A marijuana plant ready for trimming at the Botanacare marijuana store ahead of their grand opening on New Year’s day in Northglenn, Colo. If a vote succeeds, Alaska would join that state and Washington, which have already legalized pot for recreational use. (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)
A group of activists in favor of legalizing marijuana say they’ve turned in more than enough signatures to qualify for an August ballot vote.
The Alaska Campaign to Regulate Marijuana turned over 46,000 signatures on Wednesday—about 50 percent more than the roughly 30,000 needed. If the state Division of Elections reviews and approves the signatures ballot language will be prepared, according to a state description of the process. The sponsors of the initiative say the next step for them will be to spread the word and garner support.
“We’ll be taking our message to the voters in lots of different ways,” says Tim Hinterberger, one of the three sponsors and a professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s School of Medical Education. “It’s clear to everyone that prohibition is a failed policy.”
This image provided by the Clark County Detention Center shows Kirk Bills, who has been accused of trying to burn a pet shop where 27 puppies were rescued last month. Bills has been returned in custody to Las Vegas to face arson and other charges, authorities said Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014.
Applause Erupts As Ukrainian Opposition Leader Freed From Prison
By Erik Ortiz and Maria Stromova
A chief political rival of embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was freed Saturday from prison as the defiant leader struggled to hold on to power as protesters seized control of the presidential palace and the parliament voted to remove him from office.
Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko waved to supporters from a car as she was driven out of the hospital in the northeastern city if Kharkiv, where she has been treated for a bad back while serving a seven-year sentence since 2011.
“Our country can from this day on see the sun, because dictatorship fell,” Tymoshenko said.
Parliament members had voted to free her after Yanukovych fled the capital of Kiev a day after announcing a pact with opposition leaders. Yanukovych said he is traveling the country to seek advice and will “do everything to stop the bloodshed” that left at least 77 dead, hundreds injured and nearly collapsed the country into a civil war.
“I am not planning to leave the country,” he said in a video televised on local media. “I am not planning to resign. I am a legitimately elected president. I was given guarantees of safety by all the international mediators I worked with.”
Yanukovych claimed his car was shot at, but that he didn’t fear for his life, denouncing some of the opposition protesters as “bandits.”
“I will not sign anything with the bandits who are terrorizing the whole country and Ukrainian people. They are discrediting the country,” he said on UBR television.
In another strike against the president, the parliament Saturday freed Tymoshenko, who had been imprisoned on charges of abuse of office, which the West had questioned. They also endorsed Oleksandr Turchynov as the new speaker.
The apparent toppling of the pro-Russian looks likely to pull Ukraine away from Moscow’s orbit and closer to Europe.
KIEV, Ukraine — Abandoned by his own guards and reviled across the Ukrainian capital but still determined to recover his shredded authority, President Viktor F. Yanukovych fled Kiev on Saturday to denounce what he called a violent coup, as his official residence, his vast, colonnaded office complex and other once impregnable centers of power fell without a fight to throngs of joyous citizens stunned by their triumph.
While Mr. Yanukovych’s nemesis, former Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko, was released from a penitentiary hospital, Parliament found the president unable to fulfill his duties and exercised its constitutional powers to set an election for May 25 to select his replacement. But with both Mr. Yanukovych and his Russian patrons speaking of a “coup” carried out by “bandits” and “hooligans,” it was far from clear that the day’s lightning-quick events would be the last act in a struggle that has not just convulsed Ukraine but expanded into an East-West confrontation reminiscent of the Cold War.
At the presidential residence a short distance from the capital, protesters carrying clubs and some wearing masks were in control of the entryways Saturday morning and watched as thousands of citizens strolled through the grounds in wonder. “This commences a new life for Ukraine,” said Roman Dakus, a protester-turned-guard, who was wearing a ski helmet and carrying a length of pipe as he blocked a doorway at the compound. “This is only a start,” he added. “We need now to make a new structure and a new system, a foundation for our future, with rights for everybody, and we need to investigate who ordered the violence.”
With the riot police they battled for days having disappeared, the protesters claimed to be in charge of security for the city. There was no sign of looting, either in the city proper or in the presidential compound.
A pugnacious Mr. Yanukovych appeared on television Saturday afternoon, apparently from the eastern city of Kharkiv, near Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia, saying he had been forced to leave the capital because of a “coup,” and that he had not resigned, and had no plans to. He said indignantly that his car had been fired upon as he drove away.
