To Be or Not To Be

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, People & Culture
Title capital punishment

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After the British Parliament's e-petitions website went live they cannot ignore calls for the debate on the death penalty for child killers and on-duty police murders.  Any petition that gains more the 100,000 signatures from UK citizens must now go to the cross-party Commons Backbench Business Committee, which will then decide if it is worthy of a debate.

The petition, presented by Paul Staines, who writes the Guido Fawkes political blog, has already been backed by several MPs.

The restoration for capital punishment was last debated in 1998 (during the passage of Human Rights Act), and was rejected by 158 votes. However there has been a build up of public opinion for this bill. With Conservative MP Priti Patel and party Colleague Andrew Turner saying they are in favour of restoration of capital punishment “for the most serious and significant crimes”.… Continues …

Summer of Racism in the United States

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, People & Culture

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A glut of racially-tinged stories seems to be flooding the United States this summer - so many that it has some people wondering what the heck is going on.

The madness was prefaced in March of this year by racial epithets hurled at black members of Congress by people who were protesting the passage of the health care reform bill.

Then Arizona really stirred up the pot. The state passed their now-infamous and highly controversial immigration law, which contains a provision for law enforcement officials to demand immigration documents whenever they have "reasonable suspicion" that a person might be an illegal alien. Opponents of the law claim that it encourages racial profiling.… Continues …

Stoning In the Modern World

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all alone bloody stone

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At some time in the near future, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani will have rocks thrown at her until she dies. She'll be buried up to her chest, and then stoned. The stones must be big enough to cause pain, but not big enough to kill her immediately. If Ashtiani can somehow wriggle free, her sentence will be commuted, but what's more likely is that she'll experience a painful death - unless the government of Iran can be convinced to give her a reprieve.

What was her crime? After receiving 99 lashes in front of her children, she admitted to adultery, a confession she later retracted. She was then found guilty using "judge's knowledge", which The Guardian calls "a loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where no conclusive evidence is present."… Continues …

Turkey and Its Denial of Genocide

— Filed under: Politics & Government, People & Culture

Armenian Deportees walking to SyriaArmenian Deportees walking to SyriaI am writing this article in response to an earlier discussion when a person disputed that these genocides ever occurred. In fact to this day Turkey continues to deny that in the period from 1914 to 1923 it deliberately exterminated and deported its Christian minorities. Today in Turkey, referring to these events as genocide is considered a crime. Recently the Prime minister of Turkey Erdogan warmly embraced Sudan's leader, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Bashir has been accused of genocide by the International Criminal Court. Erdogan's response? "A Muslim can never commit genocide."

Dr. Akcam, Associate Professor of History and Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University, explained that the “continuity” of the “military and civilian bureaucracy,” which has been ruling Turkey ever since the inception of the Republic in 1923, is a key reason for denial of the Armenian Genocide. “The founders perceived the ethnic-cultural plurality of society at that time to constitute a problem for the continuity and security of the state.”

Killing in the Name of Honor

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture
How to be an Indian Women

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An Indian village on the edges of Delhi is reeling, and the whole world is in shock over the honor killings of two teenagers in love. They were beaten and tortured for hours, and eventually killed, by the girl’s father and other relatives. The reason? They wanted to get married, which was forbidden because they came from different castes.

The boy's family is asking for the death penalty for the killers. But the girl's family stands resolute in their belief that it had to be done to preserve the family's honor. The reason for the torture is less clear.… Continues …

Concerts in Cemeteries - Disrespectful of the Dead?

— Filed under: People & Culture, Business & Finance
Cemetery IV

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From the mummification rituals of ancient Egypt to the funeral pyres of the Vikings, every culture throughout history has had their method of honoring and commemorating the dead. Ground burial has been common to many societies around the world for thousands of years. In fact, burials may provide some of the earliest evidence of religion, according to Philip Lieberman.

It's no surprise then, that people have come to regard cemeteries as sacred places where a certain amount of decorum and dignity should be observed - generally in silence. "Respect for the dead", it's called.

Cemeteries, however, are reinventing themselves.… Continues …

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