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In the news June 27th, 2008

US Supreme Court Says Go Ahead and Make My Day...

The Supreme Court has affirmed a decision the right to have guns for self-defense in the home. In a 5-4 decision overturning Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban is the biggest gun rights ruling since the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791.

The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Justice Antonin Scalia, the court's arch-conservative, wrote in the majority opinion.
"It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose," Scalia wrote.
"The ruling gives a constitutional green light to a wide range of gun restrictions." Scalia said the Court's decision "should not be taken to cast doubt" on many existing restrictions against gun possession, including handgun possession by felons and the mentally ill, possession in schools and government buildings and rules governing commercial arms sale.

At issue in the present case, District of Columbia (once the murder capitol of the US) v. Heller, was the city's ban prohibiting ownership of handguns that were unregistered as of 1976.

Justice John Paul Stevens called Scalia's argument "strained and unpersuasive." He also blistered the majority for its expansive reading of the Amendment's "ambiguous" text. "Until today, it has been understood that legislatures may regulate the civilian use and misuse of firearms so long as they do not interfere with the preservation of a well-regulated militia," Stevens wrote. "The Court's announcement of a new constitutional right to own and use firearms for private purposes upsets that settled understanding."

Up up and away....
Oil prices have climbed to a record above $141 a barrel in Asian trading thos morning. Asian investors have flocked to oil as a hedge against inflation.
Check out the rise in barrel prices over the past year. They have nearly doubled!

Millionaire 'slave' owner sentenced

A millionaire who inflicted years of abuse on two Indonesian housekeepers. The housekeepers were held as virtual slaves in her Long Island mansion. Justice was served now that the millionaire was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The victims testified that they were beaten with brooms and umbrellas, slashed with knives, and forced to climb stairs and take freezing showers as punishment. One victim was forced to eat dozens of chili peppers and then was forced to eat her own vomit when she couldn't keep the peppers down, prosecutors said.

The women, whose relatives in Indonesia were paid about $100 a month -- the women themselves received no cash -- said they were tortured and beaten for misdeeds that included sleeping late or stealing food from trash bins because they were poorly fed. Both women also said they were forced to sleep on mats in the kitchen.

Scientists say that The North Pole may be briefly ice-free by September

According to scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, it's all due to global warming melts away Arctic sea ice.


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