January 7, 2015 Day 352 of the Sixth Year - History

January 7, 2015 Day 352 of the Sixth Year - History


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

10:00AM THE PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office

1:20PM THE PRESIDENT departs the White House
South Lawn

1:35PM THE PRESIDENT departs Joint Base Andrews en route Michigan

3:00PM THE PRESIDENT arrives Michigan
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Romulus, Michigan

3:45PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks
Ford Michigan Assembly Plant, Wayne, Michigan

4:55PM THE PRESIDENT departs Michigan en route Arizona
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Romulus, Michigan

MST

6:55PM THE PRESIDENT arrives Arizona
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, Arizona


Sunsetting Python 2

We are volunteers who make and take care of the Python programming language. We have decided that January 1, 2020, was the day that we sunset Python 2. That means that we will not improve it anymore after that day, even if someone finds a security problem in it. You should upgrade to Python 3 as soon as you can.

Why are you doing this?

We needed to sunset Python 2 so we can help Python users by improving Python faster.

We released Python 2.0 in 2000. We realized a few years later that we needed to make big changes to improve Python. So in 2006, we started Python 3.0. Many people did not upgrade, and we did not want to hurt them. So, for many years, we have kept improving and publishing both Python 2 and Python 3.

But this makes it hard to improve Python. There are improvements Python 2 can't handle. And we have less time to work on making Python 3 better and faster.

And if many people keep using Python 2, then that makes it hard for the volunteers who use Python to make software. They can't use the good new things in Python 3 to improve the tools they make.

We did not want to hurt the people using Python 2. So, in 2008, we announced that we would sunset Python 2 in 2015, and asked people to upgrade before then. Some did, but many did not. So, in 2014, we extended that sunset till 2020.

How long is it till the sunset date?

The sunset date has now passed it was January 1st, 2020.

What happens now?

As of January 1st, 2020 no new bug reports, fixes, or changes will be made to Python 2, and Python 2 is no longer supported.

A few changes were made between when we released Python 2.7.17 (on October 19th, 2019) and January 1st. As a service to the community, we bundled those fixes (and only those fixes) and released a 2.7.18. We did that in April 2020, because that was convenient for the release managers, not because it implied anything about when support ended. For more technical details, please see this explanation.

What will happen if I did not upgrade by January 1st, 2020?

If people find catastrophic security problems in Python 2, or in software written in Python 2, then most volunteers will not help fix them. If you need help with Python 2 software, then many volunteers will not help you, and over time fewer and fewer volunteers will be able to help you. You will lose chances to use good tools because they will only run on Python 3, and you will slow down people who depend on you and work with you.

Some of these problems started on January 1. Other problems will grow over time.

I wrote code in Python 2. How should I port it to Python 3?

Please read the official "Porting Python 2 Code to Python 3" guide. Please also read the Python 3 Statement Practicalities for advice on sunsetting your Python 2 code.

I'm not sure whether I depend on any software written in Python 2. What should I do?

If you buy software or software support from vendors, ask them. If you pay developers or system administrators, ask them. If you don't have vendors or technical staff, then use "Can I Use Python 3?" to find out whether you depend on any software written in Python 2.

To find out more about whether specific tools can work with Python 3, look at Python 2.7 Readiness, the Python 3 Statement, and Python 3 Readiness.

I depend on some software written in Python 2. What should I do?

If you buy software or software support from vendors, ask them. If you pay developers or system administrators, ask them. If you don't have vendors or technical staff, then use "Can I Use Python 3?" to find out which tools you need to upgrade to Python 3.

Is there anyone who can help me?

Yes. If you can pay for extended support, talk to one of these vendors. If you can pay to hire someone to help you, post on the job board or hire a consultant. If you need free help from volunteers, look at this help page.

I didn't hear anything about this till just now. Where did you announce it?

We talked about it at software conferences, on the Python announcement mailing list, on official Python blogs, in textbooks and technical articles, on social media, and to companies that sell Python support.

How can I make sure announcements like this don't surprise me again?

I have more questions.

The PSF

The Python Software Foundation is the organization behind Python. Become a member of the PSF and help advance the software and our mission.


The Goat's Personality: Calm, Gentle.

People born in a year of the Goat are generally believed to be gentle, mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, and brimming with a strong sense of kindheartedness and justice.

They have very delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance, and acquire professional skills well. Although they look gentle on the surface, they are tough on the inside, always insisting on their own opinions in their minds. They have strong inner resilience and excellent defensive instincts.

Although they prefer to be in groups, they do not want to be the center of attention. They are reserved and quiet, most likely because they like spending a lot of time in their own thoughts. Goats like to spend money on fashionable things that give them a first class appearance. Although Goats enjoy spending money on the finer things in life, they are not snobbish.


Important Events From This day in History January 9th

2007: Apple introduces the 4.5 inch X 2.4 inch Apple iPhone which epitomizes the next generation of mobile phone devices, with a super cool look and touch pad for navigation and includes a virtual keyboard.

Kodak the camera giant was taken to court by the Polaroid company for using it's patent and was forced to compensate it's customers who had bought the cameras and could not purchase film.

4.4 bil CEK (4.4 bil in Czech currency) was paid by a failed bank to allow state to take over the institution.

2011 : Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Tucson, Arizona during a public appearance by twenty-two year old Jared Loughner. Twelve others in attendance were also shot, and six of those were killed including a nine-year old and a federal judge. Giffords survived the shooting but was in critical condition.

