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Implanted Chip Technology Worries Some

Three Square Market, a Wisconsin-based company, recently implanted microchips in 50 of its 80 employees in place of employee badges, giving these newly chipped employees easy access to their computers and entry into the building without the need for login passwords or physical building keys.

The company, which sells corporate self-serve cafeteria kiosks, has created so much buzz, many are wondering about the future of this chip technology. Will other companies across the nation follow suit and how soon? Though this is not the first time a company has used microchips on humans—Applied Digital Solutions installed the VeriChip to access medical records in 2001—many are concerned about the moral, economic, privacy, and political ramifications. Additionally, although this chip does not have GPS tracking capability, it is certainly possible, thus bringing a greater level of scrutiny and questions.

While the tech world predicts the inevitable adoption of chip technology to replace passports, car keys, computer passwords, and credit cards, many state legislators are still very cautious about this new technology or have simply banned the use of implanted tracking devices.

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Student-Teacher Sex Constitutional?

Alabama Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson has ruled that a state law criminalizing sex between high school teachers and students under age 19 is unconstitutional and has dismissed charges against former high school teacher Carrie Witt and former high school aide David Solomon for being too broad and for violating their 14th amendment rights. The age of consent in Alabama is 16, and both Witt and Solomon had sex with students above that age. “It is this court’s finding that the law grants these students the capacity to consent until and unless there is some showing that authority was used to obtain illegitimate or coerced consent,” wrote Thompson. Prosecutors plan to appeal the ruling.

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Strong Comments About Down Syndrome’s Disappearance in Iceland

A new report from CBS News explaining how Iceland aborts 100 percent of babies who are diagnosed prenatally with Down Syndrome sparked debate on social media. When CBS News tweeted, “Iceland is on pace to virtually eliminate Down Syndrome through abortion,” pro-life actress Patricia Heaton tweeted a correction, “Iceland isn’t actually eliminating Down Syndrome. They’re just killing everybody that has it. Big difference.”

Many others have since taken to social media and the web to condemn Iceland’s practice, including President and CEO of Concerned Women for America, Penny Nance, who said, “Iceland sounds like they are proud of the fact that they’ve killed nearly all unborn babies that had an in-utero diagnosis of Down syndrome. This is not a medical advancement. This is eugenics and barbarianism at best. These individuals have no less worth than anyone else.”

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What Will Happen With the Controversial TN Capitol Statue?

In light of the violent protests this past weekend in Charlottesville, Va., by white supremacists and this Monday’s protest by Moral Movement Tennessee concerning controversial symbols of the Confederacy at the state Capitol, Gov. Bill Haslam is recommending the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust housed there.

Along with being a military strategist and Confederate general born in Middle Tennessee, Forrest was, at one time, a Ku Klux Klan leader and that fact has incited some. Later, however, Forrest renounced the KKK and advocated for “social and political advancement for blacks.”

Removal of the bust requires two-thirds approval of the Tennessee Historical Commission. The first call to remove the statue came in 2015 after the Charleston, S.C., shooting, but the Legislature responded last year by passing the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, which makes it more difficult to remove statues or rename streets dedicated to controversial figures from public property.

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Texas Bathroom Privacy Bill Dies Again

The Texas bathroom privacy bill, meant to keep bathrooms and locker rooms in schools and public buildings designated on the basis of one’s biological sex, has died again. It passed the Senate in July, but it was never referred to the House. The author of the House version of the bill, state Rep. Ron Simmons, attempted to revive the bill as an amendment during a 30-day special session that ended this week, but the session adjourned Tuesday night without any action taken by the House on the bill.

Opposition to the bill came from IBM, the NFL, and Texas-based energy companies Halliburton and ExxonMobil Global Services, which claimed that sex-based bathroom usage was discriminatory and would prevent them from recruiting top talent. Additionally, two prominent WNBA players, Brittany Griner and Layshia Clarendon, co-wrote an op-ed piece for NBC News in opposition to the bill.

But the fight may not be over yet. Whether or not the Texas governor will call another special session is still unknown, but the bathroom privacy bill will likely be reconsidered in the next legislative session. Noted Rep. Simmons, “This issue’s not going to go away just because we don’t handle it in the special session. If we don’t deal with it now, we’re going to have to do it later.”

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