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FPF: Week Ending June 29

By Gradspot Dot Com

This week on Front Page Flash: Supreme Court says yes to guns, the Internet is getting even bigger, Zimbabwe elections a "sham," Mars has water, North Korea no longer in the axis of evil. Plus, election update!

Supreme Court Upholds Second Amendment MyWay
This week, after two centuries, the Supreme Court finally acted up and clarified the right to bear arms: yes, we can bear arms. While this seems sort of random, apparently there was a handgun ban in D.C., which was the focus of this ruling. Soon after, handgun-rights groups in other cities which also had bans (e.g., San Fran and Chicago) said they would sue in order to retain their rights as well. Not quite sure what to think about this one, but it will certainly thrust gun control back into politics and the news. Read more >

The Internet is About to Get a Lot Bigger AP
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees the awarding of top level domains (e.g., .com, .net, .org, .tv), just relaxed its rules and will in the future allow corporations, individuals, and others to buy their own (e.g., we could totally get .gradspot). It is estimated that fees for a new domain will cost upwards of $100k (doesn’t look like we’re getting .gradspot anymore). So we get this, but is anyone really going to prefer a .bigjoeshotdogs over a .com? They’re also considering non-English-character domains as well (e.g., Hebrew). Guess the Internets are going to get a LOT bigger. I guess? Read more >

Voters snub ‘sham’ poll in Zimbabwe BBC
Today Zimbabweans are at the polls to vote for their next president, and thus far the turnout has been pretty slim due to two factors: fear of violence and the fact that there is only one candidate on the ballot—Robert Mugabe, who’s campaign slogan is “WW ? Win or War.” Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the contest at the beginning of the week due to rising levels of violence. The UN, EU, and US have widely condemned the elections, and many see the outcome as a harsh blow to democracy. Read more >

Martian Soil Appears to Support Life Reuters
So last week NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander found ice (hence water) on Mars and today found the soil to “be much more alkaline than expected.” Apparently this means it can support life, albeit with a bit of work. We’re not even going to try to explain this one any further. Check out the article. Read more >

Bush administration lifts North Korea sanctions IHT
Well , sort of. In exchange for long-awaited details of its secretive nuclear program, Bush announced plans to remove North Korea from the government’s terrorism blacklist. The gesture is largely symbolic, since there are still heavy sanctions again North Korea. Basically it just means that they are no longer in the “axis of evil,” which was never an official political distinction anyway.
Read more >

Election Update: Obama and Clinton appeared together for the first time since the primary season ended in Unity, N.H., a town with very few people but a symbolic name. Still no clues as to whether Clinton has a shot at VP, but she’s certainly putting on a brave face as she expresses he unequivocal support for his campaign. Meanwhile, McCain has been trying to slam Obama in light of the Supreme Court’s 2nd Amendment ruling, saying that he’s flip-flopped on the issue. Finally, the dust is still settling from Obama’s decision to not accept public funding for his presidential campaign, which he had earlier promised to do as a step toward major campaign finance reform. If both campaigns used public funding they would have equal budgets, but now Obama can keep his insanely successful fundraising machine in action through the general election. Maybe he is a politician after all…

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