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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

'Wonderful Indonesia' campaign boosts tourism industry

'Wonderful Indonesia' campaign boosts tourism industry. Executions are
carefully left out of the picture, except on this DPN-edited campaign poster.
The government’s efforts to promote tourism in the archipelago with its Wonderful Indonesia campaign have had a positive impact, the president director of tour and travel company Panorama Sentrawisata said on Tuesday.

Budi Tirtawisata said that in the first six months of this year, his company booked a 19 percent increase in gross revenue to Rp 2.38 trillion, from Rp 1.99 trillion in the same period last year, as more foreigners were drawn to Indonesia.

“The government’s free visa policy is also contributing to growth in the tourism sector,” Budi told reporters at a press conference in Jakarta.

Budi was upbeat the company’s business volume would increase, and possibly double, in the second half of 2016, compared to the first half, because more tourism activities were expected to take place in the period.

“The peak season for tourist visits to Indonesia is during the summer, which occurs in the second half of the year,” Budi said, adding that more tourists would also visit the country during the Christmas holidays in December.

Source: Jakarta Post, August 3, 2016

Indonesia considers law banning gay sex

International Day Against Homophobia, Jakarta, 2015
International Day Against Homophobia, Jakarta, 2015
Indonesia’s Constitutional Court will consider a law to make gay sex a crime.

Family Love Alliance, a group of far-right wing Islamic activists, wants the courts to introduce a ban on consensual sex between adults. Prison sentences are suggested to go up to 15 years.

Rita Hendrawaty, chairwoman of the group, said on Wednesday it was not trying to criminalize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

‘The real reason is so that we have much clearer norms,’ she said, according to AP.

‘We are not intending to criminalize those who have deviant sexual orientation. That is not the point. They can be free to live but do not show what is their lifestyle.’

Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, but sharia law is carried out in the city of Aceh.

The group is an offshoot of Nahdlatul Uluma who in February issued a statement it would not recognize the existence of LGBTI groups and their activities and homosexuality is ‘incompatible with human nature’.

Earlier this year, Indonesia’s leading psychiatric body classified homosexuality and transgender as ‘mental disorders’ that can be ‘cured’.

The defense minister has declared the LGBTI movement as ‘more dangerous than nuclear warfare’ while the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission has banned ‘gay propaganda’ and ‘effeminate males’ on TV.

Source: Gay Star News, Joe Morgan, August 4, 2016

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

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