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Anti-masturbation ‘bill’ will receive its first reading but has no hope of passing

Anti-masturbation ‘bill’ will receive its first reading but has no hope of passing

A US lawmaker who wants to highlight abortion issues has proposed new legislation that would see Texas men fined US$100 (NZ$144) if they masturbated without supervision

The House Bill 4260, otherwise known as the Man’s Right to Know Act, will receive its first reading in the state’s House of Representatives after being created by state representative Jessica Farrar.

The satirical bill to regulate “masturbatory emissions” was created to highlight the hoops women must jump through when they seek an abortion.

Read more:

* Abortion: A tragic response to lack of choice

* Hundreds of Kiwi women told their abortions were ‘not justified’

* Prime Minister Bill English won’t ‘liberalise’ abortion law

* Donald Trump, surrounded by men, signing anti-abortion executive order

“What I would like to see is this make people stop and think,” Farrar said when she first filed the bill in March.

“Maybe my colleagues aren’t capable of that, but the people who voted for them, or the people that didn’t vote at all, I hope that it changes their mind and helps them to decide what the priorities are.”

The tongue-in-cheek law, which Farrar admits has no hope of passing, would require men to wait 24 hours after an “initial health care consultation” to receive an elective vasectomy, colonoscopy or Viagra prescription.

The 24-hour waiting period mirrors a law passed in Texas in 2011, which forces women to have an ultrasound at least 24 hours before an abortion, according to Planned Parenthood.

Her bill would also require men seeking those procedures to receive a booklet of informational materials titled “A Man’s Right to Know.” It “must contain medical information related to the benefits and concerns of a man seeking a vasectomy, Viagra prescriptions or a colonoscopy.”

The “rules and procedures for the creation of and distribution” of the materials will “exactly follow the rules and procedures of the informational booklet entitled ‘A Woman’s Right to Know,’ ” the bill stated, referring to the booklet doctors are legally required to give women seeking an abortion, in accordance with a 2003 informed consent law.

That booklet has for years been derided by critics who claim it is “ideologically motivated and medically inaccurate,” Texas Public Radio reported in January.

In one section, for example, the booklet lists “Breast Cancer Risk” as a potential danger of abortion. The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog gave this three Pinocchios.

“But research overwhelmingly shows that abortion is not associated with a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer,” the blog post said.

“Further, the citations in this booklet point to research from a disputed methodology to find such an association, or cite studies that explicitly say there is no association between abortion and protection against breast cancer.”

“Emissions outside of a woman’s vagina, or created outside of a health or medical facility, will be charged a US$100 civil penalty for each emission, and will be considered an act against an unborn child,” the four-page bill read.

Furthermore, emissions created in medical facilities “will be stored for the purposes of conception for a current or future wife.”

“A lot of people find the bill funny,” Farrar told the Houston Chronicle. “What’s not funny are the obstacles that Texas women face every day, that were placed there by legislatures making it very difficult for them to access health care.”

She fears the barriers to women’s health will only grow with the new administration, which is why she filed the bill this year.

“Especially with Trump as president, I think these folks are on fire now. They’re off the chain now,” Farrar said.

“If they can elect someone based on making racist remarks and derogatory remarks toward women and such, then we’ve just given them license to offend and license to be even worse than before.”

Since her initial election in 1994, Farrar has been particularly outspoken against laws affecting women’s health.

Recently, she argued against a bill by State Rep. Byron Cook, (Republican, Corsicana), that would require hospitals to bury or cremate fetal remains in case of a miscarriage or an abortion.

“Let me be clear: this bill has nothing to do with abortion procedures whatsoever. It has everything to do with ensuring the dignity of the deceased,” Cook said in defense of the bill. “We believe Texas can do better than this.”

“The fetal remains bill imposes state-sponsored moral beliefs on women, affecting their ability to make personal decisions with their doctor,” Farrar said via Twitter.

She also spoke out against a bill proposed by State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (Republican) that would charge both an abortion provider and the woman receiving the procedure with murder, the Texas Tribune reported.

Perhaps in retaliation, Tinderholt issued a fiery statement against Farrar’s bill to the newspaper, claiming she doesn’t understand her own body.

“I’m embarrassed for Rep. Farrar,” he said. “Her attempt to compare to the abortion issue shows a lack of a basic understanding of human biology. I would recommend that she consider taking a high school biology class from a local public or charter school before filing another bill on the matter.”

Others in Texas, though, seem to be fond of the bill. One Twitter user called it “legendary,” while another wrote that Farrar “expertly trolls” the Texas legislature.

Texas Tribune executive editor Ross Ramsey simply tweeted, “I’m pretty sure this is going to be a famous bill.”