“I don’t plan to leave the country. I don’t plan to resign,” he said, speaking in Russian rather than Ukrainian, the country’s official language. “I am a legitimately elected president.” He added: “What is happening today, mostly, it is vandalism, banditism and a coup d’état. This is my assessment and I am deeply convinced of this. I will remain on the territory of Ukraine.” He also complained of “traitors” among his own former supporters but he declined to name them.
Regional governors from eastern Ukraine met in Kharkiv and adopted a resolution resisting the authority of Parliament. They said that until matters were resolved, “we have decided to take responsibility for safeguarding the constitutional order, legality, citizens’ rights and their security on our territories.”
One of the few institutions still taking orders from the president was the official trilingual website of the Ukrainian presidency, which posted a transcript of his defiant television address. But, by evening, the text had appeared only in Ukrainian and Russian, suggesting that his English translator had perhaps jumped ship.
The former nerve center of Mr. Yanukovych’s power, the huge compound of the presidential administration, just a few hundred yards from Independence Square in Kiev, was empty Saturday aside from protesters who patrolled its courtyard and blocked off a nearby street to prevent residents swarming into the building. Ukrainian flags flying outside had all been lowered to half-mast, in honor of those killed by police officers and snipers on Thursday.
Mr. Yanukovych said in his television appearance that he would be traveling to the southeastern part of Ukraine to talk to his supporters — a plan that carried potentially ominous overtones, in that the southeast is the location of the Crimea, the historically Russian section of the country that is the site of a Russian naval base.
The president’s departure from Kiev, just a day after a peace deal with the opposition that he had hoped would keep him in office until at least December, capped three months of streets protests and a week of frenzied violence in the capital that left more than 75 protesters dead. It turned what began in November as a street protest driven by pro-Europe chants and nationalist songs into a momentous but still ill-defined revolution.
With nobody clearly in charge, other than the so far remarkably disciplined fighting squads, lieutenants of Ms. Tymoshenko moved to fill the power vacuum. With Oleksandr V. Turchynov, a former acting prime minister and close ally of Ms. Tymoshenko, presiding over the Parliament, her Fatherland party seemed to be in charge, at least temporarily.
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What would you do if you saw a freezing child?
We set up a hidden camera and placed Johannes at a bus stop, in Oslo, Norway. This is what happened.
The film is made to raise awareness of the situation for children in Syria, and to raise funds to SOS Children’s Villages is their winter-campaign. Children in Syria are freezing and you can help by dontating. For more information: http://www.sos-barnebyer.no/Mayday/Syria
NORSK: En test utført av SOS-barnebyer bekrefter at det er mye hjertevarme blant folk i Norge. Nå håper vi at engasjementet også når fram til barn i Syria. Bidra du også send SMS SOS til 2160 / http://www.sos-barnebyer.no/Mayday/Syria
SOS-barnebyer i Syria deler ut tusenvis av varme jakker og pledd til barn på flukt, og samtidig mobiliseres givere i Norge for å kunne hjelpe flere barn gjennom givernettverket SOS MAYDAY.
Would YOU offer to help a child freezing in the street? Hidden cameras capture reactions of people faced with dilemma… and what they did will warm your heart
An 11-year-old boy was filmed as he struggled against the cold without a coat in Oslo
But the kindness of those who saw his heartbreaking situation and handed him their clothing is inspiring
It was a stunt for a charity helping freezing Syrian children who are fleeing the civil war
PUBLISHED: 14:38 EST, 20 February 2014 | UPDATED: 05:17 EST, 21 February 2014
A boy shivers in the harsh Oslo winter, pathetically wrapping his arms around himself on a bus stop bench. He isn’t wearing a coat and temperatures in the Norwegian capital regularly plunge to -10C during winter.
A heartbreaking scene, but the actions of the ordinary people who witnessed the plight of 11 year old Johannes Lønnestad Flaaten is both joyous and inspiring.
A young blonde woman who sat next to the boy and notices him rubbing his arms. She immediately asks him: ‘Don’t you have a jacket?’
