California’s violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals

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California’s violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals

Posted by VZWk94v8 on August 18, 2019

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday has declared unconstitutional California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793, the California “ultraviolent video games law” that sought to ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.

Federal judge Consuelo M. Callahan has ruled that the 2005 statewide ban, which has yet to be enforced, violates minors’ rights under the US Constitution’s First and 14th amendment because even the most graphic on-screen mayhem, video game content represents free speech that cannot be censored without proper justification.

The Court has ruled that there’s no convincing evidence it causes psychological damage to young people. The 3-0 judgment has affirmed an earlier ruling by a U.S. District Court, which barred enforcement of the law on the basis that it was “unduly restrictive” and “used overly broad definitions,” and that the state failed to show that the limitations on violent video games would actually protect children.

In 2005, Leland Yee (???), a California State Senator (in District 8 which includes the western half of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County), Speaker pro Tempore of the Assembly (D-San Francisco/Daly City), introduced California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793 which barred “ultra-violent” video games from minors under the age of eighteen in California and mandated the application of ESRB ratings for video games.

“California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793” were commonly called the “ultraviolent video games bills” or simply “video game ban” bills. Bill 1792 banned the sales of such video games while Bill 1793 required signs explaining the regulations on said games to be placed where such were sold. Both bills were passed by the Assembly and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger into law (AB 1179) on October 7, 2005.

Explicitly, these two bills provided that:

  • AB 1792 will place ultra-violent video games into the “matter” portion of the penal code, which criminalizes the sale of said material to a minor.
  • AB 1793 will require retailers to place M-rated games separate from other games intended for children, and will also require retailers to display signage explaining the ESRB rating system.

Yee, a former child psychologist has publicly criticized such games as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Manhunt 2, and opposes the U.S. Army’s Global Gaming League.

On October 17, 2005, before the effectivity of the challenged Act, plaintiffs Video Software Dealers Association, the not-for-profit international trade association dedicated to advancing the interests of the $32 billion home entertainment industry and Entertainment Software Association, a 1994 US trade association of the video game industry have filed lawsuit (D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW) against the defendants Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, CA Attorney General, Edmund G. Brown, Santa Clara County District Attorney George Kennedy, City Attorney for the City of San Jose, Richard Doyle, and County Counsel for the County of Santa Clara, Ann Miller Ravel.

Plaintiffs’ counsel, Jenner & Block‘s Paul M. Smith has filed a declaratory relief to invalidate the newly-enacted California Civil Code sections 1746-1746.5 (the “Act”), on the grounds that it allegedly violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Plaintiffs have submitted that “the Act unconstitutionally curtailed freedom of expression on its face based on content regulation and the labeling requirement, was unconstitutionally vague, and violated equal protection. California’s restrictions could open the door for states to limit minors’ access to other material under the guise of protecting children.”

By December 2005, both bills had been struck down as unconstitutional, by Ronald M. Whyte, District Judge, Presiding in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, thereby preventing either from going into effect on January 1, 2006.

Judge Whyte has granted plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in “Video Software Dealers Ass’n v. Schwarzenegger,” 401 F. Supp. 2d 1034 (N.D. Cal. 2005), and cross-motions for summary judgment, in “Video Software Dealers Ass’n v. Schwarzenegger,” No. C-05-04188, slip op. (N.D. Cal. Aug. 6, 2007).

Similar bills were subsequently filed in such states as Illinois, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Michigan and Louisiana have been ruled to be unconstitutional by federal courts on First Amendment grounds, according to Sean Bersell, a spokesman for the Entertainment Merchants Association.

The defendants, in the instant Case No. 07-16620, have timely appealed the judgment. On October 29, 2008, the appealed case was argued and submitted to the Sacramento, California‘s U.S. Court of Appeals, hence, the promulgation of the instant 30 pages decision (No. 07-16620; D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW) by Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Sidney R. Thomas and Consuelo M. Callahan (who wrote the court’s opinion), United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judges.

In the ban’s defense, Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, Zackery Morazzini has contended that “if governments restrict the sale of pornography to minors, it should also create a separate category for ultra-violent video games.” Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr., California Attorney General, has also argued that “the Court should analyze the Act’s restrictions under what has been called the ‘variable obscenity’ or ‘obscenity as to minors’ standard first mentioned in Ginsberg, 390 U.S. 629. The Court’s reasoning in Ginsberg that a state could prohibit the sale of sexually-explicit material to minors that it could not ban from distribution to adults should be extended to materials containing violence.”