Cheerleaders Accused of Prostitution in Horry County

Cheerleaders Accused of Prostitution in Horry County

Coastal Carolina University’s cheerleading team has been suspended indefinitely pending a conduct investigation, officials said.

Coastal officials refused to discuss the nature of the investigation or what specifically led the university to suspend the entire team.

Coastal Public Safety Director David Roper said he was not at liberty to comment on the situation and Coastal Vice President William M. Plate Jr. said there are currently no police reports pertaining to the conduct investigation.

The cheerleading section of the CCU Athletics website has been removed from the website, and now directs to the school’s main Spirit Team page.

The HTC Center confirmed that a cheerleading showcase scheduled for April 4 was removed from the center’s schedule for the week. The showcase was to be held ahead of the team’s scheduled appearance at a national competition in Florida. Competition officials said the team is still registered and paid in full, and they have not heard the team will not be coming.

An unnamed cheerleader who spoke to the Chronicle’s news partner WMBF told the television station that an investigator with the Coastal’s Department of Public Safety came to their practice on March 29. Team members were questioned by police and were allowed to leave after being told they did nothing wrong, according to the WMBF report.

Coastal cheerleaders declined to talk about the situation, but they issued a statement via Twitter:

“At this point in time, we no longer wish to be contacted about the current situation,” they wrote. “The false accusations have led to harassment on campus as well as through social media, and are beginning to negatively impact our daily lives as well as our studies. As a team we ask the community to support us through these tough times as we hope the situation will be cleared up shortly.”

Audra Scofield, the school’s former cheerleading coach who took a job at the University of Texas-San Antonio last year, expressed support for the cheerleaders on her Facebook page.

“It has been very difficult for me to not vocalize my personal opinions all over social media these past two days,” she wrote last week. “I spent three years of my life coaching this program and have some of my best memories with these young adults. I have a very heavy heart for this team and have felt almost every emotion possible. … I pray that these young women and men, students of Coastal Carolina receive the support they deserve from the community during this scandal.”

Scofield wrote that she was choosing her words carefully.

“Let’s be honest,” she wrote. “There is a reason this team has not had a paid coach on staff all year. Even without a certified cheer coach on staff they have still managed to cover ALL the athletic events, appearances, conference tournament, fundraising events and post season basketball tournament games. Not to mention they prepared themselves to attend nationals. Justice will be served ladies.”

Man Accidentally Shoots Himself at NRA Headquarters

Man Accidentally Shoots Himself at NRA Headquarters

A National Rifle Association employee accidentally shot himself while doing firearms training at the organization’s headquarters, according to police.The 46-year-old man’s pistol accidentally discharged Thursday afternoon as he holstered the gun in Fairfax County, Virginia, police said.The accidental shooting happened at the NRA’s National Firearms Museum at 11250 Waples Mill Road in Fairfax.The employee suffered a minor wound to his lower body and was taken to a hospital for treatment, police said.Officers worked with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and no charges are expected, according to police.News4 has reached out to the NRA for comment, but has not received an immediate response.Published 51 minutes ago | Updated 13 minutes ago

Dedicated McDonald€™’s employee surprised with bike from inspired customer

Dedicated McDonald€™’s employee surprised with bike from inspired customer

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Erie Perry loves his job at McDonald’s, so when his when his only means for transportation broke down, he walked 10 miles to the Route 10 restaurant every day.

Perry normally rides his bike to work, but that was no longer an option as it broke down after years of wear and tear.

“It was just broken down, just weathered, worn down from multiple rides to work, to and from,” said McDonald’s manager Denise Cantu.

Perry started working at McDonald’s more than a year ago. Early on his work ethic became apparent to his co-workers and managers.

“He is so dedicated, he’s going to be here,” said Cantu.

That type of dedication also caught the attention of a customer.

When Karen Craven learned Perry had to walk 20 miles a day to and from work, she knew she had to help.

Craven turned to social media to see if she could get Perry some help.

Within minutes the post caught the attention of her friend Amy Taylor.

“This is somebody that’s chosen to continue to move forward, when it would have been real easy for him to give up and not many people do that,” said Taylor.

Taylor was so inspired, she bought Perry a brand new bike.

“I have to admit, I was completely surprised, I never expected this in a million years,” said Perry.

He said he loves his new bicycle “It still amazes me,” he said.

A lot of people were surprised to learn Perry walked to work each day, because he’s so reliable.

“He’s either walking and sometimes that takes him about 2 hours and then other times he’s riding his bike,” said Cantu.

For Perry, not showing up for work was not an option.

