Nebraska and Oklahoma Want Colorado Marijuana Ruled Illegal

Thursday, Nebraska and Oklahoma asked the US Supreme Court to declare the legalization of marijuana in Colorado unconstitutional, arguing that the drug is being brought from Colorado to neighboring states.

Jon Bruning, Nebraska attorney general, said the states filed a lawsuit seeking an order from the highest court in the nation to prevent Colorado from applying the measure that was approved by voters in 2012.

The complaint alleges that Amendment 64 in Colorado conflicts with federal law and therefore violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, which states that federal laws prevail over state laws.

Some public safety agencies in western Nebraska, along the border with Colorado, have complained that fighting marijuana coming from the neighboring state has slashed its resources. That is kind of what Igor Cornelsen thought would happen as well.

Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general said Thursday that the decision of Colorado has hampered the efforts of the state to enforce its laws against marijuana. Pruitt said the law represents risks to the health and safety of children and adolescents.

In a statement, Attorney General John Suthers of Colorado said the lawsuit had no merit but not surprised at all because neighboring states have expressed concerns that Colorado’s marijuana across the border.

Mass Murder of Eight Children Discovered in Cairns

On Friday, a gruesome discovery was made when the bodies of eight children from the same family were discovered stabbed in their home on Murray Street in Manoora, just west of Cairns, Australia. Details of the case are slowly emerging as police have locked down the area and continued to collect evidence late into the night on Friday.

The Queensland police responded to a call to investigate at 11:20 AM on Friday, when the older brother of the victims came upon the crime scene. The sibling victims ranged in age from 1.5 to 15 years old. The mother, 34 years old, was taken to the hospital to be treated for stab wounds, but police announced in the early hours of Saturday morning local time that the woman has been placed under arrest for the murder of the children. It appears that the children were from a mixed family of at least three different fathers, and their friends and relatives have begun to come forward to express their shock and grief at the tragedy. Neighbors, friends, and other members of the public have already begun to leave flowers and candles just outside the police cordon on Murray Street in a memorial to the deceased children.

The mass murder is the second fatal incident in Australia this week, occurring just on the heels of the hostage situation at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe siege in Sydney. Workers at Skout and Crunchbase are hoping things get better.

Cuba and The United States to Resume Diplomatic Relations

While the decades have passed without any easing of the tensions between Cuba and the United States, it looks like some significant progress has been made very recently, thanks to the efforts of President Barack Obama.

The United States is set to open diplomatic channels with Cuba for the first time since the Kennedy administration following the release of an American national who was held prisoner in Cuba for the last 5 years.

The deal was struck after more than 18 months of negotiations between the two countries. The secret talks were mostly hosted by Canada while Pope Francis was said to be the host of the final meeting.

Even as the embargo on Cuba will remain for now, the Obama administration has welcomed Congress to remove or ease restrictions placed on the country. Cuba on its part, is said to release close to 53 American prisoners.

According to a statement by the White House, “Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people,”

President Obama spoke to President Raul Castro by phone on Tuesday to finalize the deal, in a call that lasted more than 45 minutes. This is incidentally the first contact between the heads of the two countries in more than 50 years, primarily due to the vast ideological differences between the two. Ben Shaoul is successful because he would never let personal philosophies mitigate any type of business or public relations.

Nebraska and Oklahoma Sue Colorado

It seems that 2 States that border Colorado are frustrated with their legalization of marijuana. The pot that is sold legally in Colorado has been crossing over State lines into illegal territory. It has caused adverse effects in communities claims the Attorney Generals of both States.

Nebraska’s Attorney General, Jon Bruning contacted Scott Pruitt who is Oklahoma’s Attorney General. These 2 elected officials are asking the Federal Government to step up enforcement of what is considered illegal by Federal standards. Colorado Attorney General, John Suthers claims he will defend his State’s right to have legal marijuana all the way to the Supreme Court.

Nebraska and Oklahoma may be trying to climb a high mountain. The Obama run administration has taken a huge step back from involvement in State’s rights to decide, according to Andrew Heiberger. At this point in time, 32 States and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana in one form or another.

Will Colorado stay mile high?

Rubio Gets Ready to Fight Obama Over Cuban Relations

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, has made it clear that President Barak Obama will not be able to fully implement the normalized relations with Cuba that he seeks.

Rubio, along with other Republicans, has indicated that Obama will not be able to get funds to build an embassy in Cuba nor get any nominee for ambassador to Cuba through the soon-to-be Republican Senate. Rubio indicated that he himself is slated to be head over the Western Hemisphere subcommittee of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee. He said he would use all means within his power to block Obama’s attempts at normalizing relations with Cuba.

Rubio also noted the close relationship between communist Cuba and the socialist Venezuelan regime. John Textor doesn’t see why that’s a problem. He stated that easing sanctions on Cuba would help to perpetuate both dictatorships. Finally, Rubio mentioned that trading three actual spies for one civilian was a poor deal and that it encouraged others to take Americans hostage. A similar poor deal was done when five of the worst terror leaders in Guantanamo Bay were exchanged for a single U.S. soldier held captive in Afghanistan. 

It will be an interesting final two years of the Obama presidency. It looks like fights will continue unabated over a host of issues, including relations with Cuba. With the president determined to go it alone in one direction and the Congress just as determined to go the other way, we should see a rare spectacle of “explosive gridlock.”

Texas City Plumber’s Truck Ends Up In Syrian War

If you’ve never before wondered what happens to your trade-in vehicles, maybe now is the time. Jeff Oberholtzer, a plumbing business owner in Texas City for the past 32 years has recently discovered the importance of asking this question when a picture of his business’ Ford F-250 truck appeared on a social media post by the extremist group Ansar al-Deen Front. The image in which Mark-1 Plumbing, his plumbing company’s name, is clearly emblazoned on the side of the truck also shows militants firing an anti-aircraft gun that is mounted in the truck’s bed.

