Police are looking into cross-burnings at an African-American and Hispanic church in in El Paso, Texas. First, someone lit a two-foot tall cross in front of Smyrna Seventh Day Adventist Church in east El Paso on Saturday night. Then Monday night, someone did it again. “I know of no reason why anyone would do this. We're trying to stay positive," said the church’s pastor, Allen Brewer. “I understand there's a lot going on in the country these days," he said, referencing last month’s church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina. "I don't know why anyone would do this." Discuss
Last weekend, members of a South Carolina chapter of the Klu Klux Klan rallied to march in support of the confederate battle flag. Trailing behind was the heroic Matt Buck, who followed the march while playing what's being called "doofy" music on his sousaphone the entire way. But of course, not even bumbling sousaphone can make the KKK more palatable. Discuss
Last week’s video prompted the U.S. Congress to open investigations into Planned Parenthood, which is the country’s largest provider of abortions. In addition, Texas republican governor Greg Abbott and Missouri’s democrat attorney general Chris Koster both announced that their respective states will also investigate Planned Parenthood’s practices within their states. Planned Parenthood seems to chalk up the videos to a smear campaign, maintaining that the original video is misleading. Yesterday, the organization sent a letter to Congress saying that subsequent videos would be similarly misleading. Discuss
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