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Iowa politician says even dead fetuses should be carried to term

An Iowa state representative has caused a furor online by asserting that women who miscarry after 20 weeks of pregnancy should have to carry their fetuses to term.

Shannon Lundgren’s comments came during a hearing this week on Senate File 471, which would pave the way for a state ban on abortions after the 20-week mark. The Iowa House of Representatives’ Human Resources Committee approved the legislation after a “fetal heartbeat bill” that would have banned abortion any time after a heartbeat is detected—as early as six weeks of pregnancy—was scrapped. The legislation is now under consideration by the Iowa House, and if it becomes law, Iowa would be the 18th state to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Lundgren, the manager of Senate File 471, represents rural Dubuque and ran for office on an anti-abortion platform. She was asked by state Representative John Forbes if, under the proposal, his daughter, who is 20 weeks pregnant, would have to carry her child to term even if a doctor told her there was no longer a heartbeat. “Is that good medicine?” asked Forbes.

“This bill wasn’t written for the intent to protect or govern on the side of the woman. It was written to save babies’ lives, giving the choice and being the voice of those babies...that don’t have one,” replied Lundgren. “I understand what you’re saying—this fetus, this baby, is not alive. I would concur that in that instance, if your daughter’s life is not in danger, that yes, she would have to carry that baby.”



Fucking nutcase

ICE Arrests Green Card Applicants In Lawrence, Signaling Shift In Priorities

Federal immigration officers arrested five people in Lawrence on Wednesday when they showed up for scheduled appointments at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office.

WBUR has confirmed that at least three of those arrested were beginning the process to become legal permanent residents. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says the agency had orders to detain each of the five individuals for deportation.

'They're In A Sort Of Catch-22'

Brian Doyle, the attorney for one of the three people who were seeking green cards before they were arrested, says he knew there was a chance his client would be taken into custody at the appointment.

His client, a Brazilian national who had been ordered deported before she married a U.S. citizen, understood the risks as well, but ultimately decided that she wanted to keep the appointment and begin the green card process.


The entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arbys

“My action today is the latest in a series of steps to create American jobs and to grow American wealth,” President Trump said earlier this week before a group of coal miners.

Trump was announcing the rollback of several Obama-era environmental regulations that would have affected industries such as coal mining. Trump has repeatedly claimed that over-regulation has led to a decline in coal-industry jobs.

“I made them this promise,” Trump said at the signing. “We will put our miners back to work.”

Experts in the industry have already pointed out, repeatedly, that the coal jobs are extremely unlikely to come back. The plight of the coal industry is more a function of changing energy markets and increased demand for natural gas than anything else.

The chief executive of the nation's largest privately held coal operation told the Guardian earlier this month that Trump “can't bring back.”


Friday TOON Roundup 3 - The Rest














Friday TOON Roundup 2 -Russia


Friday TOON Roundup 1 - Donald the Unfit

Researchers identify genes that give cannabis its flavour

UBC scientists have scanned the genome of cannabis plants to find the genes responsible for giving various strains their lemony, skunky or earthy flavours, an important step for the budding legal cannabis industry.

“The goal is to develop well-defined and highly-reproducible cannabis varieties. This is similar to the wine industry, which depends on defined varieties such as chardonnay or merlot for high value products,” said Jörg Bohlmann, a professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories and faculty of forestry at UBC. “Our genomics work can inform breeders of commercial varieties which genes to pay attention to for specific flavour qualities.”

The research is part of an ongoing collaboration between Bohlmann, graduate student Judith Booth, and Jonathan Page, an adjunct professor in the botany department who founded the cannabis testing and biotechnology company Anandia Labs.

They found about 30 terpene synthase genes that contribute to diverse flavours in cannabis. This number is comparable to similar genes that play a role in grapevine flavour for the wine industry. The genes the researchers discovered play a role in producing natural products like limonene, myrcene, and pinene in the cannabis plants. These fragrant molecules are generally known in the industry as terpenes.



Canadian Fisheries unions request that seal hunt start early

By: Sheryl Fink

UPDATE: In a decision that is disastrous for the welfare of seal pups, the Government of Canada has caved to hunters and opened an adult seal hunt from March 28th to April 7th — right in the middle of whelping season, when seals are most vulnerable.

As if the poor harp seals didn’t have it bad enough. Ice conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence were abysmal this year, meaning many pups likely drowned or were crushed to death in the ice. Now, sealers in Newfoundland want to open the annual slaughter two weeks early, removing one of the few protections remaining for this iconic Canadian species.

Harp seal pups are born on the ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in late February, and on the front off Newfoundland in early March. This timing is variable, however, and may be affected by changing ice conditions, with pupping being delayed or extended in years of poor ice conditions.

Harp seal pups are highly dependent on their mothers for the first two weeks of life.


IRS loosening enforcement of ObamaCare mandate

The IRS says it will not reject tax forms from people who fail to answer whether they had health insurance, a sign of loosening up on enforcement of ObamaCare’s individual mandate.

Tax forms ask people whether they had health coverage in the previous year to determine whether they need to pay a financial penalty under ObamaCare’s mandate to have coverage.

The IRS cited Trump’s executive order calling on agencies to ease up on ObamaCare regulations.

"The recent executive order directed federal agencies to exercise authority and discretion available to them to reduce potential burden," the IRS said in a statement to Reason.


Disabled, or just desperate? Rural Americans turn to disability as jobs dry up

Story by Terrence McCoy


The lobby at the pain-management clinic had become crowded with patients, so relatives had gone outside to their trucks to wait, and here, too, sat Desmond Spencer, smoking a 9 a.m. cigarette and watching the door. He tried stretching out his right leg, knowing these waits can take hours, and winced. He couldn’t sit easily for long, not anymore, and so he took a sip of soda and again thought about what he should do.

He hadn’t had a full-time job in a year. He was skipping meals to save money. He wore jeans torn open in the front and back. His body didn’t work like it once had. He limped in the days, and in the nights, his hands would swell and go numb, a reminder of years spent hammering nails. His right shoulder felt like it was starting to go, too.

But did all of this pain mean he was disabled? Or was he just desperate?

He wouldn’t even turn 40 for a few more months.


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