The Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Dec. 30 that 52-year-old Ohio resident John Harmon is suing the Hamilton County sheriff’s department and four deputies for civil rights violations after an October 2009 traffic stop turned violent. The stop quickly escalated into an abusive incident in which Harmon was seriously beaten and his property damaged.
Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, three New Orleans Police Department officers have been found guilty in the high-stakes case of the killing of an unarmed man after the storm, as well as its subsequent cover-up. Eleven federal counts were leveled against the three, but according to a New Orleans Times Picayune report, two other officers were completely acquitted of charges in the case.
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), with the help of UC Berkeley’s Samuelson Clinic, filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to determine the scope of social network surveillance conducted by the agency during the Obama inauguration.
BrightSource Energy, headquartered in Oakland, California, is developing the $2 billion Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) in the Mojave Desert — the first large-scale solar thermal project built in the Golden State in nearly two decades. Once constructed, it will be the largest in the world, possibly doubling the amount of U.S.-produced commercial solar thermal electricity.
Since June, the Bayou State has constructed a series of low-lying sand berms by dredging sand from the Gulf of Mexico. The attempt to block and capture oil from this summer’s oil spill, caused by a blowout at BP’s Deepwater Horizon well, is under scrutiny for its effectiveness.
Dubbed "Frankenfish" by Alaska Senator Mark Begich, AquaBounty Technologies' salmon are poised to become the first genetically-engineered (GE) animals to enter the U.S. food supply. Though the FDA has declared these fish, marketed under the name AquAdvantage, to be safe, Consumers Union senior scientist Michael Hansen has called the science used to justify the FDA's decision "sloppy," "misleading," and "woefully inadequate."
In the 39 years since the Roe v. Wade decision, almost three generations of women have had access to legal abortions. The newest pro-life movie, October Baby, explores the devastation caused by the then-unexplored effects of the 1973 ruling on the littlest victims, post-abortive mothers, and everyone else in the wake of this tragedy. No matter which side of the debate you take, this film is a touching story of the real-life consequences of abortion.
Kathryn Stockett could not have written The Help 50 years ago. Which is the point of the story. But the Jackson, Mississippi, native has joined Margaret Mitchell, Harper Lee, Donna Tartt, and a few others on the list of Southern women writers whose first, and sometimes only, novels have become instant bestsellers. Perhaps because the American South is unique in its culture and history, it continues providing fodder for great stories. Stockett’s 2009 debut novel has spent 116 weeks on the USA Today bestseller list and before the manuscript was even completed, the author’s lifelong friend Tate Taylor snagged it to make into a movie. Taylor served as the film’s director, guiding it to completion almost as true to a book as a movie can get.