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Roy Moore: Alabama top judge ousted over gay marriage stand. Image copyright AP Alabama's top judge has been suspended for the remainder of his term for defying federal court rulings that legalised same-sex marriage. Roy Moore, 69, violated judicial ethics with an order seen as directing probate judges to deny marriage licences to gay couples, a judicial panel ruled. The decision was a "politically motivated effort" by radical groups, he said. His lawyer has vowed to appeal. It is the second suspension for Mr Moore, an outspoken conservative. In 2003, he was removed for refusing to take down a monument of the Ten Commandments he installed at a state building. He was re-elected as chief justice of the state's Supreme Court in 2012. In Friday's decision, the nine-member Alabama Court of the Judiciary unanimously decided to suspend him for the remainder of his term without pay.

Testifying in his defence, Mr Moore said there was uncertainty after conflicting opinions on gay marriage from state and federal courts. Obama: Congress veto override of 9/11 lawsuits bill 'a ... BBC Radio 4 - Letter from America by Alistair Cooke - American institutions explained. DIVIDED WE CONQUER: WHY DIVIDED GOVERNMENT IS PREFERABLE TO UNIFIED CONTROL - International Social Science Review. The question of whether divided government in the United States is good or bad cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. While decision-making under such circumstances is far from perfect, shared power gets a decidedly bad rap. Criticisms leveled against divided government include problems arising from so-called "gridlock," the fear that it leads to highly contentious executive-legislative relations, and the difficulty it may cause the president in making administrative and judicial appointments. On the flip side, one can argue that divided government limits the size and scope of government and fosters healthy competition between presidents and Congress that produces quality legislation.

Perhaps the most common criticism leveled against divided government is that it produces gridlock. The level of gridlock stemming from divided government can be determined by examining "the share of salient issues on the nation's agenda left in limbo at the close of each Congress.'" 1 Sarah A. The Constitution Is Outdated; Let's Change It. I got around to watching 12 Years A Slave, the award-winning film about our founding fathers.

In one scene, a sadistic slave owner named Thomas Jefferson strips and ties up his black female slave, played by Lupita Nyong’o. Then Jefferson brutally whips the young girl until she’s left unconscious in a pool of blood. In an earlier scene, a young George Washington apathetically purchases a hysterical woman as her frightened children, about to be separated forever, are ripped from her arms. Later in the movie, Jefferson, while shitting in a hole in the backyard, writes a vague set of laws on parchment made from endangered rhino hide and says, “This should pretty much cover the next 250 years.” No? You mean that wasn’t supposed to be Thomas Jefferson? For years, society ignored the founding fathers’ association with slavery. I’ve been told, “But George Washington freed his slaves after he died.” I’ve been told, “Slavery was horrible.

Things change. Our political system no longer works. How racial segregation and political mismanagement led to Flint’s shocking wa... The Flint River, near downtown Flint, Mich. (Paul Sancya/AP) As much of the country knows by now, the water supply in Flint, Mich., is badly contaminated with lead. The water has poisoned an entire city and has probably irreparably damaged a significant share of Flint’s children. And it could have been prevented. This is a story of political failure. A little history of urban water Campaign 2016 Email Updates Get the best analysis of the presidential race.

You’ve signed up for email updates on this story. Please provide a valid email address. Flint’s is not the first case of harm caused by a municipal water supply. Worse, some cities dumped unfiltered waste upstream of their water intake. Over the next 40 years, water filtration and sewage treatment led to dramatic health improvements, all but eliminating death by typhoid, cholera and diarrhea. [Do public goods have to be public? All of that varies by neighborhood, city and state, a result of our federal system. Who’s in charge? A Point of View: The all-American drive to legalise marijuana. Image copyright Getty Images The gradual legalisation of cannabis across US states is a triumph for the American Dream, says Sarah Dunant.

