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In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

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To cope with his dread, John Kitzhaber opened his leather-bound journal and began to write.
It was a little past 9 on the morning of Nov. 22, 2011. Gary Haugen had dropped his appeals. A Marion County judge had signed the murderer's death warrant, leaving Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, to decide Haugen's fate. The 49-year-old would soon die by lethal injection if the governor didn't intervene.
Kitzhaber was exhausted, having been unable to sleep the night before, but he needed to call the families of Haugen's victims.
"I know my decision will delay the closure they need and deserve," he wrote.
The son of University of Oregon English professors, Kitzhaber began writing each day in his journal in the early 1970s. The practice helped him organize his thoughts and, on that particular morning, gather his courage.
Kitzhaber first dialed the widow of David Polin, an inmate Haugen beat and stabbed to death in 2003 while already serving a life sentence fo…

'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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