THEN & NOW: 90 Years Ago, Women Gained the Right to Vote »

"Female voters would also pose practical difficulties, described bluntly by a Mississippi man: ‘We are not afraid to maul a black man over the head if he dares to vote, but we can’t treat women, even black women, that way. No, we’ll allow no woman suffrage.’"

Tags: /then and now /gender



Mexico Supreme Court Upholds Adoptions By Same-Sex Couples »

"Mexico’s high court voted 9-2 to guarantee adoption for these couples. Last week it decided in favor of the right to same-sex marriage and made clear that other states in the country have to recognize the same-sex marriages that take place in Mexico City."

Tags: /lgbt /latin america



Mexico Contemplates Ending the Drug War »

"Mr Calderón became the first incumbent president to call for open discussion of the merits of legalising a trade he has opposed with such determination….It has brought into the open an argument that appears to be gaining currency in Mexico."

Tags: /Crime



Portugal Gets 45 Percent of Its Energy From Renewable Sources »

“’I’ve seen all the smiles — you know: It’s a good dream. It can’t compete. It’s too expensive,’ said Prime Minister José Sócrates, recalling the way Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, mockingly offered to build him an electric Ferrari. Mr. Sócrates added, ‘The experience of Portugal shows that it is possible to make these changes in a very short time.’”

Tags: /Environment /sustainability /europe



Update: More Billionaires Pledge Half Their Wealth to Charity »

"Among the billionaires joining the campaign are New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, entertainment executive Barry Diller, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens, media mogul Ted Turner, David Rockefeller and investor Ronald Perelman, according to The Giving Pledge campaign."

Read the original post here



United Nations Affirms Right to Safe Water »

”’ I think every now and then, the human species advances somewhat in our evolution, and today was one of those advances.’”

Tags: /rights



First Black Politician Elected In Russia »

"People in this Russian town used to stare at Jean Gregoire Sagbo because they had never seen a black man. Now they say they see in him something equally rare – an honest politician."

Tags: /race /Europe



New Gel Cuts Risk of HIV Infection »

"It is the first time an HIV-prevention method controlled by women, who bear the brunt of the epidemic in Africa, has been shown to work. About a third of women in the study said their partners didn’t know they were using the clear, odorless gel."

Tags: /health



Volunteerism Rises in U.S. »

"Women largely contributed to the jump in volunteers. In 2009, 36.7 million women volunteered, up 1.2 million from 2008. More blacks also gave their time.

Americans overall set aside 8.1 billion hours to lend a hand, with the typical volunteer donating about 52 hours for the year.”

Tags: /charity



Cities Increasingly Turn to Landfills As Alternative Energy Source »

"The expanded energy plant allows more methane gas to be turned into electricity, which reflects the city’s desire to address climate change and pleases local environmental groups such as Ecology Action.Company officials estimate the plant can reduce greenhouse gases by 9,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

'The plant is taking advantage of a resource to create energy out of something that is here already,' Kirsten Liske of Ecology Action said. “It's really exciting.'”

Read more: similar projects all over the U.S. — in Charleston, S.C., Sioux Falls, S.D., Cartersville, GA., and Edinburg, TX.

Tags: /Environment



Obama Nominates Women, Minorities to the Bench At Unprecidented Rate »

"Goldman, who has written extensively on the subject, said the appointments are particularly impressive because of the high level of discrimination that characterized the legal profession for decades. He noted that former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor could not even land a job as an attorney after graduating from law school but was offered a job as a legal secretary instead."

Tags: /justice /gender



Gates, Buffett Pushing to Revolutionize Philanthropy By the Rich »

"Gates and Buffett started what can be called the biggest fundraising drive in history. They’d welcome donors of any kind. But their direct target is billionaires, whom the two men wish to see greatly raise the amounts they give to charities, of any and all kinds….They are driving to get the super-rich, starting with the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, to pledge — literally pledge — at least 50% of their net worth to charity during their lifetimes or at death."

Tags: /charity /compassion



Iceland Unanimously Passes Gay Marriage Law »

"The Althingi parliament voted 49 to zero to change the wording of marriage legislation to include matrimony between "man and man, woman and woman," in addition to unions between men and women."

Tags: /lgbt



Americans' Acceptance of Gays Crosses 50% Threshhold »

"There is a gradual cultural shift under way in Americans’ views toward gay individuals and gay rights. While public attitudes haven’t moved consistently in gays’ and lesbians’ favor every year, the general trend is clearly in that direction. This year, the shift is apparent in a record-high level of the public seeing gay and lesbian relations as morally acceptable. Meanwhile, support for legalizing gay marriage, and for the legality of gay and lesbian relations more generally, is near record highs."

Tags: /lgbt



Kagan's Nomination Is the Sweet Smell of Progress »

"If she is confirmed, we will be one step closer to the day when a female nominee’s gender is no longer remarkable, closer to that elusive cultural tipping point when it is no longer unusual to see women on the Supreme Court or in other positions of significant power. If three women are serving on the nation’s highest tribunal, perhaps the gender of the fourth female justice won’t be a focal point….

We’re still a long way from that day, but we’re a lot closer to it than when I started working to fight sex discrimination more than three decades ago.”

Tags: /gender /justice