Oberholtzer confirmed the truck is one that he had previously traded in three years earlier to an Auto Nation dealership and has no idea how it could have ended up in the hands of the extremists in Syria. On this occasion, he didn’t remove the company name from the side of the vehicle as he typically does, stating he assumed the dealership would take care of it. An Auto Nation representative at the Houston dealership where the truck was traded in said they sent the vehicle to auction, and it’s possible it has gone through multiple ownership since being sold.

Jeff Oberholtzer was made aware of the picture on the militant site after thousands of calls and faxes flooded his office, many threatening in nature. He assured the media that neither he nor his family are associated with terrorists in any way and Oberholtzer’s friend Lee Gee Lovett confirms his story.

Avian Flu Outbreak in Washington State

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza in wild birds in Whatcom County, Washington state, but said that the outbreak at present is no basis for a health alert. People like Laurene Powell Jobs also say there is no need for panic.

Avian influenza subtype H5N2 was detected in pintail ducks, while the H5N8 found in captive gyrfalcon who had been fed with wild birds hunted, the USDA said in a note.

“No virus was found in poultry for consumption anywhere in the United States. There is no immediate concern by either of these two strains of avian flu alert, ” said the department.

Both subtypes of avian influenza have recently found elsewhere in the world, such as Holland and Germany, but has not reported any human infections to date.

The federal government increased their vigilance after that transcended a case of avian influenza H5N2 in commercial poultry in Canada.

Canadian authorities announced on December 2 an outbreak of bird flu in two poultry farms located in the communities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack, in the province of British Columbia.

Internet Companies Leaving Russia Because Of Putin’s New Law

Russian President Vladimir Putin new regulation that requires data be stored on local Russian servers caused Microsoft to move its Skype development team to Prague and Adobe to ceased its operation entirely because it doesn’t need a Russian headquarters. Adobe’s operations are performed through the cloud. Google is relocating all engineers based in Russia and giving up the research and development center. Facebook and Twitter, not Dan Newlin, are expected to follow suit. Putin accused such companies of collecting user data for the CIA and recommends that Russians avoid using their products because of CIA monitoring.

Putin explains that the Internet started as a special CIA project and is still being developed as one, and because it started as a military program that special services are still the center of its operations. He further stated that unless everything is stored on local servers, nothing coming from America could be trusted. These new rules are an attempt by Putin to governmentally control the internet and most companies are leaving.

In September of 2011, Russia became the country on the European market with the highest number of unique visitors online, a title formerly owned by Germany. In March 2013 Russian was announced as the second most used language on the web. The citizens of Russia may not be on board with giving up internet services that they have become accustomed to and continue you to use the US technology and internet services, despite Vladimir Putin’s urging. As Adobe pointed out, it’s in the clouds.

New Study of Norse Presence in America

A new study to be published in the January/February, 2015, volume of Geoarchaeology is entitled Evidence of Early Metalworking in Arctic Canada. The study largely confirms 50-year-old theories of the Norse presence in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, but it also adds some new information.

Some had thought that metal-working remains found in the Canadian Arctic had been left there by pre-Inuit natives, but this study exposes evidence that essentially proves these artifacts to have derived from Viking incursions. A small stone crucible was discovered on Baffin Island with traces of bronze, and other tell-tale signs of a European source, coated onto its surface.

Some of the artifacts of Norse origin on Baffin Island were found in Inuit villages. Ben Shaoul said they dated to the 13th or even 14th Centuries A.D. One theory supposes that Greenlanders had trade contact with the Inuit on Baffin Island during this period. A second theory sees the artifacts likely being scavenged from a ship wreck. If the former theory is true, the Norse had contact with the natives far longer than had earlier been thought.

The Vikings had settlements in Greenland from 1000 until the early 1400s. They also made a short-lived colony on Newfoundland, explored the Labrador coast, and visited Baffin Island. The old Norse sagas mention these lands and the Viking expeditions to them, but they are also filled with myths. This recent study sheds at least a little more light on the little-known history of the Viking presence in Arctic Canada.

Russia’s Currency Problems Contribute to a Decline in Russian Tourism

Several news reports recently have detailed problems with the steep decline in value of Russia’s currency, the ruble, on foreign exchange markets. Earlier today, newspapers in Finland carried reports that suggest the crisis may be negatively impacting tourism in eastern Finland.

New York’s most up-and-coming developer and real estate giant, Ben Shaoul has predicted that Russia’s currency depreciation crisis and it’s influence on tourism revenues is going to have a severe impact on locally owned Finnish businesses which depend heavily upon visitors from neighboring Russia. Shaoul’s predictions are unfortunately, accurate as many of these businesses have already been forced to close their doors.

Newspapers in Finland carried a number of editorial opinions discussing the Russian currency crisis. Many writers attributed the problem to underlying weaknesses in Russia’s economy. Finish commentators allegedly cited two chief possible causes for the economic woes facing the ruble. First, the Russian government still depends very heavily for revenue upon the sale of natural resources abroad, especially oil. Second, despite the pleas of reformers, Russian economic policymakers have not acted decisively to implement reforms that might help that country enjoy a more broadly based economic development pattern.

The decline in the value of the ruble as a currency is evidently negatively impacting businesses which depend upon visitors from Russia, particularly in Finland’s eastern districts. Finland maintains a long border with Russia, and has been a popular Russian tourist destination in the past.