Malam Bacai Sanha, president of Guinea-Bissau, died in Paris, France after becoming gravely ill. It was rumored that Sanha had suffered from diabetes and was in a coma prior to his death, however his illness was not made public.

2012 : A painting by Picasso along with a Mondrian painting and Guglielmo Caccia sketch had been stolen from the Athens National Gallery according to a police report. The thief or thieves made off with the artwork after being chased by a guard who had been alerted by an alarm.

The Washington Nation Cathedral in the US Capital Washington D.C. has announced it will host gay weddings. It is one of the most high-profile churches in the country.

Germany has agreed to help the international community in destroying Syria's chemical weapons. Germany had previously not allowed chemical weapons to be in the country but have since decided to share the responsibility and help destroy the weapons as part of an international effort.


A History of Key Abortion Rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court

During the past 40 years, federal courts, particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, have superseded states as the driving force in crafting abortion policy. Indeed, since the high court’s January 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which granted women the constitutional right to terminate their pregnancies, state legislatures and governors have encountered a number of limitations in the ways they can regulate abortion.

Prior to Roe, and throughout much of American history, states banned or severely restricted abortion. State abortion laws, many of which were enacted in the 19th and early 20th centuries, often targeted those who performed abortions rather than the pregnant women who sought to have the procedure performed. The aim of many of these laws was to protect pregnant women (and their fetuses) from injury, not to prosecute them.

In this research package

Public Opinion on Abortion Slideshow
A series of graphics that illustrate how opinion differs among various demographic groups.

Abortion and the Supreme Court
The constitutional dimensions of the abortion debate.

Religious Groups’ Official Positions on Abortion
A breakdown of 17 major religious groups’ views on abortion.

Despite the near-universal prohibition on abortion in the early 20th century, social forces in the decades that followed – such as the fight for women’s suffrage and later the feminist movement – pushed the country toward greater political and sexual freedom for women. In 1967, Colorado became the first state to greatly broaden the circumstances under which a woman could legally receive an abortion. By 1970, 11 additional states had made similar changes to their abortion laws and four other states – New York, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska – had completely decriminalized abortion during the early stages of pregnancy.

Meanwhile, abortion rights advocates launched a series of court challenges to many older state abortion laws, often arguing that these statutes were overly vague or that they violated the right to privacy or the right to equal protection under the law guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. State and lower federal courts usually rejected these arguments.

In the early 1970s, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases challenging laws that restricted abortion. In Roe v. Wade (1973), the high court considered a challenge to a Texas law outlawing abortion in all cases except those in which the life of the mother was at risk. The second case, Doe v. Bolton (1973), focused on a more lenient Georgia law that allowed a woman to terminate her pregnancy when either her life or her health was in danger. In both cases, lower federal courts had declared the statutes unconstitutional, ruling that denying a woman the right to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term violated basic privacy and liberty interests contained in the Constitution.

In two separate but related decisions, the Supreme Court affirmed the lower courts’ conclusions and struck down both statutes by a vote of 7-2. In Roe, the more significant of the two decisions, the court concluded that constitutional rights to privacy and liberty protected a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. Writing for the majority, Justice Harry Blackmun acknowledged that while “the Constitution does not explicitly mention any right to privacy,” a number of prior decisions had found “a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy.” This guarantee of privacy, Blackmun added, is grounded in several amendments within the Bill of Rights and in the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of liberty, which taken together create zones of privacy in areas of society such as marriage, contraception, family relationships and child-rearing.

Justice Blackmun’s argument for the right to privacy in Roe grew out of earlier high court decisions, most notably Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). In Griswold, the court had struck down a Connecticut anti-contraception law on the ground that it intruded on the right to marital privacy. Justice William Douglas, writing for the majority, had asserted that “zones” of personal privacy are fundamental to the concept of liberty under “the protected penumbra of specific guarantees of the Bill of Rights.”

Having concluded in Roe that access to abortion is a “fundamental right,” the court declared that only a “compelling state interest” could justify the enactment of state laws or regulations that limit this right. The court also recognized that the state has an “important and legitimate interest” in protecting the health of the mother and even “the potentiality of human life” inside her. The court then asked: When does the state’s legitimate concern for maternal and fetal protection rise to the level of compelling interest? To answer this question, Blackmun created a three-tiered legal framework, based on the nine-month period of pregnancy, which gave the state greater interest and regulatory latitude in each successive tier.

Drawing Lines: The Three Tiers of Justice Blackmun’s Trimester Framework in Roe

Time Period Covered: First trimester of pregnancy

Legal Standard: State has no real interest in protecting mother’s health

Legal Limits: State can only require basic health safeguards and cannot limit access to abortion

Time Period Covered: End of first trimester to point of fetal viability

Legal Standard: State has interest in protecting mother’s health

Legal limits: State can regulate abortion only to protect health of mother

Time Period Covered: Period after point of fetal viability

Legal Standard: State has interest in protecting “potential life”

Legal Limits: State can restrict or even ban abortion as long as procedure still allowed when mother’s life or health at risk

The first tier in Blackmun’s framework encompassed the first trimester of pregnancy. Given that during these first three months the risks associated with abortion are actually lower than those associated with childbirth, the state has no real interest in limiting the procedure in order to protect a woman’s health, Blackmun argued. During this period, the state can only impose basic health safeguards – such as requiring that the procedure be performed by a qualified health professional – and can in no way limit access to abortion.

