The judge who sentenced Brock Turner to 6 months in jail has been recalled.

In 2016, Brock Turner was convicted of brutally sexually assaulting a woman. A judge sentenced him to only six months in jail.

Prosecutors had recommended that Turner, who'd sexually assaulted an unconscious woman, be incarcerated for six years. Judge Aaron Persky, however, sentenced Turner to less than one year in jail and three years' probation. Turner was also required to add his name to the national sex offender registry for life.

The mind-bogglingly lenient sentence sparked both a national outrage and conversations about the role that white privilege plays in the court system. Turner's case also brought into stark relief the lack of justice served to sexual assault survivors.


California voters have spoken, and Judge Aaron Persky has been recalled.

Soon after Turner's sentencing, Michele Dauber, a Stanford law professor, sociologist, and family friend of Turner's victim, launched a campaign to remove Persky from the bench.

The campaign noted that Persky claimed to have sentenced Turner lightly because alcohol had been involved and the judge feared that time in prison could have a "severe impact" on Turner. This was absurd considering the long-lasting effects that Turner's assault and trial had on the victim, whose heartbreaking impact statement was delivered in court.

"The only thing unusual about this case is that there were eyewitnesses. Otherwise it is like the millions of other sexual assaults occurring on our college campuses every year," the recall site reads. "Virtually every campus assault involves a high-achieving perpetrator and the vast majority involve alcohol. This sentence implies that prison would never be appropriate in most campus assaults."

In June 2018, California showed it was listening. At a time when the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements were surging forward in holding people accountable for sexual violence, it felt only right that voters chose to recall Persky from the bench.

Though the state now imposes mandatory sentences for assaults on people who are intoxicated, unconscious, or otherwise unable to give consent — thereby closing the loophole that allowed this ruling — Persky's recall is not only a step toward justice but a clear message the voices of sexual assault survivors must and will be heard.

Persky's recall is California's first in 86 years. And it's historic for much more than that.

While California has allowed its residents to recall judges by popular vote since 1911, the last time it happened was 1932. Today, it's a reminder that those in power aren't immune to the consequences of their actions. The recall is a loud signal that votes matter. They're changing the way the legal system handles sexual assault — an issue that's been ignored and stigmatized for far too long.

"The vote today — if the numbers hold — is a vote against impunity for high-status offenders of domestic violence and sexual violence," Michele Dauber told The Mercury News. "This victory is not just for Emily Doe, but for girls and women everywhere."

Persky's successor is also likely to bring change to the courts. According to recent statistics from California's judicial branch, the state's judges are overwhelmingly male and white. Cindy Hendrickson, who beat out opponent Angela Storey in the nomination to fill Persky's seat, is committed to representing all citizens of her jurisdiction and has a history of working with clients from marginalized groups.

The recall is an important step, but there's still work to be done.

It's easy — when it feels like justice has been served — to step into a space of complacency. But progress won't happen unless it's spurred forward by action. That's why it's so important that this recall be seen not as a culmination but as one point on the ever-evolving path to progress. There's still so much work to be done to end sexual violence. Let's never forget the tremendous power our voices have.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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