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Archive for July 3rd, 2014

S.C. BBQ Banned Blacks for Religious Reasons

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 3rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

S.C. BBQ Banned Blacks for Religious Reasons
In South Carolina, a BBQ restaurant owner claimed that he was within his rights to refuse service to blacks based on his religious beliefs. In the case brought before the Supreme Court, Maurice Bessinger stated that his religion required him to keep black people from eating in his restaurant … “I’m just a fair man. I want to be known as a hard-working, Christian man that loves God and wants to further (God’s) work throughout the world as I have been doing throughout the last 25 years.”

Gary Johnson New CEO of ‘Microsoft of Marijuana’
He founded a successful business, served two terms as a Republican governor of New Mexico and climbed Mount Everest. Now, Gary Johnson has set his sights on marijuana. Nevada-based startup Cannabis Sativa Inc. announced Johnson as its new president and CEO on Tuesday, and he sees the potential for explosive nationwide growth. “I don’t know if I’m the Bill Gates of marijuana, but we might be the Microsoft of marijuana,” he said. “The whole country is going to legalize marijuana in 10 years, and then so goes the world.”


Goal! Magic mix making World Cup score-fest: how?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 3rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Goal! Magic mix making World Cup score-fest: how?
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Since Day 1, when Brazil put three past Croatia, the World Cup has enjoyed a goal deluge as sustained as an Amazon forest downpour.

Clippers owner’s lawyers seek to make case federal
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shortly before the start of a trial to determine whether Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s estranged wife can sell the team, his lawyers filed a motion Thursday to move the case to federal court, alleging his medical privacy has been violated.

Journal expresses ‘concern’ over Facebook study
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The scientific journal that published a study by Facebook and two U.S. universities examining people’s online mood swings regrets how the social experiment was handled.


Background check firm that vetted Edward Snowden receives new contract

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 3rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Background check firm that vetted Edward Snowden receives new contract
Despite very public mistakes and allegations of fraud, U.S. Investigations Services was awarded a new $190 million contract to help manage immigration


Why Is The Media Taking These ISIS World Domination Maps So Seriously?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 3rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Why Is The Media Taking These ISIS World Domination Maps So Seriously?

In a rush to sensationalize growing violence in Iraq at the hands of religious extremists, media have circulated dubiously sourced maps which purport to illustrate plans for a future Islamic caliphate that extends from Spain to the southern and easternmost reaches of India.

A Sunni Islamist militant group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) has torn through Iraq in recent weeks, violently capturing several cities and straining the Iraqi government’s ability to respond. On June 29, according to the Wall Street Journal, ISIS “announced itself as a new Islamist ‘caliphate’ … unilaterally declaring statehood and demanding allegiance from other Islamist groups.”

In the wake of this news, media outlets from Fox News to ABC have issued reports on the militant group’s future plans based on maps culled from Twitter to declare that ISIS is strategizing to take over swath of territory larger than the Roman Empire within the next five years — a goal that would include, among other feats, conquering Spain, Portugal, Greece, and most or all of India. The maps resemble the geographic dominance of the historic caliphates that ended with the demise of the Ottoman Empire. 

Map #1

On June 3 ABC News published a map — also cited by Breitbart.com — which was “purportedly published” by ISIS and “widely shared on Twitter.” According to ABC, the “terrifying” map was “published at the same time that ISIS announced the creation of a caliphate.”

But ABC News didn’t actually trace the image to ISIS, and instead relied on a tweet of the image from American Third Position (A3P). ABC didn’t disclose that A3P is a white nationalist political party in the United States.

As iO9 pointed out, “This is one of those ‘garbage in, garbage out’ stories, since ABC News’ source was Twitter.” The outlet cited to analysis from Aaron Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who explained, “It’s an old image put out by fans of the group … There is nothing official about it nor is there some alleged 5-year plan.”

