The 5 Places Set to Legalise Recreational Cannabis in 2018

US (TalkingDrugs) – This year, at least five jurisdictions will be introducing or implementing legislation to legalise the use or sale of cannabis for recreational purposes. So far, Uruguay is the only country – and the only jurisdiction outside of North America – to have fully regulated a legal market for recreational cannabis. However, sub-national jurisdictions – namely several US states – have regulated the trade, including California, Colorado, and Alaska. This is despite the drug continuing to be illegal under federal law. In the US states that have legalised the drug,…

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Scientists Create Functioning Kidney Tissue

United Kingdom (Tasnim) – Scientists have successfully produced human kidney tissue within a living organism which is able to produce urine, a first for medical science. The study led by Professors Sue Kimber and Adrian Woolf from The University of Manchester, signifies a significant milestone in the development of treatment for kidney disease. The Medical Research Council and Kidney Research UK funded project is published in the journal Stem Cell Reports. Kidney glomeruli — constituent microscopic parts of the organ- were generated from human embryonic stem cells grown in plastic…

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South Texas judge dismisses fraud lawsuit over border fence project

Texas (TT) – A judge has dismissed a number of charges filed by a South Texas county against a former official accused of fraud in the construction of a $232 million border fence funded by the Department of Homeland Security. The ruling prompted Hidalgo County on Monday to withdraw all remaining legal actions against Godfrey Garza Jr., the former chief of its drainage district, who oversaw a project to improve the county’s levee system and build a fence to stop illegal immigration and drug smuggling. Judge Martin Chiuminatto of state district court…

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US: Census Bot Tweets Immigrants’ Profiles

(HRW) – Ongoing debates around US immigration policy should be squarely focused on the people whose rights and families are at stake, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released an automated Twitter bot, @ImmigrantsAreUS, which is tweeting out profiles of some of the nearly 25 million non-citizens living in the US, both authorized and unauthorized, based on their responses to US Census Bureau surveys. The bot tweets actual survey question responses from a random selection of non-citizens surveyed by the US Census Bureau between 2012 and 2016 in…

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America Dumps Its Fracking Waste in My Ohio Town

Ohio (OtherWords) — My southeastern Ohio town in the Appalachian foothills is a small, rural place where the demolition derby is a hot ticket, Walmart is the biggest store, and people in the surrounding villages must often drive for 30 minutes to grocery shop. We hold the unfortunate distinction of being the poorest county in the state: an area that is both stunning — with rolling hills, rocky cliffs, pastures, and ravines — and inaccessible, far from industry. It’s here, at the Hazel Ginsburg well, that fracking companies dump their waste. Trucks ship…

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Spanish Activist’s Trial in Morocco Is ‘a Way to Intimidate’ Human Rights Defenders

 Morocco (GV) – On January 31, Spanish human rights activist and researcher Helena Maleno is scheduled to appear in court for the second time in Morocco, accused of participating in a human trafficking network for her work helping migrants who find themselves adrift in the Mediterranean. Maleno is a member of the non-governmental organization Caminando Fronteras (Walking Through Borders), which supports groups of migrants mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa. The accusation against her is based on the calls she has made to Maritime Rescue, alerting them to the presence of dinghies at…

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Has Trump’s White House ‘resurrected’ Army of God anti-abortion extremists?

United States (OpenDemocracy) – Rising right-wing extremism in the United States appears to have breathed new life into militant Christian groups including the ‘Army of God’ (AOG) – a violent network which first rose to prominence in the early 1980s. Openly promoting the killing of abortion providers, it supports individuals jailed for the murders of healthcare workers, and it has been linked to a number of domestic terror attacks on targets across America. The organization’s de facto religious leader, Reverend Donald Spitz, spoke to 50.50 in a rare interview from his home in…

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Protect women’s rights, promote development in South Sudan

South Sudan (SSB) – Before I joined Makerere Law School in 2010, I used to view women like any other men. What comes to the minds of many men whenever they see women is sex. This objectification of women is the product of culture. Men are culturally oriented to look at women as sexual objects that are available for men to satisfy their lusts whenever they want. It is in relation to the above, majority of South Sudanese men and especially, men in cattle keeping communities do not see women as…

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Census Bot Tweets Immigrants’ Profiles

Washington, DC (HRW) – Ongoing debates around US immigration policy should be squarely focused on the people whose rights and families are at stake, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released an automated Twitter bot, @ImmigrantsAreUS, which is tweeting out profiles of some of the nearly 25 million non-citizens living in the US, both authorized and unauthorized, based on their responses to US Census Bureau surveys. The bot tweets actual survey question responses from a random selection of non-citizens surveyed by the US Census Bureau between 2012 and 2016 in its annual American…

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Women’s votes: six amazing facts from around the world

World (Conversation) – On February 6, 1918, British women – (well, the wealthy ones over 30) – were given the right to vote. And since the 1960s, women have been voting in British national elections at basically the same rate as men. But how is the rest of the world doing? Here’s a snapshot. 1. Ecuador: transgender friendly (at voting booths) In Ecuador, men and women vote separately. The country was in the headlines last year when it decided to allow transgender people to choose the male or female line,…

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