Ryan Ferguson, a 29-year-old Missouri man, was freed from prison last month after having spent nearly a decade in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. He had originally been sentenced to serve 40 years. A number of witnesses who originally testified against Ferguson have since withdrawn their testimonies, and a lengthy campaign to free Ferguson now leaves police back at square one looking for new leads in a murder case that is now unresolved. Police Chief Ken Burton said, “The Department is reviewing the options internally as to how or whether to proceed with additional investigation and/or a review of the case.”
Ryan Ferguson is now free after spending a decade in prison for murder.
Ferguson was arrested in 2001 for the murder of Kent Heitholt, the sports editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Heitholt had been shot in his car at a gas station in the early hours of the morning.
Almost 48 million people in the richest country on Earth are hungry. And the most vulnerable, those receiving food stamps, got even hungrier on November 1st when the program—now called SNAP—was cut by $5 billion nationwide, or about 5.5%.
On November 1, the U.S. food stamp program was cut by $5 billion nationwide.
Over 91% of people who receive food stamps in the US live below the poverty line, and the average food stamp allocation for these people now stands at $1.41 per meal following the cuts. But Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, and like-minded policymakers believe that cuts should go deeper yet for these people.
On November 22, 1963, exactly fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy was gunned down while parading through Dallas, Texas. The official story, according to the 1963-1964 Warren Commission investigation, is that Lee Harvey Oswald killed the president using a sniper rifle from a sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository, acting alone. He was arrested just over an hour after the assassination, hiding out in the Texas Theatre. Two days later, a local nightclub owner, Jack Ruby, shot and killed Oswald as he was being escorted by the police to the Dallas County jail. Ruby was sentenced to death and died of a heart attack while awaiting a retrial.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
While many thought this official story sounded fishy from the moment it occurred, later investigations cast a much more questionable light on this chain of events. In 1976, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was formed to investigate the murders of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. In their final report, the committee concluded that his assassination was very likely the result of a conspiracy.
In the United States, minimum wage laws are a widely debated topic. Advocates of change argue that the minimum wage is too low to meet people’s needs, while others suggest that raising the rate would be detrimental, rather than helpful. Below is a discussion of this controversial issue featuring factual arguments from both sides.
Fast food workers protest for higher minimum wages.
A strong argument in favor of an increased minimum wage points to the historical progress of business in the United States. As businesses began enjoying increased financial productivity, every year worker’s wages remained stagnant. Senator Elizabeth Warren noted that the minimum wage would now be nearly $22 had it kept pace with productivity as cited in the International Business Times.
It is this disparity that angers many proponents of a higher minimum wage. While businesses are enjoying heightened productivity, the workers who carry out the production are not paid accordingly. The extra profits from this productivity have gone toward making the rich richer, instead of rewarding those responsible for the work.
The world of espionage has been turned on its head a bit by Edward Snowden and his startling revelations. The Obama Administration and most in the government consider him an extraordinary criminal who took treasonous actions against the interests of the United States. Others think him a hero, who took on an out-of-control NSA and outed the agency.
Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor? Many Americans are divided on this very controversial issue.
Figuring Out Who Supports Snowden
In the past, the lines of separation on Snowden could have been drawn more along party lines. In the current political climate, wherein some on the right are more afraid of seeming to agree with the president than speak to their beliefs, it’s more muddled. Mr. Obama has struggles of his own. The progressive base isn’t on board with what appears to be very ham-handed overreach that rakes in mountains of useless information. Outside of the left and right, there are plenty of people who aren’t sure what to make of what Snowden did. While outspoken support for Snowden can found in libertarian and anarchist groups, the majority of people view him as anti-American.
It’s no secret that there have been some pretty stark differences between the Democrats and the Republicans for quite a while now, which has divided and polarized people throughout the country. In some states, in particular those with a Democratic majority, these differences are more visible than in others. There is huge discontent among Republicans living in Democratic-controlled states, who feel that they are not represented well enough. They are having difficulties accepting a series of new laws, regulations and taxes enforced by the Democrats, with the most troubling issues being related to gun control, abortion, and immigration.
Due to severe political polarization in the U.S., many counties and states are now moving towards secession.
Conservatives who live in predominantly Democratic states believe that the solution to their grievances is seceding and forming their own states. The idea of secession in the United States has been around for a long time, but it has mostly been expressed through states wanting to secede from the country, whereas now, there are counties who want to break off from their states.
Ever since the first revelations of massive NSA surveillance against U.S. citizens, foreign citizens, companies, governments and even several dozen world leaders were first revealed in June 2013 and the months that followed, the tech and digital security worlds have been in an uproar.
Recent revelations about NSA surveillance are changing how digital security works worldwide.
What had for years been dismissed as paranoid conspiracy theorizing was soon revealed to be completely factual, thanks to documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden and made public with the help of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and other publications such as the Washington Post and NY Times.
From actor and musician to the face of revolution, Russell Brand isn’t the first celebrity to jump into politics, but he may be the most extreme. His rants about utopian revolution seem to be getting a lot of attention these days, leading us to ask – should Russell Brand be taken seriously as a political forerunner? Or should his rants be written off as the crazy thoughts of a celebrity whose shaggy locks and chest hair are part of his signature look?
Comedia Russell Brand discusses his controversial political views with BBC Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman.
Brand seemingly jumped headfirst into the political arena after the publishing of his 2007 memoir, My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand Up. Since then, he’s published more polished pieces about encounters with icons such as Margaret Thatcher and appeared on political talk shows such as The Morning Joe, where he requested that the hosts take his ideas seriously despite his unruly physical appearance and his unusual tendency to wear outrageous jewelry.
This past summer, you probably heard about the filibuster led by Texas Democratic Senator Wendy Davis, who stood on the floor for 11 hours to try and stop a controversial Texas anti-choice bill called SB5.
Texas Senator Wendy Davis stood on the floor for 11 hours in a filibuster to stop the state’s controversial new abortion law.
What makes a Texas Senator stand for 11 hours to try and stop a bill becoming law? Senate Bill 5 (or SB5), which was temporarily stopped by Senator Davis’s filibuster and others opposing the anti-choice bill in June, eventually became the Texas law HB2 in a subsequent special session called by Republican Governor Rick Perry. A provision in this law requires clinics that perform abortions to obtain something called “admitting privileges” at local hospitals that have surgical facilities, and also requires doctors to adhere to what critics call a questionable and outdated protocol for giving patients the abortion pill. There are also provisions requiring changes as to what women must undergo leading up to the procedure.
The national immigration reform debate seems to have phased out for the time being, with the government shutdown and near default on the nation’s debt in October dominating headlines and Congress members’ agendas.
Demonstrators gather in Chicago to protest the nation’s immigration laws.
Comprehensive immigration reform, however, remains a top priority to both President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, as well as a number of Republican members of Congress. Those who favor reform argue that the economic benefits of immigration reform alone outweigh the arguments of those who oppose reform based on a belief that providing a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants is equivalent to providing amnesty for those who crossed the border illegally.
So where does the debate stand?