Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

lobola-calc-1By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

If you have wondered how many cows your hand in marriage is worth, a new app may provide you with some important information–and more importantly, can you command More Cow (wedding) Bell.

Robert Matsaneng, a 26-year-old South African software developer, developed an app to measure how much Lobola the bride may expect from her potential suitor. Lobola is a custom in the Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Swazi cultures where the bridegroom pays the family of the bride for her hand in marriage. Payment is made in the form of currency and live cows. The family of the bride sets the initial price.

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Gloria Eun Hye Lee

Gloria Eun Hye Lee

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

There are crimes where a defendant’s depraved actions almost beg for a strong sentence. Torching a pet store and pouring kerosene on puppies certainly qualifies.

Just over a year ago we reported the case of Gloria Eun Hye Lee who, along with codefendant Kirk Bills were accused of conspiracy, insurance fraud, arson, and animal cruelty for an outrageous event where the two set fire to Gloria’s Las Vegas Prince and Princess Pet Botique.

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Congressional SealSeal_of_the_President_of_the_United_States.svgThe Obama Administration previously filed its Motion to Dismiss in the challenge by the United States House of Representatives v. Burwell. As many of you know, I am lead counsel in the action. The Obama Administration is seeking to block the court from hearing the merits of our Complaint and below is our filing today in defense of the right of the House of Representatives to be heard in the federal court. The case is before Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

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Despite the fact that the Senate recently voted 98-1 that climate change is real and not a hoax, Sen. Jim Inhofe, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, was back on the floor mocking the notion of climate change this week. Inhofe voted for the earlier resolution but insists that man is not responsible for the changes. Those pushing for measures to combat climate change bring the overwhelming majority of scientists around the world to such debates as well as dozens of studies. Inhofe brought a snowball.

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Yesterday, we discussed another massive book burning by Islamic State as well as reports of the destruction of ancient art pieces. The latter report appears true after ISIS posted a video of its militants taking sledgehammers and drills to ancient art work and statues going back to the 7th Century. The actions are reminiscent of the infamous destruction of the famous giant Buddhas of Bamiyan.

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ht_kelly_renee_gissendaner_death_row_float_jc_150219_16x9_992The execution of Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, had a rare interruption this week. The first female prisoner to be executed by the state of Georgia in 70 years was halted not by an order of the governor or the Supreme Court. It was delayed on account of “inclimate weather.” I have not seen such a “called for weather” delay in an execution, which is generally set by order or statute as occurring on a set day.

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AQMI_Flag.svgThe_House_of_Leaves_-_Burning_4We have previously discussed the burning of rare books by Islamic State. Now, a new report says that the group has burned more than 8,000 rare books and manuscripts in Mosul. They then reportedly bombed the Mosul Public Library according to the director of the library. A new video also shows ISIS fighters smashing works of art, including a 9th Century figure.

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