Late-term abortions are now illegal in Wisconsin. State governor Scott Walker signed a bill yesterday that bans all non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks, the stage when some experts say fetuses begin to feel pain. Rape and incest are exceptions to the new law. This legislation makes performing a late-term abortion a felony, carrying a punishment of up to three and a half years in prison and up to $10,000, reports Politico. Still allowable after 20 weeks are emergency abortions in situations where the mother may die or incur severe injuries. Wisconsin lawmakers approved this action earlier this month. Discuss
George Clooney wants to expose the people and institutions profiting off of violence in Africa. The actor and humanitarian has teamed with activist John Prendergast to launch a new initiative called “The Sentry” with the help of the Enough Project. The site seeks to expose, track and analyze “how conflict is financed, sustained and monetized” through partnerships with journalists on the ground, NGOs and local governments. Essentially, through their reporting and data analysis, they hope to follow the money behind the conflicts and bring the banks, businesspeople and power brokers responsible to justice.
The site even allows users to share information anonymously that could lead to greater transparency into these networks. In a statement, Clooney said, “Real leverage for peace and human rights will come when the people who benefit from war will pay a price for the damage they cause.” Prendergast further explained, "The objective of The Sentry is to follow the money and deny those war profiteers the proceeds from their crimes.” On the site, the group says their goal is to “alter the incentives for funding or profiting from violence and mass atrocities” that have become commonplace in countries like South Sudan, Somalia, CAR and Democratic Republic of Congo. Discuss
Today, President Obama became the first U.S. president to visit a federal prison while in office. During his tour at a medium-security male prison near Oklahoma City, Obama met with six nonviolent drug offenders. He said the U.S. justice system needs to better distinguish between violent criminals and young people who do “stupid things.” “"When they describe their youth and their childhood, these are young people who made mistakes that aren't that different than the mistakes I made," he said. “The difference is, they did not have the kind of support structures, the second chances, the resources that would allow them to survive those mistakes.” During his remaining time in office, Obama hopes to see reduced sentences for nonviolent offenders, restored voting rights to those who have served their sentences, limited use of solitary confinement and more. Prison reform has become a bipartisan issue, with both Democrats and Republicans acknowledging that the American justice system has numerous serious problems. Currently, there are 2.2 million Americans in jails and prisons. And the system disproportionately affects minorities—roughly one in three black males can expect to serve time behind bars at some point in their life. Discuss
George Weidenfeld escaped Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938, with help from Christian groups that also gave him and others clothes and food and helped them to Britain. Now 95 years old, Weidenfeld has amassed a fortune through a publishing business. He became a British citizen less than a decade after his arrival, and was later knighted and appointed the title of Lord. He never forgot what those Christians did for him. And he's returning the favor.
Weidenfeld is establishing a fund to sponsor Christian refugees in Syria and Iraq who are fleeing ISIS. “I had a debt to repay,” he told The Times. “It applies to so many young people who were on the Kindertransports. It was Quakers and other Christian denominations who brought those children to England. It was very high-minded operation, and we Jews should also be thankful and do something for the endangered Christians.” Last week, the fund provided a privately chartered plane that flew 150 Syrian Christians to Poland. The fund aims to offer 12-18 months of support for around 2,000 refugees. The project has been criticized for only supporting Christians, leaving out Muslims whose lives are also threatened by ISIS. But Weidenfeld simply said he’s doing what he can. “I can’t save the world,” he said. “But there is a very specific possibility on the Christian side.” Discuss