Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

In the past, abolition efforts have faced a backlash—but Gavin Newsom’s moratorium may be different.
The American death penalty is extraordinarily fragile, with death sentences and executions on the decline. Public support for the death penalty has diminished. The practice is increasingly marginalized around the world. California, with its disproportionately large share of American death-row inmates, announces an end to the death penalty. The year? 1972. That’s when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty inconsistent with the state’s constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishments—only to have the death penalty restored a year later through popular initiative and legislation.
On Wednesday, again, California walked back its commitment to the death penalty. Though not full-fledged abolition, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on capital punishment lasting as long as his tenure in office, insisting that the California death penalty has been an “abject…

UAE: Doing THIS could land you in prison in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi shopping mall
ABU DHABI tourism is rapidly increasing but due to very strict laws and customs UK tourists can easily fall on the wrong side of the law if not careful. These are the illegal activities to avoid in the emirate.

Abu Dhabi visitors might be surprised at the number of activities that are completely innocuous in the UK but which could land you in jail in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital. 

From smoking electronic cigarettes and swearing to kissing in public and photographing military buildings, a whole array of things could see Britons imprisoned.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have highlighted the many laws and customs that must be abided by in Abu Dhabi.

Tourists should be aware that videos, books, and magazines may be subject to scrutiny and may be censored. Bringing in any pornography is illegal, as is importing pork products.

The emirate is particularly severe when it comes to drugs and there is zero tolerance for drug-related offences. 

“The penalties for trafficking, smuggling and possession of drugs (even residual amounts) are severe,” states the FCO website.

“Sentences for drug trafficking can include the death penalty and possession of even the smallest amount of illegal drugs can lead to a minimum four-year jail sentence. 

“The Emirati authorities count the presence of drugs in the bloodstream as possession. Some herbal highs, like Spice, are illegal in the UAE.”

Alcohol is also a tricky matter in Abu Dhabi - drinking and being drunk in public is illegal.

“British nationals have been arrested and charged under this law, often in cases where they have come to the attention of the police for a related offence or matter, such as disorderly or offensive behaviour,” writes the FCO.

Hotels will only serve alcohol to those over 21 in Abu Dhabi but generally, the drinking age is 18.

Electronic cigarettes are illegal in the emirate and will be confiscated at the border if brought in.

Other equipment may require a licence. This includes: satellite phones, listening or recording devices, radio transmitters, powerful cameras or binoculars. You should seek advice from the UAE Embassy in London.

Cross-dressing can land you in prison as can public displays of affection. There have been several arrests for kissing in public.

You should also be careful to avoid swearing and making rude gestures (in public and online) as these are considered “obscene acts and offenders can be jailed or deported.”

“Take particular care when dealing with the police and other officials,” cautions the FCO.

Sharing a hotel room with someone of the opposite sex who you aren’t married to - and aren’t closely related to - is illegal.

“All sex outside marriage is illegal, irrespective of any relationship you may have with your partner in the UK,” warns the Foreign Office.

“If the UAE authorities become aware that you’re conducting a sexual relationship outside marriage (as recognised by them), you run the risk of prosecution, imprisonment and/or a fine and deportation.”

All homosexual sex is illegal and same-sex marriages are not recognised.

Tourists should also be careful when taking photographs of government buildings and military installations. 

“Hobbies like bird watching and plane spotting, may be misunderstood - particularly near military sites, government buildings and airports,” says the FCO.

In February 2015, three British nationals were arrested while plane spotting at UAE airports and were detained for two months.

However, no matter how unfair you may consider the laws and customs, be careful not to vent your frustrations online. 

“Posting material (including videos and photographs) online that is critical of the UAE government, companies or individuals, or related to incidents in the UAE, or appearing to abuse/ridicule/criticise the country or its authorities, or that is culturally insensitive, may be considered a crime punishable under UAE law,” states the FCO.

“There have been cases of individuals being detained, prosecuted and/or convicted for posting this type of material.”

Abu Dhabi is now cheaper for UK tourists after bosses approved a proposal to reduce tourism fees in a drive to encourage tourism and investment in tourism in the emirate.

Source: Daily Express, Harriet Mallinson, July 29, 2018

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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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