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Chronic Candy Up or Down
Marijuana-Flavored Candy?
A Southern California-based company called Chronic Candy makes lollipops, gummy candies and chocolate flavored to taste like marijuana. The company tag line is "Every lick is like taking a hit." Although the products are legal because they do not contain any THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, several states are attempting to ban the candies because they may encourage children to use drugs. Watch the video and tell us whether you give a ban on pot-flavored candy an Up or Down vote.
United Flight 93
Judas Not a Traitor After All?
An ancient manuscript rediscovered after 1,700 years may shed new light on the relationship between Jesus and Judas, the disciple who betrayed him. Rather than the traitor Judas is portrayed as in the New Testament, this document — the "Gospel of Judas" — indicates that he acted at the request of Jesus to help him shed his earthly body. Is this a bona fide discovery or just a clever fake? Read more and tell us if you give the "Gospel of Judas" an Up or Down vote.
United Flight 93
Theater Pulls "United 93" Trailer
After complaints from outraged and distraught moviegoers, a theater in New York City has pulled the trailer for "United 93," a new movie chronicling the hijacked United Airlines flight that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11. Despite the negative backlash, Universal Studios says it has no plans to pull the trailer, or the film, which will premiere on April 25. Is it too soon for movies about 9/11? Read more and tell us if you give the theater's decision an Up or Down vote.
Russia Holds Bering Straight Explorers
Russian officials have not yet decided whether to release a Briton and an American who have been confined to a remote eastern village after crossing the frozen Bering Strait by foot and entering Russia without proper documents, Russian news agencies reported Wednesday. Read more and tell us if you think Russia is right for holding the explorers. Give this an Up or Down vote.
Sex for Rent?
On the widely used website Craigslist.org, some landlords and apartment dwellers looking for roommates are offering to accept sex in lieu of rent. Trading housing for sex is a form of prostitution. But the police aren't kicking down doors. Read more and tell us if think those soliciting sex should be charged with a crime. Give this an Up or Down vote.
Honoring a Wiccan Warrior
Nevada National Guard Sgt. Patrick Stewart was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan in September 2005. Now, his widow wants to honor his sacrifice with a plaque on a military memorial wall. But the Department of Veterans' Affairs does not recognize the Wiccan religion, which Stewart practiced, and will not allow the symbol of his religion to be included on the plaque. Is this religious discrimination? Watch the video and tell us whether you give the DVA's decision an Up or Down vote.
30 Years for Plot to Assassinate President Bush
Prosecutors had asked for the maximum — a life sentence — for Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, a 25-year-old U.S. citizen who was born to a Jordanian father and raised in Falls Church, Va. But U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee said 30 years was sufficient punishment. He compared the Abu Ali case to "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, who received a 20-year sentence. Read more and tell us if you give Abu Ali’s sentence an Up or Down vote.
Kindergarten Gunman?
A kindergarten student was expelled in Fircrest, Washington, for 10 days after he brought a .22-caliber gun to school, according to officials. The 5-year-old boy climbed from a chair onto a washer-dryer and got an unloaded pistol out of a cupboard at home, police said. He showed a friend the gun on the Whittier Elementary School playground, then put it into a friend's backpack, Police Chief John Cheesman said. The boy never made any threat and told the principal of the school what he had done. Read more and tell us if you give the school's decision to expel the boy an Up or Down vote!
France's Labor Dispute
Nationwide strikes disrupted airline, train and bus services, and sent more than 200,000 protesters into the streets across France on Tuesday, as unions joined in solidarity with students angered by a new youth labor law. Students and labor unions say the law will erode France's cherished workplace protections. Set to take effect next month, it would let companies fire employees younger than 26 without reason in the first two years on the job. Read more and tell us if you give this new labor law an Up or Down vote!
Nevada Legalizes Gambling on PDAs Within Casinos
A new regulation passed makes Nevada the first in the nation to approve the use of handheld devices for gambling in any public area of the state's casinos, such as restaurants and poolsides. While one lawmaker says taking gambling off the casino floor will make it harder to ensure minors don't wager, advocates say the move will make better use of resort space that is increasingly being devoted to non-gambling activities, such as shopping, dining and clubbing. Read more and tell us if you give these new gambling devices an Up or Down vote!
Asian Firm to Run U.S. Nuke Detectors
One of Americans' favorite beach destinations, the Bahamas, is getting a new U.S. arrival — sophisticated equipment to detect radioactive materials in shipping cargo. But U.S. customs agents won't be on site to supervise the machine's use as a nuclear safeguard for the American shoreline that is just 65 miles away from Freeport. Under an unusual arrangement, a Hong Kong company will help operate the detector. It will be the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present. Read more and tell us if you give this deal an Up or Down vote.
Dixie Chicks Comeback?
Three years ago the Dixie Chicks were getting death threats for the stands they took on the Iraq war. Now, in the first single from their new album, they address those threats head on. The song is called “Not Ready to Make Nice.” According to FNC’s Roger Friedman, the new album, "Taking the Long Way," is a potential blockbuster. Read more and tell us if you will buy the new album despite the group’s anti-war and President Bush stance. Give the Dixie Chicks an Up or Down vote.
Charges Dropped Against Lafave
Charges against a Tampa teacher who had sex with a 14-year-old middle-school student have been dropped in one of the two counties where the incidents occurred. Debra Lafave, 25, was charged in Marion County with lewd and lascivious battery on a child and lewd and lascivious exhibition for having sex with the now 16-year-old boy in a sport utility vehicle. Read more and tell us if you give the dropped charges an Up or Down vote.
Geico Insurance Rates Unfair?
A leading U.S. consumer group has accused Geico Corp. of using consumers' education backgrounds and occupations as criteria in setting auto insurance rates, resulting in discrimination against minorities and lower-income people. Read more and tell us if you think Geico has discriminated. Give the Consumer Federation of America’s claim an Up or Down vote!
Cutting AmeriCorps?
After years of attacks from fiscal conservatives and underwhelming progress reports, the federal AmeriCorps service program has quietly taken its place on the budget chopping block and stands to lose its full-time civilian corps, most of which is currently serving in the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast. Read more and tell us if you think AmeriCorps should be on the budget chopping block by e-mailing us your Up or Down vote!