The “Fallo” or dispositive portion of the judgment in question goes as follows:

We hold that the Act, as a presumptively invalid contentbased restriction on speech, is subject to strict scrutiny and not the “variable obscenity” standard from Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968). Applying strict scrutiny, we hold that the Act violates rights protected by the First Amendment because the State has not demonstrated a compelling interest, has not tailored the restriction to its alleged compelling interest, and there exist less-restrictive means that would further the State’s expressed interests. Additionally, we hold that the Act’s labeling requirement is unconstitutionally compelled speech under the First Amendment because it does not require the disclosure of purely factual information; but compels the carrying of the State’s controversial opinion. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Plaintiffs and its denial of the State’s cross-motion. Because we affirm the district court on these grounds, we do not reach two of Plaintiffs’ challenges to the Act: first, that the language of the Act is unconstitutionally vague, and, second, that the Act violates Plaintiffs’ rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.—”Video Software Dealers Association; Entertainment Software Association v. Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Kennedy” – No. 07-16620; D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW – Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Sidney R. Thomas and

Consuelo M. Callahan, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Circuit Judges.

“We need to help empower parents with the ultimate decision over whether or not their children play in a world of violence and murder,” said the law’s author, Sen. Leland Yee, announcing he wanted Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr., the current Attorney General and a former governor of the State of California, to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Letting the industry police itself is like letting kids sign their own report cards and that a self regulating system simply doesn’t work. I’ve always contended that the … law the governor signed was a good one for protecting children from the harm from playing these ultra-violent video games. I’ve always felt it would end up in the Supreme Court,” Sen. Yee explained. “In fact, the high court recently agreed, in Roper v. Simmons (2005), that we need to treat children differently in the eyes of the law due to brain development,” he added.

According to Michael D. Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association, plaintiff, the Court’s ruling has stressed that parents, with assistance from the industry, are the ones who should control what games their children play. “This is a clear signal that in California and across the country, the reckless pursuit of anti-video game legislation like this is an exercise in wasting taxpayer money, government time and state resources,” Gallagher said in a statement.

California’s violent video game law properly seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games. While I am deeply disappointed in today’s ruling, we should not stop our efforts to assist parents in keeping these harmful video games out of the hands of children.

Entertainment Software Association members include Disney Interactive Studios, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Corp, THQ Inc, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Take-Two Interactive Software, the maker of “Grand Theft Auto” games.

Judge Callahan has also reprimanded state lawyers for having failed to show any reasonable alternatives to an outright statewide ban against the ultra-violent video games. “Ratings education, retailer ratings enforcement, and control of game play by parents are the appropriate responses to concerns about video game content,” said Bo Andersen, president and chief executive of the Entertainment Merchants Association.

Andersen continues, “retailers are committed to assisting parents in assuring that children do not purchase games that are not appropriate for their age. Independent surveys show that retailers are doing a very good job in this area, with an 80 percent enforcement rate, and retailers will continue to work to increase enforcement rates even further; the court has correctly noted that the state cannot simply dismiss these efforts.”

California was already forced to pay $282,794 to the ESA for attorneys’ fees, money that would’ve helped with the state’s current budget difficulties. Andersen has urged California government officials not to appeal the case. “The estimated $283,000 in taxpayer money spent by the state on this case is so far an ‘ill-advised, and ultimately doomed, attempt at state-sponsored nannyism.’ A voluntary ratings system already exists to avoid the state-sponsored nannyism of a ban,” he explained.

“The governor believes strongly we have a responsibility to our children and our communities to protect against the effects of video games depicting ultra-violent actions,” said Governor Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Camille Anderson adding the governor was reviewing Friday’s decision.

Deputy Attorney General Zackery Morazzini, the state’s counsel in the appealed case, has stressed that “a law restricting sales of violent games is far more effective than industry self-policing, since the technological controls that the court cited as another alternative can be easily bypassed by any kid with an Internet connection.”

