Dec 12 2013

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on India’s Gay Sex Ban, Michigan “Rape Insurance” Bill, FDA Phase Out of Antibiotics, and Rich Teen Afflicted with Affluenza Gets Away with Murder

Uprising’s guest expert Arun Gupta, Independent Journalist and regular contributor to the Guardian, In These Times, The Progressive, and Truthout, and co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal and the Indypendent.

The UN Commissioner on Human Rights has asked the government of India to reconsider its reinstatement of a ban on gay sex. The ban was overturned four years ago and its reinstatement this week has been denounced by human rights and LGBT activists in India and around the world. The ban comes at the same time that India has attempted to strengthen laws criminalizing sexual assaults in the wake of many high-profile cases of heterosexual rapes of women. The UN Commissioner Navi Pillai said in a statement, “Criminalizing private, consensual same-sex sexual conduct violates the rights to privacy and to non-discrimination enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which India has ratified.” Click here for a Guardian article about the story.

Meanwhile here in the US, state lawmakers in Michigan passed a bill requiring women who may want an abortion because of pregnancy by rape or incest to have purchased a separate “abortion rider” ahead of time as part of their health insurance plans. The “Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act” has been deemed a “rape insurance” plan by critics. Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer called it “a special interest group’s perverted dream come true.” She also said, “This tells women who were raped … that they should have thought ahead and planned for it.” Click here for a Huffington Post article about the story.

For people attempting to eat healthy, knowing that conventionally raised cattle are pumped with unhealthy antibiotics that impact human health is a basic assumption. But the US Food and Drug Administration, has only just decided to do something about the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animal farming. The FDA yesterday announced a plan to phase out use of the drugs on animals in response to the growing human resistance to antibiotics. Some critics say the new policy has so many loopholes that it will likely have little impact. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

There is growing outrage over a court decision in North Texas earlier this week that sentenced an extremely rich white teenage boy to 10 years of probation even though he killed 4 people while driving drunk. The 16 year old boy’s defense argued that his extreme wealth led to psychological problems. The boy’s parents plan to send him to a rehabilitation center in Newport Beach, California, costing $450,000 a year. The sentence stunned victims’ families. Click here for an ABC News article about the story.

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