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New Law Will Completely Change The Lives Of Retired Military Dogs And The Soldiers Who Love Them

Retired Military Dogs
Retired Military Dogs
New Law Will Completely Change The Lives Of Retired Military Dogs And The Soldiers Who Love Them

In 2011, President Obama met Cairo, the dog who was vital to the success of the mission that took down Osama Bin Laden. This meeting led to an awareness of the “dogs of war,” or military working dogs. One of the things the public learned about these dogs was heart-breaking. At that time, the military classified its working dogs as equipment and if they retired while overseas they weren’t granted transport back to the United States. The dogs were abandoned in war zones. The handlers, who were spending 24/7 with these dogs, had to arrange to get their partner back to the US at a cost of thousands of dollars and a lot of red tape.

This began to change in late November 2015 when the US enacted a new law that will completely change the lives of retired military dogs and the soldiers who love them. Tucked inside a massive defense bill was a provision that allowed U.S. military dogs to return to the United States after their retirement overseas.

If a dog was retired on US soil, or now returned to US soil by the military, it was sometimes sold to a police department, or offered for adoption. This was better for the dog, but still broke a deep bond between a soldier and the dog who loved one another. Very often the soldier who had lived and worked with the dog had no idea what had happened to the dog, and no way to find out.

Due to the efforts of North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr and Rep. Richard Hudson, an added amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act gives soldiers who served with dogs the opportunity to adopt their companions before the dogs are available to anyone else. Now soldiers and the dogs who faithfully served with them can retire together.

Cairo, the dog who helped put an end to Osama Bin Laden, also helped put an end to the separation of soldiers and the dogs who love each other.

If there is a law affecting you that you feel is wrong, or you need legal help, please contact us. We can help.

Posting baby photos on Facebook could land parents in legal trouble

Posting baby photos on Facebook could land parents in legal trouble

Posting baby photos on Facebook could land parents in legal trouble

Kids can soon sue their parents for posting their pictures on Facebook

Authorities in France have warned moms and dads of posting intimate or embarrassing photos of their young children on Facebook. Such an act could land them with a fine and jail time.

French parents could face fines of up to €45,000 and a year in prison if found guilty of breaching their right to privacy when they are young, reported the Guardian. Thanks to the country’s strict privacy laws.

“In a few years, children could easily take their parents to court for publishing photos of them when they were younger,” Eric Delcroix, an expert on internet law and ethics, told The Telegraph.

“Children at certain stages do not wish to be photographed or still less for those photos to be made public,” he continued.

In a 2015 study, author and child psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair, said, “Your favourite picture of your child sitting on the potty for the first time may not be their favourite picture of themselves when they’re 13.” She found that parents in the U.K. post nearly 200 photos of their young children (under the age of 5) every year.

Earlier this year, France’s national gendarmerie wrote that “you can all be proud moms and dads to your magnificent children, but be careful.”

“We remind you that posting photos of your kids to Facebook is not without danger!” it wrote.

Given the relative youth of social media, it’s difficult to say precisely how growing up online could affect children but there are concerns around trespassing privacy, safety and security.

Professor Nicola Whitton from Manchester Metropolitan University added to The Guardian: “I think we’re going to get a backlash in years to come from young people coming to realize that they’ve had their whole lives, from the day they were born, available to social media.

“Parents have to work out what’s right for them, but be aware that this is another person, another human being, who may not thank them for it in 15 years to come.

“It may seem hard, but my line would be don’t put pictures online until they’re of an age where it’s appropriate to discuss it with them.”

Speaking to the Telegraph, Viviane Gelles, a lawyer specialising in internet privacy told that in French law, “Parents are responsible for protecting images of their children.”

They could in turn be harming the future reputation of their children by posting them online with irresponsible abandonment. As a result, a grown child would have all the possible rights to sue their parents arguing that their right to privacy was breached by them.

However, Professor Sonia Livingston at the London School of Economics – who has conducted research into children’s rights in a digital age – did not agree with the proposed new laws.

She claimed that the “draconian” rule need not apply if parents are honest and able to explain to their kids about what they do and don’t want online.

Prof Livingston said: “If (parents) can be open with their children about what they wish to share, with whom and why, this need not result in a draconian crackdown on all sharing.”

Gavin Newsom Helped Make Gay Marriage Legal. Now He Wants to Legalize Pot

Gavin Newsom Helped Make Gay Marriage Legal. Now He Wants to Legalize Pot

Gavin Newsom Helped Make Gay Marriage Legal. Now He Wants to Legalize Pot

“People don’t get what a big deal” the war on drugs is, he says.

Last week, backers of an initiative to legalize marijuana in California declared that they’d collected enough signatures to place it on the November ballot. The news was announced by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, a declared 2018 gubernatorial candidate best known nationally for using his power as San Francisco’s mayor to greenlight same-sex marriages long before courts had sanctioned the practice.