According to Jim Steyer, Founder of Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization of 750,000 regular users dedicated to improving children’s media lives, researches have shown that playing these violent video games are detrimental for kids mental and physical health. “The health threat involved with kids playing such games is equivalent to smoking cigarettes,” Steyer said. “These violent video games are learning tools for our children and clearly result in more aggressive behavior,” said Randall Hagar, California Psychiatric Association’s Director of Government Affairs.

The Federal Trade Commission‘s data reveals that “nearly 70 percent of thirteen to sixteen year olds are able to purchase M-rated (Mature) video games, which are designed for adults; ninety-two percent of children play video or computer games, of which about forty percent are rated M, which are the fastest growing segment of the 10 billion-dollar video game industry; the top selling games reward players for killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians and committing despicable acts of murder and torture upon women and racial minorities.”

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Home of controversial book publisher set ablaze

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Home of controversial book publisher set ablaze

Posted by VZWk94v8 on August 15, 2019

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Four people have been arrested on terrorism charges in Islington, London, England, after a suspected petrol bombing on the house of Martin Rynja, owner of book publishing company Gibson Square.

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His company recently sparked controversy after buying the rights to publish The Jewel of Medina, a work of fiction by Sherry Jones depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad and his child bride, Aisha.

The bombing, which occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning, led to the evacuation of the £2.5 million property in Lonsdale Square. Three men, aged 22, 30 and 40, were arrested at 2:25am BST by armed officers, two in Lonsdale Square, and one after being stopped near Angel tube station.

Police comments suggested that the trio had been under surveillance, and that they had advance knowledge of the plot and simply waited for the arsonists to strike, before arresting them.

On Saturday, a woman was arrested for obstructing police during their searches of four addresses – two in Walthamstow, and two in Ilford and Forest Gate.

Speaking earlier this month, Mr Rynja said that “The Jewel of Medina has become an important barometer of our time. As an independent publishing company, we feel strongly that we should not be afraid of the consequences of debate.” Ms Jones commented that she did not intend for her novel to be offensive to Islam. She noted that she “[has] deliberately and consciously written respectfully about Islam and Muhammad.” She “envisaged that [her] book would be a bridge builder” between Islam and the western world.

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Using An Electronic Document Management System

Posted by VZWk94v8 on August 11, 2019

By Ray Feoli

A document imaging company can help you to eliminate the huge amount of paper documents cluttering your workplace and replace them with easily manageable digital copies. All around the office of any large scale organization, whether it is a government organization or a private firm; you will see lots of filing cabinets that are filled completely with files.

Is your office overloaded with old files? Are you having trouble finding rooms near your office for old filing cabinets? If your answer is yes then you must look for a document imaging company so that you can start saving your office space.

There are many companies which can help you with the document imaging process. They mainly offer two types of services. Mostly, they offer client-server solutions or application service provider solution. Client-server works such that, the software will run in your company’s system and the data will get accumulated in the server located far away from the office system. The ASP (application service provider) software as well as accumulation of data occurs in the server, they can be accessed online using a special interface system.

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A strong document imaging company and electronic document management system offers excellent security features for your company. You can set your files so that the information you are storing is available only to you, or only to a select group of people that you select. However, with an ASP, your files are kept online and there is some potential for a hacker to get a hold of sensitive documents. Most ASPs have strong security measures to prevent this type of hacking, but it is important to consider this when selecting the right option for your company. Overall, a client-server that is not available via the internet is your best option for complete document security.

Many electronic document management systems are maintained by trained IT professionals that keep track of the server as well as the client’s software for the client-server as well as the ASP. The software tools are used to process the document, sort it, retrieve is when needed, store it, distribute is and dispose of the document if necessary. The electronic document management system promotes easy access to immediately needed documents and also provides security to important documents.

Electronic document management systems protect the file against accidental loss of the data or the misplacement of important data thanks to the online security features. It also allows automatic access of the main user, who is responsible in working with the documents.

Any type of software such as the electronic document management systems must have tight security for the proper management of documents. This system makes sure that data is transmitted properly between the two relevant points without being seen by unauthorized people. Before buying any document management solutions, make sure that you thoroughly understand exactly how your documents are being protected. You can ask your sales rep for their input, but it’s also a great idea to check online for reviews and information about the products that you are interested in.