The second tier of Blackmun’s framework encompassed the period from the end of the first trimester to the point of fetal viability – the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb, either through natural or artificial means, which typically takes place between about 24 and 28 weeks into a pregnancy. At this point, Blackmun determined, the state has an interest in protecting maternal health and can regulate abortion only to protect the health of the mother. In other words, regulations have to be directed toward ensuring maternal health and cannot be aimed at protecting a fetus or limiting access to abortion services. Thus, a state law requiring a doctor to describe to a woman seeking an abortion the risks associated with the procedure before receiving her informed consent would be constitutional – as long as the requirement aimed to protect maternal health and was not created to dissuade a woman from terminating her pregnancy.

The third tier of Blackmun’s framework encompassed the period after the point of fetal viability. During this time, Blackmun wrote, the state has an interest in protecting “potential life” and can even proscribe abortion, as long as the procedure is still allowed in cases in which the life or health of the mother is at risk.

In Doe, the same seven-justice majority largely restated and fleshed out its ruling in Roe. Again writing for the majority, Justice Blackmun determined that state regulations that could create procedural obstacles to abortion – such as, in this particular case, the requirement that an abortion be performed in a hospital or be approved by two doctors – violate a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

The Post-Roe Court

Roe proved to be one of the most significant decisions ever handed down by the Supreme Court and is perhaps rivaled in public attention in the 20th century only by the landmark 1954 school desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education. Unlike Brown, however, Roe has remained controversial in the decades since it was decided.

In the years immediately following Roe, the Supreme Court grappled with a host of issues that arose from the decision. These included questions about laws requiring informed consent, parental consent, spousal consent and waiting periods for women seeking abortions. In these early cases, the high court generally struck down most laws regulating abortion and upheld only a few that, in the court’s view, did not significantly limit a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. In these cases, the court also affirmed Roe and its three-tiered framework.

The first small crack in Roe jurisprudence came in 1989 when the high court decided Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. This case concerned a Missouri statute that barred public facilities from being used to conduct abortions and prohibited public health workers from performing abortions unless the life of the mother was at risk. The statute also defined life as beginning at conception and directed physicians to perform fetal viability tests on women who were 20 or more weeks pregnant and seeking abortions.

In a highly fractured 5-4 decision, the court upheld the constitutionality of the statute. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice William Rehnquist stated that the law’s declaration that life begins at conception does not contradict Roe because the declaration is contained in the statute’s preamble and thus should have no real impact on access to abortion. The majority also held that prohibiting the use of government workers or facilities to perform abortions is acceptable because the right to an abortion established in Roe does not include the right to government assistance in obtaining one. The majority also ruled that the requirement of viability testing at 20 weeks is constitutional, although the justices offered different reasons for this ruling.

In one opinion, Chief Justice Rehnquist, joined by Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, argued for dispensing with part of Roe‘s three-tiered system, the second tier of which allows only laws aimed at protecting the mother’s health. According to Rehnquist, the framework had come to resemble “a web of legal rules” rather than “constitutional doctrine.” The three justices also maintained that the state has an interest in protecting potential life before viability, making the 20-week requirement valid even if fetal viability normally occurs after 20 weeks. “We do not see why the state’s interest in protecting potential human life should come into existence only at the point of viability and should therefore be a rigid line allowing state regulation after viability but prohibiting it before viability,” Rehnquist wrote.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia argued that the majority opinion was “indecisive” and “stingy” and that Roe should be overturned. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the fifth and final member of the majority, also concurred in the decision, but for very different reasons. Unlike her colleagues in the majority, O’Connor argued that Roe‘s trimester system, while problematic, should neither be modified nor overturned in this case. She determined rather that the testing requirement passed constitutional muster because it does not impose an “undue burden” on a woman considering an abortion.

In a blistering dissent, Justice Blackmun took Justices Rehnquist, White and Kennedy to task for attempting to overturn Roe by what he claimed were stealth tactics he described their written opinion as “filled with winks, and nods, and knowing glances to those who would do away with Roe explicitly.”

Timeline courtesy of Stateline.org

The Divided Court in Casey

Although Roe and its three-tiered system survived Webster, Blackmun’s fears were at least partially realized. The Webster decision revealed a new majority on the court with a greater willingness to uphold state restrictions on abortion. And while legal scholars and others were not immediately certain of the ruling’s impact, Webster ultimately set the stage for more significant changes in Roe’s three-tiered framework, changes that would come a mere three years later in the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey.

Casey involved a challenge to a wide-ranging abortion law that included an informed-consent requirement as well as a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions. In addition, the statute required a minor to obtain the consent of at least one parent or guardian, and for a wife to inform her husband of her plans to terminate her pregnancy. In the cases of both the minor and spousal requirements, various waivers were available for extenuating circumstances.

In Casey, the court rendered an even more splintered decision than it had in Webster. The court’s three centrists – Justices Kennedy, O’Connor and David Souter – took the unusual step of issuing a joint opinion authored by all three justices. They were joined by the court’s liberal wing – Justices Blackmun and John Paul Stevens – in affirming Roe‘s core principle: that the state may not prohibit pre-viability abortions. But the three centrists were joined by the court’s more conservative wing – Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, White and Clarence Thomas – in upholding all of the Pennsylvania statute’s requirements, except the provision concerning spousal notification.