This 11 year old boy was filmed as he sat shivering without a coat at a bus stop in Oslo, Norway. The actions of people who saw his discomfort will bring a smile to even the most jaded souls
Caring: This young woman asks him why he has no coat in such cold weather. He replies that it was stolen
Warm heart: She takes off her own jacket and wraps it around the freezing boy
No, someone stole it,’ he replies. She questions him and discovers he was on a school trip and was told to meet his teacher at the bus stop. She asks him the name of his school and where he’s from as she selflessly drapes her own coat around his shoulders.
Later, another older woman at first gives him her scarf, then wraps him in her large padded jacket.
Johanne’s predicament was a hidden camera experiment by Norwegian charity SOS Children’s Village as part of their winter campaign to gather donations to send much-needed coats and blankets to help Syrian children get through the winter. Many of the refugees have left their homes without winter clothing.
Throughout the day, more and more people offered Johannes their gloves and even the coats off their backs as they waited for their bus. One man even sat shivering in his t-shirt so Johanne could be wrapped up in his warm coat.
Sacrifice: This man endured the savage temperature in just a T-shirt so the boy could get warm
She may not make it to the basketball and volleyball games of her beloved high school teams, but a teenager with a rare type of terminal cancer is making sure they will play in style.
Courtesy Heather Glover
Jayci Glover, right, and a friend share a happy moment. The terminally-ill teen loves mangoes so a local business created a mango smoothie named for her.
When approached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation recently, Jayci Glover, a 13-year-old who lives in Kanab, Utah, simply asked for a new scoreboard for the local high school, where the students and athletes have embraced the girl and kept her spirits up during a difficult year.
“She just decided that she didn’t really need anything, that she has everything she wants and wanted to give something back to all of her friends and the local community that’s done so much to support her,” her mother, Heather Glover, told TODAY Moms.
Her mother said the family wasn’t surprised at all that Jayci’s would think of somebody else when making her wish.
“We had suspected all along that she was going to choose something for her two little sisters or for her friends… She can never think of anything she wants – for Christmas or birthdays.”
Make-A-Wish is paying $7,500 towards the cost of the new scoreboard, which will cost $20,000, said Karen Kelly, who is Jayci’s great aunt and works at the school. The plans are to put Jayci’s name on the scoreboard so she is always there in spirit and cheering on the teams.
The girl, who was diagnosed with peripheral T-cell lymphoma, is at home on hospice care now after spending much of last year in and out of the hospital, Jayci’s mom said.
“There just aren’t any more things they can try. We’ve tried every proven lymphoma treatment that there is and her cancer continued to grow through every single one of them,” Glover said.
Courtesy Karen Kelly
The Make-A-Wish check was presented during a ceremony at the local high school on Feb. 12.
“We just reached a decision… to just come home and try to let her be in her home with her two little sisters for as long as we can. We don’t know how long that will be. We don’t think it will be too long.”
PUBLISHED: 10:54 EST, 20 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:23 EST, 20 February 2014
A Utah teenager with terminal cancer has made an incredibly selfless gesture after donating her $7,500 Make-A-Wish foundation gift to her high school.
Jayci Glover, 13, has been fighting a rare form of terminal lymphoma for over a year, which has caused the previously healthy young girl to gain over 160lbs.
When Make-A-Wish asked Jayci what she would like to do with the money, rather than ask for a trip to theme park, or a chance to meet a celebrity or sports star, she decided to gave her gift to Kanab High School to pay a new scoreboard for the gym.
Jayci Glover, 13, has been fighting a rare form of terminal lymphoma for over a year, which has caused the previously healthy young girl to gain over 160lbs
Make-A-Wish presented Jayci Glover’s $7,500 check to Kanab High School before a basketball game on February 12
The foundation presented a $7,500 check to the school, in Jayci’s name, before a basketball game on February 12, reports Yahoo News.
The boy’s team also paid tribute to their benefactor with ‘Fight Like Jayci’ T-shirts and every player also gave her a rose and a hug or kiss before the game.
Here are a series of unique and talented bucket drummers.
Their techniques are awesome. Their sound and their style as diverse as they are. The creative spirit that allows these young men to create the music they do is incredible and they do it all with plastic drums and the occasional pot or shopping cart.
Last night I got the chance to go to my first Idaho Stampede basketball and take some pictures for Boise Sports Network(www.BoiseSportsNetwork.com). During the half-time show they had this guy Peter Rabbit – The Bucket Drummer perform so I switch my camera over to video and shot this clip. Be sure to check out his links. I will post them at the bottom of this description. This guy is seriously talented. I hope you enjoy the video. If you did give it a thumbs up and hit that subscribe button.