That experience has encouraged Newsom to take bold positions on other social issues, including drug policy reform. I sat down with Newsom in downtown San Francisco to talk about legalization, his college bong photos (it’s not what you think), and how the experiences of other legal-pot states helped him craft the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Mother Jones: You have the distinction of being the only statewide office holder who supports legalization.

Gavin Newsom: It’s unfortunate. That’s not an indictment of my colleagues, it’s an indictment of the politics. The war on drugs is a political war, not a scientific war. If it was a scientific war, it would have collapsed under its own weight years ago.

MJ: Why haven’t more politicians come out in support of this?

GN: There is still a lot of big money to promote the status quo.

MJ: But when Californians had the chance to legalize marijuana in 2010 with Proposition 19, more money was spent in favor of the initiative than against it.

GN: Yeah, but that masks how politics works. You have outsized special interests that play huge in political campaigns. They didn’t play in that initiative, but they play profoundly in electoral politics with independent expenditures—not just direct contributions—that are holding the line on politicians from saying what they think.

MJ: What kinds of special interests? The alcohol industry?

GN: You name it. The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population and incarcerates 24 percent of its prisoners. There’s a lot of money behind that. Huge money behind it. Bail bondsman money. People say, “Oh, it’s prison guards.” It’s so much deeper than that. It gets into the politics of check cashers, the politics of payday lenders. It’s all connected. People don’t get what a big deal this is. This is about people’s heads being cut off south of the border. This is about families that are literally, 30 people, gunned down. This is about a bus with 50 kids and they’ve all disappeared. This is about corruption, cartels, the environment, tax dollars, waste and inefficiency, about kids that can’t hug their parents. This is about communities being ravaged and destroyed. This is about institutional racism and poverty. This is profound stuff, man. I get a little righteous here, because why the hell are you in politics if you can’t talk about this? If you can’t talk about this, then you don’t belong in politics. Either come out against our initiative or, if you don’t like the status quo, what the hell is your alternative? I’m all ears. But I don’t like the abdication—particularly in my party.

MJ: You’re probably not making any friends by saying all this.

GN: I am going to turn into the Ted Cruz of my party.

MJ: Well, your old college roommate probably likes you better than Cruz’s old roommate likes him.

GN: Yeah, probably. He was a big pot smoker, by the way. I wasn’t. You can call him. I don’t have to worry about the bong photo, okay? Except the beer one.

MJ: What motivated you to get involved in this issue?

GN: My foster brother lived in a Marin City housing project, a tough project at the time. He was living with us at the time of his 16th birthday, when his mom sent him a big bag of pot. It scared the hell out of him. I remember being freaked out by it. This is his mother. I remember it like it was yesterday. That young man ended up in San Quentin—a drug dealer. He’s out now, living in Marin City. He’s got five kids, and many more brothers and sisters with different fathers. I watched the sheriffs’ office arrest him half a dozen times—and not all the white folks at Redwood High School who were running around with cocaine in their BMWs.

My father was on the California Court of Appeals and he brought this into the home: He was just railing against mandatory minimums—how disgusted he was with the system, and with himself for perpetuating it.

When I got into elected office, I met the Drug Policy Alliance folks. We started passing resolutions condemning the disparity on cocaine sentencing, and [the DPA’s] Ethan Nadelman had me on panels. I kind of exposed myself and my position on marijuana [in 2012], and everyone said, “You’re finished!”

MJ: But by then you already had a rep for sticking your neck out—the whole gay marriage thing.

GN: I’d passed my sell-by date, man. After that, I had to be accountable to the position! A lot of folks began asking tough questions about what legalization looks like: How are you going to deal with Big Tobacco? How are you going to deal with the concerns around edibles and packaging? What tax rate do you support? Are you worried about kids? Are you worried about people driving under the influence? All of these legitimate questions were coming up in these forums, and discussions on the street, and, frankly, in my home with my wife. And that’s when I felt this responsibility to convene a workgroup. We put together a very thoughtful and comprehensive report to guide what was at the time a dozen-plus initiatives that were being discussed, proposed, and promoted. Ultimately, we landed on the one that we introduced today.

MJ: Several states have already legalized marijuana. What have you learned from their mistakes?

GN: California was the first to legalize medical marijuana, in 1996. I was mayor when we did the first regulations on the medical marijuana industry. Things were getting out of control: These things were popping up near parks, playgrounds, schools. Frankly, there was a lot of abuse—guys in gym outfits popping in and then selling cannabis just down the block. That is not what the voters intended with Prop. 215. So we got our arms around it. What we learned from Colorado and Washington is that you can’t be too prescriptive because there are things no one can anticipate. So we’ve built in flexibility in the taxation rate, how we process permits, how we deal with transportation, how we address legitimate concerns about Big Tobacco coming in and becoming Big Marijuana. We had more aggressive language on packaging edibles, transparency in testing, around the type of edibles you can use—and we allowed more flexibility of the legislature to completely change those if we turn out to be wrong. Colorado didn’t have those regulations. And Washington in particular struggled with the collision of medical and recreational: If you don’t tax one but you tax the other, everyone remains “sick.”