In affirming Roe, the high court argued in favor of maintaining the constitutional status quo for reasons that went beyond legal precedent. “The Constitution serves human values,” wrote Justices Kennedy, O’Connor and Souter, “and while the effect of reliance on Roe cannot be exactly measured, neither can the certain costs of overruling Roe for people who have ordered their thinking and living around that case be dismissed.” In other words, the justices were arguing, Roe has created expectations that should not easily be discarded.

At the same time, the court significantly modified the three-tiered framework that Roe had created. First, under Casey states could now regulate abortion during the entire period before fetal viability, and they could do so for reasons other than to protect the health of the mother. The court also dismantled Roe‘s prohibition on the regulation of abortion during the first trimester (Blackmun’s first tier) and its limitation of regulation between the end of the first trimester and the point of fetal viability (Blackmun’s second tier). The result was that a state’s interest in and regulation of potential life could now arguably extend throughout a woman’s pregnancy.

In addition, the court in Casey also established a less rigorous standard for determining whether state abortion laws are constitutional. In Roe v.Wade, the court had declared access to abortion to be a fundamental right and had determined that states could only regulate abortion (before fetal viability) if there was a “compelling state interest.” Thus, subsequent abortion statutes had been evaluated under the “strict scrutiny” standard, the most rigorous legal standard for determining whether a law passes constitutional muster. As a result, in the years immediately following Roe, many abortion regulations were declared unconstitutional.

But in Casey the court replaced strict scrutiny with a new and less rigorous “undue burden” standard. Under the new standard, regulating abortion before the point of fetal viability would be deemed unconstitutional only if it imposed an undue burden on a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

Casey appeared to accommodate both sides in the abortion debate. By partially dismantling the three-tiered framework and creating the less rigorous undue burden standard for determining the constitutionality of abortion regulations, the high court gave states greater latitude to regulate abortion before the point of fetal viability. Indeed, in Casey the court applied the less rigorous undue burden standard to the Pennsylvania laws and, with the exception of the spousal-consent requirement, found all to be constitutional.

But abortion opponents had viewed Casey as an opportunity to overturn Roe, and many believed the court, bolstered by new Republican-appointed members Clarence Thomas and David Souter, would do so. By ultimately affirming Roe, however, the court solidified the decision’s status as legal precedent, thus affording Roe greater protection from future challenges.

The Partial-Birth Abortion Decisions

In 2000, the Supreme Court accepted Stenberg v. Carhart, a case challenging the constitutionality of a Nebraska law prohibiting partial-birth abortion. The term “partial-birth abortion” refers to a procedure known in the medical community as “dilation and extraction” (D&X), which involves terminating a pregnancy by partially extracting a fetus from a uterus, then collapsing its skull and removing its brain. This procedure is usually performed late in the second trimester, between 20 and 24 weeks into a pregnancy. Violation of the Nebraska law was made a felony, and punishment included possible fines and jail time, as well as the automatic revocation of a convicted doctor’s state license to practice medicine.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court ruled that the Nebraska law violated the Constitution as interpreted in Casey and Roe. Justice Breyer, delivering the majority opinion, stated that the statute lacked the requisite exception “for the preservation of the … health of the mother.” Citing Casey, Breyer determined that the state may promote but not endanger a woman’s health when it regulates the methods of abortion.

In addition, the majority found the wording of the Nebraska ban unclear because it could be interpreted by doctors to include not only the D&X procedure but other abortion methods as well. The majority ruled that this ambiguity imposed an undue burden on a woman’s ability to choose an abortion, as well as on those who perform abortions using methods similar to the partial-birth procedure who might face prosecution.

Even though the decision effectively rendered similar bans in more than 30 states unenforceable, the vote was unexpectedly close for a court in which support for the right to abortion was expected to garner the support of six justices. In a surprising shift, Justice Kennedy dissented, emphasizing what he described as the “consequential moral difference” between the dilation and extraction method and other abortion procedures.

In 2003, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, the first federal law banning the D&X procedure. Abortion rights advocates immediately challenged the law, and lower courts, citing Stenberg, struck it down.

But in 2007, in the case Gonzales v. Carhart, the Supreme Court reversed course and upheld the federal ban by a vote of 5-4, giving abortion opponents a major victory and prompting many states to consider passing tougher restrictions on abortion. The ruling was significant because the high court declared the federal statute to be constitutional even though it does not contain an explicit exception in cases in which a woman’s health is in danger. This was a significant departure from earlier abortion rulings, including the Stenberg decision, which require that laws restricting abortion include such a health provision.

The decision also reflected the impact of recent changes on the high court, notably the replacement in 2006 of the retired Justice O’Connor with Justice Samuel Alito. O’Connor had provided the fifth and deciding vote in Stenberg. By ruling with the court’s conservative wing, Alito provided the crucial fifth vote needed to uphold the law.

The majority opinion was penned by Justice Kennedy, who in 2006 had replaced O’Connor as the person most likely to be the court’s “swing vote” in very close decisions. Indeed, prior to this ruling, some legal analysts had argued that Kennedy’s recent attempts to position himself between the court’s liberal and conservative wings meant that, even though he had voted with the conservative minority in Stenberg and had authored a passionate dissent criticizing the majority for striking down Nebraska’s partial-birth abortion ban, he could not be reliably placed with either side in the partial-birth decision. But Kennedy’s decision made clear that his views had not significantly changed since Stenberg. The only difference was that now he was writing for the majority.

