Lawmakers in Maine are debating a bill that would allow men to be housed in prisons with women based on their “gender identity” preference, Breitbart News reports. According to Breitbart, the bill is supported by LGBT groups but opposed by conservatives and feminist groups like WoLF, the Women’s Liberation Front.
“This bill would have a disastrous impact on the safety, rights, and dignity of incarcerated women in Maine by allowing men, regardless of their history of violence against women or the threat they may pose to women, to be moved to female correctional facilities. Prisons are separated by sex for a reason — to keep women safe from male violence. Allowing men to “self-identify” into women’s prisons violates the internationally recognized rights of prisoners, exposing them to an increased risk of sexualized violence,” WoLF said in a statement.
Supporting the bill, transgender group Maine Trans Net celebrated the bill on Facebook.
“MTN’s first ever bill, LD 1044: An Act to Protect the Rights of Certain Incarcerated Individuals, was voted “Ought to Pass” by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee this afternoon! This is a critical barrier for the bill and puts it in a strong position to become law. LD 1044 guarantees the rights of transgender and intersex people incarcerated in Maine to have access to gender affirming housing, search practices, commissary, and language (names/pronouns),” it said online.
Read the full story here.
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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Returns After 7-Year Journey with Asteroid Samples
After a remarkable seven-year voyage spanning nearly 4 billion miles in space, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is set to make its triumphant return to Earth on Sunday. OSIRIS-REx, an acronym for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer, was launched in 2016 on a groundbreaking mission to collect material from an asteroid in space.
The capsule, holding a precious cargo of nearly 9 ounces of rocks, dust, and dirt gathered from the asteroid Bennu, will detach from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft before making an anticipated landing inside the Defense Department’s Utah Test and Training Range. According to reports from Fox News, teams from NASA and Lockheed Martin, the vehicle’s builder, will eagerly await its arrival.
Describing the precision required for this endeavor, OSIRIS-REx Deputy Project Manager Michael Moreau likened it to a challenging game of accuracy, stating, “It’s like putting a dart board at one end of a basketball court and throwing the dart from the other end and getting a bull’s-eye.”
This years-long mission holds significant scientific importance. It will aid researchers in investigating the formation of planets, shed light on the origins of life, and enhance NASA’s understanding of asteroids that could pose potential threats to Earth.
Furthermore, the collected sample is expected to offer “generations of scientists a window into the time when the Sun and planets were forming about 4.5 billion years ago,” according to NASA.
Moreover, the mission could contribute crucial information to Earth’s defense against a potential collision with Bennu, an asteroid roughly the size of the Empire State Building. NASA estimates a 1-in-2,700 chance of Bennu impacting Earth in the latter half of the 2100s.
The journey leading up to this momentous return has been a long and meticulous one. OSIRIS-REx arrived at Bennu in 2018 and spent two years closely orbiting the asteroid, gathering vital data.
In 2020, the spacecraft made history with a successful landing on Bennu’s surface, collecting a “touch and go” sample in under a minute. Despite an initial setback due to a jammed door that led to the loss of some space dust, the sample collected still surpasses the mission’s requirement of two ounces.
Once the capsule safely touches down in the Utah desert, a dedicated NASA team will transport the precious material to a meticulously clean environment. Subsequently, the Bennu samples will find their way to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Approximately 70% of the asteroid material will be preserved for future research endeavors, allowing scientists worldwide to delve into its mysteries. Additionally, a portion of the sample will be shared with the Japanese Space Exploration Agency as part of an exchange for samples collected by Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft.
Looking ahead, OSIRIS-REx is set to continue its mission by studying another asteroid named Apophis, named after a demon serpent in ancient Egyptian mythology, symbolizing evil and chaos. This ambitious mission marks another chapter in humanity’s ongoing exploration of our solar system and beyond.
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