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Big Marijuana lobby fights legalization efforts

Big Marijuana lobby fights legalization efforts

“Medical marijuana is a billion-dollar industry — legal in 18 states, including California, Nevada, Oregon and Maine — and like any entrenched business, it’s fighting to keep what it has and shut competitors out. Dispensary owners, trade associations and groups representing the industry are deeply concerned — and in some cases actively fighting — ballot initiatives and legislation that could wreck their business model. That pits them against full legalization advocates, who have been hoping to play off wins at the ballot box last fall in Colorado and Washington state that installed among the most permissive pot laws in the world.” Continue reading

Wisconsin town to charge parents $114 fine if child accused of bullying

Wisconsin town to charge parents $114 fine if child accused of bullying

“Parents in Madison, Wisconsin suburb of Monona will soon face fines if their kids are the subject of repeat complaints about schoolyard bullying. The local ordinance, passed by Monona officials on May 20, provides for a $114 fine within 90 days after a written notice about their child’s behavior. The fine increases to $177 for each repeat instance within one year of the first violation. Officials told the paper that the ordinance was not taken up in response to any specific problem children. The ordinance appears to be the first of its kind anywhere in the nation. It also covers cyber bullying through social media and text messaging.” Continue reading

Calgary student, 13, reprimanded for defending his classmate against a knife-wielding bully

Calgary student, 13, reprimanded for defending his classmate against a knife-wielding bully

“He didn’t see the knife, but ‘I heard the flick, and I heard them say there was a knife.’ The rest was just instinct. Briar stepped up to defend his classmate, pushing the knife-wielding bully away. It wasn’t until fourth period everything went haywire. ‘I got called to the office and I wasn’t able to leave until the end of the day,’ he said. That’s when Leah O’Donnell, Briar’s mother, received a call from the vice-principal. Instead of getting a pat on the back for his bravery, Briar was made to feel as if he had done something terribly wrong. The police were called, the teen filed a statement and his locker was searched.” Continue reading

Rural Chinese children ‘left behind’ as parents join mass migration to the cities

Rural Chinese children ‘left behind’ as parents join mass migration to the cities

“For more than 20 years China’s government has encouraged the rural poor to move to cities as a way to boost growth and lift living standards. The country now has 263 million migrant workers, and new leaders who took office this year have renewed the drive to urbanise. But while city wages are higher, so are their costs of living, exacerbated by a ‘hukou’ residency system that bars Chinese from receiving benefits such as healthcare and schooling outside their registered hometown. Nearly half of left-behind children live with neither of their parents. Almost 70 percent of those stay with grandparents. A quarter have other guardians, and seven percent survive on their own.” Continue reading

Young Catholics flood Rio’s streets after Pope Francis speech

Young Catholics flood Rio’s streets after Pope Francis speech

“Heeding Pope Francis’ call to shake up the Church, hundreds of thousands of young Catholics marched across Rio on Saturday, singing, beating drums and chanting ‘this is the pope’s youth!’ They waved flags from around the world — Brazil, Australia, South Africa, the United States — and pitched tents on the crescent-shaped beach of Copacabana for an all-night vigil and final mass with the pope to cap World Youth Day festivities. Since his election in March, history’s first Latin American pope has sought to re-energize Catholics, using his Rio trip to urge young believers to spread the Gospel and ‘make a mess’ in their dioceses.” Continue reading

Pope Francis condemns ‘culture of individualism’ for economic inequality

Pope Francis condemns ‘culture of individualism’ for economic inequality

“On Thursday, the pontiff unleashed the most powerful and politically loaded rhetoric of his trip, attacking the ‘culture of selfishness and individualism’ and urging more efforts to fight hunger and poverty. The throngs were largely kept at bay by security barriers, but the pope kissed babies and shook hands with well-wishers. Police helicopters buzzed overheads, and police snipers watched the crowd from rooftops. He also gave a sharply worded condemnation of moves to legalise drug use during a visit on Wednesday to a rehabilitation centre in Brazil.” Continue reading

Holograms, bio-sensors will change how you shop: Intel

Holograms, bio-sensors will change how you shop: Intel

“Imagine buying a watch at home online using a hologram 3D display that allows you to ‘try’ it on. Or imagine having a nut allergy, going to the grocery store, and having which products to avoid highlighted. Technical innovation and falling costs mean holograms will likely be used by retailers in the next decade to personalize the shopping experience and create a virtual environment, said chip giant Intel’s futurist Brian David Johnson in an interview. Last month, MIT researchers released their findings in the journal Nature that showed how to build an optical chip that cost only about $10 and can produce color holographic-video displays.” Continue reading

British company turns human ashes into vinyl records

British company turns human ashes into vinyl records

“A company called ‘And Vinyly’ — rhymes with ‘And Finally’ — will now process your cremated remains into a 12-inch vinyl record that includes 24 minutes of the music of your choice. For a fee of about $4,600, decedents can will for their ashes to be included in the pressing of 30 vinyl records to be distributed to friends and loved ones. A person’s ashes are delivered to a pressing plant in London and added to raw vinyl. Then the vinyl is pressed into a 24-minute record, 12 minutes per side. Leach said that most people struggle not with the price — which is actually less than a traditional burial — but with what music or sounds they want to choose.” Continue reading