“This was the first store that would hire me, so I figured I had to put in the effort,” he said. “I was raised if you get a job, you’ve made a commitment, you’ve got to honor it, so if it just means me having to get up early or travel a long way, it’s what I’ve got to do.”

Swimming to work (Abdul Malik)

Swimming to work (Abdul Malik)

45 year old Abdul Malik had spent the last 14 years swimming to work.

Malik says “Teaching is my life and these children depend on me so if swimming each day is the price I have to pay then so be it.”

A mental health doctor from England, named Dr Alam, heard of Malik’s remarkable story and has donated him a fibreglass boat.

“On learning about his plight, I decided that he should not be swimming any more to reach his school.”

Dr. Alam said that “I’m happy I could do something to alleviate the woes of a man in need.”

Malik lives in a poor area of India, the Padinjatumuri village of Mallapuram district. Cars are a luxury and something a teacher could never afford. Walking to work is not possible so therefore the only other feasible option for Malik was to take a bus. However, Malik felt that by taking a bus he ran the risk of being late. There’s no guarantee he’d be able to get on the bus, such is the congestion, and even if he was able to it’d take him a further two hours from leaving his house to arriving at work. So, unbelievably, Malik felt he had little option but to swim, as swimming was the only way he could guarantee to get to work on time – which for him, was all that matters.

“There are no bridges to cross this river and the only other route to the school is a two-hour long trek via the bus which is always running late. Therefore, swimming happens to be the only choice and for me to teach my students then this is what I have to do.” says Malik.

Every morning Malik put together a spare pair of clothes into a plastic bag that he then carried over his head. He wrapped a rubber tube around him and then jumps into the dirty Kadalundi river and navigates his way to work. He had been doing this for the past 14 years.

“He is very punctual. In fact much more than those who use other modes of transport. His dedication to his work is superb,” says Headmaster of AMLPS School, K M Mohammed Basheer.

“We love this teacher,” says a student at the school where he teaches.

Every day Malik risked his own health by wading through the Kadalundi river. When most people arrive to work the first thing they do is go and grab a coffee. The first thing Abdul Malik did was get himself dry and changed into a new set of clothes.

Unsurprisingly he’s the most popular teacher at school, and the most punctual. Even when monsoon season hit, and currents become even more dangerous, Malik was still the first person through the door.

People may ask why he did it?

“We wait for him to arrive each day, he’s such a great teacher. We depend on him to get a good education.” says one of his students.

And for Malik, the fact students depended on him was a reason to get up every morning and cross that river.

Malik wasn’t just teaching his students about maths and science, he, like so many of the best teachers, was inspiring them to be better than what they are.

Back in 2014 Malik’s story was shared widely on social media and Dr Alam, a mental health doctor from the UK felt compelled to help Malik.

“On learning about his plight, I decided that he should not be swimming any more to reach his school.”

The fibreglass boat was bought by Dr. Alam and delivered to Mr. Malik at Perumbalam in Anakkayam panchayat. Malik now operates the boat with the help of a pulley and rope tied to the anchorage on both shores of the river.

“This will give him advantage to operate the boat from both shores,” said Dr. Alam.

Initially the pulley and rope system proved problematic so Khajah Shihabuddin, lecturer at Government Polytechnic College, Tirurangadi, offered his class (and his own) technical support to fix the system.

Malik is still the first to arrive at school but he now does so needing only one set of clothes.

College President tells students he doesn’t deal with demands

College President tells students he doesn’t deal with demands

The white president of a college in Virginia just gave a Black Lives Matter group a real hard pill to swallow when they showed up in his office with a list of demands.

“I don’t deal in demands,” said College of William & Mary President W. Taylor Reveley III. “I don’t make demands of other people. I don’t expect to receive demands from people. I love to get suggestions, recommendations, strong arguments.”

“When you approach other people with a demand, instead of their ears opening and their spirit being unusually receptive, you get defensive walls erected,” he continued in the live video streamed on Facebook. “So, I think you all need to think about it.”

A student spoke up after this and said Reveley made an “interesting point” about making suggestions and added, “But I’m going to disagree.”

Reveley wasn’t fazed and reminded them, “That is the beauty of the First Amendment.”

In typical BLM fashion, the students saw their president as clueless and tried to tell him that making suggestions is too nice and makes them “not necessary.”

“No, no, no, that’s not the way the world works,” Reveley retorted. “It is not effective, in my opinion, to approach other people and say ‘we demand’ unless you have the capacity to demand.”

“We are students, and we pay tuition to be here,” someone said. “That is the reason why we are able to write these demands.”

Another said, “So, you have an issue with the way that we are phrasing this? … I think you’re missing the point … We’ve tried to be nice … It’s not working.”

