Friday, June 26, 2015
Richard Matt, one of the convicted murderers who staged an elaborate escape from New York’s largest prison nearly three weeks ago, was shot and killed on Friday by federal agents, two people with knowledge of the situation said.
There was a report of a second episode of gunfire as law enforcement officers pursued David Sweat, the other inmate, according to the two people. Mr. Sweat’s fate was unclear.
The shots were reported as law enforcement officers zeroed in on an area of remote terrain in Franklin County, near where investigators discovered evidence in two hunting cabins that indicated the missing inmates had been there.
It marked a violent turn in a sprawling manhunt that began in Dannemora, N.Y., a village near the Canadian border, and soon spread to large swaths of the state after Mr. Sweat and Mr. Matt engineered a daring breakout from Clinton Correctional Facility.
The escape set off a statewide search on foot and by air, with hundreds of officers marching in tight formations through dense woods and checking on more than 2,000 tips.
WASHINGTON — In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the 5 to 4 decision. He was joined by the court’s four more liberal justices.
The decision, the culmination of decades of litigation and activism, came against the backdrop of fast-moving changes in public opinion, with polls indicating that most Americans now approve of same-sex marriage.
Justice Kennedy said gay and lesbian couples had a fundamental right to marry.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” he wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
“It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage,” Justice Kennedy said of the couples challenging state bans on same-sex marriage. “Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., in a dissent joined by Justice Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, said the Constitution had nothing to say on the subject.
“If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
In a second dissent, Justice Scalia mocked Justice Kennedy’s soaring language.
“The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic,” Justice Scalia wrote of his colleague’s work. “Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent.”
As Justice Kennedy finished announcing his opinion, several attendees seated in the bar section of the court’s gallery wiped away tears, while others grinned and exchanged embraces.
Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired in 2010, was on hand for the decision and many of the justices’ clerks took seats in the chamber, which was nearly full as the ruling was announced.
As in earlier civil rights cases, the Supreme Court had moved cautiously and methodically, laying careful judicial groundwork for a trans-formative decision.
As late as October, the justices ducked the issue, refusing to hear appeals from rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states. That decision delivered a tacit victory for gay rights, immediately expanding the number of states with same-sex marriage to 24, along with the District of Columbia, up from 19.
Largely as a consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision not to act, the number of states allowing same-sex marriage has since grown to 36, and more than 70 percent of Americans live in places where gay couples can marry.
The court did not agree to resolve the issue for the rest of the nation until January, in cases filed by gay and lesbian couples in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The court heard extended arguments in April, and the justices seemed sharply divided over what the Constitution has to say about same-sex marriage.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs said their clients had a fundamental right to marry and to equal protection, adding that the bans they challenged demeaned their dignity, imposed countless practical difficulties and inflicted particular harm on their children.
The Obama administration, which had gradually come to embrace the cause of same-sex marriage, was unequivocal in urging the justices to rule for the plaintiffs.
Article courtesy of NY Times online.
Rapper Rick Ross was arrested Wednesday in Georgia on charges of kidnapping, aggravated battery and aggravated assault, authorities said.
Ross, 39, whose real name is William Leonard Roberts, was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the Fayette County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
Allegedly, he was charged in connection with an assault at a Fayette County residence that deputies started investigating June 7, the statement said. Ross is listed as a resident of the county, which is south of Atlanta.
Ross' representatives have not responded to a request for comment, and the sheriff's statement did not give any details about the alleged assault or the alleged victim.
Previously, Ross was arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession on June 10 after Fayette County deputies stopped his vehicle because of a possible a window tint violation.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Tami Roman, most famous for her appearance in MTV Real World, and most infamous for marrying a sports star Kenny Anderson, to then be divorced and forced to receive welfare benefits, has announced she is pregnant. On a guest appearance on Love and Hip Hop's After Party Live, Tami announced "I am 6 weeks pregnant". Aside from running a virgin hair company (like every body else and their mama #NoShade) Tami has also appeared on Basketball Wives of LA, and most recently on Marriage Boot Camp, along with the likes on Kendra Wilkinson among others. She's known for her fiesty, IN YO FACE attitude. Tami has 2 other children from her previous marriage. Congrats and best of luck Tami!
Monday, June 22, 2015
Taylor Swift is not here for the "Music Industry Politics". The young Pop Star took to her website to write an open letter to Apple Inc. about the new music streaming service, Apple Music, that had initially planned on NOT paying royalties to artist, writers and musicians for 3 months of streaming their work, while offering this free trial period to customers. Here's what Taylor had to say...
"I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music. I feel this deserves an explanation because Apple has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans. I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries.
I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.
This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.
These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much. We simply do not respect this particular call.
I realize that Apple is working towards a goal of paid streaming. I think that is beautiful progress. We know how astronomically successful Apple has been and we know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period… even if it is free for the fans trying it out.
Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. I hope that soon I can join
them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music. I think this could be the platform that gets it right.
But I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.