Daily News Recap (2-19-15)

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By Holly Henrichsen
Assistant Web Content Manager

UAC Arch. Photo by Nathalie Cohetero
Photo by Nathalie Cohetero

A judge in Travis County has recently approved the marriage license of Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant who were married this morning in Austin. This will be the first same sex marriage in Texas history. In response to the marriage, Governor Greg Abbott has released a statement saying that the Texas constitution defines marriage as consisting ‘only of the union of one man and one woman’ and that he is committed to ensuring that the Texas Constitution is upheld. In response, the Texas Supreme Court has issued two stay court orders, one to prevent Travis County from issuing marriage licenses to other same-sex couples and one to stay the probate judge’s Tuesday declaration that the same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

Reports say that ISIS burned up to 40 people alive in al-Baghdadi, Iraq. According to CNN, provincial council chairman said he was advised by his commanders near the al-Baghdadi front line that ISIS militants killed at least 40 police officers and tribesman and that most victims were burned to death. ISIS seized control of majority of the town last week, just a few miles away from the Ayn al-Asad airbase where about 400 U.S. military personnel are stationed to help train Iraqi pilots. There have been no images published of the reported killings as ISIS has frequently done in the past.

The U.S. retail store Walmart has announced plans to raise wages for up to 500,000 employees at its U.S. stores. According to BBC News, the retailer has been facing pressure from different labour groups who are demanding changes to the way the retailer treats its employees. Walmart has also announced that it would invest in worker training programs to encourage Walmart employees to advance within the organization.

Marijuana is one of the recent topics of discussion at the 84th Texas Legislature. Around 300 marijuana supporters showed up to the Texas capitol yesterday in hopes of changing the stances of anti-marijuana Republicans. One of the top priorities of the pro-marijuana supporters that showed up yesterday is to decriminalize the substance. Currently in Texas, if someone is in possession of 2 ounces of marijuana or less it is labeled as a Class B misdemeanor and offenders could spend up to 180 days in jail and be fined $2,000. According to the Dallas Morning News, no one has officially filed a bill to legalize medical marijuana but are seeking a sponsor.


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