US Supreme Court rules video games are protected speech

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US Supreme Court rules video games are protected speech

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In a 7-2 decision handed down on Monday, the US Supreme Court struck down California’s violent video game law and ruled that video games are protected speech covered by the First Amendment. The California law banned the sale and rental of violent video games to minors.

The underlying question was whether the violence in video games has the ability to affect children more than violence in other media, such as books, movies, plays and other forms of entertainment.

Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said that depictions of violence have never been regulated by the US government. Thus violent videos are not to fall under government control as does pornography but is to be accorded the same First Amendment protections as other forms of entertainment. The sale of violent video games is not to be criminalized and California’s attempt to do so was “unprecedented and mistaken.” Scalia noted, referring to fairy tales, that “the books we give children to read—or read to them when they are younger—contain no shortage of gore.”

[T]he books we give children to read—or read to them when they are younger—contain no shortage of gore.

The beginning of the decision states, “Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium. And ‘the basic principles of freedom of speech…do not vary’ with a new and different communication medium.”

“The most basic principle—that government lacks the power to restrict expression because of its message, ideas, subject matter, or content, Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union, 535 U. S. 564, 573—is subject to a few limited exceptions for historically unprotected speech, such as obscenity, incitement, and fighting words. But a legislature cannot create new categories of unprotected speech simply by weighing the value of a particular category against its social costs and then punishing it if it fails the test.”

The justices were not convinced by the existing research that the interactive nature of video games pose a greater risk to society because of their interactive nature. None of the results of the existing research put before the court showed that violent games cause violent behavior. “Psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively. Any demonstrated effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media. Since California has declined to restrict those other media, e.g., Saturday morning cartoons, its video-game regulation is wildly under-inclusive, raising serious doubts about whether the State is pursuing the interest it invokes or is instead disfavoring a particular speaker or viewpoint.”

According to Nadine Kaslow, professor and chief psychologist at Emory University Department of Psychology and Grady Hospital, the evidence regarding the effects of violent video games is mixed. While there is evidence to suggest that exposure of children to violence results in more aggressive and less pro-social behavior, some studies show there is no negative effect, she said. She point out that toy guns were popular and parents monitored whether toy guns were allowed in the home.

This ruling does not prevent private retailers from placing restrictions on their sale of video games. The video game industry currently has its own rating system, much like that used for movies, and educates retailers in using the rating system to prevent minors from buying mature-rated games. According to PC World the industry’s compliance is better than that of other entertainment industries. Further, parental controls have been added to game consoles.

The view of the Entertainment Software Association that a better strategy is the education of parents rather than court battles.

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Passengers evacuated at Prague airport after drawing of bomb found in plane

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Passengers evacuated at Prague airport after drawing of bomb found in plane

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

On Sunday night in Prague, Czech Republic, 183 people on a Jet2 flight arriving from Manchester, United Kingdom were evacuated after, reportedly, discovery in the aircraft’s toilets of a picture of a bomb.

The Czech foreign ministry’s spokesperson said a painting of a bomb had been found in the plane’s toilet by a flight attendant. According to the spokesperson, a search of the plane turned up no bombs.

A passenger said they were informed of a “threatening note” in the aircraft’s bathroom, and kept for roughly four hours at the airport.

From passenger accounts, every single passenger on the plane was interviewed, and the CCTV checked. One of the passengers said that, despite all of this, they saw no arrests in connection with this incident.

A spokeswoman for Jet2 said they were sorry about any inconvenience the evacuation caused, but consider people’s safety on-board the most important thing.

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Unreported tainted milk incident publicised in China

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Unreported tainted milk incident publicised in China
September 18, 2019 - Posted by Gvmawv3B - 0 Comments

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The health department in Guizhou province, China has ordered three batches of milk products to be removed from sale after the discovery they contain melamine. In 2008 six children were killed by milk contaminated with the chemical and 300,000 fell ill.