Kennedy devoted a substantial part of his majority opinion to differentiating the federal partial-birth abortion ban from the Nebraska ban that had been struck down by the high court in Stenberg. Although he had strenuously dissented in Stenberg, Kennedy did not overturn the court’s decision in that case instead, he attempted to fit the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act within Stenberg‘s parameters.

New Regulations after Carhart

Emboldened by the decision in Carhart, a number of states stepped up efforts to regulate abortion. For example, 10 states – Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia – have enacted laws in recent years that require physicians to perform an ultrasound procedure prior to an abortion. In addition, a number of states have recently passed laws that, with very narrow exceptions, outlaw abortion beginning at 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

Laws mandating ultrasounds prior to an abortion build on the Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Casey, in which the court upheld a state regulation requiring patients to give “informed consent” at least 24 hours before having an abortion. The new ultrasound laws create a more demanding consent requirement by compelling women seeking abortions to first undergo a trans-vaginal ultrasound procedure. Some of the new laws also mandate that the woman see an image of the fetus and listen to the sound of the fetal heartbeat prior to receiving an abortion. Other ultrasound laws require only that the health-care provider offer the woman the opportunity to view the image or listen to the heartbeat.

Several of the ultrasound laws have been challenged in federal court. For instance, in Texas Medical Providers Performing Abortion Services v. Lakey, a federal district court ruled in August 2011 that the Texas ultrasound law (which requires the abortion provider to perform the ultrasound, display and describe the ultrasound images to the patient, and make the fetal heart sounds audible to the patient) violated the First Amendment rights of physicians and patients by requiring a conversation that neither party may desire. In January 2012, however, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision, ruling that the compulsory ultrasound law neither violated the First Amendment nor imposed an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion.

In another case challenging this type of law, Stuart v. Huff, a federal district court in December 2011 ruled that North Carolina’s compulsory ultrasound law, which is similar to the law in Texas, violated the First Amendment rights of physicians and patients the district court then issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the law. The litigation in this case is continuing, and an eventual appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is likely.

“Fetal Pain” Laws

Nine states – Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and North Carolina – have enacted laws that prohibit abortions at 20 weeks or even earlier. These laws are based in part on a theory that a fetus, from 20 weeks onward, can experience pain from an abortion procedure. Those who support the theory assert that a fetus of 20 weeks has developed pain sensors and will react to stimuli, such as a needle, with increases in blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones.

The doctors and reproductive-rights groups that oppose such laws assert that the scientific evidence does not support the “fetal pain” theory. They maintain that a fetus does not develop the neurological structures necessary to experience pain until at least 26 weeks of development. Furthermore, they argue, prohibiting abortions at 20 weeks’ gestation would impinge on the right to terminate, before the point of fetal viability, pregnancies that threaten women’s health or involve severe fetal abnormalities. Finally, they point out that while approximately half of fetuses can survive outside the womb at 24 weeks’ gestation, there are no known cases of fetal survival before 21 weeks.

Arizona has enacted a particularly rigorous fetal pain law it bars abortions at 20 weeks, measured from the first day of the pregnant woman’s last menstrual period, and allows exceptions only in cases in which continuation of the pregnancy presents a severe risk of either death or serious and irreversible health impairment. A group of abortion providers in Arizona challenged the law in federal court. However, in July 2012, a federal district court refused to block enforcement of the law. The district court judge in the case, Isaacson v. Horne, found that credible scientific evidence supported the state legislature’s judgment that a fetus of at least 20 weeks’ development can experience pain. The judge also found that mid-pregnancy abortions present higher health risks to women than earlier ones, and that the state’s interests in protecting fetuses and women justified the prohibition.

The plaintiffs in the Arizona case quickly obtained a temporary order against enforcement of the law from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 9th Circuit heard full arguments in the case in November 2012, and the court is expected to issue a ruling on the law’s constitutionality later in 2013.

Eventually, the controversies over compulsory ultrasound procedures and prohibitions on abortion at 20 weeks of gestation could produce petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve the constitutional issues raised by these laws. For example, if the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals were to rule that North Carolina’s compulsory ultrasound law is unconstitutional, there would be a disagreement between the 4th and 5th Circuits. At that point, the Supreme Court could grant review in the North Carolina case to settle the conflict between the circuit court decisions.

The laws prohibiting abortions at 20 weeks conflict with Supreme Court rulings on precisely when abortions may be banned (beginning at the point of fetal viability, according to the Supreme Court’s rulings in Roe and Casey). For this reason, circuit courts seem likely to strike down such laws. On the other hand, Carhart signaled the high court’s willingness to rethink important premises in this legal debate, so it would not be surprising if the Supreme Court eventually were to take up the issues raised by this new restriction on the availability of abortions in the second trimester of pregnancy.

This report was written by David Masci, Senior Research Fellow, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life,and Ira C. Lupu, F. Elwood and Eleanor Davis Professor of Law Emeritus at The George Washington University.


