Death Penalty News
Encouraging news today as the Guardian reports that the American state of New Jersey has abolished the death penalty. This is a significant step in US history as New Jersey becomes the first state in 40 years to renounce the sentence following a vote approved by the state senate; this will now be replaced with a life without parole ruling. New Jersey becomes the 14th state without the death penalty of a remaining 36, but the US largely remains a staunch advocate of capital punishment coming in behind China, Iran, Pakistan and Sudan in world rankings.
This news comes amid growing concerns around the use of lethal injections, which Amnesty has followed closely. The debate has thrown the spotlight on the wider discussion surrounding the death penalty in the USA and whether it should be outlawed entirely. Amnesty opposes the death penalty in all cases and you can find out more about our worldwide campaign here.
Pickled Politics has an interesting piece today on how the government is still failing to protect honour crimes. It recounts the story of an Iranian asylum seeker who was at risk of an 'honour' killing because she was arrested or sitting on a park bench with her boyfriend.
It is incredible that certain UK government departments like the immigration and asylum authorities and the Home Office fail to take into account the need for specific protection for people at risk of honour crimes particularly at a time when honour crimes have been in the news so much in recent years. Amnesty International and others have long been calling for the UK Government to adopt an integrated strategy which would allow joined up thinking across departments that would seek to give better protection to women at risk of violence.
Also public sector bodies who have large populations where such crimes are widespread need to know how to identify someone at risk and help them effectively as soon as possible. You can help Amnesty to help to protect a 17 year old girl in Iraq who is at risk of being killed in the name of 'honour'. The link above has more info.
Doggy Christmas video
Christmas is fast approaching and with it all the annual messages we will be hearing over the festive season. George Bush has is already offering a slightly alternative message. Rather than the traditional trappings of hope for world peace, end to war and good will to all men, this short film follows the Whitehouses pet pooches around with a slightly bizarre narrative on their quest to become junior park rangers.
And just when we thought that this is possibly all we dont want for Christmas in a message, not to mention the implications for pets being not just for Christmas, there is also a special cameo appearance from Tony Blair, apparently reining in allegiances from the UK, Scotland and highland terriers everywhere! Ho Ho Ho? more like No No No!!!!
Closer to home, the FA are expected to confirm Fabio Cappello as the new England coach in a deal worth an estimated £6.5 million. The post, which has been dubbed the poisoned chalice of sport often attracts heavy media attention both on and off the pitch. The Italians say In bocca al lupo as a good luck gesture but it literally means in the mouth of a wolf; slightly ominous maybe, so heres hoping he wont get fed to the lions!
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