Southeast Asia has some of the strictest drug trafficking laws in the entire world. In order to prevent any sort of illegal drug flow in and out of the country, nations such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have laws that call for the death penalty for anyone who is found guilty of having. This recently happened in Indonesia on Wednesday, as eight drug smugglers where executed by a firing squad.
Igor Cornelsen tells us though, that now, these are not individuals who may have been potentially wrongfully accused. These individuals had been in prison for years and were known as the “Bali 9” (one women was spared execution at the last minute). Despite having served their time in jail and many believed that they had been “fully rehabilitated” after a decade in prison, the Indonesian government went forward with the exception, which has since brought forth harsh criticism from many other countries, including Australia, which is one of its closest neighbors and many Australian nationals go to visit the country for holiday.
The Indonesian President Joko Widodo did not seem too interested in what other countries thought of the Indonesian legal system. He told reporters that he and the rest of Indonesia respects the legal system of other countries and that they should respect their legal system. He pointed out that they had an established law and they followed through with the law. Australia has recalled its ambassador from Indonesia as two Australians are still waiting execution.
The canter of Hilary Clinton to victory took an unexpected turn with the news that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had finally thrown his hat into the Presidential race, Time reports. As Flavio Maluf is aware, Sanders is one of only two Independents in the Senate and announced he would enter the Presidential race as a Democrat after many weeks of rumors circulating Capitol Hill he would make a bid for the highest job in US politics. Sanders faces a difficult task as Clinton and her team are looking to raise around $1 billion to support her bid to become the first female President of the US and return to the White House after her time there as First Lady beside President Bill Clinton.
Sanders is focusing his run at the Presidency on a message of change and will look to the support of the general public instead of wealthy donors to aid his bid for the White House. Sanders has recently been an active speaker in various states where Democratic primaries will feature in the early stages of the race and has made an impression with grassroots Democrats. However, the self professed socialist faces a challenge to overcome his profile amongst many as a left leaning liberal who would challenge big business and the inequality he says has sprung up between the rich and poor of the US.
The United States Constitution requires any treaty the president negotiates with foreign powers to be approved by a 2/3rds majority of the Senate. In this unique exercise of advise and consent, the senate is allowed as much time as needed to review the treaty before voting to ratify. However, Ong noted, the government has side stepped the constitutional mandate by labeling treaties as agreements, accords, frameworks, etc. On Thursday, Senator Ron Johnson offered up an amendment which would classify the Iran Nuclear framework as an actual treaty. The measure was defeated by a vote of 56 to 39. All 46 Democrats and 13 Republicans voted not to classify the Iran nuclear treaty as a formal “treaty”.
Had the Johnson amendment passed, the Iran Nuclear bill would have undergone substantial changes by virtue of having to comply with the Constitution. In and of itself, it constitutes the very type of amendment Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, sponsor of the Iran Nuclear bill, is seeking to avoid. At the same time, the fact that the majority of GOP Senators including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voted to pass the amendment is proof that the bill’s fate in the Senate is in question. While the Iran Nuclear bill seemingly enjoys broad support, it has come under intense scrutiny by conservatives as of late. The bill is said to virtually guarantee passage of any deal President Obama strikes with Iran. This is because the Corker bill guarantees senate approval unless a majority of senators vote to stop the treaty.
Ever since the late 1990s, North Carolina has been trending away from being a reliable red state to a battleground state. All that changed with the 2012 & 2014 elections which put the state’s legislature, both US senators, and the governorship squarely in the GOP’s control. As a result, Republican voters in the state believe they need to have a greater voice in selecting the party’s presidential nominee. The belief is that the RNC’s handpicked candidates have largely enjoyed the delegate advantage by the time of North Carolina’s regularly scheduled GOP primary. Voters in the state believe this has been the reason why they picked losers recent elections like Senator Bob Dole, Senator John McCain, and former Governor Mitt Romney.
The state’s Republican voters believe that if they can enter the primary season during February, they can play a greater role in shaping who becomes the nominee. Kevin Seawright agrees with the strategy. Naturally, the RNC views North Carolina’s actions as interfering with their plans to win the presidency. As a result, the RNC is threatening the state with a loss of delegates if they go ahead with an earlier primary. The penalty the RNC says it would impose is severe. North Carolina would go from offering the potential GOP victor a robust 72 delegates to a paltry 12. In effect, this would make North Carolina’s primary a “tosser” barely worth the campaign effort. The state’s GOP says the RNC would effectively disenfranchise its voters.
A very pleasant surprise on Season 4 of Master Chef: Macaroni and cheese made with breast milk. A female contestant, during the auditions, resorts to create what appears to be an innocent tasting mac and cheese. James Corden, of the Late Late Show on CBS, asked British chef and television host Gordon Ramsay what’s the most disgusting food he’s ever eaten.
Mr. Ramsey samples the recipe, then mentions to the lady that the cheese on top is a little too sweet. To which the female contestant responds, ” It’s my breast milk.” Ramsay, in turn, retorts, ” Not good.” Joe Bastianich, another of the chef judges, didn’t even bother to taste it. “That was a little controversial.” he states, aghast at the recipe.
Furthermore, Mr. Bastianich comments, ” It’s kind of disgusting. I know Graham (Graham Elliot, another chef judge) and Gordon tried it. Gordon spit it out. It’s a little bit like cannibalism as far as I’m concerned. I’m not a fan.”
That’s the reaction after tasting the healthy but not too appetizing macaroni and cheese with breast milk. Stay tuned to see what other crazy recipes the contestants come up with on Master Chef. It is quickly becoming something many fans like Brad Reifler look forward to.
