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Ohio ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Goes Into Effect Despite Backlash From State Republicans

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Senate Bill 175 is a law originally intended to grant immunity to nonprofit organizations who allow licensed gun owners to bring firearms onto their premises. The bill was passed by the Ohio Senate in December with a controversial extension that states a legal gun owner has the right to defend themselves in public if facing imminent danger.

Ohio’s Senate Bill 175, which is more popularly known as the “Stand Your Ground” law, took effect Tuesday, marking the Buckeye State as the latest to join three dozen other US states, across the Land of the Free. 

The law, which was signed in January by Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH), emphasizes that a legal gun owner can use deadly force if they reasonably believe it is in defense of life. The legislation also expands on the description of self-defense, noting that it also applies in public. 

DeWine cleared the bill despite criticism from many Republican lawmakers who argued that the governor went against his own 2019 legislation that sought to toughen background checks and boost penalties for felons committing new crimes with guns.

These legislative reforms to address gun violence were proposed following the August 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, that saw Connor Betts shoot 26 people, killing nine and injuring 17 others. Betts later died after being fatally shot by police outside of Blind Bob’s bar in Dayton. 

In response to the passing of the “Stand Your Ground” law, Ohio State Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, who represents the state’s Richmond Heights district, told NBC that “this is not what people meant when they asked us to ‘do something’ last year after the deadly mass shooting in Dayton.”

Earlier, after signing the bill into law in January, DeWine acknowledged in a statement that he has “always believed that it is vital that law-abiding citizens have the right to legally protect themselves when confronted with a life-threatening situation.” 

The law allows an individual to use deadly force in public areas so long as they are not the aggressor, and reasonably and honestly believe the action to be necessary in order to prevent serious bodily harm or death. 

The “Stand your Ground” law first passed in Florida in 2005 and has since been featured in a study by the American Journal of Public Health, which alleges that self-defense laws do not deter violent crime.

Others, including gun rights groups, have praised DeWine for signing the bill. 

“We were quite happy that the governor followed through on his campaign promises to enact, to remove the duty-to-retreat requirement in the self-defense law in Ohio,” Joe Eaton, of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said in an interview with WLWT5

Eaton further insisted that the “Stand Your Ground” law does not mean someone can shoot first and ask questions later. “Of course, retreating, if at all possible, is still the safest and best and most recommended method because if you can avoid any type of situation that could endanger yourself or someone else, that always has to be the first priority,” he stressed.

Aside from Florida and Ohio, Texas, Alabama, Wyoming, Michigan, Mississippi, Kentucky and many other states have passed similar gun legislation.



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Aid cuts make a mockery of UK pledges on girls’ education | Zoe Williams

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With all the fanfare Covid would allow, the global education summit opened in London this week. Ahead of the meeting, the minister for European neighbourhood and the Americas was on rousing form. “Educating girls is a gamechanger,” Wendy Morton said, going on to describe what a plan would look like to do just that.

The UK, co-hosting the summit with Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, plans to raise funds for the Global Partnership for Education, from governments and donors. The UK government has promised £430m over the next five years.

There followed a number of reasons why the issue is so important, all of them absolutely sound: on any given indicator, from GDP to infant health and beyond, a nation stands or falls by how well, for how long, and how inclusively it educates its girls.

The issue has never been more important than during this pandemic, which in many countries is hitting a peak having already affected girls disproportionately.

These are all the right words, even in the right order, yet they land completely at odds with the government’s behaviour.

Lis Wallace, head of advocacy at the One campaign, is most immediately concerned with these pledges being fully funded. There are two core targets: one is to increase girls’ access to education, the other is to boost the key milestone for all children – that they’re able to read and understand a simple story by the age of 10.

The past 18 months have been devastating for education, particularly in countries where it’s harder to access to online learning. About 1.6 billion children are out of school across the world. There’s a target to raise $5bn (£3.6bn), “which is a drop in the ocean of what is required to meet the global learning crisis”, Wallace says. It looks as though this summit will raise no more than $4bn, which is nothing less than a “failure of statecraft”, as Wallace explains: “It’s challenging when the host government is stepping back and making aid cuts for it then to ask other countries to step up.”

This is a depressing echo of the G7’s failure earlier this year; commitments to share vaccine doses with low-income countries came too little, too late, with devastating results, and it’s hard to avoid the question of whether that outcome would have been different if the host nation had role modelled some generosity.

Furthermore, there’s some confused causality in the minister’s assertion that staying in school protects girls from “forced child marriage, gender-based violence and early pregnancy”. The exact inverse is true: it is largely teenage pregnancy that forces girls out of school in the first place, and to try to use education in lieu of sexual health and reproductive provision is illogical.

Esi Asare Prah, who is a youth and advocacy officer in Ghana for MSI Reproductive Choices, describes a situation in which 5,000 to 7,000 girls drop out of school each year after becoming pregnant – last year, 2,000 of them were between 10 and 14. Across sub-Saharan Africa, MSI estimates that up to 4 million girls drop out or are excluded from school every year due to pregnancy.

“These girls are most likely to be on the street, doing menial jobs; their children will not make it into higher education. It creates a cycle of poverty and a cycle of slums. For me, the foundation of it is that you can’t seek to invest in education for girls in sub-Saharan Africa and cut down funding for sexual and reproductive health. If you treat development issues as isolated, you will have the same issues of 50 years ago chasing you into the future.”

Here, the recent cuts to the aid budget make a mockery of these pledges on education: UK funding to the UN Population Fund recently went down by 85%.

There is inspiration to take from this summit, nevertheless; President Kenyatta has been leading the charge not only on education but also on the climate crisis, and there is a solidarity and sense of purpose between poorer nations that may yet inspire greater generosity from donors. Whatever it achieves, though, it will be despite its UK host not because of them.

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[Ticker] US backs WHO plan for further Covid-origin investigation

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US secretary of state Antony Blinken affirmed his country’s support to conduct additional investigations into the origins of the Covid-19 after meeting with the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Wednesday, Reuters reported. “He stressed the need for the next phase to be timely, evidence-based, transparent, expert-led, and free from interference,” a US state department spokesperson said in a statement.

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‘Freudian Slip’: Biden Confuses Trump With Obama in New Gaffe

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The 78-year-old American president is known to be prone to verbal gaffes and slips of the tongue, for which he is usually criticized or mocked by some people on social media.

US President Joe Biden appeared to confuse former US President Barack Obama for another former US president, Donald Trump, in a Wednesday speech, but swiftly corrected himself and suggested that the mistake was a “Freudian slip”.

“Back in 2009, during the so-called Great Recession, the president asked me to be in charge of managing that piece, then-President Trump,” Biden said while addressing the public in Pennsylvania. “Excuse me, Freudian slip, that was the last president. He caused the…anyway, President Obama, when I was vice-president.”

Apparently, Biden briefly messed up the timeline, confusing his predecessor, Trump, with the 44th US president, Obama. Even his quick apology did not prevent social media users from picking up on his gaffe.

​Some suggested that since a Freudian slip occurs as an action inspired by an internal train of thought or unconscious wish, it was Biden “dreaming” about working with Trump rather than Obama.

​Others argued that the 46th president does not know what a Freudian slip really is.

​Biden was in Pennsylvania on Wednesday speaking at a Mack Truck assembly plant in Lehigh Valley, promoting his administration’s new measures to encourage US citizens and companies to “buy American”. Particularly, he announced plans to modify the 1933 Buy American Act that requires federal firms and agencies to purchase goods that have at least 55% US-made components. 

Under the Biden plan, the threshold will be increased to 65% by 2024 and to 75% by 2029.



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