US Supreme Court Upholds Michigan’s Ban on Affirmative Action

supreme court 1 350x248 US Supreme Court Upholds Michigans Ban on Affirmative Action

US Supreme Court Upholds Michigan’s Ban on Affirmative Action (Credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks to an activist US Supreme Court affirmative action is in real jeopardy. SCOTUS upheld a Michigan voter initiative that bans racial preferences in admissions to state universities.

“This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in a controlling opinion joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. “It is about who may resolve it. There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in this court’s precedents for the judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor read an impassioned dissent from the bench. She said the initiative put minorities to a burden not faced by other applicants to college.

“The Constitution does not protect racial minorities from political defeat,” she wrote. “But neither does it give the majority free rein to erect selective barriers against racial minorities.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined the dissent…

The vote in the case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, No. 12-682, was 6-2. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself, presumably because she had worked on the case as United States solicitor general.

The Michigan initiative, known as Proposal 2, was a response to Grutter v. Bollinger, a 2003 Supreme Court decision that upheld the use of race as one factor among many in law school admissions to ensure educational diversity.

 US Supreme Court Upholds Michigans Ban on Affirmative Action

Report: Domestic Violence Has Been Falling for Last 20 Years, Survivor Support Lags

domestic violence 350x234 Report: Domestic Violence Has Been Falling for Last 20 Years, Survivor Support Lags

Report: Domestic Violence Has Been Falling for Last 20 Years, Survivor Support Lags (Credit: Wikipedia)

The Bureau of Justice Statistics released a new analysis of domestic violence from 2003 to 2012 and found that the rates have fallen and has remained low.

Despite the recession, which early reports indicated would drive a rise in domestic violence incidents as families struggled financially, it did not have much of an effect at all.

“Serious violent victimization,” which includes rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assaults, spiked in 2006, but serious domestic violence incidents did not.

domestic violence 1 350x275 Report: Domestic Violence Has Been Falling for Last 20 Years, Survivor Support Lags

Bureau of Justice Statistics: Domestic Violence Has Fallen for Last 20 Years (Chart Credit: BJS)

Domestic violence advocates aren’t too thrilled about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ findings. They see a growing problem — a persistent gap in support for domestic violence survivors. Despite those rosy numbers from BJS, much more should be done for the survivors.

While the government started giving funds to law enforcement outreach and support for survivors through the Violence Against Women Act, as well as other programs, public awareness has led to victims being less likely to seek out support services.

Monica McLaughlin of the National Network to End Domestic Violence said, “As police response improves, as prosecution and court response improves, as medical response improves, referrals to domestic violence programs go up.”

She said the recession has had an impact on how many survivors seek help from the various services available to them. McLaughlin said “poverty is a co-conspirator of an abuser.” She added that federal funding for shelters and other services has remained flat throughout the recession and the result is a gap between requests for services and the ability to provide them.

 Report: Domestic Violence Has Been Falling for Last 20 Years, Survivor Support Lags

Report: Western Union, MoneyGram Charge Africans Twice as Much to Send Money Home

western union moneygram 350x188 Report: Western Union, MoneyGram Charge Africans Twice as Much to Send Money Home

Report: Western Union, MoneyGram Charge Africans Twice as Much to Send Money Home

A new report found that Western Union and Moneygram reportedly charge Africans working in the U.S. and Europe twice as much to wire money home than their Latin American and Southeast Asian counterparts.

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) found that transactions fees cost the region an estimated $1.8 billion annually. Western Union and MoneyGram account for two-thirds of remittances, or $586 million of the loss associated with fees, the report found.

Remittance fees have gone down for people sending money to Southeast Asia and Latin America, which is in keeping with G8 and G20 targets to reduce transactions costs, but the cost of sending money home to Africa has remained the same.

The remittances to Africa account for five percent of the continent’s GDP. Maria Quattri, one of the authors of the ODI report, told Al Jazeera that the “message of the report is the poorest people in the world, Africans, are paying the highest charges for remittance fees.”

