The Wire

  • Fmr US Rep Jo Bonner named Kay Ivey chief of staff as Steve Pelham takes job at Auburn University

    Excerpt:

    In a move that had been rumored for the last few weeks, former U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner has assumed the role as chief of staff for Gov. Kay Ivey.

    Last November after Ivey was elected to a full term, Bonner was named a senior adviser to Ivey.

    Bonner is replacing outgoing chief of staff Steve Pelham, who will become Auburn University’s vice president for economic development and the chief of staff to Auburn University President Steven Leath.

  • Historic Inauguration Day in Montgomery heralds continued growth for Alabama

    Excerpt:

    It was a day of celebration, unity and tremendous optimism as Governor Kay Ivey and other statewide elected officials were officially sworn into office on Monday.

    The weather played into the symbolism of the occasion, as a cold, overcast day – a storm almost certainly imminent – gradually became sunnier and sunnier as the afternoon pushed on, much like the outlook of the state under Ivey’s steady guidance.

    Political insiders and everyday Alabamians from every nook and cranny of the state gathered in front of the Alabama State Capitol steps for the inauguration ceremony, which began promptly at 10:00 a.m. From the state’s richest man to the single mom who checked her little girls out of school just to see Ivey’s historic oath of office, it was a day that transcended the lines that divide us.

    Because Ivey’s inauguration message of “Keep Alabama Growing” is a theme meant for all. It is a message of hope – that even a little girl from Camden, Alabama can rise to be duly elected as the state’s chief executive through hard work and perseverance.

  • Ivey orders flags lowered to half-staff to honor fallen police Sgt. Wytasha Carter

    Excerpt:

    Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff to honor Birmingham Police Sgt. Wytasha Carter, who was killed in the line of duty on Sunday.

    “I am directing flags be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for Birmingham Police Sergeant Wytasha Carter who was killed in the line of duty early Sunday, January 13, 2019,” Ivey said in a statement. “Sergeant Carter laid down his life protecting the people of Birmingham, and the entire state of Alabama mourns this tremendous loss.”

7 months ago

Germany wants to create government-funded feminist pornography

(W.Miller/YHN)

Some Germans want to create government-funded feminist pornography that would celebrate different body shapes for educational purposes, the Daily Mail reported Friday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s democrat-socialist union accepted a proposal from a youth wing in Berlin to subsidize feminist pornography available on German broadcasting stations ARD and ZRF in order to combat sexism, according to the Daily Mail. The proposal also wanted these two broadcasters to buy feminist pornography for movies available online. The goal of feminist pornography aims to create many different types of porn featuring old and young people, overweight people and people of different racial backgrounds.

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“Mainstream porn generally shows sexist and racial stereotypes in which consent is not a theme and certain ‘optimal’ body types are made as standard,” the German Socialist Democratic Party (SPD) wrote in the proposal.

“In feminist porn there are fat, skinny, young and old people and the sex is enjoyed by everyone,” said Heike Hoffmann, a 20-year-old history student who is the deputy head of state of the Young Socialists of the SPD.

“At least my experience says, guys often think, ‘I want to be like this guy in porn,’” Hoffmann also told German newspaper Die Welt in December.

Hoffmann also criticized non-feminist porn, saying it is like a “performance or competitive sport.” The young politician noted that it is important for youth to instead have a greater range of choices so they can watch feminist pornography.

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8 months ago

Study: US Birth Rate Is At 30 Year Low

(Pixabay)

The United States birth rate is at a 30 year low in 2017, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics released Thursday.

The number of babies dropped to an all-time low since 1987 with 3.85 babies born in 2017, two percent fewer than 2016, according to CDC’s study. The drop in women’s fertility is due to a wide variety of factors such as the 2007-2009 recession, more women going to college, and trying to pay off college debt before starting a family, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Kenneth M. Johnson, a demographer from the University of New Hampshire expected birth rates to increase following the 2007-2009 recession. “Every year I expect the number of births to go up and they don’t,” Johnson said. However, approximately 4.8 million fewer babies were born following the recession, according to Johnson.