Outside the Smithsonian American History Museum in Washington, D.C., street musician Stanley Davis performs on a hot July day using bucket drums, a trash can and a shopping cart for instruments. Tourists visit Washington, D.C. for museums but get free performances as they pass on the street and sidewalk. Visit http://WhatToSeeInWashingtonDC.com
Kenny Thompson paid the negative lunch balance fo over 60 kids at the school where he mentors and tutors.
As a tutor and mentor at Valley Oaks Elementary School in Houston for over 10 years, Kenny Thompson has taken pride in helping out kids. So on Monday, when he found out that over 60 students at his school were eating cold sandwiches for lunch because of overdue funds on their accounts, he decided to pay off the negative balance. All $465 of it.
“It was the best money I ever spent,” Thompson, 52, told TODAY.com. “It was the best gift I ever gave myself. I went into my car and screamed.”
He didn’t realize how widespread the lunch account problem was until he learned that a Utah school had thrown away the lunches of students with negative balances at the end of January. That’s when he decided to look into the issue in his own community.
He found out that some students whose parents hadn’t paid were eating cold cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, instead of hot, hearty fare. And others avoided the lunch line altogether, preferring not to eat rather than face the embarrassment of not being able to afford the same lunch in front of their peers. Many of these students were already on reduced lunch, which costs just 40 cents a day.
“It was horrifying, it broke my heart,” he said. “These are elementary kids. They’re not bankers, and not responsible for the financial issues in the household.”
His wife, a teacher at Valley Oaks, encouraged him to follow through on the idea, but warned him that he wouldn’t be able to buy the new pair of Doc Martens he’d wanted. That was quite all right with Thompson.
“My work boots are still good,” he said with a chuckle.
Like most parents of a premature baby, Erin Cox suddenly found herself in a whirl of doctors, machines and incubators when her daughter came into the world.
Evalee was born two months early, not long after Cox’s water broke without any warning 30 weeks into her pregnancy. When the baby was delivered via Cesarean section at a Kansas City hospital last June, she weighed just 4 pounds.
Courtesy Jessica Strom Photography
Erin Cox holds her daughter Evalee at the neonatal intensive care unit of a Kansas City hospital last summer.
“She was very tiny. I mean, you walk around in the beginning holding her and it’s like holding a bag of cotton balls,” Cox, 33, told TODAY Moms.
“When you go back and look at the pictures, it’s like, oh, my gosh. What a journey. How amazing is this that she was that little and that she had to be so strong.”
The pictures, tender portraits taken during Evalee’s three-week stay in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, came courtesy of Jessica Strom, a Kansas City photographer who has made it her mission to provide free photo sessions to local families of preemies.
Courtesy Jessica Strom Photography
Baby Haven, photographed in the NICU by Jessica Strom.
Various organizations have started similar efforts in recent years, including Preemie Prints, a Texas nonprofit that has about 60 volunteer NICU photographers in more than a dozen states, and Capturing Hopes Photography, which has 21 volunteers in Winston Salem, N.C. Most NICUs allow photography as long as no flash is used, said Sherri Crum, assistant director of Preemie Prints.
It’s a service that may touch many families: One out of every eight babies is born prematurely in the U.S., according to the CDC. The agency doesn’t track how many are admitted to the NICU.
Strom, who makes a living taking maternity, birth, and newborn photos, said it’s her way to give back to families who must leave their babies in the care of the NICU, which veterans like Cox simply refer to as “Nick-U.”
See photos of tiny babies that photographer Jessica Strom takes free of charge.
Strom calls the tiny patients warriors.
“It’s an amazing experience to be able to see what these little babies have to go through,” Strom said. “It’s awe-inspiring. The human body is just so amazing.”
“By the time I see them, they’re stable and they’ve already come so far from where they started… it’s just a really exciting time and I think the parents are relieved to be somewhat normal.”
That chance to be “normal” is as precious as the images themselves for the parents, who watch other couples take their babies home right away. Strom knows the pictures she takes allow these weary moms and dads to show off baby photos just like everybody else and give them a break from the day-to-day hospital routine.
The Hunger Site – Your click helps to feed the hungry
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