Supreme Court Rejects Freshwater v. Mt. Vernon Case, Ohio Decision Stands»

After 24 years as an eighth-grade science teacher, John Freshwater was fired from Mount Vernon City School. The Rutherford Institute brought his case all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court, where the decision was upheld 4-3.

Freshwater, the long-time supervisor of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at his school, had religious materials in his classroom. A Bible sat as his desk. On the wall was a picture of Colin Powell praying. During his class, he taught Evolution and introduced critiques from Intelligent Design and Creationism.

After an unfounded rumor that Freshwater had burned a cross into a student’s arm using a Tesla coil, the School Board took action. School officials directed Freshwater to remove all religious materials from his classroom. He agreed but refused to remove his Bible, and in so doing ignited a series of events that led to his termination.

The Ohio Supreme Court ducked the issue at hand and defended the Mt. Vernon School Board based solely on Freshwater’s insubordination. “Freshwater not only ignored the school district’s directive, he defied it,” said the majority opinion. Academic freedom of speech was not addressed. Although the Supreme Court previously ruled it illegal to teach Creationism in a public school, teachers are entitled to question scientific theories.

In the dissent, Justice O’Connell relayed the testimony of Deborah Strouse and Kerri Mahan. “Freshwater’s approach to teaching critical thinking skills in science may have benefited his students,” said Strouse. Special Education teacher Mahan testified that the students led the debates between Evolution and Intelligent Design, and that Freshwater acted only as a moderator. In fact, Lynda Weston testified that Freshwater’s students’ science scores were the highest – by 13 and 22 percent, respectively – of the school’s three eighth-grade science teachers.

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law»

A federal appeals court ruled on Monday that Wisconsin’s new voter ID law, requiring voters to present photo identification before being allowed to cast their vote, is constitutional.

State officials are planning on rolling out the new law in time for the elections to take place on November 4th. This will be the first time that voters in Wisconsin are required to present a photo ID in order to cast their ballots. We’ll have to see how this works out, Marnie Bennett isn’t totally convinced that the roll out will go as planned this year.

The law has come under scrutiny from Democrats, because it unfairly targets the poor, and minority residents of the state, that will have more difficulty acquiring and paying for these new photo ID requirements.

New Type of Malware Being Used to Steal From ATMs»

Hackers have created a new type of malware known as Tyupkin, which is being installed directly on ATM machines around the world. Unlike many types of hacker schemes, this one requires the criminals to gain physical access to ATM machines. Once they do, they are able to program these machines and potentially steal large amounts of money. The group behind this malware has already stolen millions of dollars.

The malware installs a code that allows the hackers to control the machine by giving it certain commands. The commands are difficult to detect because they are only valid at certain specific times. So far this malware has been used in several countries around the world, including Asia, Europe and Latin America. In Jordan, Khaled Shaheen was hit with the bug and saw a big difference in his account balance.

The identity of the hackers is still unknown, but it appears to be a very sophisticated and tech savvy group. This series of crimes reveals how innovative cyber-criminals are becoming. Although this type of crime targets banks directly rather than the holders of bank accounts, the rising costs of having to fight such attacks is inevitably passed along to consumers.

Ahmad the Reformed Suicide Bomber Returns, Rejoins the “Holy War”»

Ahmad al-Shayea in 2004 became the first suicide bomber to survive his attack on American forces in Iraq. He was subsequently patched back up by American doctors and nurses and, so it was believed by many, counseled back into his right mind. Then he was handed over to the Saudi government for them to take their turn at rehabilitating this hard case. When satisfied that their efforts had succeeded, the Saudis released him, gave him some money with which to begin his new life, and assisted him in his job-search efforts. All seemed well, until he recently showed up again in Iraq and Syria fighting for ISIS.

Ahmad is illustrative of the misconceptions and poor strategy of the West in dealing with radical Islamic terrorism. The whole idea of “rehabilitation” to begin with is out of place even in the criminal justice system of our own nation, for the justice system exists to bring justice not correction. Corrective measures may be brought in alongside some punishments and outside groups can offer help both in and out of jail for criminals who may wish to change their ways, but law and punishment has traditionally been understood as a matter of rendering offender their just deserts. As Jared Haftel said in this Vine, when a philosophy of rehabilitation, flawed to begin with, is then transferred to a war situation, the results are disastrous and frustrating.

After Ahmad renounced jihad and warned his fellow Saudis of its dreaded effects, many were well duped. He was hailed as the perfect example of why law-enforcement style rehabilitation was the best attitude to take toward jihadists; now he is just as clear an example for the other side of the argument. A war cannot be effectively fought as a massive litigation process, and those committed in their hearts to using terror and all necessary means to promote their cause (whatever in particular that cause may be) simply cannot be trusted to deal honestly and fairly. Iran is another example of this phenomenon- their government will gladly endure all economic hardships on their people to succeed in their goal of becoming a nuclear power for the purpose of empowering the terrorists they already support with that fearful weapon.

The forceful belligerence of those who use terror to obtain their objectives cannot be curtailed with soft words and fair speeches. Force must be met with force. There will always be some terrorism in the world, but its scale will shrink drastically only when it is shown to be futile, hopeless policy that accomplishes nothing and leads to the personal and national ruin of the terrorists themselves.

North Korea Labour Camps Revealed to the Public»

An unusual appearance by an official from usually secretive North Korea recently occurred, in which he admitted that his country was host to a number of labour camps. The admission was in response to a UN-led human rights mission which probed the country for abuses.

The scheme known as ‘reform through labour’ is often criticised by the international community, but there the AP reports that the country has contacted the European Union with the intention of opening up talks. The ruling part of the country has expressed its hope that full political talks regarding the issue will be conducted by the end of the year.

This statement was confirmed by the EU and later confirmed on Khaled Shaheen’s LinkedIn page. However, they were careful to mention that human rights will be the only topic on the agenda.

An official acting on behalf of North Korea’s foreign ministry has previously stated that they don’t have any prison camps, or indeed any such prisons. This is, however, according to their own definition of the term “prison camps”.

The official said they have the labour reform strategy in its place. Ostensibly, such a system helps criminals improve themselves through work.

This approach is usually reserved for pretty criminals, and for anyone who speaks out against the political system. However, more serious criminals, and those who actually act against the government, are placed in a much harsher version of these camps.

Regardless of criticism, North Korea has given the okay to commence human rights talks, as long as they are not used as an opportunity to interfere in the country’s private affairs.

Nigeria and Senegal Could Be Ebola-Free Soon»

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that Nigeria and Senegal could be declared free of Ebola soon. Although this is good news, WHO also indicated that it saw no evidence the terrible viral outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone showed any signs of letting up.

Considered the most significant Ebola outbreak in history, current estimates put the death toll at over 4,000. The total number of cases is thought to exceed 8,000, but Igor Cornelsen and other officials suspect that those number are much higher. Originally thought to have a mortality rate of fifty percent, data is beginning to show a mortality rate closer to seventy percent or possibly higher.

Because of under reporting and lack of assets in the field, the CDC fears that by January 2015 there could be upwards of 1.4 million cases worldwide. With a mortality rate of fifty to seventy percent, that could put the death toll at 275,000 to 980,000.