(CNN)Two years ago South African Chris Venter lost his eyesight from a virus he contracted while travelling.
(CNN)Two years ago South African Chris Venter lost his eyesight from a virus he contracted while travelling.
Texas and 10 other states filed suit Wednesday against the Obama administration over its directive on transgender student access to public school facilities, firing the first shot in what is likely to be a protracted and messy legal battle over that guidance.
The suit was filed in a Texas federal court in response to the directive handed down to schools earlier this month that said transgender students should be able to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the lawsuit at a Wednesday news conference, saying the directives represent an attempt by the administration to rewrite the law.
This represents just the latest example of the current administrations attempts to accomplish by executive fiat what they couldnt accomplish through the democratic process in Congress,” Paxton said.
Joining Texas in the suit were: Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona’s Department of Education, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia.
Defendants have conspired to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights, the lawsuit says.
Conservative states had vowed to defy the federal directive, calling it a threat to the safety of students. Texas’ lieutenant governor has previously said the state is willing to forfeit $10 billion in federal education dollars rather than comply.
“President Obama has excluded the voice of the people. We stand today to ensure those voices are heard,” Paxton said.
The directive from the U.S. Justice and Education departments represents an escalation in the fast-moving dispute over what is becoming the civil rights issue of the day.
While the letter does not have the force of law, it does warn that schools that do not abide by the administrations interpretation of civil rights under the Title IX law may face lawsuits or loss of federal aid.
“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement when the guidlines were announced earlier this month.
The guidance was issued after the Justice Department and North Carolina sued each other over a state law that requires transgender people to use the public bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate. The law applies to schools and many other places.
Supporters say such measures are needed to protect women and children from sexual predators, while the Justice Department and others argue the threat is practically nonexistent and the law discriminatory.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(CNN)This is the story of a ferocious army determined to rescue their queen from a metal fortress.
Fighting has continued to evolve since back before even boxing was big, and these days we get to see some ridiculous (and some fairly boring) fights.
People from all across the globe train so they can battle it out with their fists and their kicks in a ring or arena, some right inside your favorite bar! It’s an ages-old profession and likely will continue to be one in some form or another in the future, but for now I guess we’ll make due with what we’ve got.
This pair of fighters is a great example of the awesome moves we get to see in fights today, we’ve aptly named them Red and Blue. As the video starts you’ll see Blue is on the ropes, and it looks like things aren’t going to be working out in his favor… but he has the Warriors spirit! Seriously though, it’s a pretty crazy knockout and the only one of it’s kind I’ve seen performed in such a quickness, the guy can fight!
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), a leading voice for the reform of marijuana laws in the United States, became the first sitting member of Congress in recent history to admit to medical marijuana use.
Rohrabacher, speaking to a group of cannabis activists on Tuesday on Capital Hill, said he has been an avid surfer for about three decades but had not been able to enjoy the sport for about a year and a half due to arthritis pain he’s developed in his shoulder. The pain became so severe that it has disrupted his sleep, the lawmaker said.
That is, until he tried medical marijuana.
“I went to one of these hempfests or something like that they had in San Bernardino,” Rohrabacher said, as first reported by Russ Belville at Cannabis Radio.
At the hemp festival, he met a vendor who introduced him to a cannabis-infused topical rub.
“This guy was showing me the medical things and all that, and he says, ‘You should try this.’ And it’s a candle and you light the candle, and the wax is in there and it melts down, and then you rub it on whatever you’ve got problems with,” the Republican congressman said.
He finally tried the product a couple of weeks ago, and that was “the first time in a year and a half that I had a decent night’s sleep because the arthritis pain is gone.”
The attendees cheered his comments.
Rohrabacher, a vocal supporter for reform of the nation’s marijuana laws, is one of the main sponsors of a measure that blocked the Department of Justice from using funds to target and prosecute medical marijuana patients or businesses who are operating legal in their state. The amendment has been reauthorized for the past two fiscal years.
“Now don’t tell anybody I broke the law, they’ll bust down my door and take whatever’s inside and use it as evidence against me, whatever it is,” Rohrabacher said. “The bottom line is, there’s definitely cannabis in there and it makes sure that I can sleep now.”
Listen to Rohrabacher’s full remarks at Cannabis Radio.
This was the first time Rohrabacher has spoken publicly about using medical cannabis, his press secretary Ken Grubbs told The Huffington Post.
