A federal judge on Saturday temporarily blocked the implementation of an Arkansas law criminalizing librarians and booksellers who provide access to materials deemed “harmful to minors.”
U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks—an appointee of former President Barack Obama—issued a preliminary injunction against two sections of Act 372 (also known as S.B. 81), a censorship bill introduced by Arkansas state Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-20), passed by the Republican-controlled state Legislature, and signed into law by GOP Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in March.
“An industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people, provides billions in economic benefits, and promotes safer alternatives to pharmaceuticals and commonplace vices continues to be treated like a pariah,” said one cannabis entrepreneur.
Cannabis reform advocates on Friday said a new decision by credit card company Mastercard illustrates why the substance must be decriminalized at the federal level to ensure that legal U.S. dispensaries are able to operate safely and securely.
The company announced this week that it has instructed U.S. financial institutions to stop allowing customers to use its debit cards to purchase marijuana products at cannabis stores, which now operate legally in 38 states for medicinal use and 23 states for recreational use, as well as in the District of Columbia.
While conservative Justice Samuel Alito’s new Wall Street Journalinterview covered various topics, one that provoked intense ire on Friday was his suggestion that federal lawmakers don’t have the power to regulate the U.S. Supreme Court.
For a series of Journal opinion pieces—the first was published in April—Alito spent four hours speaking on the record with David B. Rivkin Jr., an attorney who currently has a case before the high court, and James Taranto, the newspaper’s editorial features editor.
“I’m proud to introduce this bill that will eliminate the need for workers to choose between fighting for fair working conditions and putting food on the table for their families,” said the Pennsylvania Democrat.
As multiple work stoppages continued across the United States, Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania on Thursday introduced legislation that would enable striking workers to qualify for federal food aid.
Called the Food Secure Strikers Act of 2023, Fetterman’s bill would amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to ensure that striking workers aren’t excluded from receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. In addition, the bill would preserve food stamp eligibility for public sector workers who are fired for striking and clarify that any income-eligible household is entitled to SNAP benefits even if a member of that household is on strike.
A buoy positioned roughly 40 miles south of Miami recorded a sea surface temperature of 101.1°F earlier this week, stunning scientists who say the reading could mark the latest in a string of global records as fossil fuel-driven extreme weather around the world brings unprecedented heat.
Meteorologist Jeff Masters wrote that the temperature in Florida’s Manatee Bay reached hot tub levels on Monday and “could be a world record.”
The pro-abortion rights movement in Ohio has gathered enough momentum to place a referendum on the ballot this coming November which could codify the right to abortion care in the state constitution—but advocates on Tuesday warned of a caveat which could make the amendment harder to pass unless rights advocates clear another hurdle next month.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Tuesday that petitioners calling for the measure to be included on the ballot on November 7 collected more than 495,000 signatures in support of their effort, far surpassing the required 413,446 signatures.
With the Tokyo Electric Power Company planning to begin a release of 1.3 million tonnes of treated wastewater from the former Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan next month, reports of radioactive fish in the area have raised alarm in recent years—and new reporting on Sunday revealed that the problem is far from mitigated, prompting questions about how dangerous the company’s plan will be for the public.
The plant operator, known as TEPCO, analyzed a black rockfish in May that was found to contain levels of radioactive cesium that were 180 times over Japan’s regulatory limit, The Guardianreported.
Privacy advocates renewed calls for swift congressional action to rein in warrantless spying on Americans following the Friday release of documents showing U.S. law enforcement’s further misuse of a powerful surveillance tool.
“These disturbing new revelations show how Section 702 surveillance, a spy program the government claims is focused on foreign adversaries, is routinely used against Americans, immigrants, and people who are not accused of any wrongdoing,” said Patrick Toomey, deputy director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, in a statement.
A UN summit on global food systems should be an opportunity to address structural inequalities and tackle hunger. It should be a chance to learn from small-scale producers whose sustainable food practices feed 70% of the world. Instead, next week’s conference in Rome will be a festival of greenwashing, allowing Big Agriculture corporations to tighten their grip on food systems.
This will be the second Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). The first, in 2021 was supposed to address the lack of progress towards the UN’s sustainable development goals. It was dubbed a “people’s summit” by the organisers, but caused an outcry among local producers when their calls to roll back the power of transnational corporations were cynically ignored.
Advocates for digital privacy rights and reproductive rights alike were outraged Thursday over the jail sentence of a 19-year-old in Nebraska who self-managed her abortion last year—a case which one campaigner said highlights how prosecutors will “stretch laws far beyond their intended scope” to penalize people who end or attempt to end their pregnancies in the post-Roe v. Wade legal landscape.
Self-managed abortion is only banned in two states—Nevada and South Carolina—but prosecutors charged Celeste Burgess with one felony and two misdemeanors last year, several months after she had a stillbirth at 29 weeks of pregnancy. Burgess, who was 17 at the time, had procured pills for a medication abortion shortly before the stillbirth, and had discussed the outcome of the pregnancy on Facebook Messenger with her mother, Jessica Burgess.