Apr 10 2014

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on Racial Profiling Rule Changes, Comcast-Time Warner Merger, and Utah and Oklahoma Challenges to Gay Marriage

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, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Civil rights groups are dismayed at the Justice Department’s draft rules on racial profiling. According to the New York Times, the new rules, which the FBI would have to comply with, “expand the definition of prohibited profiling to include not just race, but religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation. And they increase the standards that agents must meet before considering those factors. But they do not change the way the F.B.I. uses nationality to map neighborhoods, recruit informants, or look for foreign spies.” Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

The Senate Judiciary Committee questioned executives from Comcast and Time Warner yesterday over a proposed merger between the two telecom giants. The executives claim that the $45 billion merger would be good for customers but dozens of advocacy groups wrote in an open letter to the FCC, that a merged company would exercise “unthinkable gatekeeper power over our commercial, social and civic lives.” The final decision over the merger lies with the FCC and the Justice Department. Click here for a Common Dreams article about the story.

Federal judges are preparing to hear arguments in two cases of states wanting to preserve same-sex marriage bans. Utah and Oklahoma’s bans were both struck down by courts. Thousands of same-sex couples have already married in Utah. The US Supreme Court overturned California’s Proposition 8 marriage ban as well as the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year. Since then, no state-level marriage bans have remained intact. It remains to be seen if these appeals succeed. According to the Guardian, Utah’s lead counsel on the case has defended the ban saying same-sex marriage “could affect religious freedom, provoke civil strife and over time, may even result in a declining birth rate.” Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

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