Outside the Circle

A look at news outside of Case Western Reserve

Arielle Soffer and Anastazia Vanisko

Federal judge strikes down controversial Texas abortion limits
Anastazia Vanisko

US District Judge Lee Yeakel struck down part of a Texan law prohibiting abortions last Monday. Yeakel said that the new law was preventing abortion doctors from doing what they thought was best for their patients, as well as dramatically reducing the women’s access to abortion clinics.

The controversial law required that abortion clinics have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30 mile radius, along with mandating that they closely follow Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protocols when prescribing pregnancy-ending drugs. Before these portions of the law were declared unconstitutional, lawyers for Planned Parenthood argued that the hospital requirement would close a third of hospitals in the state. With regards to abiding by the FDA’s regulations, the lawyers argued that not allowing doctors to vary from the original FDA dosage limited women’s treatment options and restricted their access to medical advancements.

For pro-choice advocates, the decision is a relief, and similar laws are being challenged all over the country.

Putin welcomes homosexual athletes to 2014 Olympics
Anastazia Vanisko

Despite a recent ban on promoting “homosexual propaganda” to minors, Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared that gay and lesbian athletes are welcome at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. During a recent visit from the International Olympic Committee, Putin assured the chair, Thomas Bach, that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, would feel at ease.

The population of Russia, however, is far less welcoming to the gay community than those of other countries. Homosexuality in Russia was only recently decriminalized in 1993. A recent poll showed that many Russians do not believe homosexuals should receive the same rights as other citizens.

Due to these concerns, some individuals believe that the Olympic Games in Russia should once again be boycotted, but such demands have had little success. Russia hopes for the games at Sochi to be a chance for the country to show how far it has come since the 1980 Summer Games.

Storm batters Western Europe
Anastazia Vanisko

A devastating storm hit Western Europe, leaving thousand of homes without power and killing 15 people, as of last Monday. Winds over the North Sea were recorded at record-breaking speeds of 119 miles per hour.

Trains, ferry services and plane flights all had to be delayed, though they were expected to return to normal soon. Flood warnings were also released in some areas.

The United Kingdom especially suffered numerous power outages. Luckily, engineers were able to restore power to many homes, but they had difficulty reaching homes in the more remote areas of the country due to fallen trees.
Norway and Denmark both issued warnings since they are expecting winds blowing of more than 100 mph.

Poor college students now have a new travel option 
Arielle Soffer

Those who find themselves living solely on ramen noodles to save money for their flight abroad now have a newfangled way to travel the world. One can now indirectly experience the far corners of the world through their stuffed animals, courtesy of the Japanese travel service Unagi Travel. For a comparatively meager price ranging from 20 to 55 dollars, depending on the distance of the destination, one can send their bedside buddy practically anywhere on earth. This saves you a wad of money, and cultivates a more culturally aware and tolerant perspective in your stuffed animal.

McDonald’s says goodbye to a longtime provider
Arielle Soffer

Heinz has been the ketchup provider to McDonald’s for the last 40 years, but this past Friday the fast food chain announced it would no longer be using Heinz ketchup in its franchises. This transition is a direct result of the change in administration that occurred at Heinz on June 10 when the former Chief Executive Officer, Bernardo Hees, of McDonald’s longtime competitor, Burger King Worldwide, Inc., was named CEO of Heinz. Ketchup provided to McDonald’s by Heinz was used mostly internationally.