Park Hall Academy

@ParkHallAcademy Calling ALL Year 10 Students.. We have an exciting opportunity for you all! Year 10 Summer School - a chance for you to experience enrichment opportunities along with progressing in your core subjects! Check the school website or contact [email protected] for more info! https://t.co/n2FV6xfo5C

@ParkHallAcademy EXCITING OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR UPCOMING YEAR 6 STUDENTS. This Summer we will have a transition summer school for our upcoming students! For more information please check out the school website or contact [email protected] https://t.co/1la3m5TUi4

@ParkHallAcademy Year 10 - Day 3 of Revision School. This time, a day to focus on your option subjects! https://t.co/WOU8bU2q5i

“Pupils are typically polite and courteous to each other and have positive attitudes to learning”.

“Behaviour in the sixth form is exemplary. Students dress smartly and have excellent attitudes to learning. They provide strong role models for younger pupils”.

“Teachers' promotion of literacy and numeracy…is very effective”.

“Park Hall Academy is amongst the best performing secondary schools in the country, receiving an award for being in the Top 20% of schools nationally for progress”.

(SSAT Educational Outcomes Award 2017)

“Park Hall Academy achieves prestigious Career Mark gold certification for second time”.

(Career Mark: Recognizing Excellence in Careers, Emplyability and Enterprise 2018)

“Students have the opportunity to study a better range of courses that meet their needs and interests. Pupils enjoy school and appreciate the care and support they receive from teachers and other adults".


January 7, 2015 Day 352 of the Sixth Year - History

ATTENTION TO WEBMASTERS (http to https) : At the eortologio script, change from http://www.eortologio.gr/.. to https://www.actus.gr/..
site update 01/01/2020 : A. updated all movable namedays for the year 2020, B. updated Google Calendar for 2020, C. updated and fully automated all RSS FEEDS (in Greek and in English).


subscribe to our newsletter
add namedays to your pages
προσθέστε το εορτολόγιο στις σελίδες σας webmaster freebies : Every day you can automatically and accurately show whose name-day it is. Select and Copy the HTML code of the template that aesthetically suits your site from here and insert it into your HTML pages. This is absolutely free with no other obligation from your side .

According to the Greek Orthodox tradition, nearly every day of the year is dedicated to a Christian saint or Martyr. When someone is named after one of those saints, that day becomes their "name day" and, traditionally, is celebrated.

The present Greek name day portal includes more than 3800 Greek first names with known name day and 980 Greek names with non established and thus unknown name day. Please comment using our contact form.

If you detect any error on any nameday or you think we should add another name please contact us using our contact form.

We are investigating the fact of expanding our site to also include name days from other Orthodox Churches except the Greek one. This task is difficult since the name day of a name must belong to a saint or martyr of the Orthodox religion and at the moment we only know the Saints of the Greek Church. Thus we wish to locate people from other Orthodox Churches (ie Russian, Romanian, Armenian etc) that do know details of established (canonised) Orthodox saints in order to incorporate them to a Pan-Orthodox Synaxarium.

Please note that all Saints that were established (canonised) as Saints before the year 1054 AD are common Saints between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Christianity since in 1054 AD there was the scism in Christianity. From then on the paths are different and the same unfortunate ending applies to the saints as well. For more information on Orthodox Saints please click here.

In a separate file, we have also included the known International Days ie Mother's day, Father's day etc.

We have included all names with capital letters and also with lower case letters in order to assist the search of namedays and indexing. Other words for indexing: eortologio, namedays, orthodox namedays, celebration, name days, name day, synaxarium, synaxaristis, sinaxaristis, movable namedays, Pascha, Easter, when is my nameday, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

You can add the namedays widget to you site freely with no permission from us or any obligation from our part. Click for info on how to add namedays to your pages


The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas is probably the most misunderstood part of the church year among Christians who are not part of liturgical church traditions. Contrary to much popular belief, these are not the twelve days before Christmas, but in most of the Western Church are the twelve days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany (January 6th the 12 days count from December 25th until January 5th). In some traditions, the first day of Christmas begins on the evening of December 25th with the following day considered the First Day of Christmas (December 26th). In these traditions, the twelve days begin December 26 and include Epiphany on January 6.

The origin and counting of the Twelve Days is complicated, and is related to differences in calendars, church traditions, and ways to observe this holy day in various cultures (see Christmas). In the Western church, Epiphany is usually celebrated as the time the Wise Men or Magi arrived to present gifts to the young Jesus (Matt. 2:1-12). Traditionally there were three Magi, probably from the fact of three gifts, even though the biblical narrative never says how many Magi came. In some cultures, especially Hispanic and Latin American culture, January 6th is observed as Three Kings Day, or simply the Day of the Kings (Span: la Fiesta de Reyes, el Dia de los Tres Reyes, el Dia de los Reyes Magos Dutch: Driekoningendag ). Even though December 25th is celebrated as Christmas in these cultures, January 6th is often the day for giving gifts. In some places it is traditional to give Christmas gifts for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Since Eastern Orthodox traditions use a different religious calendar, they celebrate Christmas on January 7th and observe Epiphany or Theophany on January 19th.

By the 16th century, some European and Scandinavian cultures had combined the Twelve Days of Christmas with (sometimes pagan) festivals celebrating the changing of the year. These were usually associated with driving away evil spirits for the start of the new year.