Map #2

Fox News reported the same day that a “chilling new map reveals the ISIS plan for world domination,” displaying an expanded, translated map the network claimed was “released by ISIS” to lay out “its five-year plan.” Several days ago the Daily Mail similarly highlighted the map as a “chilling five-year plan,” as did The Blaze, the website of notorious caliphate fear monger Glenn Beck.

While Fox attributed the map to ISIS, the Daily Mail described it as having been “widely shared by ISIS supporters on social networks.”

Despite the serious tone of their reports, neither the Daily Mail nor Fox News cited any experts to discuss how realistic it would be for ISIS to conquer a swath of land that envelops half of Africa and India and includes territory protected by NATO (Spain, Portugal).


Minimum Wage Debate Steeped in History, Dueling Stats

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 3rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Minimum Wage Debate Steeped in History, Dueling Stats
Michael Cipriano, RealClearPolitics
Democrats intent on raising the federal minimum wage are resuming an old battle, one unfolding in the states as well as Washington, D.C. In the 1930s, the issue was fought in Congress, the states, on the presidential campaign trail, and before the Supreme Court, which amid the Great Depression ultimately ruled the minimum wage to be constitutional. The initial battleground, however, was state capitals, which then — as now — set their own labor standards. But even those state laws got caught up in the machinations of national politics. In 1936, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a New York…


Glasgow to receive £1bn investment

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 3rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Glasgow to receive £1bn investment
Glasgow and its surrounding area are to benefit from more than £1bn of investment from the UK and Scottish governments.

Andy Coulson due to be sentenced
Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson is due to be sentenced after he was found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones.


Biden: Don’t forget about me

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 3rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Biden: Don’t forget about me
Hillary Clinton is getting the headlines, but Biden is keeping his name out there.


World Briefing: Gunmen in Somalia Kill a Lawmaker

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 3rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

World Briefing: Gunmen in Somalia Kill a Lawmaker
Gunmen killed Mohamed Mohamud Heyd and his bodyguard in a drive-by shooting in Mogadishu, the capital, according to the police.



Teenagers’ Deaths Raise Fears of Shift From Political Struggle to Blood Feud
After four killings of young people, a familiar sense of foreboding was joined by a new kind of fear among Israelis and Palestinians.



Memo From France: With Detention of Sarkozy, France Laments Presidency’s Faded Grandeur
The detention of Nicolas Sarkozy is a new low for an office created by Charles de Gaulle as the acme of political power and the embodiment of French glory.




How To Continue Enjoying Soccer Now That The U.S. Is Out Of The World Cup

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 3rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

How To Continue Enjoying Soccer Now That The U.S. Is Out Of The World Cup

A guide to continuing to fall in love with the sport even after the U.S. was eliminated from the World Cup.

The post How To Continue Enjoying Soccer Now That The U.S. Is Out Of The World Cup appeared first on ThinkProgress.

usafans

CREDIT: John Raoux/AP

The United States Men’s National Team lost to Belgium in the World Cup’s round of 16 Tuesday evening, but not before they took the country on a wild ride that further grew the nation’s passion for soccer. The match against Portugal drew the largest television audience in American soccer history; another 25 million or so watched the tilt with Belgium.

Since the U.S. went out of the tournament, though, several people who fell in love with this team — and their sport — have asked me how they can continue to watch it and enjoy it, whether it’s by following the national team or its players, watching domestic league soccer in the United States or Europe, or simply learning about the game. So here’s a short guide for how you can continue to enjoy the game even though the Americans’ run is over.

Keep Watching The World Cup!

Sure, the Americans are out, but the World Cup isn’t over yet. In fact, this weekend’s quarterfinal matches could provide some of the most compelling games of the entire tournament. Brazil and Colombia face off Friday, as do France and Germany. Argentina takes on dark horse Belgium and Costa Rica tries to keep its Cinderella run going against The Netherlands on Saturday.

