A bill meant to ban abortions after 20 weeks after fertilization will likely be voted on in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives on Thursday, which is the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade and also the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Known as the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," the bill was introduced not long after the new session of Congress opened with Republicans controlling both houses.
Rep. Ted Franks, R-Ariz., and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., sponsored the bill, which is similar to a bill passed by the House last year that stalled in the then Democrat controlled Senate. more >>
A petition posted on the White House website "We the People" calls for help in banning the practice of conversion therapy, also called reparative therapy, for homosexuals and transgendered individuals.
Posted Jan. 3, as of Tuesday morning the petition has garnered over 62,000 signatures in support of a national ban on therapies focused on changing an individual's sexual orientation or reversing transgender identity.
The petition is titled "Enact Leelah's Law to ban all LGBTQ+ conversion therapy," after a transgendered teen who called himself Leelah committed suicide in December after undergoing therapy. more >>
President Barack Obama is set to visit Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, the hometown of pastor Saeed Abedini, who's serving eight years in prison in Iran for his faith. Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, has pleaded with Obama to meet with her so that she can ask him for her husband's release.
"My heart leapt with hope when I heard that you would be visiting my hometown of Boise, Idaho. Since the Iranian government took my husband, Saeed Abedini, almost three years ago, I have been praying and wanting to meet with you," Naghmeh Abedini wrote in a letter ahead of Obama's visit.
"With each of my travels to Washington D.C. I hoped that I would get a call, or an invitation to see you and to speak with you. To have you look into my eyes and see the piercing pain that has been there since my husband's imprisonment; to see my kids and to know that they have missed the warm embrace of their dad for nearly three years." more >>
Dear French personnes,
I've been deep in thought while drinking a Double Ristretto Venti Half-Soy Nonfat Organic Chocolate Brownie Iced Vanilla Double-Shot Gingerbread Frappuccino at Starbucks, and feel like I owe an apology to you people for ditching France last Sunday. I realize over 40 world leaders and as many as three million people walked in the France Unity March to show solidarity against the fatal terrorist attacks on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. As you know, I'm the most powerful man in the world, and up until the country started to go downhill under my administration, the U.S. was the number one superpower. Little people have plenty of free time, big people have legacies to make.
Now, I did instruct a wealthy donor of mine who lives in France, Jane Hartley, to attend the march, does that count? She raised me an impressive $500,000 in 2012, so I made her an ambassador to France last fall. Some assistant secretary at the Department of State also showed up, I can't recall her name, a low-level official. John Kerry was in India giving an important speech on manmade global warming -er, climate change is what we're calling it now - but gimme some credit, I did send him to France after the march because he appears kinda French. Eric Holder was already in France for a counterterrorism summit, but he bungled my instructions to attend the march - I think he got distracted by a race riot on the way there. more >>
President Barack Obama will take on hosting duties for a special screening of "Selma" at the White House on Friday night.
Although the biopic on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. earned just two Oscar nominations the day before, Obama is expected to host guests including the cast and crew of "Selma" at the screening, giving the film additional recognition and prestige this award season.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced 2015's nominees on Thursday with "Selma" up for both "Best Picture" and "Best Original Song." Despite the film's countless accolades, British-born David Oyelowo, who portrayed Dr. King in the film, and director Ava DuVernay were not among the nominees in their respective categories. more >>
The Obama administration announced late Thursday that over 400 troops will be deployed to the Middle East this spring to train and equip rebel forces that are fighting the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq.
As U.S.-led airstrikes continue to target Islamic State positions, the training program will be part of "Obama's multi-year plan to field local forces in Syria" to defeat the Islamic State, Reuters reports.
Along with the 400 troops, hundreds of U.S. support personnel will also be deployed to the region, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday. more >>