The department has suspended all sales from the three companies involved. Last November, two men were executed for their roles in selling milk tainted with the chemical, which was largely distributed by Samlu Corp, a company that has since been liquidised. The executed convicts mixed up batches totalling hundreds of tonnes of melamine-tainted milk, and were among 21 people successfuly prosecuted over the contamination. Chinese dairy products were withdrawn around the world.

The latest finds have gone unreported for nearly a year before a provincial news service reported on the tainted products from Shandong Zibo Lusaier Dairy Co., Liaoning Tieling Wuzhou Food Co. and Laoting Kaida Refrigeration Plant. This was then picked up today by China Daily, meaning it has only now come to the world’s attention. No specifics are available other than that popsicles are involved.

Early 2009 would place the discoveries and recalls shortly after the government anounced a crackdown on malpractice in the dairy industry. Recently, two other reports have emerged of tainted milk being discovered elsewhere in China, including Shanghai.

It is uncertain why this is only now becoming public knowledge, althought the Shanghai case was said to be complicated by crossing provincial borders. There, reports emerged on New Year’s Eve although the actual news dated back to April.

After the 2008 milk scandal new food safety legislation was passed. These new laws made room for more vigourous testing and stronger recall arrangements. The government made it clear that coverups were intolerable. At the time, 22 companies were indentified as being involved in melamine-contamination in milk.

Two dairies recently named in state media as behind more recent incidents were on that original list, including Laoting Kaida and Shanghai Panda Dairy Co. Media reports suggest that the newer problem may have been that milk containing melimine that was never destroyed from the original discovery was then repackaged.

The companies involved have stated that they bought in raw milk without realising it contained the poisonous chemical. China Daily quoted an official as saying the same thing. It also stated an ex-dairy industry official had said that it was probable that further milk containing illegally high levels of the substance remained available to the Chinese consumer.

News organisations have tried contacting the companies involved and authorities in Guizhou province but with little success. This trend was bucked by the Agence France-Presse, who reached Guizhou’s health department, only to be told the reports were not correct.

Melamine has a high nitrogen content which can make watered-down milk seem to contain extra protein. It is intended for use in manufacturing industries, in products such as concrete, plastic and fertiliser. Large quantities can cause kidney stones and kidney failure.

Unreported tainted milk incident publicised in China
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Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ becomes their most downloaded song on iTunes

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Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ becomes their most downloaded song on iTunes
September 12, 2019 - Posted by Gvmawv3B - 0 Comments

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Beatles’ song Hey Jude became the best-selling song of the band on iTunes, since their songs became available there earlier this week.

Hey Jude was released as single by the band on August 26, 1968, and was composed and written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It reached number one in both the UK Singles Chart (September 11–18, 1968) and the US’ Billboard Hot 100 (September 28–November 23, 1968). Hey Jude was also the number-one single of the year in the United States.

According to The Daily Record, Hey Jude is followed by Twist and Shout, Let It Be and Strawberry Fields Forever in popularity, although none of the songs have reached the Top 40.

The Beatles’ songs had not been available previously on iTunes due to a copyright dispute with Apple Inc.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Communist Party candidate Johan Boyden, Toronto Centre

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Communist Party candidate Johan Boyden, Toronto Centre
September 7, 2019 - Posted by Gvmawv3B - 0 Comments

Friday, October 5, 2007

Johan Boyden is running for the Communist Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Toronto Centre riding. Wikinews interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

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News briefs:June 18, 2006

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News briefs:June 18, 2006
September 7, 2019 - Posted by Gvmawv3B - 0 Comments

The time is 22:00 (UTC) on June 18th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Contents

  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Author claims Al Qaeda planned to gas New York’s subway system
    • 1.2 Legality of NSW traffic and parking fines to be tested in court
    • 1.3 Croatia and Japan share point in Group F
    • 1.4 Brazil beat Australia with two second half goals in Group F
    • 1.5 Romania lose 62-14 to France in rugby
    • 1.6 Argentina defeat Wales 45-27 in rugby
    • 1.7 South Africa defeat Scotland in second rugby test
  • 2 Closing statements
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Common Questions About Water Heater Repair In Weatherford, Tx

