Late Weekend Links

– Last week it came to light that as part of an investigation into CIA leaks in 2012, the Justice Department secretly seized two months of office phone records for the Associated Press. So, in other words, in next year’s Press Freedom Index the U.S. is going to rank somewhere between Moldova and The Congo.

A Guatemalan court has convicted 86-year-old former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt of genocide and crimes against humanity, marking the first time a former head of state has been convicted of genocide by a court of his own country.

Ever since his failed end of times prediction two years ago, Pastor Harold Camping’s church has been struggling financially. Apparently people who believe that “the rapture is nigh” aren’t too concerned with saving money.

– Speaking of failed predictions, here’s a list of 10 ridiculous Christian Right prophecies.

Venezuela is now experiencing a shortage of toilet paper, in addition to shortages of milk, butter and other food items. The shortages are being caused by the nation’s price controls, because as any economist will tell you: when the price ceiling is set below the market price of an item, shortages will always result–this is Economics 101. Of course, Venezuela being…well, Venezuela, the government has blamed the shortages on political opponents.

In the nation of Georgia, a rally to mark the International Day Against Homophobia was besieged by anti-gay protesters.

– Televangelist Pat Robertson is receiving flack for saying that it’s natural for men to “wander a little bit” when in a relationship. The thing is, he’s kind of right: Monogamy isn’t natural–for men or women.

A Michigan high school is refusing to allow yearbook photos that show two students’ pregnant stomachs, saying that to do so would promote teen pregnancy in violation of the state’s abstinence-only sex education policy. (You can see how well “abstinence-only” is working out for them.)

With Islamists in power, Egypt is seeing an increase in blasphemy prosecutions. Goddammit.

While reiterating his opposition to draconian marijuana sentencing laws, former president Jimmy Carter clarified his stance on marijuana legalization, saying that “I do not favor legalization. We must do everything we can to discourage marijuana use.” Congratulations, Mr. Carter–you are officially less enlightened than Pat fucking Robertson.

A British woman could face the death penalty in Indonesia for allegedly smuggling 1.47 kg of crystal meth into the country. Indonesia: making U.S. drug laws look sane by comparison.

18-year-old Florida high school senior Kaitlyn Hunt is facing felony charges for dating a female 15-year-old classmate (the couple started dating when Kaitlyn was 17). The other girl’s parents were not accepting of the relationship, and once Kaitlyn turned 18 they had her arrested for “sexual battery of a minor.” (I wonder how many women outraged by Kaitlyn’s prosecution would say “lock him up” if it were an 18-year-old male dating a 15-year-old female.)

A Texas judge has ordered a woman to live apart from her lesbian partner or lose custody of her children–simply because he disapproved of the women’s lifestyle.

The European Union has imposed strict new regulations on how restaurants may serve olive oil. Ugh…don’t give Michael Bloomberg any more ideas.

– And finally, George Takei responds to anti-gay marriage protesters.

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