New York Votes to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Jun 23, 2014, 11:34 am EDT

On Friday, New York’s Senate and State Assembly approved a bill that will make the Empire State the 23rd U.S. state to allow medical marijuana use.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the Compassionate Care Act into law. The new law could require up to 18 months to go into full effect. While it will allow physicians to prescribe medical marijuana for very sick patients, only non-smokable forms of marijuana will be legal in New York, CNN notes.

New York’s medical marijuana bill also features criminal penalties for anyone who attempts to obtain the drug under fraudulent pretenses. It can also be suspended at any time at the recommendation of New York state police and medical authorities. Read 

Dr. Oz Scolded by Senate Panel Over ‘Miracle’ Diet Claims

Jun 18, 2014, 3:16 pm EDT

Dr. Oz is in hot water with a Senate panel that questions his claims on several weight-loss supplements.

The Senate panel blasted Dr. Oz for supporting supplements that he claims have scientific backing to help with weight loss when there isn’t much scientific backing. The panel said that he gives viewers of his show false hope and helps promote scams, reports The Consumerist.

Dr. Oz countered the panel’s accusations by saying that he fully believes in the supplements he supports on his show and that he doesn’t back certain products. He has admitted that he sometimes uses “flowery language” that may not help anyone but the advertisers taking advantage of his words, The Consumerist notes. Read 

Alabama Court Overturns Gay Sex Ban

Jun 17, 2014, 12:30 pm EDT

An Alabama Appeals Court has struck down a state law that criminalized gay sex, regardless of whether it was consensual.

The appeals court unanimously ruled that an Alabama law that made oral and anal sex illegal was intended to prosecute homosexuals and was unconstitutional based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, USA TODAY notes.

Under the Alabama law struck down by the court, “consent is no defense to a prosecution under this subdivision.” The appeals court made its ruling during an appeal of a 2010 sexual misconduct conviction of a man who claimed he had engaged in consensual sex acts with another man. Read 

TSLA: Tesla Direct Sales Get One Step Closer in NJ

Jun 17, 2014, 11:07 am EDT

Despite a setback earlier this year, New Jersey consumers may soon be able to buy Tesla Motors (TSLA) cars directly from TSLA again.

On Monday, the N.J. state Assembly voted 77-to-0 in favor of a bill that would permit manufacturers of zero-emission vehicles to sell directly to consumers from up to four showrooms in the Garden State. There was no debate on the bill and only one abstention, the Star-Ledger notes.

In April, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission ordered TSLA to stop direct vehicle sales in the state, a move backed by Republican Governor Chris Christie. TSLA had been selling cars from two showrooms prior to the decision, which was backed by the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers. Read 

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria: What Is ISIS?

Jun 16, 2014, 12:51 pm EDT

Already troubled Iraq is on the verge of a major international crisis as soldiers of the radical Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sweep through the country, capturing cities and towns and apparently moving toward the capital of Baghdad. Source: Wikipedia

ISIS was formed by elements of al-Qaida in Iraq and has spent the last few years battling the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s bloody civil war. ISIS, composed of Sunni Islamic extremists, has gained a reputation for such horrific brutality that even al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has distanced his mass-murdering terror group from ISIS, the Guardian notes.

In Syria, ISIS has been blamed for mass killings and torture. The group has now posted photographs and videos that allegedly show its members torturing and executing captured Iraqi soldiers. Read 

Iraq Blocks Facebook, YouTube, Google, Twitter

Jun 13, 2014, 1:32 pm EDT

The Iraqi government has decided to block several websites, including Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Google (GOOG), YouTube and multiple pornographic websites.

The exact reason behind the Iraqi government’s decision to block these websites is unknown, but it’s believed to be part of an effort to stop the use of media outlets by Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militants. These militants have used such websites to promote their actions in the central and northern parts of the country, reports Kuwait News Agency.

The ISIL militants have been moving through Iraq and captured two additional cities this week. One of these cities was Mosul, the second-largest city in the country. Read 

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