September 7, 2019 - Posted by Gvmawv3B - 0 Comments

byAlma Abell

It’s frustrating to turn on your hot water, only to find out that you don’t have any. When you need Water heater repair in Weatherford, TX, you can call an experienced company that can quickly get your hot water running again. Below you’ll read some common questions that homeowners have about hot water heater repair.

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Q.) My hot water heater is leaking, can it be repaired or will I have to buy a new one?A.) Just because your water heater is leaking, doesn’t mean that it’s ready for the dump. There are several reason why you may have a leaky heater and many of these issues can be fixed. Common problems include a leaky pressure or temperature valve, a leak in the drain valve or condensation.

Q.) Our hot water always runs out quickly and either my husband or I have to take a cold shower. Is there something we can do to have more hot water?A.) If you have an electric water heater, the bottom heating element may be faulty. If the top element is still working, then only the water in the top half section of the heater is warming up. If the element is out, it will need to be replaced. Before calling for Water heater repair in Weatherford, TX, you can try pressing the reset button to see if the heater just needs to be reset.

Q.) When I turn on my faucet, rusty water comes out. What causes this and is it serious?A.) Rust can sometimes form on the sides of the tank and cause it to rust. To keep this from happening, many manufacturers will place an anode rod in the tank to prevent it from rusting. If the anode rod quits working, then the tank will start to rust. The rust falls to the bottom of the tank and gets in your water. A technician that does Water heater repair in Weatherford, TX can drain, flush and clean your tank and then replace the anode rod.

Visit aceplumbingftwtx.com for all your plumbing needs including hydro static drain testing, sewer cleaning, re-piping and gas pressure testing. If you need a repair, the experienced team at Ace Repair Plumbing can fix your faucet and toilet plumbing issues.

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Wikinews interviews John Taylor Bowles, National Socialist Order of America candidate for US President

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Wikinews interviews John Taylor Bowles, National Socialist Order of America candidate for US President
September 7, 2019 - Posted by Gvmawv3B - 0 Comments

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

As a non-partisan news source, Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. The most recent of our interviews is Laurens, South Carolina‘s John Taylor Bowles. Mr. Bowles is running with the endorsement of the National Socialist Order of America, a Minnesota-based Neo-Nazi party created after a recent rift in the National Socialist Movement.

Contents

  • 1 Interview
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links
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Australian state of Victoria swears in new cabinet

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Australian state of Victoria swears in new cabinet
September 7, 2019 - Posted by Gvmawv3B - 0 Comments

Friday, August 3, 2007

At 11:20 a.m. in the Australian state of Victoria, the Governor David de Kretser started the ceremony for the swearing in of the new Brumby’s cabinet, attended by family and friends of the ministers. This comes a full week after the resignation of Steve Bracks from the top position, and his deputy John Thwaites.

The ministers and their portfolios are:

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US Senate passes new bankruptcy bill

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US Senate passes new bankruptcy bill
August 24, 2019 - Posted by Gvmawv3B - 0 Comments

Saturday, March 12, 2005

In a vote of 74-25 last Thursday, the US Senate passed a measure that would change bankruptcy laws, making it harder for individuals seeking relief from their debt burden to avoid repayment. Almost twenty Democrats joined Republicans, who currently hold a majority of the seats in the US Senate, in passing the bill.

Lobbyists for credit card companies and financial services firms have worked for the bill during the last two administrations. A similar measure passed both the Senate and House during the previous administration, but then President Bill Clinton pocket-vetoed the measure in 2000.