MJ: Yeah, California’s medical marijuana system is notoriously permissive. Back in 2010, I got a pot card for writer’s cramp.

GN: It’s a serious condition! [Laughs.] I can imagine that you have struggled and suffered through it and have been aided greatly.

MJ: Will I escape taxes under your initiative?

GN: You will be able to avoid sales tax. But you will have to pay a 15 percent excise tax that goes to children’s programs, law enforcement, and other functions. No one is saying this is perfect. But my hunch is that 10 years from now, you will have one system.

MJ: We don’t have a separate system for “medical alcohol.”

GN: Thank you. Though I am in the wine business and we do claim red wine has a benefit to your heart health, medical marijuana has a little more scientific backing.

MJ: Well, there is Fernet Branca.

GN: That’s true, too!

MJ: When Prop. 19 was coming up for a vote, I went to the Hemp Fest at the Cow Palace in Daly City.

GN: Look at you!

MJ: Prop. 19’s bankroller, Richard Lee, was speaking about why pot should be legal, and a fistfight nearly broke out between pot farmers and legalization advocates.

GN: I wasn’t prepared for that when we went up to Trinity and Humboldt counties. We had a town hall to end all town halls. It was intense. People were in the rafters. They were passionate. First of all, I said “marijuana.”

MJ: The M-word!

GN: The M-word is absolutely unacceptable up there. It’s cannabis. But there’s been a lot of opposition up there on 19. And so we really went an extra mile. We put in language that prioritizes small growers over larger ones for the first five years. We actually specifically exclude those larger cultivators so we can encourage local farmers.

MJ: Why do you think that’s important?

GN: They’ve put their lives on the line. They deserve a voice. Plus, it’s California. We have different terroir. We are an agricultural state. We value the small farmer. We value the organic grower. We value the farmers market. There’s an artisanal quality to what makes California great, and that quality exists in the cannabis community.

MJ: But what about small-time pot dealers, who are often people of color? You don’t see them at pot investment conferences. They’re the ones who get thrown in jail.

GN: We co-chaired this workgroup with the ACLU, and this was the fundamental issue. The war on drugs has been a war on poor people. So we have provisions that would allow people to participate in this industry without the burden of their previous mistakes impairing them. Folks that are still incarcerated with [certain pot-related] convictions will have the ability to petition courts to reduce their sentences or have records expunged. We want to give opportunities to people who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. And there’s money: 20 percent of the revenues are for economic development targeting low-income communities—like small grants and loans to help with expungement.

MJ: Where else will the money go?

GN: To children, youth, and family public safety. A huge amount will go into R&D. We will have the most robust [cannabis] research, arguably, of any country in the world—it will be coming out of our UC system in the next few years. This is a big deal.

MJ: Critics claim that legalization will convey to kids that smoking pot is okay.

GN: I get it. You don’t want to normalize something that isn’t healthy for kids. It’s not; it just isn’t, we dismiss that at our peril. We have to be honest about the brain development for children. Alcohol is not good for kids either, and tobacco is more devastating in many ways. But we don’t incarcerate people for smoking a cigarette. We don’t incarcerate people for having a beer.

U.S. government and North Carolina escalate legal fight over transgender law

U.S. government and North Carolina escalate legal fight over transgender law

A fight between the Obama administration and North Carolina over a state law limiting public bathroom access for transgender people escalated on Monday as both sides sued each other, trading accusations of civil rights violations and government overreach.

The U.S. Justice Department’s complaint asked a federal district court in North Carolina to declare that the state is violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act and order it to stop enforcing the ban.

Hours earlier, North Carolina’s Republican governor, Pat McCrory, and the state’s secretary of public safety sued the agency in a different federal court in North Carolina, accusing it of “baseless and blatant overreach.”

The so-called bathroom law, passed in March and known as HB 2, prohibits people from using public restrooms not corresponding to their biological sex.

It has thrust North Carolina into the center of a national debate over equality and privacy, and has now led the state into what could be a long and costly legal battle with the U.S. government.

Americans are divided over how public restrooms should be used by transgender people, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, with 44 percent saying people should use them according to their biological sex and 39 percent saying they should be used according to the gender with which they identify.

By passing the law, North Carolina became the first state in the country to ban people from using multiple occupancy restrooms or changing rooms in public buildings and schools that do not match the sex on their birth certificate.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Monday the department “retains the option” of curtailing federal funding to North Carolina unless it backs down.

