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News Scan

Teens Charged in Cyberbulling Suicide:  In Florida, felony charges have been brought against a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old girl for the cyberbullying suicide of a 12-year-old classmate last month.  Lizette Alvarez of the New York Times reports that the victim, Rebecca Ann Sedwick, who jumped to her death from an abandoned cement factory silo, was bullied and harassed for a year both on and offline by several female students.  The felony counts of the two "primary harassers" include aggravated stalking, a third-degree felony.  Both girls are being processed through the juvenile court system.

Gun Rights Law Reviewed by State Supreme Court:  The unintended consequences of the constitutional amendment approved by Louisiana voters last year to make gun ownership a fundamental right is being considered by the state Supreme Court.  The court will determined if the amendment trumps a statute which prohibits felons from possessing firearms.  Paul Purpura of the Times-Picayune reports that the issue arrived at the Supreme Court when a judge ruled that 21-year-old Glen Draughter, who was convicted of attempted burglary, could not have a gun under Revised Statute 14:95.1.  Draughter's attorney, Colin Reingold, argues that the felon firearm law should be "retroactively applied" and held to the strict scrutiny standard. 

Violent Drug Gangs Rule Rio's Shanty Towns:  Minutes from Rio de Janeiro's iconic tourist destinations are massive shanty towns called "favelas," where drugs can be freely purchased at open-air markets and crack addicts as young as 16-years-old walk the streets.  ABC News Nightline reports that these favelas are ruled by violent drug gangs, identified as "the source of the misery" in Rio de Janeiro.  The city is preparing to host millions of sports fans for the World Cup next year, followed by the 2016 Summer Olympics, so the city's police are "launching a war" to combat the gangs; but Rio's history of brutality and corruption within their police department casts doubt over whether such a war can be resolved anytime soon.

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