Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Apr 2, 2015
April 2, 2015
AR GOP Gov. ASA HUTCHINSON said yesterday that he will not sign a religious freedom bill critics say would enable discrimination against gays and lesbians, amid a growing outcry over similar legislation in Indiana. He told reporters, "I am asking the Legislature to take a look at this bill, to recall it, or to provide me a changed bill that will make Arkansas' law mirror the federal law."
Critics of the Indiana and Arkansas laws say that both states could just pass anti-discrimination statutes that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to head off any problems caused by the "religious freedom" bills. On that question, Hutchinson said, "As to whether our civil rights law in Arkansas needs to be changed, that is a debate that's going to happen, I want to focus on what is needed right now." (Pacelli)
Those @$#%* Foreigners:
The Times of London reports that Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN is using the threat of a nuclear showdown over the Baltic states to force NATO to back away from Russia's border. That notion has Western security chiefs bracing for the Kremlin to begin a series of "destabilizing actions" in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that would directly challenge NATO's mutual defence pledge.
These actions could reportedly include civil disturbances involving local ethnic Russians, or a cyberattack that could not be definitively traced back to Moscow. (Pacelli)
Filling a need (Warning --note content):
The guys who run the world's largest international sperm bank have moved their refrigerators to Orlando, FL.
Up until now, Cryos International was located in New York, but the company says they decided to move to Orlando in order to increase the amount of donors and get some international exposure thanks to the area's 60 million tourists and visitors each year.
They're also counting on the students from the University of Central Florida --which had nearly 61-thousand students this past fall-- to help with donations.
FYI: in case you're wondering if you're a candidate, Cryos says it is looking for donors over 5 feet 9 inches. It accepts donors up to age 39.
No, KATY PERRY did not actually get a pixie haircut inspired by KRIS JENNER. It was another wig from the wig-loving pop star. If you believed that picture circulating on social media yesterday, People magazine says you got April Fooled. (Bartha)
Parent(s) of the Day:
Deadbeat dads will come up with any excuse to not pay child support, even their own death. JOHN McCROY of Miami told a reporter that he couldn't pay because he "died in car accident." What he meant was that because of his accident in 2010, he was disabled and couldn't work. A judge ruled that he had to pay $10 thousand dollars in back support and he's serving 60 days in jail. (Myers)
Grace notes from Vinny Marino:
COMMON was all set to give the commencement address at Kean University in New Jersey, but now that's not gonna happen. The Bergen Record says the school decided to look for another speaker because of the Academy Award-winning rapper's 2000 recording, "A Song For Assata" which is about JOANNE CHESIMARD who killed a New Jersey state trooper back in 1973. She escaped from prison and fled to Cuba where she still lives. The head of the State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey said that by having Common speak to the class of 2015 is (quote), "A slap in the face." So, Kean University is now looking for another speaker. (Marino)
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