Tag Archives: Laws

Ohio Lawmakers Call for Study on Effects of State Laws on African Americans

Ohio’s Legislative Black Caucus is calling for the creation of a bipartisan committee to produce a comprehensive study on the contributions African Americans have made to Ohio and the way the state’s laws and policies have affected them. 

Democratic Representative Stephanie Howse of Cleveland says the legislature needs a study like this. “It will provide an opportunity for people to have some understanding and even put in a lens of empathy.”

Howse is an African American lawmaker who recently was at odds with House Speaker Ryan Smith over the impact of race in the so called “Stand Your Ground” bill. She says lawmakers often don’t understand issues from an…

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Study reports Alabama's marijuana laws cost tax payers millions, unfair to African Americans

“What we've found in Alabama in African-Americans, despite using at the same rate, are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use,” …
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Guyana scrubs witchcraft, colonial laws

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Saying it wants to update several colonial era statutes, Guyana’s government this week announced plans to remove mandatory fines and jail terms for people attempting suicide, others who practice Voodoo, Obeah or witchcraft as well as charges relating to roguery and vagabondage from local law books among others.

Guyana’s Attorney General Basil Williams said these statutes dating back to British colonialism are no longer relevant today and will be largely scrubbed from the books as part of an exercise to modernize legislation and remove old, lightly enforced or abandoned clauses still available to police and the courts system.

For example, no one will be jailed for practicing Voodoo or Obeah or witchcraft as this has much…

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PAHO wants more laws to improve road safety in the Caribbean

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(CMC) – A new report by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has called for more laws to improve road safety in the Americas, including the Caribbean.

According to the report, countries in the Region of the Americas have made progress on road safety throughout the past decade, particularly in the development and designation of coordinating bodies to tackle these problems, but reforms are still needed to improve laws on speed limits and the mandatory use of motorcycle helmets and seat belts.

PAHO said these are the conclusions of the final report on the Plan of Action on Road Safety (2012-2017), submitted this week to PAHO member-countries during the 56th Directing Council, which brings together all the Region’s health authorities.

The Plan, adopted in 2011 to address…

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Heritage designation for Saskatchewan church built by black settlers who were escaping racist Jim Crow laws

MAIDSTONE, Sask. — For a small group of American black families escaping racist Jim Crow laws a century ago, building a church in their new home in Saskatchewan was a priority.

Completed in 1912, Shiloh Baptist Church, about 30 kilometres northwest of Maidstone, provided a place of worship and communal space for the homesteaders who had arrived only two years before.

The little building is made from poplar logs on a foundation of field stones. The pews are just benches, many also hewn from logs.

“The first time I walked in there it’s almost like I got hit in the gut with a fist. And I’m not a spiritual or a religious person by any means,” says Leander Lane, whose great-grandfather Julius Caesar Lane was among the community’s original families.

The church and its cemetery have just…

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African countries urged to toughen laws on female genital mutilation

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Millions of girls in Africa are at risk of female genital mutilation because their governments are failing to enforce laws banning the internationally condemned practice, campaigners said on Thursday.

Six countries which are home to 16 million girls – Chad, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan – still do not even criminalize FGM, according to a major report examining laws in the 28 African countries where the tradition is endemic.

“These countries are failing to protect their girls and women,” said Ann-Marie Wilson, executive director of campaign group 28 Too Many, which worked with 125 lawyers around the world to compile the study, the largest of its kind.

“FGM is always traumatic and has a life-long impact. A law sends a strong…

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