, and the San Francisco County Sheriff's Office has asked the Department of Justice to oversee an investigation. Discuss
Today, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a controversial measure that critics fear could lead to discrimination against the LGBT community. The bill recently passed a vote in the state’s largely Republican House and Senate. Supporters of the bill say the measure isn’t meant to target gay and lesbian residents but rather, as Gov. Pence explained to CNN, provides protection for businesses “if a government is going to compel you to act in a way that violates your religious beliefs.” At the signing, Pence cited the example of the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case, in which the corporation argued that it should not have to provide certain types of birth control—that it holds a moral opposition to—to employees as part of the Affordable Care Act. In a statement, Pence said, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it.” Currently, 18 other states have similar bills.
However, the bill’s opponents say that it could potentially allow businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian customers. As CNN notes, the state does not currently have any laws that protect residents from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. On the website of Eric Miller, one of the lobbyists who championed the measure and was at the bill-signing, specific examples of Christian businesses not having to be required to provide services at the weddings of gay and lesbian couples was cited. Several large organizations have said that the bill may make them reconsider holding large conferences in the state ... Discuss
Police in Virginia revealed this week that after a substantial investigation, they have found no evidence that a violent gang rape depicted in a Rolling Stone piece about a UVA fraternity ever took place. The woman in the story—who identified herself only as “Jackie”—refused to cooperate with police. The investigators said that there is no evidence that a party took place at the frat house on the evening of the alleged attack, as outlined in the feature "A Rape on Campus." They also could not find the man who Jackie said was her date that night. Police are suspending the investigation, adding, “That doesn’t mean something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie on the evening of Sept. 28, 2012. We’re just not able to gather sufficient facts to determine what that is.”
In the coming weeks, Rolling Stone will release the findings of an independent investigation by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, it commissioned on its explosive feature. Shortly after the story was published, facts, reporting and accounts by Jackie came under scrutiny, and Rolling Stone quickly issued a statement saying, “we have come to the conclusion that we were mistaken in honoring Jackie's request to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account.” Following the police’s announcement, UVA’s Phi Kappa Psi told The New York Times it is “now exploring its legal options to address the extensive damage caused by Rolling Stone" ... Discuss
While many states have wrestled with how to handle death row cases in light of a shortage of lethal injection drugs, Utah has decided to make death by firing squad legal again. No other currently state allows firing squads. Drug companies have become increasingly hesitant to continue to supply the drugs used in lethal injections. In response, several states have attempted to use experimental drug cocktails in recent executions, leading to gruesome botched procedures and prolonged suffering for the inmates.
The law, which was signed by the governor this week says that if correction officials can’t obtain the lethal injection drugs at least 30 days before the scheduled execution, the state will move forward with plans to kill the inmate via a firing squad. The last prisoner to die by firing squad was in 2010. In that case, a man convicted of two murders was bound to a chair, and shot by five police officers with rifles ... Discuss
Starbucks’ foray into race relations is now over. In a memo to employees this weekend, CEO Howard Shultz defended the company’s controversial “Race Together” campaign to start conversations about race among customers by having baristas to write the words on cups of coffee:
Our objective from the very start of this effort… was to stimulate conversation, empathy and compassion toward one another, and then to broaden that dialogue beyond just our Starbucks family to the greater American public by using our scale for good …The heart of Race Together has always been about humanity: the promise of the American Dream should be available to every person in this country, not just a select few. We leaned in because we believed that starting this dialogue is what matters most. We are learning a lot.
Though Schultz acknowledged the criticism of the campaign, his memo insinuated that the backlash wasn’t the reason for the initiative ending, saying Sunday was when they “originally planned” to call it quits ... Discuss