The Twelfth Night is January 5th, the last day of the Christmas Season before Epiphany (January 6th). In some church traditions, January 5th is considered the eleventh Day of Christmas, while the evening of January 5th is still counted as the Twelfth Night, the beginning of the Twelfth day of Christmas the following day. Twelfth Night often included feasting along with the removal of Christmas decorations. Many European celebrations of Twelfth Night included a King's Cake, remembering the visit of the Three Magi, and ale or wine (a King's Cake is part of the observance of Mardi Gras in French Catholic culture of the Southern USA). In some cultures, the King's Cake was part of the celebration of the day of Epiphany.

The popular song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is usually seen as simply a nonsense song for children with secular origins. However, some have suggested that it is a song of Christian instruction, perhaps dating to the 16th century religious wars in England, with hidden references to the basic teachings of the Christian Faith. They contend that it was a mnemonic device to teach the catechism to youngsters. The "true love" mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the "days" represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn.

However, many have questioned the historical accuracy of this origin of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. While some have tried to debunk this as an "urban myth" out of personal agendas, others have tried to deal with this account of the song's origin in the name of historical accuracy (see Snopes on The 12 Days of Christmas). There is little "hard" evidence available either way. Some church historians affirm this account as basically accurate, while others point out apparent historical and logical discrepancies.

The reality is that the "evidence" for both perspectives is mostly in logical deduction and probabilities. Lack of positive evidence does not automatically provide negative evidence. On the other hand, logical deduction and probability do not provide proof either. One internet site devoted to debunking hoaxes and legends says that, "there is no substantive evidence to demonstrate that the song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' was created or used as a secret means of preserving tenets of the Catholic faith, or that this claim is anything but a fanciful modern day speculation. . .." Yet, there is no "substantive evidence" that will disprove it either.

The view of the song as a secret catechism is most likely legendary or anecdotal. Without corroboration and in the absence of "substantive evidence," we probably should not take overly rigid positions from either perspective. It is all too easy to turn the song into a crusade for personal opinions. That would do more to violate the spirit of Christmas than the song is worth. So, for the sake of historical accuracy, we need to acknowledge the likelihood that the song had secular origins.

However, on another level, this should not prevent us from using the song in celebration of Christmas. Many of the symbols of Christianity were not originally religious, including even the present date of Christmas, but were appropriated from contemporary culture by the Christian Faith as vehicles of worship and proclamation. Perhaps, when all is said and done, historical accuracy, as important as that might be on one level, is not really the point. Perhaps more important is that Christians can celebrate their rich heritage, and God's grace, through one more avenue during the Advent and Christmas seasons. Now, when they hear what they once thought was only a secular "nonsense song," they will be reminded in one more way of the grace of God working in transforming ways in their lives and in our world. After all, is that not the meaning of Christmas anyway?

(Click on a picture below to go to a devotional for that day)

O n the 1st day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, much in memory of the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . ." (Luke 13:34)

O n the 2nd day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


Two Turtle Doves
The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.

O n the 3rd day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


Three French Hens
The Three Theological Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)

O n the 4th day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


Four Calling Birds *
The Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.

[* This is the 1909 American version. Earlier English versions have "colley birds" or blackbirds. There are other versions as well.]

O n the 5th day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


Five Gold Rings
The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.

O n the 6th day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


Six Geese A-laying
The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).

O n the 7th day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


Seven Swans A-swimming
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8 cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

O n the 8th day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


Eight Maids A-milking
The eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. (Matthew 5:3-10)

O n the 9th day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


Nine Ladies Dancing
The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,
6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

O n the 10th day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


Ten Lords A-leaping
The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me 2) Do not make an idol 3) Do not take God's name in vain 4) Remember the Sabbath Day 5) Honor your father and mother 6) Do not murder 7) Do not commit adultery 8) Do not steal 9) Do not bear false witness 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

O n the 11th day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.

O n the 12th day of Christmas my true love sent to me.


Twelve Drummers Drumming
The Twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.

Thanks to Yvonne Edwards for suggesting this page and finding the graphics.


January 7, 2015 Day 352 of the Sixth Year - History

Facts about December Month
Sayings, Customs and Traditions

Gemstone: Turquoise
Flower: Narcissus
Christmas Plant - Poinsettia

December used to be the tenth month of the Roman year, and it gets its name from the word 'decem', which means ten.

The Anglo-Saxons called it 'Winter monath', or 'Yule monath' because of the custom of burning the yule log around this time. After many Anglo-Saxons became Christians they called it 'Heligh monath' or holy month, because Christmas, the birth of Jesus, is celebrated in December.

In the northern hemisphere December marks the beginning of winter, and it is the time of rain, wind and snow.

Christmas month

December is very much associated with Christmas and a lot of December customs and traditions have therefore been swallowed up by the festival.

Christmas, the mass of Christ, is held on 25th December and commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago.

At the beginning of December, the season of Advent starts. The word advent means 'coming', and as its name suggests it is a time of preparation for the coming feast of Christmas.

We have a vast section on our website about Christmas and how it is celebrated in Britain. Find out more .

St Nicholas Day 6 December

This is the feast day of St Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor (now Turkey) in the 4th century AD. He is the patron saint of children.

In the Netherlands and neighbouring countries of Europe, St Nicholas is said to bring sweets and presents to well behaved children on 6 December. This tradition was imported to the USA by Dutch settlers, and St Nicholas evolved into Santa Claus, those gift-giving rounds are preformed later in the month. In this new incarnation he subsequently returned across the Atlantic to merge with the British Father Christmas.