“None of us can stand by when a state enters the business of legislating identity and insists that a person pretend to be something or someone that they are not,” Lynch said at a news conference, comparing the measure to Jim Crow-era racial discrimination laws and bans on same-sex marriage.

Lynch said the department is monitoring other U.S. jurisdictions that have passed or considered laws similar to North Carolina’s but declined to say whether the agency was planning any action against them.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the North Carolina law “mean-spirited” but McCrory said in his complaint that it is “common sense privacy policy.”

North Carolina Republicans say the law stops men from posing as transgender to gain access to women’s restrooms.

Group Threatens Legal Action Over Plan To Scuttle TSA

Group Threatens Legal Action Over Plan To Scuttle TSA

Group Threatens Legal Action Over Plan To Scuttle TSAThe coalition of media and civil society advocacy groups has threatened to seek legal action against any plan to scuttle the smooth operation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

Speaking on behalf of the groups, the executive director, African Media Roundtable Initiative, Omoluabi Olabode Adeyemi, said they were concerned that the TSA, which has redefined the economic prosperity of Nigeria in the face of dwindling oil fortune, has come under so much attack and controversy.

The Senate joint committee on finance, banking, Insurance and other financial institutions and public accounts, in March, recommended the termination of the 2013 contract awarded to SystemSpecs by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) for electronic collection and remittance of government fund through the Remita, the indigenous software developed and used by SystemSpecs.

According to the group, “the TSA system has proven that indeed our economic mainstay could be diversified, broadened and expanded with the overall interest of a rapid and comprehensive national development.”

The huge amount of money which runs into trillions of Naira that have been so far generated by the Treasury Single Account through the home grown indigenous technological development otherwise known as Remita, developed by the Nigerian Based System specs and voted many times as the software of the year, has redefined the economic prosperity of Nigeria in the face of dividing oil fortune in the international communities.”

“We commend the governor and management of Central Bank of Nigeria for the courage, patriotism and commitment they have displayed so far to make sure the Remita platform work in the interest of Nigeria. We wish to warn therefore that any attempt to frustrate or cancel the existing agreement that has brought Remita to work will attract a stiff resistance from the people and possible legal actions. This has become necessary because the people have seen that Remita is the solution to the wanton looting and fraudulent diversion of our commonwealth that have pervaded our system of governance in the years back unabated which has ruined our economy and has caused obvious infrastructural, human and social, economic collapse of our motion,” Adeyemi said.

Source/Credit : http://bit.ly/1YhbxaC

What are the Legal Rights of Children?

Legal Rights of Children

Legal Rights of Children

Children, or minors, do not have the full legal capacity of adults. Typically, minors aren’t granted the rights of adults until they reach the age of 18, although this varies from state to state. Because children are still developing, both physically and mentally, they aren’t considered capable of handling the same rights as mature adults. However, children do have some inherent legal rights of children as soon as they are born, and they obtain some additional rights as they grow.

Basic Rights for Every Child

Although children grow and mature at different rates, there are some rights that every child is born with. Children are entitled to a safe environment, good nutrition, healthcare, and education. Although parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit, if a child is not safe, the state will remove the children from their home. Parents are required to meet the child’s basic needs.

Minors also have rights under the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, they have the right to equal protection, which means that every child is entitled to the same treatment at the hands of authority regardless of race, gender, disability, or religion. Children are also entitled to due process, which includes notice and a hearing, before any of their basic rights are taken away by the government.

Children with disabilities also have rights under the federal Disabilities Education Act. The Disabilities Education Act provides children in need of special education with special accommodations to ensure they receive the same education as their peers.

Rights that Children Can Obtain as They Grow

Some rights are obtained as the child grows, depending on his or her age and level of maturity. For example, children have a limited right to free speech. In many instances, children are encouraged to form opinions and freely speak their mind. However, schools may limit the child’s speech if they feel it could harm other students. This rule can have strikingly different applications for student bodies of different ages. For example, a student painting featuring nudity might be inappropriate in middle school, but cutting edge art in high school.

Teenagers tend to have more rights than younger children. Teenagers may work, although the exact age at which a minor can begin working and the hours he or she may work will vary by state. The Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws regulate the employment of minors.

In the criminal justice system, older children receive more autonomy than younger delinquents. If a child is particularly mature, he or she may qualify for emancipation. In some cases, emancipation is automatic. Otherwise, emancipation must be petitioned for in the appropriate state court.

Legal Rights of Children  That They Do Not Have

Children are not allowed to vote, hold property, consent to medical treatment, sue or be sued, or enter into certain types of contracts. In some cases, a child is able to do these things but must have a parent or legal guardian act on his or her behalf.

Source/Credit : http://bit.ly/1TOgHtA