Obama Plans Broader Use of Clemency to Free Nonviolent Drug Offenders

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Sometime in the next few weeks, aides expect President Obama to issue orders freeing dozens of federal prisoners locked up on nonviolent drug offenses. With the stroke of his pen, he will probably commute more sentences at one time than any president has in nearly half a century.

The expansive use of his clemency power is part of a broader effort by Mr. Obama to correct what he sees as the excesses of the past, when politicians eager to be tough on crime threw away the key even for minor criminals. With many Republicans and Democrats now agreeing that the nation went too far, Mr. Obama holds the power to unlock that prison door, especially for young African-American and Hispanic men disproportionately affected.

But even as he exercises authority more assertively than any of his modern predecessors, Mr. Obama has only begun to tackle the problem he has identified. In the next weeks, the total number of commutations for Mr. Obama’s presidency may surpass 80, but more than 30,000 federal inmates have come forward in response to his administration’s call for clemency applications. A cumbersome review process has advanced only a small fraction of them. And just a small fraction of those have reached the president’s desk for a signature.


Even though President Obama is expected to commute dozens of sentences, he will barely make a dent in clemency applications. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times



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All Nippon Airways Announces ‘Star Wars’ Project With R2-D2 Painted Jet

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Huffpost Travel

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“Help me gate agent, you’re my only hope.”

So might open the conversation with All Nippon Airways, if you’re one of the fans who attempt to book a seat aboard the Japanese airline’s new “Star Wars” jet coming this fall. In honor of the iconic movie series, the airline will paint one of its brand-new Boeing 787s with an R2-D2 motif.

An apparent video rendering of the R2-D2 plane, released on YouTube Thursday, shows the nose of the plane decorated with R2-D2’s signature blue and white stripes, along with graphics depicting the robot’s various ports.


!!!!!AllNipponAirways1“Star Wars” jet Boeing 787s with an R2-D2 motif



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Amira Willighagen singing “O mio babbino caro”

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Oh MyGoodness! Incredible! The most impressive young lady!


Amira Willighagen singing “O mio babbino caro” — with Marc Ferre, Mahmoud Kabil, Michelle Waldsen, Enaya Albukhary, Ahmed Elsherbini, Kandel Khaga Raj, Salwa Karam, Rumiantceva Yulia and Arlindo Raposo.

One viewer’s comment: Carrine L Okay, so EVEN if you are not into classical or opera you have to watch this young lady, a child really, sing this… The sound coming out of her little body doesn’t even look like it is her but more like she is a conduit for some other force greater then her sending a message, speaking with music through her… I don’t know, just watch it!

I love Andre Rieu (the renowned Dutch violinist, conductor and composer) when he works with young talents!

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Amira Willighagen singing “O mio babbino caro”




Oregon Man Jailed After Parents’ Bodies Found In Freezer



Huffpost Crime

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A man was accused of killing his parents after their bodies were found in a freezer at their Oregon home by police who twice checked on them but were deterred by notes saying the family was away, authorities said Thursday.

Jeremy Daniel Ringquist, 38, was jailed on two counts of aggravated murder in the deaths of Randy and Karen Ringquist, whom he lived with in Springfield, police Sgt. Rich Charboneau said.

It was not immediately known if Jeremy Ringquist has retained a lawyer or will ask a judge for a court-appointed attorney at a court appearance set for Friday.


Springfield Police

Springfield Police



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This Is What The End Of European Democracy Looks Like

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Huffpost WorldPost

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Underlying the question of whether European leaders and the Greek state will be able to come to terms amid the financial crisis is one even more fundamental: Is there room in Europe for democracy?

In January, Greek voters elected a government on a platform of anti-austerity, one that argued further cuts would not just be cruel to a people already experiencing 25 percent unemployment, but economically backward as well. European leaders have spent the five months since then doing everything they can to drive that Greek government from power.

Europe’s modern experiment with democracy began with many fits and starts, but in recent years it seemed to cement itself. That appears to have been a mirage.


!!!!!BN2015-7-3THE GREAT EUROPEAN EXPERIMENT1Image: Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post



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Obama on U.S. Embassy in Cuba: ‘This Is What Change Looks Like’

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President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the U.S. and Cuba have struck a deal to open embassies in each other’s capitals and re-establish diplomatic relations for the first time in half a century.

“The progress we make today is another demonstration we don’t have to be imprisoned by the past,” Obama said.

Obama emphasized that the U.S. and Cuba have some shared interests, such as strong anti-terrorism policies and disaster response. But he acknowledged that the two nations still have “very serious differences” on issues like free speech.


!!!!!BN2015-7-2NewEra1U.S., Cuba Will Reopen Embassies in Havana and Washington Within Weeks



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First Drone Deliveries Coming July 17

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Drone deliveries in the U.S. will soon be an official, government-sanctioned activity.

A collaboration between NASA, Flirtey and Virginia Tech has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration fly unmanned aircraft on July 17 to deliver pharmaceuticals to a free medical clinic. The fixed wing aircraft from NASA Langley and multi-rotor delivery drones from Flirtey will become the world’s first autonomous aerial delivery services.

Organizers of the event hope to prove that drone usage need not be nefarious or purely for enthusiasts. In fact, the goal of these drones is to bring life-saving meds to an under-served community.


!!!!!DroneDeliveries1Drone deliveries



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