They demanded he listen “to students of color when they tell you this is what needs to happen.”

Unlike those in the room, you will LOVE Reveley’s response:

The disgusted group left the meeting disheartened, with one of them posting the video to Facebook and complaining:

This is what being censored looks like. This is what white supremacy looks like. This is what patriarchy looks like. This is what condescension looks like. This is what being told “you, your issues and your life don’t matter” looks like. THIS is why we say #BlackLivesMatter… [He] is not a benevolent grandpa, he is a man with an agenda that excludes students of color. Call it what it is.

We will call it what it is: a college president with balls big enough to confront a group of anti-American bullies. Let us hope more follows his lead.

Teacher who asked students to predict their futures delivers their letters – 24 years later: Student wanted to be mother and teacher…she did it!

Teacher who asked students to predict their futures delivers their letters – 24 years later: Student wanted to be mother and teacher…she did it!

EAST MARLBOROUGH When Fred Stauffer was an environmental teacher at Unionville High School back in the 1990s, he came up with an original idea to give his students an assignment to write a letter to themselves, and predict what their future would be like.

That future, 24 years later, is here.

Last month, Stauffer, with the help of Megan Plunkett-Cromer, delivered letters from students in Stauffer’s 1993 and 1994 classes. Stauffer didn’t read them all, but some of the ones he did read were doom and gloom, others eerily prophetic.

“Some of the stories were interesting,” Stauffer said. “They were supposed to be kids writing letters to themselves. Some were doomsdayers, others were pretty positive. It was a lot of fun.”

who turned 40 in April and was a student in Stauffer’s class, was surprised when Stauffer showed up at her house unannounced. Stauffer found her home when he went to her parents’ house first, and they directed him to her house right down the street.

“He gave my letter to me,” she said. “I wrote about wanting four kids, about wanting a teaching job, and other family and personal things. It was cool.”

Plunkett-Cromer has four children now, and had taught in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District before retiring to take care of her children, but she remains a PTO president.

Stauffer then asked Plunkett-Cromer to help deliver the more than 70 letters, because it had become hard to track down students who no longer lived with their parents.

Dan Fogel said he doesn’t remember writing his letter in Stauffer’s environmental science class in 1994, but he was glad to see his letter when it got delivered.

“I said world hunger will be a worse problem and more people will be cold and sick and endangered species will be an issue, and there will be disease and war,” Fogel said. “But I also said I will be married with children and have a decent living and a nice job. That part came true.”

Stauffer said he remembers reading a letter from one female student who said she wanted to be an elementary school teacher in Unionville, wanted three children and wanted to name them Mark, Heather and John. She had four children, and never used the names she predicted, but ended up becoming a teacher at Chadds-Ford Elementary School.

Stuaffer said he quit the experiment after two years when he realized he could have a problem delivering so many letters years later. He said he enjoys retirement.

“One of the most rewarding things I have seen in retirement is to see (past students) doing great things with their lives, and what they have achieved,” Stauffer said. “Teachers influence lives.”

Many of the letters are delivered, though some are not.

Britain’s oldest man celebrates his 109th birthday – “As with everything in my life, it has just kind of happened to me, it’s not been my choice and I have had to make the best of it”

Britain’s oldest man celebrates his 109th birthday – “As with everything in my life, it has just kind of happened to me, it’s not been my choice and I have had to make the best of it”

Britain’s oldest man is about to celebrate his 109th birthday, which is on Wednesday.

Robert Weighton was born in March 1908 – when Edward VII was King and Britain had yet to fight in two world wars.

He is still fit as a fiddle and although he received one letter from the Queen when he turned 100, he decided not to opt into getting a card for every additional year.

He said that in “the cards she looked a bit miserable while on official duties.”

Britain’s oldest man refuses card from the Queen because Her Majesty always looks “so miserable”

This is so as not to clutter up his comfortable house.

The centenarian, who was born in Hull, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, was the middle of seven children – with three brothers and three sisters – and has three children of his own, 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Australia confirms its own Jurassic Park with huge dinosaur footprints

Australia confirms its own Jurassic Park with huge dinosaur footprints

The 1.7-meter stegosaur footprints are the biggest of their kind yet discovered. They are just one of about 21 different kinds of dinosaur footprints found in the 25-kilometer (15.5-mile) stretch of the Dampier Peninsula coastline in northwest Australia.

Scientists published their findings on Monday. Paleontologists from the University of Queensland and James Cook University have been working with the area’s Traditional Custodians, the Goolarabooloo people, since 2008.

