A New York federal judge ruled Friday that the government must make emergency contraception available over the counter for women and girls of all ages within 30 days, instead of requiring a prescription for girls 16 and younger.
The ruling overturns a decision by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who said in 2011 that the morning-after pill could not be sold to girls younger than 17 without a prescription. Sebelius had overruled a recommendation by the Food and Drug Administration to make the pill available over the counter to all ages.
Judge Edward Korman in Brooklyn called the government’s restrictions on access to the pill “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable,” the New York Times reported, and gave the FDA one month to lift age and sale restrictions on Plan B One-Step and its generic versions.
The White House did not immediately comment on the judge’s decision. The FDA said it couldn’t comment on the ruling, citing the ongoing legal matter, according to CNN.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said last year that oral contraceptives should sold over the counter in order to reduce unintended pregnancies in the United States, CNN noted. Those who oppose prescription requirements say prescriptions can delay access to the drug, increasing the chances of pregnancy.
According to the drug’s manufacturer, Plan B can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. It is different from RU-486, commonly known as the abortion pill.
In which he lets Gene Siskel know why he gave "Full Metal Jacket" a thumbs down but "Benji the Hunted" a thumbs up (watch out for foul language):
In which he defends "Silence of the Lambs" to Mr. Siskel:
In which Mr. Ebert runs down the best movies of the 90s with Martin Scorsese:
Sounds like Ryanair may have a competitor for most controversial airline: On Samoa Air, passengers are being charged by their weight. Rates start at $1 per kilo (about 2.2 pounds), which includes the weight of both the flyer and his or her baggage.
The CEO explains to ABC Radio why it's fair: "People have always traveled on the basis of their seat, but as any airline operator knows, airplanes don't run on seats," he says. "They run on weight." For longer routes, rates run as high as $4.16 per kilo.
Austrian Muslims became outraged when they saw that Lego, a popular children’s toy company, created something they viewed as anti-Islamic in nature. Following months of intense angst and debate, Lego has reportedly agreed to stop making one of its Star Wars toy sets in an effort to temper the storm.
Called “Jabba’s Palace,” the set features a giant alien who resides in a building that, according to critics, resembles a mosque. The scenario was first put on sale in 2012 as part of Lego’s Star Wars collection, but it wasn’t until this past January that the toy started to spark debate, The Independent reports.
The outlet explains the controversy in detail, highlighting the purportedly anti-Islamic nature of “Jabba’s Palace”:
The game, which is aimed at children aged from nine to 14, features Jabba the Hutt in his intergalactic lair. Jabba, the slug-like villain who first appeared in the 1983 film Return of the Jedi, lives in a domed, oriental-looking building equipped with rockets and machine guns. He also smokes a water pipe and keeps Princess Leia in chains for use as his personal slave.
Furious Muslim critics complained that the Lego set’s Asian and oriental figures were “deceitful and criminal” characters such as gun-runners, slave masters and terrorists.
Melissa Gunes, a spokesperson for Austria’s Turkish Cultural Association (TCA), told The Independent that the toy doesn’t belong in kids’ bedrooms, as the palace that is depicted is said to look like the Hagia Sophia mosque, an Islamic house of worship in Istanbul.
“The game is pedagogical dynamite. It depicts Muslims as terrorists,” the cultural association added.
Google has gotten into the April Fool's Day spirit once again: After eight years of accepting entries, YouTube is going to shut down to "select a winner." A spoof announcement on the site claims that "YouTube has been nothing but a contest to find the best video, and the 8-year-long submission period is finally closing tonight." It says YouTube will be closed for the next decade while it reviews every video, and will reopen in 2023 with the winning entry as its only video, iTWire reports.
A Miami woman accused of stabbing her husband with a Swiss Army knife broke down in screaming hysterics on Monday after being denied bond.
“Blanca Regalado faced Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat where he denied her bond after she admitted to stabbing her husband multiple times at their home,”WSVN.com reports.
Bound to a wheelchair because she claims her husband broke her leg, Regalado repeatedly screamed, “Please don’t!” as bailiffs attempted to remove the panicked woman from the courtroom.
WSVN.com provides some details on the woman’s case:
Late Friday night, police responded to 1800 N. Bayshore Dr. Apt. 4201 where they found Regalado’s husband suffering from several stab wounds. Paramedics transported him to a local hospital where he remains listed in stable condition.
Authorities took Regalado into custody.
According to the arrest form, Regalado told police she stabbed her husband because he abused her, and he had a drinking problem. Miami-Dade Police Officer Freddie Cruz said, “She did make spontaneous statements to our officers that she is tired of him, so she stabbed him, and he is a drunk.”
Hollywood funnyman Jim Carrey has grown increasingly vocal about his pro-gun control beliefs in recent months, tweeting back in February: “Any1 who would run out to buy an assault rifle after the Newtown massacre has very little left in their body or soul worth protecting. ;^\”
He has just gone on a lengthy follow-up Twitter rant largely, it seems, to promote his new song “Cold Dead Hand.”
The entire tweet reads “Some ppl hate when i talk about guns so I decided to sing about it! Check out COLD DEAD HAND 12:01 AM Monday on Funny Or Die and itunes! ;^P”
“Hunters hang animals up on their walls. I kill mosquitos bt their little heads r hard to mount! ‘COLD DEAD HAND’ Funny Or Die… http://say.ly/pFl5r6y ” he tweeted shortly thereafter.
But it wasn’t long before his rhetoric became significantly more hostile:
Carrey apparently has a habit of tweeting more than the allowed number of characters, forcing readers to click on a link to read the remaining words. The tweet concludes: “Sorry if you’re offended by the word safety! ;^}”
From there, the “Dumb and Dumber” actor tweeted several suggestions about developing non-lethal forms of self-defense to satisfy both the gun control crowd and the pro-Second Amendment crowd.
Confronted with the concerns of pro-Second Amendment citizens, Carrey responded: “Gun folks are afraid that control won’t stop with large magazines. Their nervousness is far less important than the safety of children. ;^]”
Twitchy captured all of Carrey’s inflammatory tweets, but weighed in with a word of their own:
See, again he has the little smiley emoticon: He’s totally cute and loving, you heartless motherf*ckers! The gun-grabbing ghoul is releasing a song tomorrow titled, ‘Cold Dead Hand.’ Nothing like politicizing tragedies to promote oneself, huh, Jim? Talk about heartless. [Emphasis added]
In response to widespread criticism of his tweets — particularly the one where he referred to his political opponents (and presumably quite a few fans) as “heartless motherf%ckers” — Carrey wrote: “I’d like to respond to all the conservative bundits out there personally but I’m far too busy NOT stumping for the gun companies! ;^P.”
Octomom Nadya Suleman is under the microscope after a complaint was lodged that she committed welfare fraud ... and if it's true Octo could go to prison.
TMZ has learned ... someone made the allegation last week to the L.A. County Dept. of Welfare Fraud Prevention and Investigation (WFP&I), claiming Octo is getting various forms of welfare, including food stamps, even though she made nearly $200,000 in 2012.
Under California law, Octo can legitimately collect welfare for her and her 14 kids if she makes $119,000 or less in a calendar year, but if the allegation is true ... she exceeded the limit by a lot