Those who fund and promote doubts about global warming should be sent to prison, Lawrence Torcello, assistant professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, argued for The Conversation.
"When it comes to global warming, much of the public remains in denial about a set of facts that the majority of scientists clearly agree on. With such high stakes, an organized campaign funding misinformation ought to be considered criminally negligent," he wrote.
Torcello draws a comparison with six Italian scientists who were sentenced to six years in prison after a 2009 earthquake that killed 300. While many believe the scientists were imprisoned for failing to predict the earthquake, they were actually convicted of failing to "clearly communicate risks to the public," he explained. When a public official told residents there was no danger after the tremors started, the scientists did nothing to correct him, Torcello recalled. more >>
Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby signed an agreement Monday to support an anti-slavery, anti-human trafficking initiative. The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion backed the initiative known as the Global Freedom Network.
"Many are already engaged in the struggle and we join them with much to learn as well as much to contribute. All are called to join common cause to end this crime and suffering," said Welby. "We are struggling against evil in secret places and in deeply entrenched networks of malice and cruelty. No one of us is strong enough, but together we are ready for the challenge God is placing before us today, and we know that he will strengthen us so that all people may live in freedom and dignity."
In a statement released honoring the occasion, Welby said that the joint endeavor was part of the efforts to have Anglicans and Catholics united. more >>
Followers of Wicca are suing a New Mexico city for having a Ten Commandments display on their government property.
A court recently heard the suit of Jane Felix and B.N. Coone against the city of Bloomfield in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.
Felix and Coone are being represented by the state chapter of the ACLU, and call the display a "violation of civil rights." more >>
A federal judge struck down Arkansas' controversial 12 week abortion ban, saying that viability, not a heartbeat, is the key factor in determining whether abortions should be allowed. A legal group defending the bill says it aims to have the Supreme Court take up the case and reconsider Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling which legalized abortion in the U.S.
U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright struck down the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act Friday, Reuters reported. She declared the ban unconstitutional, citing previous court decisions saying that abortions should not be restricted until a fetus reaches viability, between 22 and 24 weeks. The law "impermissibly infringes a woman's Fourteenth Amendment right to elect to terminate a pregnancy before viability" of the fetus, as established by The Supreme Court.
Wright claimed that only a doctor could determine viability. Governor Mike Beebe (D) had vetoed the bill last February, citing the viability standard. Republicans, however, controlling the statehouse for the first time since Reconstruction, overrode him. more >>
In what is being described as a landmark ruling and a hit to the rights of fathers, a New Jersey judge has decided that an expectant mother is not obligated to tell the putative father of her child when she goes into labor, and she can also block him from being in the delivery room.
The New Jersey Law Journal reported Monday that Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed handed down the ruling in Plotnick v. DeLuccia, a dispute between estranged unmarried parents. Mohammed argued that a woman can shut out the father of her child based on her right to privacy and to control her body during pregnancy.
"A finding in favor of plaintiff for both notification and forced entry into the delivery room would in fact be inconsistent with existing jurisprudence on the interests of women in the children they carry pre-birth," wrote Mohammed in his opinion Monday. more >>
A Virginia congregation that left the Episcopal Church over theological differences has been denied an appeal before the United States Supreme Court regarding a property dispute with its former diocese.
After some delay, the highest Court in the land made their decision Monday to not hear the Falls Church Anglican's case over the historic church property they once oversaw.
In an email sent out to parishioners, Falls Church leadership acknowledged that the "long legal process" the congregation has been in with the Episcopal Church "has come to its end." more >>