POSTS WITH TAG: human rights

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    Unless you've been living under a social media rock and make it a point to avoid news headlines, you've probably heard something about the hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped last months by the Islamic Extremist group Boko Haram.

    Celebrities galore have been been spreading awareness of the heartbreaking situation by tweeting with the hashtag "Bring Back Our Girls" -- even Michelle Obama got in on the action, tweeting a picture of herself looking sad and holding a sign that read "#BringBackOurGirls," which of course was either incredibly inspirational or deeply insulting, depending on how you feel about the Obamas. Conservative pundit Ann Coulter was not amused, and Sunday night tweeted her own biting response in the form of a pouty selfie captioned, "#BringBackOurCountry."

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    A man ostensibly trying to protest same-sex marriage has filed a lawsuit because he claims he's being denied the "right" to marry the one whom he loves. The object of his affection being his porn-filled MacBook. Head meet desk.

    Amateur model and Army veteran Chris Sevier argues that if same-sex couples are allowed to marry, then he should be allowed to wed his computer because it's his "preferred sexual object" and he prefers sex with his machine more than sex with "real women." When he tried to file for a marriage license in Utah, it was rejected on the grounds of "sexual orientation." Apparently "you're a numbskull" isn't an official response to this sort of thing.

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    If your daughter was kidnapped, wouldn't you want the world to take notice, become enraged, and do anything and everything to help get her back? Of course you would.

    This is the situation that the parents of 276 girls who were kidnapped from their school in Nigeria are in. Their daughters were taken by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. “I abducted your girls,” Abubakar Shekau, the group's leader said in the video. “I will sell them in the market.” But even with knowing who took the girls, the Nigerian government still has not been able to rescue them. And it's been over THREE WEEKS. The students were taken back in mid-April. Yet more girls were reportedly abducted today.

    The situation has gotten international coverage, and people all over the globe are outraged, so much so that the United States government is now becoming involved in their recovery.

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    If you've ever attended or taken your kids to a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus show, you've probably uttered the words, "Please don't fall, please don't fall" more than a few times under your breath while gripping your seat chair. The worst thing that could happen at a circus show took place in Rhode Island on Sunday afternoon: nine aerial performers attempting the "Human Chandelier" act fell 25 to 40 feet after a metal frame -- from which they were hanging by their hair -- came loose from its support and sent the women crashing to the ground. All of the women, as well as two additional circus performers, suffered major injuries, but here's the amazing part: they all survived.

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    Gay rights took one step back and then one step forward this week in Arizona, landing everyone pretty much in the same place. First Arizona legislators voted to give businesses the right to deny gay people service on religious grounds. I don't know why they thought it was worth anyone's time to go through all that trouble. But anyhoo! Thousands of outraged tweets, posts, interviews, and facepalms later, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB1062, aka The Embarrassing Money-Losing Anti-Gay Bill. Most of America breathed a sigh of relief.

    As usual, people had a lot to say about this bill via Twitter. Here's some of the highlights ...

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    Michael Anthony Taylor is sitting on Death Row in Missouri because he pleaded guilty to abducting, raping, and fatally stabbing a 15-year-old girl back in 1989. At the end of January, he is scheduled to receive the death penalty by lethal injection, but Taylor hasn't accepted his fate without a fight. Instead, he is suing the Oklahoma pharmacy that supplies the killing drug because he says their version of it causes a great deal of pain and a much slower death. And, according to reports, the pharmacy has agreed.

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    Dale Hansen, a 65-year-old sports anchor in Dallas, is making huge headlines this week after addressing the Michael Sam controversy in his "Hansen Unplugged: Celebrating Our Differences" segment Monday night. If you haven't been keeping up, Sam is "the best defensive player in college football's best conference" who bravely went on ESPN and came out as gay. So if he's drafted in the 2014 NFL Draft or signed by an NFL team as an undrafted free agent, he will become the first active openly gay player in NFL history. Cheers to that!

    'Course he knows his path to that title won't be an easy one. It's already proven to set tongues wagging. Which drove Hansen to give an absolutely rousing, inspiring, kickass speech about Sam's predicament and what it says about American hypocrisy -- on and off the field.

    Check it out ...

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    Four employees at a group home for disabled adults in New York allegedly encouraged two severely handicapped men to attack each other. Eric McHenry, Justin McDonald, Stephen Komara, and Rosemarry Vanni face felony charges for “endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person.”

    The incident came to light after cell phone video footage emerged showing three of the workers egging on the two men, encouraging them to hit each other, knock over the other’s wheelchair, and offering praise when they did. The men are in their 50s, but have the mental development of preschoolers.

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    A year after offering $65 million to any man willing to marry his lesbian daughter, a Hong Kong tycoon is desperate to find a suitor and has doubled his sum. Now, Cecil Chao Sze-tsung is willing to dish out a casual $120 million to any man who can romance his daughter Gigi.

    Gigi Chao, who is 34 and has been with her wife Sean Eav for more than nine years, responded to her father's latest proposal with an emotional open letter in the South China Morning Post. In Gigi's sad plea to her dad, she talks about how admirable he is as a businessman but how foolish he's been in matters of the heart.

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    It's hard not to look at Amanda Knox and feel conflicted. Just a day after an Italian court ruled her guilty in the death of roommate Meredith Kercher and sentenced her to more than 28 years in prison, the 26-year-old came out on Good Morning America to say she's not going back to Italy "willingly." I'll confess my first thought was, "darn right!" and an unofficial survey (aka a perusal of my Facebook feed) shows I'm in the majority in my support of Knox and her vow to fight extradition.

    And yet ... I'm a law abiding citizen, a rule follower. Refusing to listen to the courts? Possibly becoming a fugitive from justice? Neither sits well with me, or with anyone I know.

    So why is it that we're so willing to come out in support of Amanda Knox? When she's suggesting the very things we'd normally look down upon?

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