Quattri calls for better regulation of money transfer service providers and banks. She blamed a lack of competition in the industry for the exorbitant fees.

She said, “We want to see greater transparency on charges, in particular charges on currency conversion fees.” She added that ODI has called on U.S. and British financial regulators to better assess transaction costs. She also called for international governments to promote the creation of more viable money transfer providers.

Read more at america.aljazeera.com

 Report: Western Union, MoneyGram Charge Africans Twice as Much to Send Money Home

287 Missing and 9 Dead, in South Korea Ferry Disaster

 

south korean ship 350x196 287 Missing and 9 Dead, in South Korea Ferry Disaster

287 Missing, 9 Dead, After Ferry Carrying South Korean Students Sink

Nine people were killed, 287 remain missing, after a ferry carrying mostly high school students sunk off the southern coast of South Korea on Wednesday. Officials say the death toll is expected to rise drastically, as dozens of rescue ships and aircraft continue searching for survivors.

The ferry was set to sail from Incheon Tuesday evening heading for Jeju, a popular tourist destination about located 12 hours away. The ferry sent a distress signal at about 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday morning,  after it began leaning to one side. The cause of the accident has not been determined.

NYPD Disbands Controversial Muslim Surveillance Unit After Widespread Outrage

nypd 350x262 NYPD Disbands Controversial Muslim Surveillance Unit After Widespread Outrage

NYPD Disbands Controversial Muslim Surveillance unit After Widespread Outrage (Credit: Wikipedia)

The New York Police Department has disbanded its controversial Muslim surveillance unit, the NY Times reports. Community activists accused the department of violating the civil rights of Muslims.

In a series of articles that began in August 2011, the AP documented that police had systematically spied on Muslim neighborhoods, listened in on sermons, infiltrated colleges and photographed law-abiding residents as part of a broad effort to watch communities where terror cells might operate. Individuals and groups were monitored even when there was no evidence they were linked to terrorism or crime.

The investigation revealed that then-police Commissioner Ray Kelly had brought in a CIA official to help develop an intelligence division unlike that of any other U.S. police department. It assigned people called rakers to ethnic neighborhoods, infiltrating enterprises ranging from booksellers to cafes, and people called mosque crawlers to Muslim houses of worship.

The tactics disclosed by the series stirred debate over whether the NYPD was infringing on the civil rights of Muslims and illegally engaging in religious and ethnic profiling. Hundreds of Muslims staged rallies to protest the spying, and the disclosures prompted more than a dozen religious leaders to boycott then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s annual interfaith breakfast. Source: NJ.com

 NYPD Disbands Controversial Muslim Surveillance Unit After Widespread Outrage

At Least 200 Girls Kidnapped in Attack on Nigerian School in Chibok

chibok nigeria 350x230 At Least 200 Girls Kidnapped in Attack on Nigerian School in Chibok

At Least 200 Girls Kidnapped in Attack on Nigerian School in Chibok (Attribution Unknown)

BBC News reports that scores of girls were abducted from a north-east Nigerian school their parents said.

The gunmen reportedly arrived at the school, located in Chibok, Borno state, late Monday night and ordered the teenage girls to board trucks.

At least 200 girls were abducted.

 

Terri LaManno ID’d as 3rd Victim in Overland Park Shootings by Frazier Glenn Cross

village shalom shooting 350x243 Terri LaManno IDd as 3rd Victim in Overland Park Shootings by Frazier Glenn Cross

Terri LaManno ID’d as 3rd Victim in Overland Park Shootings by Frazier Glenn Cross

Terri LaManno, 53, of Kansas City, Mo., has been identified as the third victim in the deadly shooting at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom. Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his grandson Reat Griffin Underwood were killed by the former Ku Klux Klan grand dragon, Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller.

Terri LaManno was visiting her mother, who was a resident at Village Shalom, when she was shot and killed. Cross has been charged with premeditated first degree murder and he will also be charged with hate crimes. He reportedly shouted “Heil Hitler” as he was being led away in a police car after the shooting.