I've recently returned from the west coast of Canada, where a fiery gold autumn was the perfect backdrop for an outpouring of national optimism after the Canadians elected the 43-year-old Liberal leader Justin Trudeau as their prime minster. Greeting voters on the subway next morning, trick-or-treating with his children - the arrival of this dynamic newcomer, sprinkled with dynastic fairy dust, ended almost a decade of Conservative government during which Canada suffered something of an identity crisis. For a country that successfully defined itself as not being the United States, his predecessor's policies on tax, foreign affairs and the environment severely blurred that distinction. As one Vancouverite put it: "I used to make a point of saying I was Canadian, not American, when I travelled. First happiness. Risks associated with cannabis. On guns and race, America is a nation shackled to its past | Jonathan Freedland.

Jon Stewart and Barack Obama are men of a similar age with, on some days, a similar role. Sometimes it falls to both of them to help their fellow Americans digest what’s happening around them, to make sense of it. Yesterday it was the murder by a white supremacist of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina. The TV host did something unusual, dispensing with his usual gag-packed opening to deliver a joke-free monologue. Obama, by contrast, did something that has become all too usual, delivering what is now a rhetorical genre of its own: the presidential post-massacre speech. “I’ve had to make statements like this too many times,” he said.

By one count, it was the 14th time he had had to speak in such a way after such a mass shooting. Stewart’s emphasis was on America’s enduring struggle over race. Stewart said Americans had been forced to peer into a “gaping racial wound that will not heal”. The result is paralysis and a desperate fatalism. Nebraska legislature narrowly votes to repeal​ death penalty | US news. The Nebraska legislature narrowly voted on Wednesday to repeal the death penalty, overriding the governor’s veto and making the state the first majority Republican state to abolish capital punishment in more than four decades.

The state has a unicameral legislature in which all bills must be voted on three times. The bill to abolish the death penalty passed all three rounds, 30-16, 30-13, and finally 32-15 in its third vote. The governor vetoed the bill on Tuesday. Legislators needed 30 votes to override the veto, and it earned 30. “In many respects, what has happened in Nebraska is a microcosm of the steady national trend away from the death penalty in the United States,” said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia now ban the death penalty, and Nebraska becomes “the first predominantly Republican state to abolish the death penalty since North Dakota abolished the death penalty in 1973,” he said. Boston bombing trial: Death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - BBC News. A US jury has sentenced Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death by lethal injection. Three people were killed and 260 were injured when Tsarnaev, now 21, and his brother placed bombs at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon in 2013. Tsarnaev is likely to be moved to a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, to await execution, but there could be years of appeals. Victims sobbed as the sentence was read, but Tsarnaev showed no emotion. "Now he will go away and we will be able to move on. Justice. In his own words, 'an eye for an eye'," said bombing victim Sydney Corcoran, who nearly bled to death and whose mother lost both legs.

After 14 hours of deliberations, the jury concluded that he showed no remorse and therefore should be put to death. "The jury has spoken. Tsarnaev was found guilty last month of helping carry out the attack, as well as fatally shooting a policeman. Tara McKelvey, BBC News, Boston Tsarnaev stood next to his lawyer. Lawyers also highlighted his difficult early life. Shaker Aamer: Last UK Guantanamo Bay detainee arrives in UK - BBC News. The last British resident to be held in Guantanamo Bay has landed in the UK, having been detained for 13 years. Shaker Aamer was held at the US military base in Cuba over allegations he had led a Taliban unit and had met Osama Bin Laden, but was never charged.

Downing Street said there were "no plans" to detain him after his arrival. Mr Aamer said he felt "obliged" to everyone who fought for him to be released, and to "bring an end to Guantanamo". "My thanks go to Allah first, second to my wife, my family, to my kids and then to my lawyers who did everything they could to carry the word to the world," he said. "I am overwhelmed by what people have done by their actions, their thoughts and their prayers, and without their devotion to justice I would not be here in Britain now. " Concern has been raised over the health of the Saudi national, 48, whose family live in London, and the BBC witnessed an ambulance arrive at the airport.

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