“People are coming out with a lot of debt,” Jennie Brand, a University of California, Los Angeles sociology and statistics professor who researches fertility, told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s another thing they have to grapple with before they might think about starting a family.”

However, on the bright side, the research also found that teen pregnancy dropped to a new low. The number of teen pregnancies dropped seven percent in 2017 from 2016, 55 percent since 2007, and an overall 70 percent drop since 1991. One explanation might be the use of long-acting birth control.

“I’m absolutely astounded at the continuing decline in teen birthrates,” Brady Hamilton, a statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics.

United States’ fertility rate from women ages 15 to 44 is approximately 60.2 births per 1,000 women. However, this number is nothing compared to Japan, the country with the lowest birthrates. This Asian country has only eight births per 1,000 women, according to 2016 numbers from the World Bank. 2017 numbers showed that 914,000 babies were born in Japan, which is 36,000 less than 2016, according to government data, reported the Japan Times.

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9 months ago

Students walked out of school on Columbine shooting’s 19th anniversary

(The Denver Post/YouTube)

Students walked out of school to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., Friday.

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Students across the country staged a walkout to protest gun violence 19 years after the Columbine shooting in 1999, The Washington Post reported. Connecticut’s Ridgefield High School student Lane Murdock, 16, organized the walkouts in order to pay respects to the Columbine High School massacre, where seniors Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris opened fired and killed 13 students and one teacher before killing themselves. Students from 2,500 different schools around the United States are expected to walk out of their high schools at 10 a.m. in their time zone to commemorate the tragedy, according to the HuffPost.

However, Columbine officials are less enthusiastic about the walkouts. Current principal Scott Christy and Frank DeAngelis, the principal during the 1999 shooting, wrote a letter, asking students to instead do a day of community service.

“April has long been a time to respectfully remember our loss and also support efforts to make our communities a better place,” the letter read. “Please consider planning service projects, an activity that will somehow build up your school … as opposed to a walkout.” Columbine high school does not hold classes on the anniversary in a practice started in 2000 in order to pay respects to the victims. Many students instead volunteer at soup kitchens, read to preschoolers, and help clean up parks.

“We feel like doing anything on that day is disrespectful for the families of people who died,” Columbine high school sophomore Rachel Hill said. “There’s a time for protest, but it’s not that day.” Hill didn’t think high school’s respected or listened to Columbine’s opinions, in regards to the walkout, the sophomore added.

The walkouts follow the March For Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., March 24. The rally was held to advocate for gun reform following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting spree in Parkland, Fla., Feb. 14.

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9 months ago

Is a hug sexual harassment? New York’s government says yes

(Pixabay)

A hug counts as sexual harassment, the New York City government said in an April 4 press release.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights launched a new ad campaign to fight sexual harassment in the workplace, according to the Wednesday release. The bilingual Spanish-English campaign posters feature common excuses people use to disguise sexual harassment in a professional setting. Such instances include: “It’s just a hug” to show even a possibly friendly greeting can be misconstrued negatively. Two other posters display “It’s just a joke” and “It’s just flirting,” in an effort to lessen sexual misconduct claims in the workplace.

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“In this new era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, I commend the City’s Commission on Human Rights for helping New York City stand out as a leader in the fight against sexual harassment in the workplace,” Public Advocate Letitia James said. “This ad campaign makes it clear that our City cannot and will not tolerate sexual harassment of any form and that victims have a reliable, safe way to seek the help and justice they deserve.”

The NYC Commission on Human Rights reported an increase in alleged sexual harassment incidents in the workplace. Sexual harassment claims jumped 43 percent in the past two years from 82 claims in 2014/2015 to 117 claims in 2016/2017.

“We created this public outreach campaign to remind New Yorkers that the Commission is a venue where New Yorkers can report sexual harassment, get justice, and hold violators accountable,” Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights Carmelyn P. Malalis said, according to NYC Human Right’s website.

The ads will be placed in 5,000 locations around the city.

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