Democrats sought to soften the bill by allowing bankruptcy filers to negotiate directly with lenders for relief, but the amendments were defeated by the Republican-controlled Senate. Proponents of the bill claim the rise of bankruptcy filings to nearly 1.5 million a year shows that abusers of credit use the filings to shield themselves from irresponsible practices.

“There has been an explosion of bankruptcy,” said Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the bill’s sponsor. “We preserve the principle of a fresh start, but we also establish a principle that if you have the ability to repay some of your debt, you are not going to get off scot-free.” However, Massachusetts Democratic Sen., Edward M. Kennedy said, “This legislation makes the bankruptcy courts of the United States the collection agency for the credit-card industry.”

The bill impacts a broad spectrum of bankruptcy law, but the most significant impact is on personal bankruptcy filings. Individuals who get behind in repaying credit card debt face high interest charges and stiff late payment fees. By only meeting minimum payment requirements, borrowers remit to the lender over the life of the loan an amount in interest and other fees that can far exceed the value of the principal balance of the loan. This can put consumers who run up high balances on various cards at financial risk of default. Critics of the bill blame these aggressive lending practices as a contributing factor in the rising trend of bankruptcy filings from 1996.

The proposed bill doesn’t only affect debtors with credit card debt.

It also affects debtors who have run up large medical bills.

Patients with a past medical history that disqualifies them from full medical coverage, can easily find themselves facing insurmountable medical bills after just a short stay in the hospital. These individuals will no longer be able to get a fresh start after these personal disasters, and will be forced to live in poverty until they can pay off their medical bills as part of their Chapter 13 filing. (Prior to this bill, they would have been able to file Chapter 7, completely discharging their debt.)

Chapter 7, which accounts for 70% of bankruptcy filings, allows individuals to eliminate most non-secured debts after liquidating assets, with the notable exemption of one’s principle residence in most states. The Senate passed bill would change Chapter 7 eligibility by applying a means-test, where those with a median income higher than the state average would be required to file under Chapter 13 provisions. Under Chapter 13 protection, an individual’s debt is not forgiven; rather it is restructured for payment under more lenient terms.

This was the first major overhaul of federal bankruptcy law in many years.

Under the old bankruptcy law, a personal bankruptcy attorney could not be held financially responsible for his clients mendacity. Under the new bankruptcy law, the bankruptcy attorney is responsible for his client’s lies to the Court about his assets and the bankruptcy attorney and his insurance carrier can be held responsible by the Bankruptcy Court.

The result is that personal bankruptcy attorneys (this does not apply to corporate bankruptcy attorneys) are likely to flee the personal bankruptcy field when the new law takes effect. Their insurance companies will not offer the sort of coverage that they would need to continue to practice.

So when consumers need to file personal bankruptcy under the new law, they will be unlikely to find a bankruptcy attorney to represent them. Consumers will have to file pro se: such consumers will be likely to fail due to the complexity of the law.

The bottom line is that the field of personal bankruptcy law as a practice area of law will cease to exist when the new bankruptcy law takes effect, and consumers will be unable to secure legal counsel and so consumers will lose what legal protections counsel now affords them.

Under the new bankruptcy law about one half million Americans will be forest to pay for at lest 5 years on longer they will be held in servitude as chattel they will be completely subservient to a dominating influence of the company that holds the loan. Their loan will be put on the market for sale for profit. The people will be forced to work harder. People who fail to go to court will have a arrest warrant made out in their name and people who refuseto pay. They will be subject to fines and or jail. About fifty thousand Americans will punished by a fine and or about three thousand Americans every year will go to jail under the new bankruptcy law. For some people this will be a third strike they will be put in jail for life.

The bill has the support of President Bush, and its passage in the House sometime next month seems likely. If enacted into law, lending companies will recover more money on what otherwise would be written off as bad loans. Those persons of median and higher income seeking relief would be required to file under Chapter 13 status and pay up to $100 per month under court imposed conditions. It is expected the proposed changes would cause a sharp increase in filings before the new law could take effect.

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