The rest of the World Cup could give us even more interesting match-ups — imagine an Argentina-Brazil final played in South America, or the sight of Brazil lifting the Cup and avenging their home soil loss from the last time they hosted in 1950. And my colleagues Jess Goldstein and Adam Peck put together this fun chart to help you choose a team to cheer for, so now there’s no excuse not to keep watching.

Plus, while the soccer has been excellent, there remain several important issues that are related to the World Cup that need our attention, from how it is affecting Brazil’s economy and its poorest citizens to the security policies around it.

Get Ready For The Women’s World Cup

You don’t have to wait for the men to see another American team in a World Cup. The Women’s World Cup is now less than a year away, and the United States Women’s National Team will travel to Canada as one of the favorites to win it all. It was the women, not the men, who provided the first real breakthrough moment for soccer in the U.S., when Brandi Chastain scored a penalty kick to win the 1999 World Cup and ripped off her shirt. The USWNT hasn’t won again since, but they have plenty of talent in place to do so. Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux are amazing scorers, and this will almost certainly be the last opportunity at World Cup glory for Abby Wambach, the all-time leading goal scorer in American soccer history.

The last Women’s World Cup provided no shortage of thrillers, from Wambach’s stoppage time goal to save the U.S. against Brazil to the USWNT’s penalty kicks loss to Japan in the final. With the gap between the Americans and the rest of the world’s women’s teams closing, this one should be no different. It starts on June 6.

Gear Up For Club Season

Once the World Cup ends, we’ll be less than a month from the start of the European club season and nearing the homestretch of Major League Soccer’s season. MLS, you might have heard, is a growing league — its average attendance now surpasses that of both the NBA and NHL — and while its on-field quality isn’t necessarily on par with the top European leagues in England, Germany, Italy, Spain, or France, that doesn’t mean there isn’t entertaining soccer played there. Plus, MLS is home to some of the USMNT’s stars, from Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle) to Graham Zusi (Kansas City) to Michael Bradley (Toronto) and plenty more. Seattle and Portland offer two of the most unique sporting experiences in the country at home matches, and across the league, there are plenty of nice stadiums to go visit. If you don’t live in an MLS town, check out teams in the lower leagues — the NASL or USL Pro — or find MLS on TV, which is about to get even easier: the league just signed a new TV deal with ESPN and Fox that will put more games on TV next season. You can also find your local women’s team in the National Women’s Soccer League, which features some of the biggest names from both the American national team and others around the world.

If you are in an MLS city, you might look up the supporters groups for various teams, like D.C. United’s Barra Brava or Portland’s Timbers Army, if you’re interested in really buying into the local team.

If the European game is more your style, that’s only getting easier to watch too. NBC and NBC Sports Network now feature the English Premier League on Saturday and Sunday mornings (starting August 16), and the coverage is great. You can find the Champions League — the tournament featuring the top teams from each European league — on Fox once it starts this fall. Networks like beIN Sports carry matches from Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A, and Mexican and South American leagues are often on various Spanish-language channels. You can figure out a club to follow — there are guides online, or you can just find one you like to watch — or simply follow the bevy of American players now playing in Europe, including, in England alone, the USMNT’s Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland) and Geoff Cameron (Stoke City).

Read About It

There is plenty of good literature out there about soccer. You can start with Franklin Foer’s “How Soccer Explains The World,” which is a compact, chapter-by-chapter look at the cultural influence of soccer in various countries and societies. For a more in-depth read, there’s David Goldblatt’s “The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Soccer,” which goes deep into how soccer developed in different countries and influenced and was influenced by the world around it.

