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Alabama high school would rather cancel prom than let lesbians attend

Russellville, Alabama School Prom Discrimination | American Civil Liberties Union
Cynthia Stewart, a 17-year-old junior at Tharptown High School in northern Alabama, is a member of her school’s prom planning committee, had personally raised over $200 for the prom, and created the theme her classmates had chosen for the dance. She is also an out lesbian. When Cynthia approached her principal to ask if she could bring her girlfriend with her to the prom, he said no. He also made Cynthia remove a sticker she was wearing that said, “I am a lesbian,” telling her, “You don't have that much freedom of speech at school.” Cynthia’s aunt and guardian, Kathy Baker, then appealed the principal’s decision to the school board. But the board let the decision to bar Cynthia from bringing her girlfriend to the prom stand. STATUS: On November 10, 2009, the ACLU demanded that school officials let Cynthia bring her girlfriend to the prom and refrain from further violating her First Amendment rights.

Brazillian college student heckled, expelled for wearing short skirt to class

Brazilian student expelled for wearing mini-skirt to class | World news | The Guardian
A Brazilian university has publicly expelled a woman who was heckled by hundreds of fellow students for wearing a short, pink skirt to class, taking out newspaper ads today to publicly accuse her of immorality. The private Bandeirante University in Sao Bernardo do Campo, outside of Sao Paulo, said 20-year-old Geisy Arruda disrespected "ethical principles and academic dignity and morality". Arruda made headlines last month when she had to be escorted away by police after she tried to go to class wearing the mini-dress. She put on a professor's white coat and left amid a hail of insults and curses.

November 09, 2009

Economic desperation, lack of health care driving people to join the Army

In Downturn, Military Reports Historic Recruiting Success - washingtonpost.com
For the first time in more than 35 years, the U.S. military has met all of its annual recruiting goals, as hundreds of thousands of young people have enlisted despite the near-certainty that they will go to war. The Pentagon, which made the announcement Tuesday, said the economic downturn and rising joblessness, as well as bonuses and other factors, had led more qualified youths to enlist. The military has not seen such across-the-board successes since the all-volunteer force was established in 1973, after Congress ended the draft following the Vietnam War. In recent years, the military has often fallen short of some of its recruiting targets. The Army, in particular, has struggled to fill its ranks, admitting more high school dropouts, overweight youths and even felons.

Bay bridge detour has caused 40 crashes since Labor Day

Driver dies as truck plunges off S-curve There is an S-curve that moves people from the old bridge sections to the newer ones to the older ones again. It's not working out so well.
A truck driver died early today after losing control on the Bay Bridge S-curve and plummeting in his big rig 200 feet to Yerba Buena Island, the most serious crash since the new detour was installed, the California Highway Patrol said. . . . "The commercial vehicle was traveling at high speed when the driver attempted to negotiate the turn," Cross said. "He went off the side of the Bay Bridge and dropped approximately 200 feet down." The truck plunged over the northern side of the span and onto Yerba Buena Island, spilling about 30 to 40 gallons of diesel fuel when it landed. The driver, a Hayward man whose name was not immediately released, died at the scene. CHP investigators were trying to determine whether the truck's load of pears had shifted as the big rig reached the S-curve, something that could have helped propel the truck over the side of the span.
Note: An earlier version of the headline said that 40 people had died because of this. This was an error. The headline has been edited to reflect this.

November 08, 2009

Framed for child porn by a computer virus

AP IMPACT: Framed for child porn — by a PC virus by AP: Yahoo! Tech
Of all the sinister things that Internet viruses do, this might be the worst: They can make you an unsuspecting collector of child pornography. Heinous pictures and videos can be deposited on computers by viruses — the malicious programs better known for swiping your credit card numbers. In this twist, it's your reputation that's stolen. Pedophiles can exploit virus-infected PCs to remotely store and view their stash without fear they'll get caught. Pranksters or someone trying to frame you can tap viruses to make it appear that you surf illegal Web sites. Whatever the motivation, you get child porn on your computer — and might not realize it until police knock at your door. An Associated Press investigation found cases in which innocent people have been branded as pedophiles after their co-workers or loved ones stumbled upon child porn placed on a PC through a virus. It can cost victims hundreds of thousands of dollars to prove their innocence.