Category Archives: Politics

Judge Aborts North Dakota Abortion Law

The issue of abortion can be considered one of the most controversial topics in American culture. With the contrasting opinions of pro-life versus pro-choice, the tension within this argument has changed many state laws recently. While many states retain restrictions and tight regulations on abortions, the federal government has slowly begun to dismantle anti-abortion legislation. The most recent case involves a federal judge ruling North Dakota’s abortion law as unconstitutional. The law previously banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy (due to the first signs of a fetal heartbeat), but now the federal government has overturned this law, providing leniency to those that favor the views of pro-choice. U.S. District Daniel L. Hovland came to this decision in his ruling:

“A woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability has been recognized by the United States Supreme Court for more than 40 years. The United States Supreme Court has clearly determined the dispositive issue presented in this lawsuit. This court is not free to impose its own view of the law.”

Essentially, Hovland supports the notion that woman are constitutionally entitled to choose what they want to do with their pregnancies. Though this decision has received much acclaim from pro-life advocates, the governor of North Dakota refused to comment immediately on the Hovland’s ruling, possibly suggesting regret over this decision. The dismantling of one of the strictest abortion laws in the United States is a clear sign that further state regulations, in regards to abortion, will be challenged by the federal government in the future.

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Woman Arrested for Throwing Shoe at Hilary Clinton

President Obama Recognizes Gender Salary Inequality

Honey Maid Takes Political Stance

In March of 2014, Honey Maid released an ad titled This is Wholesome. The commercial features different families, most prominently featuring two dads and their two children. Other families include a mixed race couple, a single dad, a tattooed ‘rocker’ family, and a military couple. Overlaying clips of these families laughing and sharing Nabisco snacks is the tagline of the ad: “No matter how things change, what makes us wholesome never will. Honey Maid. Everyday wholesome snacks for every wholesome family. This is wholesome.”

Honey Maid: This is Wholesome

This 30 second commercial spurred a storm of response and reaction. Leading the charge of voices against Honey Maid is the conservative activism group One Million Moms. The organization released a statement titled Honey Maid Offends Conservatives, stating Nabisco “should be ashamed of themselves” for their “attempt to normalize sin”. One Million Moms concluded the statement with a call to action: “Please send U.S. key executives for Honey Maid and Nabisco (owned by Mondelez International) an email urging them to pull this liberal commercial immediately and remain neutral in the culture war.”

Nabisco’s response to the conservative backlash their commercial received came last week. On April 3rd, Honey Maid: Love was released on YouTube.

Honey Maid: Love

In less than a week, the video has reached over 3 million views.

Federal Marketplace Deadline Extended to Mid-April

Moscow Promises No Troops For Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow has no intention of sending troops into Ukraine.

President Barack Obama talked by phone with President Vladimir Putin on Friday asking him to pull back its troops from Ukraine’s border, where several thousands Russian soldiers are stationed.

Lavrov told Russian TV on Saturday that Moscow had no intention of sending troops into Ukraine.

In a statement by the White House, President Obama noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform and democratic elections, and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine.

US State Secretary Kerry and Lavrov met at the Hague earlier this week, where Kerry presented to the Russian Foreign Minister a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, developed by the United States in cooperation with Ukrainian and European partners.

Obama asked Russia to answer in written form what are their further actions.

US President underlined to Putin that the United States will continue to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the Government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis.

According to a statement by the White House, Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.  Obama reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

 

Russian Troops Invade Ukraine

Russian parliament approved on Saturday President’s Vladimir Putin demand to invade Crimea under the pretext of protecting the Russians from the Ukrainian peninsula.

In response, the Ukrainian National Security Council ordered the mobilization of its army on full combat alert and asked for help from NATO, this being the first confrontation between the West and Russia from the end of the Cold War.

The new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is leading the new government after Vicktor Yanukovych fled,  said that “this is the red alert, this is not a threat, this is actually a declaration of war”, BBC reports. He added that Russian military actions will mean the end of the relations between Ukraine and Russia and the beginning of war.

United States’ reaction

President Obama expressed his deep concern regarding the reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation towards Ukraine. Obama spoke several days ago with Putin, making clear that they can be part of an international community’s effort to support the stability and success of a united Ukraine going forward, which is not only in the interest of Ukrainian people and the international community, but also in Russia’s interest.

“It would be a clear violation of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws. And indeed, the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,“ said Obama.

While both the West and Russia declared to prefer avoiding war and solve the problem peacefully, Russia says that the newly formed Ukrainian government is far-right extremist with anti-Semitic, neo-fascist and xenophobic views, BBC reports.

Background

Ukraine, former USSR member, has had a strong relationship with Russia, both economically and politically. As the result of a deal that was renewed by the former Ukrainian president in 2010, the Ukrainian Peninsula Crimea hosts a Russian naval base in return for cheap natural gas supplied by Russia.

The former President Yanukovych refused to sign in November 2013 a deal between the European Union and Ukraine which would have pushed forward the European integration for Ukraine and break down the ties with Russia. As a result, in the capital of Ukraine, Kiev, peaceful protests transformed into violent riots, where the government used lethal forces to calm down the protesters.  The clashes resulted in many deaths.

On Feb. 22, 2014, Yanukovych, fled the country to seek refuge in Russia. Meanwhile, the parliament voted a new pro-European president, Olexandr Turchinov.

As many Ukrainians from the eastern side of the country consider themselves Russians and speak Russian language, Russia announced that it is their duty to send troops to Crimea in order to protect its national interest in the area and Russian citizens living there.

An important detail is that the troops from Crimea have not been confirmed as being Russian, as they do not carry any identification insignia.

 

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President Obama Addresses Latino Community Regarding Federal Marketplace

Former Virginia Governor and Wife Indicted on Federal Corruption Charges

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