Michigan Judge Raymond Voet of Ionia County 64A District Court doesn't like phones interrupting court proceedings. It's fair enough; court is very serious business, and the last thing you need is someone's wacky ringtone right at the moment of sentencing. Voet, therefore, decided that offenders are liable to be held in contempt and fined — a policy that is stated in a clear sign hanging in Voet's court room.
So when his own phone started asking him in the middle of court to give it voice commands, he had no choice but to hold himself accountable.
"The prosecutor was in the middle of his closing arguments," Voet told ABC News. "He lost his train of thought and looked at me. I felt my face starting to burn red." Voet turned off his phone and allowed the prosecutor to continue. During a break in proceedings, however, he fined himself the US $25.
The Gang of Eight's proposed immigration reform will create a 13-year path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, increase funding for a nominal effort to tighten border security, put low-skilled, poorly educated farm workers on a fast-track to citizenship, and create a massive new "guest worker" program whose funding will be tied to bringing in more workers.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
On a positive note, the bill will include a requirement for all employers to check new workers against E-Verify, an electronic verification system. This is a smart move, and will be far more important to curbing unauthorized immigration than token efforts at border security.
The Los Angeles Times describes the proposed pathway to citizenship:
The United States Geological Survey reported this morning that a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck 53 miles from Kash, Iran. The location is deep in Iran's southeast, near the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
I'll update as more information is available. Below is an image of the quake's "Shakemap:"
Pollution has gotten this bad in China:
International schools are racing to buy sealed domes that cover playgrounds, enabling children to play on days when it is unsafe to run outside, said Mary Ren, product director at the Beijing division of Yeadon, which makes bubblelike domes that purify and pressurize air. Yeadon installed a $650,000, 18,000-square-foot dome at international school Dulwich College Beijing in 2011, Ms. Ren said.
Dulwich sends children into the dome, equipped with basketball courts and special lighting, when the air quality index hits 250, said Cynthia Maclean, head of external relations at Dulwich. By comparison, New York's air quality index was 30 on Friday morning.
"How did the party that elected the first black U.S. senator, the party that elected the first 20 African-American congressmen, become a party that now loses 95 percent of the black vote? How did the Republican Party, the party of the Great Emancipator, lose the trust and faith of an entire race?"
Rand Paul posed that question in his speech last week at Howard University.
Coming from him, it does seem a singularly naive question. He might have found an important piece of the answer at RonPaul.com, where he will find this statement by his own father on the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, explaining the Texas congressman’s continuing opposition to that law:
[T]he forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.
Below is the transcript and video of President Barack Obama's statement on the Boston Marathon Bombing.
Good afternoon, everybody. Earlier today, I was briefed by my homeland security team on the events in Boston. We’re continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds. And I’ve directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the United States as necessary, and investigate what happened.
The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight. And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.
As Afghanistan becomes more and more unstable, it has once again become a haven for opium poppy growers. Opium, used to produce heroin, is a huge money maker, especially in the southern portion of Afghanistan. The reason for this growth in the south is that it no longer has a strong U.S. presence. It is now a Taliban stronghold.
In the past number of years, cultivation has increased from 131,000 hectares in 2011 to 154,000 hectares in 2012. According to a report published by the United Nations, the 2013 figures will be larger than that of 2012.
Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, the raw ingredient in heroin, and last year provided about 75 per cent of the global crop—a figure that may jump to 90 percent this year due to increased cultivation.
Crop sales mostly fund local power brokers and criminal gangs in Afghanistan and to a lesser degree the Taliban, Western experts believe. This makes it difficult for the Afghan government to establish control in areas where the economy is driven by black-market opium sales, despite a small but effective counternarcotics force.
It has not been a good year for Spain’s royal family. A series of PR nightmares and a decline in popularity came to fruition on Sunday, when thousands of Spaniards gathered in Madrid to protest the family’s right to a royal title.
The march went through the centre of the Spanish capital on Sunday, which marked the 82nd anniversary of the establishment of Spain's last democratically-elected republic.
The republic was overthrown by an army uprising that led to a civil war and the 36-year military dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.
The Senate is pushing the initial immigration reform hearings back a couple days to allow senators (i.e. senate staffers) more time to read the actual bill.
Give them a little time. Done right (with proper border enforcement, E-Verify, a decent fix of our visa system, and by not dangling benefits to encourage further unauthorized immigration), this can hopefully be the last round for a generation or two.
Done wrong, and we'll be discussing this again in 2015 and/or 2017.
I for one am happy to wait.