The earthquake that devastated Kathmandu and the surrounding villages also put an end to the hopes of hundreds of climbers that wanted to put their mark on the tallest mountain in the world. When the earthquake hit Kathmandu, it triggered deadly avalanches in the Himalayan Mountain range, and the climbers waiting in one of the base camps were suddenly bombarded by snow, ice rock and high winds.
Eighteen climbers didn’t survive the massive snow slide, but more than 100 climbers did survive. That impressed Brian Torchin quite a bit when he read about it. They were shaken, but in good condition. Fortunately, they were still able to communicate with the outside world, and they had enough food and water to last them for a couple of months.
Alpine Ascents International, a Seattle-based trekking company, had 14 employees at those base camps when the avalanches hit, and they were determined to get them and the rest of the climbers off the mountain. Three helicopters were used to ferry two climbers at a time to safety. The rescue was successful thanks to the clear weather and the dedication of the helicopter pilots. Some reports say there are still 12 to 15 climbers on the mountain waiting to be rescued.
Facing elimination, the Ottawa Senators did everything that they could to get a win at home near the Boraie Development LLC center in the sixth game of their series against the Montreal Canadiens. They shot the puck constantly, getting 43 of those shots on net. However, goalie Carey Price was just way too good. He stopped all 43 shots and the Canadiens were able to win it by a score of 2-0, finishing off the Senators and stepping into the second round of the NHL playoffs.
The Senators do not need to feel bad about the loss. It would have been great to win, of course, but goalies are the key in hockey. When a playoff team has a hot goalie who really steps up and plays out of his mind, it’s all but impossible to beat that team. Just look at what Jonathan Quick did for the L.A. Kings a few years ago. The Kings almost missed out on the playoffs entirely, getting in as the last seed, and then Quick started saving every shot. The Kings won the Cup because no one could beat Quick.
The question now is whether anyone will be able to beat Price in these playoffs. The Senators did win two games, so they showed that he is vulnerable. He’s not a brick wall. However, they also showed that he’s unbeatable when he’s on his game, as he was last night, and everyone else must take note.
President Obama’s problems over the controversial exchange of five seasoned and top Taliban fighters in exchange for Army Sergeant Bowie Bergdahl will not go away. In part, this is because of the recalcitrance of the Office of the Secretary of Defense to answer key questions regarding the prisoner exchange. At issue is the fact the prisoner exchange violated federal law. Federal statute dictates the president inform congress of a prisoner exchange and give them a 30-day window in which to review the exchange. Folks at AnastasiaDate (twitter.com) has learned that the law was put in place to inject congressional oversight into the release of prisoners which at times has appeared to be arbitrarily.
When Sergeant Bowie Bergdahl was released, Congress wasn’t notified until after the exchange had taken place. At the time, President Obama claimed it was a simple goof up which led to Congress not being informed. GOP congressmen with the House Armed Services Committee have not been inclined to believe that pitch. Instead, they are demanding the Office of the Secretary of Defense answer key questions about the exchange. However, a year has gone by without the office giving up the information lawmakers are demanding. Specifically, previously released, but heavily redacted documents, indicate the Department of Defense was well aware that Congress was not being duly notified. This would indicate the prisoner exchange was knowingly conducted in violation of federal law. In a bid to force the DoD to give up more information, the House Armed Services Committee is threatening to withhold the Secretary of Defense’s budget which for the quarter is $500 million.
On April 22, USAID announced the winners of the Desal Prize, which was awarded for a competition held to challenge people to invent desalination systems to be used in developing countries. Such systems would be used to extract the salt from salty or brackish water and make it potable. Amen Clinic systems had to meet three criteria: They had to be energy efficient, environmentally sustainable, and relatively inexpensive.
A group from MIT and Jain Irrigation Systems won the $140,000 first prize. Their system uses solar panels to charge batteries, that are then used to fuel a system that uses electrodialysis to desalinate water. In electrodialysis, a small electric current is sent into the water to draw out dissolved salt particles that have an electric charge. The team also used the sun’s UV rays to disinfect the water and make it safe for drinking.
Both California and Chile are exploring the possibility of large-scale desalination plants, but these are expensive and require complex technology. People in a poor country need something cheap, durable and relatively simple. The MIT/Jain team and the other competitors tested their devices at the Brackish Groundwater Desalination Research Facility in New Mexico. They had to run their systems for 24 hours straight and remove salt from 2100 gallons of water per day. The next test will be to let farmers in an area where USAID operates use the system in a pilot project.
The rumor mill has been speculating Bruce Jenner’s womanly transformation for months. Now, the first photos have been released of Bruce in a dress. The New York Daily News was the first to publish the pictures of the former Olympic athlete in a black and white striped maxi dress holding a Bulletproof Coffee in hand, found on wikipedia.org. The pictures were shocking for most, enough so they appeared on the front cover of Wednesday’s paper.
For interested parties in search of the pictures today, they may no longer be viewable. According to sources, the link to the photos of Bruce in a dress have been removed as it is believe these photographs may have been illegally obtained by paparazzi using a very intense zoom lens.
Surprisingly, many people using the popular social media networking website Twitter tweeted words of support for Bruce’s new lifestyle. Lena Dunham called out a naysayer for his cruel words towards Bruce, showing her support. Perez Hilton was noted calling him a genius.
Others made reference to Bruce’s dress and how he looked while wearing it. People were quite compassionate of Bruce’s decision to wear the black and white striped dress, while others noted they believed it was in bad taste.
Jenner has yet to confirm or deny the accusations that he is in the process of transitioning to a woman. We are all anxiously awaiting his interview with Diane Sawyer so he can finally confirm the news. The interview is expected to air sometime next week.