The Goolarabooloo administration contacted the University of Queensland in 2008 when the area was named as the preferred site for a liquid gas processing precinct. “We needed the world to see what was at stake,” Goolarabooloo Law Boss Phillip Roe said. The gas project collapsed in 2013 after the area was given a National Heritage listing in 2011.

“With 21 different types of tracks represented, that makes it the most diverse dinosaur footprint fauna in the world,” lead scientist Steve Salisbury said. “Among the tracks is the only confirmed evidence for stegosaurs in Australia. There are also some of the largest dinosaur tracks ever recorded,” he said. A dinosaur footprint reported found in the Mongolian desert last year measured 106 centimeters.

“Some of them are so big we didn’t really notice them for some time because they’re sort of beyond your search image for a dinosaur track,” Salisbury admitted.

“It’s such a magical place – Australia’s own Jurassic Park, in a spectacular wilderness setting,” Salisbury said.

The Goolarabooloo people of the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia knew of the dinosaur tracks from an ancient song cycle which extends along the coast and inland for 450 kilometers. The song cycle is part of the cultural knowledge of the Goolarabooloo, known as Bugarregarre, the Dreaming. The community elders pass the knowledge down through the song cycle which recounts the creative journey of the ancestral beings who made the land and its people.

The area was a large river delta 130 million years ago, with dinosaurs crossing wet sandy areas between forests. They left thousands of tracks behind them on what are now sandstone rock platforms on a remote coastline known as Walmadan (James Price Point area) to its traditional owners, north of the city of Broome.

“It is extremely significant, forming the primary record of non-avian dinosaurs in the western half of the continent and providing the only glimpse of Australia’s dinosaur fauna during the first half of the Early Cretaceous Period,” Salisbury said.

Salisbury said “Most of Australia’s dinosaur fossils come from the eastern side of the continent, and are between 115 and 90 million years old.  The tracks in Broome are considerably older,” as they were found in 127 to 140 million-year-old rocks.

“There were five different types of predatory dinosaur tracks, at least six types of tracks from long-necked herbivorous sauropods, four types of tracks from two-legged herbivorous ornithopods, and six types of tracks from armored dinosaurs,” Salisbury said.

The research has been published as the 2016 Memoir of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Salisbury fulfilled a life-long dream of finding Australian dinosaurs in part in 2001 through his involvement in the discovery of Australia’s largest dinosaur, Elliot the sauropod. Salisbury hopes his work will attract people to visit the Walmadan area and see the footprints with Indigenous traditional owners of the land.

Meet Florence Rigney, America’s Oldest Working Nurse

Meet Florence Rigney, America’s Oldest Working Nurse

Before much of Tacoma, Washington wakes up, Florence Rigney, 91, is already out the door.

Placing her coffee in a cup-holder, she drives herself to Tacoma General Hospital, where she has worked as a nurse for more than 70 years.

Known to friends, colleagues, and patients as “SeeSee,” Rigney is believed to be the oldest working registered nurse in America.

“I have something to get up for in the morning,” Rigney told NBC News. “And I do like to be able to interact with patients and give them what comfort and what help I can.”

Her job at Tacoma General requires her to buzz about the surgical suite with the speed and dexterity of someone half — or one third — of her age.

And if you plan on keeping up, you’d better wear comfortable shoes.

Rigney sets up operating rooms to the specifications of the surgeon and the needs of the case, and helps prep patients for surgery.

Colleagues consider her speed and dedication inspiring.

“You can never have a moment where you go, ‘Ugh, I’m too tired,’” hospital technician Greg Foland said. “If you hesitate for even a second she’ll just keep on going.”

Keeping going is a bit of a motto for Rigney, who retired at 67. That lasted six months.

“I always knew that I wanted to come back and work a little bit, but I never realized I’d stay for 25 years,” she said.

When Rigney started nursing, penicillin had just been introduced. The biggest change she’s seen aside from the obvious medical innovations is the duration of patient stays. In the old days, she says, patients could stay for 10 days or longer after surgery. Now most go home in a day or two.

A video celebrating Rigney’s 90th birthday went viral in 2015. At the time, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued a proclamation congratulation the country’s oldest working nurse. News stories followed and still two years later, “SeeSee” is a bit of a celebrity.

“When we have any new residents or new nurse students come in they always say, ‘Is SeeSee working today? Can we see her, can we meet her?’” said nurse manager Cilje Kennedy.

Rigney says she cherishes decades of memories, including names of patients she cared for and thank-you mementos they’ve shared with her. Her 92nd birthday is approaching in May, and while she has reduced her schedule to just two days a week, she admits she will eventually hang up her scrubs for good.

“I just feel very honored that they’ll still let me work,” she said.