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Source:

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Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=486137&ca=Computers+and+Technology

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Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico reported to have reached coast; offshore drilling ban announced by Obama administration

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Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico reported to have reached coast; offshore drilling ban announced by Obama administration

Posted by VZWk94v8 on August 11, 2019

 Correction — August 24, 2015 This article incorrectly describes BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

As reports came out yesterday that the oil spill caused by the explosion and sinking of an oil rig in Gulf of Mexico near Louisiana had reached the coast, the Obama administration announced a ban on all future offshore drilling at least until the investigation into the incident is completed.

Early Friday morning, the US Coast Guard received reports that oil from the spill had washed ashore, and while officials have not confirmed the reports, winds continue to push the slick northward towards land, and conditions are deteriorating, making cleanup of the spill increasingly difficult. The Coast Guard said it was planning to conduct a flyover of the slick to determine its extent sometime on Friday. According to the National Weather Service, strong winds and thunderstorms are predicted to continue through the weekend, hindering cleanup efforts.

Also early on Friday morning, a senior government official, White House advisor David Axelrod, said that the government was immediately banning all new offshore drilling until the investigation into the spill had been completed. His announcement came just after a month the administration relaxed restrictions of offshore drilling.

The operation to clean up the spill has accelerated in recent days, with the US Navy having joined the effort, as well as resources from the Coast Guard and British Petroleum (BP), the lessor of the rig at the time of the explosion. The total assets deployed in the operation are estimated to be around 1,900 people and more than 300 ships and aircraft. Additionally, six remotely operated submarines are trying to stem the leaks, which now number three, at the ocean’s floor.

On Wednesday, the estimated amount of oil spilling from the damaged well was raised to 5,000 barrels, or around 210,000 gallons, a day, five times the original estimate of 1,000 barrels a day. This figure was later revised upwards again to 25,000 barrels (1.05 million gallons) per day. So far, the cleanup operation has laid around 210,000 feet of containment booms to protect vulnerable wildlife refuges on the Gulf Coast, and an additional 66,000 feet of boom has been provided by the US Navy. Since the beginning of the operation, more than 18,000 gallons of an oil/water mix have been recovered from the ocean, and after a successful test burn of oil, plans are being made to scale the burns up. According to a BP official, “We believe we can now scale that up and burn between 500 and 1,000 barrels at a time.” The first test burned around 100 barrels of oil.

Despite the efforts, many are still worried about the potential consequences of the spill, and officials said that the damage could end up being more than that caused by the Exxon Valdez oil spill 20 years ago, which spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound. One analyst said that he expected “that movement is going to continue to stress and fatigue the pipe and create more leaks,” adding that “this is not on a good trajectory.”

BP has developed two options to stop the flow of oil at the source, but both are expected to take at least weeks to complete. The first option is to lower large structures over the leak, which would allow the oil to be safely transported to the surface. BP is building one such structure, but it isn’t expected to be completed for at least several weeks. The second option is to drill a second well which would then plug the leak at the source. A well for this purpose will begin to be drilled within two days, although it could be up to three months before the leak is completely plugged.

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Andrea Muizelaar on fashion, anorexia, and life after ‘Top Model’

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Andrea Muizelaar on fashion, anorexia, and life after ‘Top Model’

Posted by VZWk94v8 on August 11, 2019

Monday, November 26, 2007

In the 18 months since Andrea Muizelaar was crowned winner of the reality TV series Canada’s Next Top Model, her life has been a complete whirlwind. From working in a dollar store in her hometown of Whitby, Ontario, to modeling haute couture in Toronto, she had reached her dream of becoming a true Top Model.

But at what cost? Unknown to casual television viewers, Muizelaar had been enveloped in the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, which inevitably became too much for her to bear. She gave up modeling and moved back to Whitby, where she sought treatment for her disorder, re-entered college, and now works at a bank. Where is she now? Happy and healthy, she says.

Recently Andrea Muizelaar sat down with Wikinews reporter Mike Halterman in a candid interview that stretched to nearly two hours, as she told all about her hopes and aspirations, her battle with anorexia, and just what really happened on Canada’s Next Top Model.