For pure fan enjoyment, there’s Nick Hornby’s “Fever Pitch,” about falling in desperate love with a club team. And if you want a more advanced look at the development of different tactics, there’s “Inverting The Pyramid” by Jonathan Wilson, who looks at how soccer spread to different countries and how different societies and cultures chose to play the game in different ways. There’s also “The Numbers Game,” which is a look at advanced soccer statistics and strategies. Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski’s “Soccernomics” examines all sorts of aspects of the game, from the economics of the sport to statistical factors at play in it. Robert Andrew Powell’s “This Love Is Not For Cowards,” meanwhile, is another read about how soccer fits into the larger culture around it, focusing on Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

For day-to-day news, there’s plenty of that too. Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl is a must-follow for all things soccer, as is Sam Borden of the New York Times. In ESPNFC, the Worldwide Leader now has a dedicated soccer page. And there are tons of excellent team-specific soccer blogs, podcasts, and Twitter lists out there for hardcore and casual fans alike.

Keep Following The USMNT, And Prepare For Russia

The World Cup only comes around every four years, but the preparations for the next one begin as soon as the last one ends. And over the next four years, the United States will develop new players to join those returning from this team in an effort to get ready for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Along the way, they’ll play numerous international friendly matches and several high-profile international tournaments.

First, there’s the 2015 Gold Cup, the tournament among teams in CONCACAF, the Americans’ qualifying region. The Gold Cup is held every two years, and Mexico and the U.S. are traditional favorites, though Costa Rica will surely make this a legitimate three-horse race. The Gold Cup isn’t the greatest soccer tournament ever, but it’s still our regional championship, and at the very least it promises to give fans an early glimpse at players who could help shape the next World Cup roster.

The potentially huge event is the 2016 Copa America. The Copa is traditionally a championship for South American teams, but at least this once to mark the tournament’s 100th anniversary, it is combining the best teams from both North and South America, essentially making it a World Cup of the Western Hemisphere. The best part: the United States is hosting, which means Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and other top South American teams will be coming north and touring around the U.S. This Copa won’t have any international significance, but bringing those teams to the U.S. will still be fun.

There’s also an Olympics in 2016, where the U.S. will try to return after whiffing on the 2012 London games. Olympic soccer is different, with rosters comprised mostly of younger players, but it could provide a glimpse at up-and-coming American talent that might feature in Russia two years later.

There’s another Gold Cup in 2017. The winners of the 2015 and 2017 Gold Cups will meet in a playoff to determine who travels to the Confederations Cup, the World Cup tune-up where the U.S. notched one of its biggest-ever wins (over Spain) in 2009. At the same time, the U.S. should be moving into the final stages of World Cup qualifying throughout 2017, meaning we’ll be nearing a return to the ultimate stage.

Find A Soccer Bar

Did you see all those videos from when John Brooks scored? Or when Clint Dempsey found the net? Or from any other time during the World Cup? It’s not always like that during club or international matches, but still, finding the right bar to watch soccer with fans of the the same club can make it more fun. That shouldn’t be hard: in most cities, big European teams have fan groups that organize watch parties or at least a local bar that’s friendly to a particular team, and it’s the same for MLS teams. You don’t need a good bar to watch soccer, of course, but for the first time this year that’s how I started watching English soccer on some weekend mornings, and it’s definitely a great experience.

Just Enjoy It

You don’t have to become one of Those Soccer Fans to love this sport. You don’t have to engage in fruitless debates about whether Americans are ever going to fully adopt the sport. You don’t have to start talking like a Brit or using words you’d never use otherwise, though you’re certainly welcome to. All you really need to do is enjoy it as you would any other sport, and if you do feel like engaging in a debate, let’s talk about how we can make the sport safer for players from the pros to youth lagues, or how we can keep developing a sustainable women’s league in the U.S. The next chance to see the USMNT play in a World Cup is four years away, but there will be plenty of excellent soccer to watch between now and then. So just have a good time.

The post How To Continue Enjoying Soccer Now That The U.S. Is Out Of The World Cup appeared first on ThinkProgress.

University Fires The Only U.S. Academic Who Has Federal Approval To Use Marijuana In Her Research

The University of Arizona researcher’s termination thwarts a long-suppressed study on marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans.