It was also the first time in recent history that a sitting congressman admitted to using medical marijuana, said Marijuana Majority founder Tom Angell.
“Putting a face on the people who use marijuana will help immensely in the battle to end criminalization and other forms of harmful discrimination,” Angell added. “It’s now going to be much harder for members of Congress, particularly those in the GOP caucus, to vote against medical marijuana, since they now know that one of their friends and colleagues is directly benefiting from it.”
California, along with 23 other states and the District of Columbia, has legalized medical marijuana. This year, voters in four more states are expected to consider doing the same via ballot initiative. Attitudes toward the plant and strict prohibition policies have rapidly shifted in recent years. An April CBS News poll found that 90 percent of Americans support the use of marijuana for medical purposes, with 56 percent in support of legalization for recreational use.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misspelled Russ Belville’s last name.
Mario had worked as a maintenance man at the Rotterdam zoo in the Netherlands for over 25 years. After his shifts, he loved to visit and help care for the animals, including the giraffes.
As Mario’s fight against terminal brain cancer came to an end, all he wanted to do was visit the zoo one last time. He wanted to say goodbye to his colleagues and maybe share a final moment with some of his furry friends.
Thanks to one incredible organization, Mario got his wish.
It’s a lot like Make-A-Wish, only it’s not just for kids.
In 2006, Kees Veldboer, who was an ambulance driver at the time, was moving a patient from one hospital to another. The patient was a terminally ill man who had spent three straight months confined to a hospital bed. During the trip from one hospital to the other, the patient told Veldboer that he wanted to see the Vlaardingen canal one last time. He wanted to sit in the sun and wind and smell the water again before going back inside.
Veldboer made the patient’s last wish happen, and as tears of joy streamed down the man’s face, Veldboer knew he had tapped into a powerful way to bring peace to people in their final days.
Soon after, the Ambulance Wish Foundation was born.
Based in the Netherlands, Veldboer’s organization scoffs at the logistical hurdles of transporting terminally ill patients who need high levels of care and, often, lots of medical equipment. The Ambulance Wish Foundation employs a fleet of custom-built ambulances and always has highly trained medical staff on hand for emergencies.
Their message? Positive end-of-life experiences are far too important to pass up.
Today, the AWF has over 230 volunteers and has fulfilled nearly 7,000 wishes.
Mostly, it’s the little things they cherish, like seeing their home one last time or spending a few hours just looking at something beautiful.
Veldboer, in an interview with the BBC, describes one woman who had not been home for six months. When they brought her into her living room on a stretcher, she hoisted herself up and stayed there for hours, doing nothing but looking around likely replaying an entire lifetime worth of memories before quietly asking them to take her away.
Another patient simply wanted to see her favorite Rembrandt painting again.
And another just wanted to spend an afternoon watching dolphins play.
On and on the wishes go about four of them fulfilled every day. People who just want to see their grandchild for the first time, or stand on the beach again before they can’t anymore.
Turns out that life’s simplest pleasures just might be its most meaningful.
But maybe it’s better to cherish what we have rather than spend so much time thinking about all the things we haven’t done yet.
Maybe the things we remember at the end aren’t the time we went skydiving or the time we hiked across Europe. When our time is up, maybe what we’ll remember most is more mundane the tacky wallpaper in the house we grew up in, a sunny day spent on the water, or those little everyday moments spent with the people we love the most.
Whatever it is, it’s comforting to know there are people out there who want our last memories of this place to be good ones.
I can’t think of a more wonderful job.
It’s a sheep! It’s a cow! No, it’s Image credits: Image credits: Image credits:
Image credits: Lynn Wu
The Philadelphia-based eatery is making sure kindness isn’t just a slogan in the City of Brotherly Love. They invite customers to pay it forward by pre-purchasing $1 slices of pizza for homeless patrons.
And people happily chip in.
And you, Internet, took a page out of the pay-it-forward playbook, sharing the story over 800,000 times!
His email update four months later had us smiling ear-to-ear:
“It has been more than three months since you posted our story on Upworthy. It’s been a CRAZY past couple months, but the business is both making more money and helping WAY more people than ever before.”
As of June 2015…
Not only does it generate more attention for this really great program (which in turn generates more food for the homeless), but it sends a powerful and unexpected message:
If this is the first time you’re hearing about Rosa’s, check out our interview with Wartman. And of course, pay it forward and pass it on.