Contents

  • 1 Andrea’s beginnings
  • 2 Andrea on her road to modeling, and America’s Next Top Model
  • 3 Experience on Canada’s Next Top Model
  • 4 The message she wrote to her fans on her facebook group
  • 5 Her brief modeling career
  • 6 “Happy and healthy”
  • 7 Source

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Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

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Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

Posted by VZWk94v8 on August 4, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Martin Hyde, Ottawa West-Nepean

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Martin Hyde, Ottawa West-Nepean

Posted by VZWk94v8 on July 25, 2019

Monday, September 24, 2007

Martin Hyde is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Ottawa West-Nepean riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Note that he did not answer the question “Of the decisions made by Ontario’s 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to this riding? To the province as a whole?”

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Category:July 14, 2010

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Category:July 14, 2010

Posted by VZWk94v8 on July 5, 2019

? July 13, 2010
July 15, 2010 ?
July 14

Pages in category “July 14, 2010”

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Time Warner/Comcast bid to snap up Adelphia cable service

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Time Warner/Comcast bid to snap up Adelphia cable service

Posted by VZWk94v8 on July 5, 2019

April 9, 2005

A bid topping $17.7 billion was jointly proffered by Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corporation on Thursday to buy beleaguered Adelphia Communications Corporation in an industry consolidation move. Adelphia is the fifth largest cable service provider in the United States with nearly 5 million subscribers.

The market-share grabbing bid trumps the previous Cablevision offer of $16.5 billion. The bid is under scrutiny by the presiding judge over the Adelphia’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, and must also be approved by the company’s creditors owed in the range of $20 million.

The acquisition race to gain dominance in the cable service provider market is driven by the high cost of installation and maintenance of cable lines. Fiber optic networks deliver traditional entertainment programming over a cable wire and is becoming increasingly popular for broadband internet content. The growing trust and recognition of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) suggests phone service subscribers will eventually migrate to cable voice communication as opposed to keeping with traditional copper land lines. Telephone company operators are scrambling to keep up.

The largest percentage of the bid would be put up by Time Warner (TW), who could gain by getting subscribers from the valuable Los Angeles market currently owned by Comcast and Adelphia. TW can also simultaneously divest itself of a stake owned by Comcast in TW by making a tax-free swap using some of the newly garnered Adelphia subscribers.

While the consolidation would likely get a look by the government with an eye towards a growing monopoly in the market, it would doubtfully be blocked considering the existence of competing technologies. Competition exists in the form of still numerous television by airwaves usage, satellite providers, radio content companies, and telecom providers.

Adelphia suffered a corporate scandal in 1992 with similarities to the WorldCom fall. Members of the Rigas family, founders of the company, were alleged to have siphoned off millions of dollars and hidden $2.3 billion leading to the bankruptcy filing. John Rigas and son Timothy were convicted July of 2004 and await sentencing.

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Man banned from keeping animals after forcing cat to inhale cannabis

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Man banned from keeping animals after forcing cat to inhale cannabis

Posted by VZWk94v8 on July 5, 2019

Friday, September 11, 2009

A 19 year old from South Tyneside, England has been banned from looking after animals after stealing a cat and forcing it to inhale cannabis.

Mark Kane, from South Shields, England, was banned from looking after animals for 10 years after causing “unnecessary suffering” to a tabby cat in January 2009. Kane was originally sentenced to three months in jail which was suspended two years. Kane also has to pay £100 (US$167) in fines.

Kane had stolen the cat from a friend of his girlfriend. A mobile phone camera recorded the incident and showed Kane putting the cat into a bag, inhaling some cannabis and blowing it into the bag. He then swung the bag around his head in a similar fashion to a lasso. The cat survived the attack but it ran off afterwards and has yet to have been found. During the video Kane is quoted as saying “This cat is getting stoned off its head” and “Get it stoned to fuck”.

This was a vile offence.

Kane was prosecuted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in a court in South Shields. He was found guilty and sentenced to twelve weeks in prison, two years suspension and a ten year ban from looking after animals as well as being ordered to pay £100 costs. In a previous court hearing, Kane had also admitted two counts of cruelty to animals.

Chairman of the Bench Ken Buck said, “We do think the charges of animal cruelty are appalling in nature and caused real stress and unnecessary suffering to a domestic pet which was in your care.” Clive McKeag, who was prosecuting Kane on behalf of the RSPCA described the attack as “sadistic and wicked” and stated: “This was a vile offence.”

In regards to the case, RSPCA inspector Claire Hunt said, “He thought it was a funny thing to do to a defenseless animal.” Claire also stated that she was happy with Kane’s sentencing saying, “It deters people from doing the same thing.”

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