End of the Age News
By Jim Stigleman
U.S. and Russia at Odds Over Syrian Peace Talks
Once again the Geneva peace talks concerning the ending of Syria’s civil war have grinded to screeching halt. A second round of talks ended this past weekend with virtually no progress being made. America has blamed Damascus for the failure of the summit, while Russia said that world powers backing Syria would rather end the war on the battle front than at the peace table.
U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, further solidified the United States’ opinion stating, “The regime stonewalled. They did nothing except continue to drop barrel bombs on their own people and continue to destroy their own country. And I regret to say they are doing so with increased support from Iran, from Hezbollah and from Russia.”
Kerry seems to be putting political pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end his country’s civil war at the peace table. And in an effort to get Russia’s support at the negotiations he stated that, “Russia needs to be a part of the solution”, instead of supplying arms and other aid to Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded to these accusations with, “evidence that certain sponsors of the opposition are starting to create a new structure… a course is being set to move away from the negotiations track and once again place bets on a military scenario”
Indiana Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Ban Amendment
In U.S. news…
The Indiana Senate has voted 32-17 to add an amendment to the state’s constitution banning gay marriage. Indiana’s House of Representatives approved the amendment last month. Indiana state law now requires both governmental bodies to once again pass the motion, using the same wording, before letting the voters decide. If passed, Indiana voters will vote on the same-sex marriage ban amendment in 2016.
The state of Indiana already bans same sex-marriage by statute and proponents of the amendment feel it is necessary to keep those in opposition from taking the same-sex marriage fight to the courts.
In 2011 the Indiana House passed a previous version of the amendment which would have also banned civil unions. The current version, passed by the House and voted on by the Indiana Senate on Monday, has had that wording removed. This removal has been applauded as a victory for gay rights in Indiana.
This action by the Indiana’s government comes at a time when the U.S. Supreme Court has reinstituted same-sex marriages in California and declared The Defense Of Marriage Act, or D.O.M.A., unconstitutional. Federal judges in Utah, Virginia and Oklahoma, have used the Supreme Court’s decision on D.O.M.A. to declare same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional.
Ten short years ago, no state allowed same-sex marriages. Now, same-sex marriage is lawful in 17 states and the District of Columbia.
Washington State to Allow Immigrants Financial Aid
In other news…
Legislators from the state of Washington have voted to allow students, illegally brought into America by their parents, access to need-based college financial aid. The measure must now be signed by Governor Jay Inslee who has already vowed to approve it.
“This bill ensures that the young men and women we’ve invested in at our high schools and who aspire to become productive American citizens will now have fair access to the financial support they need,” Inslee said.
If the bill becomes a law, Washington state will join California, Illinois and Texas as states which have passed such legislation.
This past June, The U.S. government has crafted legislation which would grant a path for citizenship to the 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the country. The Senate has passed the bill while the House has stalled it.
I’m Jim Stigleman and this has been today’s ETA News.