Legalizing assisted dying (but cannabis remains illegal)

New Zealanders recently voted to legalize euthanasia for the October general election ballot paper. The results are binding and the Act will come into effect 22 months from the final results on 6 November 2021. The vote makes New Zealand the seventh country in the world to legalize assisted dying. On the other hand, New …

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The cataclysm caused by the war on terror

When you read about desperate refugees crossing the English Channel in dinghies, do you ever ask yourself why these people left home in the first place? Few give it much thought. To most, migrants seem just a fact of life. But the reality is they’re “the thin edge of the wedge of a vast exodus” …

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The disgraceful execution of Lisa Montgomery

Lisa Montgomery was executed in Indiana last Wednesday morning, becoming the first woman to die under the federal death penalty in nearly seven decades. Her sentence was carried out after the Supreme Court lifted one stay and declined to grant another last-minute request for a delay from her attorneys. The court’s three liberals, Justices Stephen …

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What happened to all the tree-planting plans?

In January, the World Economic Forum, backed by US president Donald Trump, announced the One Trillion  Trees to plant or protect a trillion trees by 2030, bolstering the estimated 3 trillion that already exist. The scheme joins existing reforestation efforts such as the “Trillion Trees” project launched by conservation groups in 2017. “One Trillion Trees” …

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Where have we seen this before?

( I will not comment on the coup attempt itself-  it has had excellent coverage.  What interests me is the historical parallels) The last four years (and yesterday was culmination) has shown the underbelly of the nation, what happens when jobs are scarce and insecure, education is dreadful unless you have a lot of money, …

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Reining in the police

Since 2016, the District of Columbia has spent more than $40 million to settle police misconduct lawsuits, according to the records released by the Office of Attorney General .  The records did not include several other settlements for lawsuits which, the police department told the council, cost taxpayers $805,000. About $33 million detailed in the …

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Breakup of the “United” Kingdom

Scottish independence: a matter of time? Without rejuvenation, the Union will be gone within ten years. Brexit and Covid have combined to seal its fate. A recent Ipsos Mori poll found the highest ever level of support for independence, with 58% of Scots who have made up their mind saying they would vote Yes, and …

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Obscene wealth keeps rolling in

It was a Rand Corporation study showing that, between 1975 and 2018, the equivalent of $2.5 trillion (no, not “billion”!) was transferred annually from the bottom 90% of Americans to the top 1%. (In those years, even the 2% to 9%-ers essentially twiddled their financial thumbs.) Such a transfer of wealth, close to $50 trillion, …

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Militias and the law

The danger posed by America’s militia groups was brought home when the FBI revealed it had thwarted a plot by one to kidnap the Democratic governor of Michigan. These bands of armed vigilantes have become increasingly visible, staging protests and organising street patrols with the purported aim of protecting property. Alarmingly, they claim to have …

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How Covid has opened prison doors

America locks away far more people – about 2.1 million – than any other nation. But the pandemic could be what finally caused it to unwind its “signature practice of mass incarceration”. In the spring, the rapid spread of Covid-19 forced officials to take radical steps to reduce prison overcrowding. Inmates were released early; and …

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