The post University Fires The Only U.S. Academic Who Has Federal Approval To Use Marijuana In Her Research appeared first on ThinkProgress.

medical marijuana

CREDIT: Shutterstock

The University of Arizona fired a psychiatry professor this week whose research on medical marijuana and veterans was finally green-lighted by federal authorities in March after a years-long chokehold.

Dr. Sue Sisley, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry who has been working for five years to get approvals for her study on medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder, says she was fired after she advocated for a state bill that would have funded her research through the state’s medical marijuana revenue. That bill didn’t pass, but she says a university official asked her for an explanation of her political activity.

“It’s a very clear attack on this kind of work,” Sisley told ThinkProgress of her firing. She said even before she was told this week that her contract would not be renewed for her non-tenure position, the university had relegated her research to the fringes, offering her subpar research space with no electricity, and rejecting her requests for other empty space with the explanation that she couldn’t conduct marijuana research in the same building as the dean. University officials have denied that her firing had anything to do with her study or political pressure from lawmakers.

Sisley’s termination won’t just affect her career. It will also effectively terminate the U.S. marijuana research that received approval from federal authorities to use a legal supply of marijuana.

Sisley has been fighting for years to perform research on the relief that marijuana can provide to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her triple-blind study received approval from the Food and Drug Administration, but was thwarted for years by her inability to access a legal supply of marijuana. That supply is controlled in the United States by a federal panel that includes the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That panel refused for years to grant marijuana for Sisley’s study. But in March, the agency took the potentially momentous step of approving a supply of marijuana for Sisley’s study. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which is backing the study, said it was the first time in 22 years it has been granted access to a legal supply of marijuana. Others have received “research-grade marijuana” since 1999, according to NIDA, but Sisley’s appears to be the only current project.

The federal approval meant Sisley was on the brink of being able to perform her research, which could help hundreds of thousands of American veterans and others suffering from PTSD. Veterans and others suffering from PTSD have long vouched anecdotally that marijuana provides unique relief for their symptoms. And a study last May that examined the brain without actually administering marijuana suggested that cannabis may mitigate the flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and other symptoms that plague PTSD sufferers.

Last February, a a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology and one-time MacArthur Fellow analogized the suppression of marijuana research to creationist control over paleontology, citing this PTSD study. “The most blatant example of this behavior came last year, when NIDA blocked an FDA-approved clinical trial testing marijuana as a remedy for post traumatic stress disorder,” said John H. Schwarz. “… Consider what American science might look like if all research were run like marijuana research is being run now. Suppose the Institute for Creation Science were put in charge of approving paleontology digs and the science of human evolution. Imagine what would happen to the environment if we gave coal and oil companies the power to block any climate research they didn’t like.”

Sisley’s contract will be terminated in September, according to the letter she received from university officials. And she cannot complete her research in that timeline. She may be able to bring her research to another university if she is hired but worries about “getting another academic appointment after this kind of baggage.”

The post University Fires The Only U.S. Academic Who Has Federal Approval To Use Marijuana In Her Research appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Deadly World Cup Legacy Continues as Overpass Collapses In Brazilian Host City

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 3rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Deadly World Cup Legacy Continues as Overpass Collapses In Brazilian Host City
From: Dave Zirin

As two are dead and nineteen injured as an overpass collapsed in Belo Horizonte. The most awful part of this tragedy is that it did not have to happen.

States of Play
From: Word Salad

Fifty paths to puzzlement

Summer Interns’ Recommended Reading
From: StudentNation

Here’s a list of novels, essays, and memoirs that our 2014 summer interns have been reading.

Northwestern Reshapes Its Sexual Assault Policy
From: StudentNation

Northwestern officials will finally comply with the Violence Against Women Act and compile statistics for incidents of dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.

Here’s Something Patriotic You’ll Want to Support
From: Take Action

Join The Nation and Green America in calling on Congress to pass the Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act of 2014.