 Terri LaManno IDd as 3rd Victim in Overland Park Shootings by Frazier Glenn Cross

White Supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller ID’d As Jewish Center Shooting Suspect

frazier glenn miller 350x251 White Supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller IDd As Jewish Center Shooting Suspect

SPLC: White Supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller ID’d As Jewish Center Shooting Suspect (Credit: SPLC)

The Southern Poverty Law Center identified the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and Village Shalom shooting suspect as ex-KKK grand dragon Frazier Glenn Miller (Frazier Glenn Cross), 73, of Aurora, Mo.  He was arrested for the murders of Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his grandson Reat Griffin Underwood, as well as an unidentified female. A 14-year-old boy is listed in critical condition.

Frazier Glenn Miller, 73, of Aurora, Mo., was arrested today for the murder of three people at two separate Jewish Community Centers in Overland Park, Kan. Miller, who was arrested using the alias Frazier Glenn Cross, has been in the movement nearly his entire life. Miller is the former “grand dragon” of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which he founded and ran in the 1980s before being sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for operating an illegal paramilitary organization and using intimidation tactics against African Americans. Source: SPLC

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office has released the booking report for Frazier Glenn Cross (Frazier Glenn Miller). He was charged with premeditated murder in the 1st degree and is being held at the . He is expected to make his first court appearance on Monday at 1:30 p.m., according to jail records.

 White Supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller IDd As Jewish Center Shooting Suspect

Dr. William Lewis Corporon, Reat Griffin Underwood Killed in Overland Park Shooting

overland park shooting suspect2 350x231 Dr. William Lewis Corporon, Reat Griffin Underwood Killed in Overland Park Shooting

Dr. William Lewis Corporan, Reat Griffin Underwood Killed in Overland Park Shooting (Suspect Pictured)

Two of the victims in the Kansas Jewish center shooting have been identified as Dr. William Lewis Corporon and his grandson Reat Griffin Underwood (Losen).  They were among three people killed by a man who opened fire at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and assisted living home Village Shalom. The suspect has been identified as white nationalist Frazier Glenn Miller (Frazier Glenn Cross), who is an ex-Ku Klux Klan grand dragon.

“It is with deep sadness that we confirm the tragic loss of Dr. William Lewis Corporon and Reat Griffin Underwood (Losen) who died as a result of the injuries they sustained in today’s shooting at the Jewish Community Center. Dr. Corporon was Reat’s Grandfather, whom he loved very much,” said a statement signed “Will Corporon, Son and Uncle.” Source: ABC News

WPTZ reports that the suspect is a 73-year-old man who is known to law enforcement, two federal law enforcement officials told CNN. Investigators also believe he is affiliated with white-supremacist groups and was involved in previous incidents, such as threats.

 Dr. William Lewis Corporon, Reat Griffin Underwood Killed in Overland Park Shooting

Sylvia Mathews Burwell to Replace Kathleen Sebelius as HHS Secretary

kathleen sebelius 350x234 Sylvia Mathews Burwell to Replace Kathleen Sebelius as  HHS Secretary

Sylvia Mathews Burwell to Replace Kathleen Sebelius as HHS Secretary (Credit: Wikipedia)

Another one bites the dust as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is throwing in the towel after a horrible Obamacare rollout.

The New York Times reports Sebelius “is resigning, ending a stormy five-year tenure marred by the disastrous rollout of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.”

President Obama has accepted Sebelius’ resignation and will nominate OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace her.

Wall Street Journal: “Mrs. Sebelius’s departure came after months of speculation that she would resign over the rocky implementation of the law, which included a wave of technical problems plaguing the HealthCare.gov website. Mrs. Sebelius had said earlier today in congressional testimony that the administration had turned a corner on health-insurance enrollments, with 7.5 million people picking plans through federal and state-run exchanges.”

 Sylvia Mathews Burwell to Replace Kathleen Sebelius as  HHS Secretary