Boy Bishops

It was formerly customary on St Nicholas Day to elect a boy bishop who would perform a juvenile version of the normal duties and ceremonies of this office, excluding the celebration of Mass, until Holy Innocents Day (28 December)

Lord of Misrule 17 December

In ancient Roman times, 17 December was the beginning of the festival of Saturnalia, in honour of the god of agriculture. It was originally just a day event but eventually grew into a seven day orgy of feasting and merrymaking, elements which later appeared in the Christmas, New Year and Twelfth Night celebrations in thee UK.

The Saturnalia was a holiday period for all including the slaves, who were waited on by their masters for the duration. Presents were exchanged, informal clothes worn and gambling games permitted. It was also customary to appoint a master of the revels, a character that reappeared in England as the Lord of Misrule, who formally presided over the Christmas celebrations, or over the entire period from All-Hallows Eve (31 October) to Candlemas (2 February).

The Winter Solstice (1st day of winter)

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice marks the first day of the season of winter. It falls on or near 21 December.

The Pagan celebration of Winter Solstice (also known as Yule) is one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world. It is a celebration of the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, when the North Pole is at its furthest point away from the sun (the sun is at its southernmost point in the sky).

Holy Innocents Day - Childermass

Holy Innocents Day, also known as Childermas, falls on 28 December. It commemorates King Herod's massacre of all male infants in and around Bethlehem under the age of two in attempt to kill the young Christ.

In the days when Christmas was less child-centred, Childermas was a time for indulging children with treats and parties.

On a more sombre note, 28 December is widely regarded as the unluckiest day of the year, so don't do anything and certainly don't start anything on this day!

New Year's Eve

31st December is the last day of the year. It is New Year's Eve. Many people see the old year out with a party, welcoming in the New Year with toasts of champagne, and exchanging good wishes for a 'Happy New Year'.

December Superstitions

"Marry on December third
For all the grief you ever heard "

A Christmas pudding should be made with 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and His Disciples and that every member of the family should take turns to stir the pudding with a wooden spoon from east to west, in honour of the Wise Men.

If you take a candle to church this Christmas, don't bring it home, blow it out and leave it there with the vicar for good luck.

"On Christmas Eve all animals can speak."
However, it is bad luck to test this superstition.

"The child born on Christmas Day will have a special fortune."

"Wearing new shoes on Christmas Day will bring bad luck."

"Good luck will come to the home where a fire is kept burning throughout the Christmas season. "

If a girl raps at the henhouse door on Christmas Eve and a rooster crows, she will marry within the year.

December Weather-lore, beliefs and sayings

A mild December precedes a cold snap later in the winter:
"A green December fills the graveyard"

"A clear star-filled sky on Christmas Eve will bring good crops in the summer."

"If sun shines through the apple trees upon a Christmas Day,
When autumn comes they will a load of fruit display."

"Snow on Christmas means Easter will be green."

"A green Christmas a white Easter."

"If Christmas day be bright and clear
There'll be two winters in the year."

"The nearer the New Moon to Christmas Day, the harder the Winter."

"If New Year's Eve night-wind blows south,
It betokeneth warmth and growth
If west, much milk, and fish in the sea
If north, cold and storms there will be
If east, the trees will bear much fruit
If north-east, flee it, man and brute!"

December Festivals and Traditions

December Anniversaries

Opening of the new St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Winter Solstice
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice marks the first day of the season of winter. It falls on or near 21 December. The Winter Solstice falls on the 22nd in 2011.

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website.
The two websites projectbritain.com and primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant.
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.


Digital Practice and Testing Information

Digital Practice Now Available

Starting April 8, students can try out the test-day experience by answering example questions in the digital testing application. See the Digital Practice page for general information about practice options.

AP United States History students will have two options to answer example questions in the digital testing application. Both provide approximately the same time limit per question as the full exam.

  • Digital Practice has a shortened multiple-choice section (12 questions, 12 minutes), a 1-minute pause, and full-length free-response sections. This consists of: 3 short-answer questions (SAQs) in 40 minutes, a shortened break of 5 minutes, and 1 document-based question (DBQ) and 2 SAQs in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
  • The App Demo is an even shorter subset of the questions in Digital Practice–3 multiple-choice questions, a 2-minute break, and 2 freeresponse questions (1 DBQ, 1 SAQ)

We highly recommend all students take the Digital Practice, and strongly advise that if they can’t take the Digital Practice, they at least take the App Demo. Both can be taken multiple times, and can be accessed directly in the digital testing application. Students can access their answers and solution materials (MCQ answer key, FRQ scoring guidelines) for the Digital Practice. Note: Taking the App Demo after completing Digital Practice may override student answers from Digital Practice. Teachers can also access digital practice from the teacher dashboard, available beginning April 22.

Taking the Digital Exam

Students should be aware of some aspects of testing digitally that they’ll encounter—in the Digital Practice and on exam day:

  • As a reminder:
    • Students will answer all multiple-choice questions and type all free-response answers directly in the digital exam application. Scratch paper is permitted for notes or planning, but students cannot handwrite or otherwise upload responses.
    • Students cannot go back to questions they’ve already answered, and cannot skip ahead.

    More information about taking digital exams is available in the Digital Testing Guide.


    Watch the video: January 7 - This Day in History