First thing: Biden pardons thousands of people convicted of possession of marijuana |

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Joe Biden has pardoned thousands of people convicted of marijuana possession in a move described as “long overdue.” It could herald federal legalization and even trigger a broader reassessment of drug prohibition.

The President also called on the Secretary of Health and the Attorney General to begin the administrative process to review the classification of marijuana in the highest tranche of federal law – higher than the classification of fentanyl and methamphetamine, two drugs that are fueling an epidemic of overdose.

Pardons cover “simple possession,” which is a low-level offense, meaning those jailed for trafficking, selling or other marijuana charges will not be covered. The White House said no one is currently incarcerated in federal prison solely for “mere possession.”

  • “Biden had an obligation to act.” DeAnna Hoskins, president of JustLeadershipUSA, pointed out that the president was behind the infamous crime bill in 1994 that paved the way for the “war on drugs.”

  • Racial disparity in conviction rates for people in color. Biden acknowledged that “while whites and blacks and browns use marijuana at similar rates, blacks and browns have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.”

Mother of dead Iranian schoolgirl accuses authorities

Nika Shahkarami’s death is believed to have been caused by multiple blows from a hard object, but her family said they were pressured to call it a suicide. Photography: Twitter

The mother of an Iranian teenager who died after taking part in protests over the death in custody of Mahsa Amini has accused authorities of murdering her daughter and pressuring her to say he is was a suicide.

In a video sent to US-funded Radio Farda, Nasrin Shahkarami said she was being pressured to make a false statement about the death of 16-year-old Nika, who disappeared on September 20 after joining an anti-hijab protest group in Tehran.

Protests erupted across Iran after the death of Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, who died in custody following her arrest by vice squad in Tehran for allegedly breaking the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women. women.

‘Basij get lost!’ Protesters heckle vice police in Iran – video

  • The scale of the repression by the Iranian authorities is becoming clear. Human rights groups say more than 1,200 people have been arrested in street protests, including 92 in pre-emptive raids by security services. Last Friday, security forces opened fire on protesters in Zahedan, in the province of Sistan-Baluchistan, killing, according to Amnesty International, 87 people.

The FBI would have evidence for the prosecution of Hunter Biden

Joe Biden salutes alongside his son Hunter after attending mass at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Johns Island, South Carolina on August 13, 2022.
Joe Biden salutes alongside his son Hunter after attending mass at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Johns Island, South Carolina on August 13, 2022. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Federal agents believe there is enough evidence to charge Hunter Biden with alleged tax crimes and lying about drug use while buying a handgun. However, the US attorney from Delaware, who is overseeing the investigation into the president’s son, has apparently not yet decided whether to press charges.

There is ‘frustration within the FBI over the length of time prosecutors are taking to deliberate on this case’ and the FBI is ‘trying to pressure prosecutors to act’, sources close to the president say .

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden’s attorney, Chris Clark, accused federal agents of unlawfully leaking information and asked the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute the leak.

  • Business ethics in Ukraine long under scrutiny. Hunter Biden was paid $50,000 a month by Ukrainian company Burisma and the ethics of his dealings with foreign companies have long been under scrutiny given his father’s political influence.

In other news…

A forest fire has ravaged Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island, Chile, charring some of its carved stone figures, known as moai.
A forest fire has ravaged Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island, Chile, charring some of its carved stone figures, known as moai. Photo: Bomberos Isla de Pascua/Reuters
  • A forest fire that ravaged part of an archaeological site on Easter Island has caused “irreparable damage” to some of his monumental carved stone figuresknown as a moai and believed to have been carved in the 13th century, authorities said.

  • Joe Biden has warned the world could face ‘Armageddon’ if Vladimir Putin uses a tactical nuke to try to win the war in Ukraine. Biden said the world was the closest to a nuclear disaster since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  • In Thailand, 37 people – mostly young children – have now been confirmed dead at a rural kindergarten after a former policeman opened fire and stabbed children as they slept in Uthai Sawan, a town about 300 miles northeast of Bangkok around noon yesterday.

  • Six people, including police officers and match organizers, face criminal charges in Indonesia after a crowd crush at a football match killed at least 131 people last weekend. Police fired tear gas as hundreds of fans tried to flee a riot and some exits remained locked.

Stat of the day: Agricultural chemical companies fund Australia’s pesticide regulator

Multinational chemical companies subsidize agronomists, provide scholarships, sponsor farm safety programs, and even fund the pesticide regulator.
Multinational chemical companies subsidize agronomists, provide scholarships, sponsor farm safety programs, and even fund the pesticide regulator. Photography: Dean Lewins/AAP

Like “Big Pharma,” global agricultural chemical companies operate highly sophisticated marketing and sponsorship networks that touch nearly every facet of rural life. Known as agvet companies, they fund government bodies including – most controversially – providing 90% of the budget for the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, which operates on a user-pay basis, writes Anne Davies.

Several reviews have raised concerns about whether the regulator is too close to the food industry and not sufficiently aware of consumer and environmental perspectives. A class action lawsuit is currently underway involving 700 people who used glyphosate and allege it caused their cancer.

Don’t miss this: Niemann faces credibility test as chess cheating saga continues

US grandmaster Hans Niemann, left, said he
US grandmaster Hans Niemann, left, said he ‘wouldn’t back down’ after chess platform chess.com reported he had ‘probably cheated more than 100 times’ in online games. Photograph: Tim Vizer/AFP/Getty Images

Hans Niemann, the 19-year-old who confessed to cheating in online games but denies any illegality on set in person, faces a crucial credibility test in St Louis on his U.S. Championship debut after winning his first contest. Organizers have tightened security: spectators are banned, a new metal detector to search players has been introduced and there will be a 30-minute delay before games are shown to online viewers, writes Leonard Barden.

“Hans has become the fastest classical chess player in recorded modern history,” said a recent report from the chess platform chess.com which concluded that he had “probably cheated more than 100 times” in the middle of “statistically”. extraordinary” ascent of the teenager.

Climate report: African countries urge rich countries to honor their $100 billion climate finance pledge

Special Representative to COP27 President Wael Aboulmagd, far left.  One of the biggest criticisms of Cop26 last year was its failure to make meaningful progress on climate finance.
Special representative to the president of the Cop27 Wael Aboulmagd, far left. One of the biggest criticisms of Cop26 last year was its failure to make meaningful progress on climate finance. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Rich countries are under pressure for failing to deliver on their 2009 funding pledge to provide $100 billion a year to developing countries by 2020 to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with climate change. impact of the climate crisis on those most affected.

Wael Aboulmagd, Egypt’s special representative for COP27, said ahead of the UN climate summit next month that it was “shameful” that the developed world had reneged on its promise when it was mainly the European and American carbon emissions that were responsible for the situation in which the world was “just”. now.” At an official preparatory meeting in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday, speakers echoed Aboulmagd’s frustration.

Last thing: Steven Donziger raises alarm bells over ‘terrifying’ Supreme Court case

“That would put the United States squarely in the same category as authoritarian countries with illiberal rulers like Hungary, Poland, Turkey, and Russia.” Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

A little-known case called Moore v. Harper, which could lock in right-wing control of the United States for generations, should be seen as the virtues of a once fringe legal notion called the Legislature Theory of the Independent State. which “posits that an arcane provision of the U.S. Constitution allowing state legislatures to set ‘time, place, and manner’ rules for federal elections should not be subject to judicial review.”

Human rights attorney Steven Donziger writes that if the Supreme Court takes a positive view of the theory, then: “In other words, state legislatures should have absolute power to determine how federal elections proceed. take place without interference from the courts”.

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