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Dispatches Human Race

Human Race

The debris of the crashed airplane of Ethiopian Airlines. (Michael Tewelde/AFP/Getty Images)

Grounded

Airlines and nations around the world are grounding the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet after the March 10 crash in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that killed all 157 people on board. Britain, Germany, Oman, Norwegian Air Shuttle, and South Korean Eastar Jet have joined airlines in China and Indonesia, Aeroméxico, Brazil’s Gol Airlines, India’s Jet Airways, and other countries and airlines in grounding the plane, with some citing worried customers as the reason for the action. U.S., Israeli, Kenyan, and other aviation experts are investigating the crash, led by Ethiopian authorities. Victims of the crash came from 35 countries and included dozens of humanitarian workers.


 

Brennan Linsley

Jack Phillips (Brennan Linsley)

Ended

The state of Colorado and Masterpiece Cakeshop agreed to end the litigation over the bakery owner’s right to refuse service for certain events. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission had begun state administrative action against the shop and its owner, Jack Phillips, after Phillips refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. Phillips successfully appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Phillips received another cake request to celebrate a gender transition. Phillips refused. The state commission filed a probable cause determination, and Phillips sued the state, claiming it was on a “crusade to crush” him. The commission and Phillips agreed on March 5 to end both cases. The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Phillips, said the dismissal came after they found proof the state is adverse toward religious freedom.


 

Karen Fisher via AP

William McLeod (Karen Fisher via AP)

Compelled

A Utah elementary teacher has apologized after forcing a student to wipe the Ash Wednesday cross off his forehead. Fourth-grader William McLeod had received the ash marking from a priest to begin the Lenten season. He told Fox News that he was the only student in his class wearing the cross and that he explained to other students that he did it because he is Catholic. Later in the day, McLeod’s teacher told him to clean the cross off. The boy attempted to explain and defend himself, but the teacher was firm. McLeod told his grandmother, who complained to the school. The two have received an apology from the Davis School District’s spokesman Chris Williams and the teacher.


 

Vladimir Fedorenko/Sputnik via AP

Russian parliament (Vladimir Fedorenko/Sputnik via AP)

Criminalized

Russia’s parliament is proposing new laws permitting the government to punish anyone who spreads fake news or insults government officials online. According to CNN, this means anyone who spreads “disrespect for society, the state, state symbols of the Russian Federation” could go to jail for up to 15 days. This includes any insults directed at President Vladimir Putin. Also, anyone who posts fake news, which the law defines as anything untested that could be dangerous to individuals, the public, or state infrastructure, could face fines of $45 to $75. For corporations, the fines can be up to $15,000. The new policies have not yet passed the presidential review and signature, and Russian citizens are rallying in protest.


 

Challenged

A federal magistrate has agreed to lift part of Tampa, Fla.’s ban on conversion therapy for minors. The decision came after a Christian legal group, Liberty Counsel, challenged the ban in court, saying it infringes on the freedoms of speech and religion of Christian therapists and clients who wish to participate in such therapy. Liberty is representing two Christian therapists in the city. U.S. Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone agreed with Liberty Counsel that the ban does endanger the free speech of these counselors and damages the right of minor clients to receive information. Sansone has permitted Liberty Counsel to move forward with their challenge to the constitutionality of Tampa’s ban.