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New York governor says he’s ready to legalise recreational ganja




New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday called for the legalisation of recreational marijuana use in his state — a move that would add America’s most populous city to the growing list of places that allow the drug’s use.

The announcement marked a shift for the Democrat, who was re-elected for a third term as governor of a state that is home to about 20 million people.

“Let’s legalise the adult use of recreational marijuana, once and for all,” Cuomo said in a speech at Hunter College in Manhattan about his priorities for 2019.

Cuomo had long opposed the legalisation of marijuana, but during his re-election campaign earlier this year, when he faced competition from the left in the form of actress Cynthia Nixon, he said he was open to the possibility.

On Monday, he listed the arguments for decriminalising marijuana use that Nixon had made. At the time, she said the only people still being arrested for smoking a joint in New York were minorities.

“The fact is we have had two criminal justice systems — one for the wealthy and the well off, and one for everyone else,” Cuomo said, decrying a system he said had “for too long targeted the African-American and minority communities.”

New York state includes New York City, which is the most populous American city with some 8.5 million residents.
If the state were to legalise recreational marijuana use in 2019, it would be a boost to supporters of legalisation nationwide.

Canada, which borders New York, in October became the world’s first major economy to fully legalise cannabis.

Since Colorado decriminalised recreational ganja use in 2014, nine other states and the federal capital Washington, DC have followed suit. Those states are Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

In November, Massachusetts became the first East Coast state to open pot shops for those over the age of 21. In New Jersey, another neighbour of New York, lawmakers are expected to move towards legalisation in 2019.

Most other states allow for limited use of medical marijuana.

It remains outlawed under federal regulations.


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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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