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The Daily Beat is a daily news podcast inspired by the power of social media to spark social change. Tune in Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. as BTR’s social media director, DJ Jen, culls the “Twitterverse” and “blogosphere” to bring you the top stories regarding social justice and human rights issues.
Not to mention, we’ll also feature some of BTR’s top tracks.
Don’t miss a beat!
Today Think Progress published an article titled “36 Senators Introduce Bill Prohibiting Virtually Any New Law Helping Workers.”
The article’s author Ian Millhiser writes:
More than three-quarters of the Senate Republican caucus signed onto legislation introduced Wednesday by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rand Paul (R-KY) that could render it virtually impossible for Congress to enact any legislation intended to improve working conditions or otherwise regulate the workplace. Had their bill been in effect during the Twentieth Century, for example, there would likely be no nationwide minimum wage, no national ban on workplace discrimination, no national labor law and no overtime in most industries.
Like many Tea Party proposals to neuter the federal government, Coburn and Paul’s bill is marketed as an effort to bring America back in line with a long-ago discarded vision of the Constitution. It’s named the “Enumerated Powers Act of 2013,” a reference to the provisions of the Constitution outlining Congress’ specific powers, and it claims to require all federal legislation to “’contain a concise explanation of the specific authority in the Constitution’ that is the basis for its enactment.”
Think Progress also published an article today titled “Plan B Finally Hit Pharmacy Shelves This Week.”
The article’s author Tara Culp-Ressler writes:
Women’s health advocates have fought for over-the-counter access to emergency contraception for more than a decade, and their efforts were finally realized this week. Thursday, August 1 marked the day that pharmacies and grocery stories across the country were supposed to begin stocking Plan B on their shelves, available for purchase without a prescription.
The “Healthcare In Our Hands” campaign is celebrating by encouraging Americans to submit photos of Plan B on pharmacy shelves. On the campaign’s Tumblr page, the photos from states around the country are accompanied by captions like, “Thumbs up for emergency contraception over the counter, and increased access!”
Today The Raw Story published an article titled “Climate change linked to violent behavior.”
The article’s author Fiona Harvey writes:
Bring on the cool weather – climate change is predicted to cause extreme weather, more intense storms, more frequent floods and droughts, but could it also cause us to be more violent with one another?
A new study from scientists in the US controversially draws a link between increased rates of domestic violence, assault and other violent crimes and a warming climate.
That conflict could be a major result of global warming has long been accepted. As climate change makes vulnerable parts of the world more susceptible to weather-related problems, people move from an afflicted region to neighbouring areas, bringing them into conflict with the existing populations. That pattern has been evident around the world, and experts have even posited that conflicts such as Darfur should be regarded as climate related.
Today AFP published an article titled “Kerry predicts end of US drone strikes in Pakistan.”
The article reads:
Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that US drone strikes in Pakistan could end “very soon”, in unusually outspoken remarks welcomed in Islamabad but immediately downplayed by American aides.
It is the first time such a senior member of the US administration has indicated there could be a definitive end to the programme, which the CIA has in the past called an effective counter-terrorism weapon.
AFP also published an article titled “Mugabe party wins two-thirds majority in parliament: tally.”
The article reads:
President Robert Mugabe’s party has won at least a two thirds majority in parliament, enough to amend the country’s constitution, according to a tally of official results Friday.
With over 180 seats declared by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Mugabe’s ZANU-PF had won 142 seats in the 210-member chamber.
Today The Daily Star published an article titled “DR Congo protesters stone U.N. peacekeepers convoy.”
The article reads:
Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters who hurled stones at a U.N. peacekeepers’ convoy in the volatile east of the Democratic Republic of Congo Friday, one of several small demonstrations demanding an extension of the security zone.
Local residents targeted the U.N. convoy near the airport in the provincial capital Goma, forcing the closing of shops in the area after the police intervention, a local leader Jean-Mobert N’senga said.
Today Reuters published an article titled “U.N. rights chief calls for investigation into Syria massacre.”
The article reads:
U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Friday she wanted an independent investigation into an apparent massacre carried out by Syrian opposition forces in the town of Khan al-Assal.
“Based on the analysis by my team to date, we believe armed opposition groups in one incident – documented by a video – executed at least 30 individuals, the majority of whom appeared to be soldiers,” she said in a statement issued by her office.
Syrian state media have accused insurgents of killing 123 people, mainly civilians, during a rebel offensive in Aleppo province late last month.
IN OTHER NEWS
Today The Raw Story published an article titled “Arkansas attorney general blocks plan to arm teachers.”
The article’s author David Ferguson writes:
The attorney general of Arkansas has forbidden the state’s school districts from taking advantage of a little-known law that would arm teachers as de facto security guards who carry guns on campus. According to the Associated Press, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) ruled that the teachers have not been adequately trained or certified to work as armed security personnel and would therefore pose a safety threat to students.
Today The Associated Press published an article titled “Interest grows in New Zealand’s designer drug law.”
The article’s author Nick Perry writes:
A novel New Zealand law that could legalize some designer drugs is being scrutinized with interest by other countries struggling to keep up with the proliferation of “party pills” and similar products.
The law, enacted two weeks ago, represents a U-turn from the traditional approach of banning synthetic drugs. Instead, New Zealand will attempt to regulate them, allowing their sale if they go through rigorous safety testing similar to that for pharmaceuticals. Giving users a high wouldn’t be a reason to ban them, a government health official said, though they would need to come with warnings, such as not driving while under their influence.
The Associated Press also published an article today titled “Miss. law requires cord blood from some teen moms.”
The article’s author Emily Wagster Pettus writes:
If a girl younger than 16 gives birth and won’t name the father, a new Mississippi law — likely the first of its kind in the country — says authorities must collect umbilical cord blood and run DNA tests to prove paternity as a step toward prosecuting statutory rape cases.
Supporters say the law is intended to chip away at Mississippi’s teen pregnancy rate, which has long been one of the highest in the nation. But critics say that though the procedure is painless, it invades the medical privacy of the mother, father and baby. And questions abound: At roughly $1,000 a pop, who will pay for the DNA tests in the country’s poorest state? Even after test results arrive, can prosecutors compel a potential father to submit his own DNA and possibly implicate himself in a crime? How long will the state keep the DNA on file?
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant says the DNA tests could lead to prosecution of grown men who have sex with underage girls.
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