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Elyria Chronicle Telegram Newspaper Archives Mar 30 2015, Page 3

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Elyria Chronicle Telegram (Newspaper) - March 30, 2015, Elyria, Ohio School south of San Jose, Calif., when several students wore shirts bearing the American flag on the Mexican holiday marking theMay 5, 1862, defeat of French invaders. Their protest came in response to an incident the year before when a group of Mexican American students unfurled a Mexican flag on the holiday and paraded around the campus, triggering tensions with white students who began chanting “ USA! USA!” The school had seen at least 30 fights between white and Latino students, school officials said. Upon seeing the white students wearing U. S. flags, Mexican American students called them racists and complained to Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriquez. Fearing violence, the assistant principal told several of the white students wearing the American flag that they had to turn their shirts inside out or go home. They chose to leave. The incident caused an uproar in the community, and a Fox News channel picked up the story. “ This is heartbreaking to the students and parents who see the flag as a symbol of national unity,” said Los Angeles lawyer William Becker, who sued on behalf of several parents. “ It rewards those who believe the flag is a symbol of hostility toward minorities. If they think there is a problem, then don’t hold a Cinco de Mayo celebration.” He filed a free- speech suit on behalf of John and Dianna Dariano and two other families, but a federal judge in San Francisco dismissed the claim on the grounds that educators had acted to avoid violence or a disruption at school. The 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco affirmed that decision last year. “ Our role is not to second- guess the decision to have a Cinco de Mayo celebration or the precautions put in place to avoid violence,” wrote Judge Margaret McKeown. It was “ reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real.” Paul Richter Tribune News Service LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program are expected to continue right up until their Tuesday night deadline, with Iran and six world powers still divided on a variety of issues despite marathon meetings between their foreign ministers, officials said Sunday. While the negotiators are close to agreement on some difficult issues, they remain at odds on the pace for lifting United Nations sanctions on Iran, and the easing of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear research and development in the last five years of the expected 10- to 15- year deal, a senior U. S. official said. Other issues, too, remain unresolved, said the official, who declined to be identified under ground rules often invoked by the administration. Critics of the deal, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, renewed their concerns, while a former top administration intelligence official said the deal would be “ dangerous” and that President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy is one of “ willful ignorance.” “ One of the things that we have to keep in mind ... is Iran is also a country with ballistic missiles, cyber capabilities. They are also still a state sponsor of terrorism,” Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said on “ Fox News Sunday.” Flynn, who retired last summer as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, added: “ And here we are dealing with them as though we’re going to give them a carte blanche. ... I mean, give me a break.” Iran and the six world powers are seeking a deal that would ease sanctions on Tehran if it agrees to accept restrictions aimed at preventing it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The diplomats are aiming to complete a preliminary agreement, resolving all the major political decisions, by the end of the month. 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It is a mystery, then, tomanyhere that a new hashtag has popped up on social media: ( hashtag) boycottindiana. Criticism of Indiana legislation as discriminatory against gays and lesbians erupted this weekend in a torrent of canceled construction, stalled convention plans and the specter of business leaving the state. Social media focused anger on the Indiana Statehouse after Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed into law farreaching freedoms for religious beliefs, protecting those who say their beliefs forbid them fromserving same- sex couples. It became the 20th state to pass such a law, and, for some reason, the first one with a target painted on its back for doing so. “ I don’t understand why Indiana is getting a bad reputation,” said Krissi Johnson, serving hot dogs at a community gathering inside the firehouse in Austin, southern Indiana. “ It would make more sense if we were the only ones.” Pence’s signature set off a quick series of denouncements from gay rights groups and politicians, even some Indiana Republicans, who question the fallout from the bill’s prohibition against “ substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion.” On Saturday night, the Indianapolis Star reported that Pence was willing to support legislation to “ clarify” that the law does not promote discrimination against gays and lesbians. Salesforce. com, based in San Francisco, said it would stop sending staff to meetings in Indianapolis. Businesses began posting windowstickers pledging to serve everyone. The Christian Church ( Disciples of Christ), headquartered in Indianapolis for nearly a century, said it maymove its biennial convention, scheduled for 2017, out of the state. “ Purportedly a matter of religious freedom, we find ( the law) contrary to the values of our faith, as well as to our national and Hoosier values,” the church said in a letter asking the governor to veto the bill. Similar legislation has failed elsewhere. In Arizona last year, Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, vetoed a religious freedom bill after some companies expressed reservations about doing business in the state, though Arizona still has an earlier formof the law. Some groups have already started that effort in Indiana. Angie’s List withdrew an Indianapolis campus expansion project from consideration days before groundbreaking while it studies the the law. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a Democrat, said he would not permit the use of city funds for travel to Indiana. And the Indianapolis- based NCAA said it would re- evaluate its commitment to holding events in the state. The freedoms ensured in Indiana’s law come at the cost of the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender residents, opponents say. Most often, the friction points are weddings. So far, legal disputes have centered on photographers and bakers who said it violated their religious beliefs to provide services for same- sex weddings. Indiana residents note that the same furor could have arisen at any time since similar legislation passed in states such as Alabama and Idaho. Bills are also pending in Georgia and South Dakota. Sarah Winchester, a 32- year- old nurse, isn’t thrilled with the new spotlight on her home state. “ It’s annoying that Indiana is getting the attention,” Winchester said in Austin. “ Southern states have done similar things for years.” Study maps of conservative movements in the U. S., and it’s clear that Indiana’s vote to join the religious freedom states is consistent with its larger role as the northernmost conservative vanguard east of the Mississippi. Whether they were states won by Republican presidential candidatesMitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008 or states that sued over the Affordable Care Act, Indiana’s vote puts it neatly on the map of reliable conservative strongholds. But the legislation could also be a rallying point for the gay rights movement that has won same- sex marriage rights in dozens of states. By Saturday, activists including “ Star Trek” actor George Takei were spreading ( hastag) boycottindiana on Twitter. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook denounced the law, as did filmmaker Adam McKay. For some Hoosiers, it’s all rather upsetting and sad. If anything, said Lauren Warman in Indianapolis on Saturday, the law challenges her notion of what kind of state she lives in. In a notion gently mocked by native author Kurt Vonnegut but central to Indiana’s identity, being a Hoosier just means being nice. She called it“ Hoosier hospitality.” “ That’s the thing with the bill,” Warman, 22, said as she stood inMonument Circle with a friend. “ It goes against what we’ve upheld: having people feel welcome here in our city.” Protests erupt at bill that some say is discriminatory against gays, lesbians Iran nuclear talks expected to last up to deadline Can schools ban the American flag? David G. Savage Tribune New Service WASHINGTON — A California school dispute that arose when students wore shirts emblazoned with the American flag on Cinco de Mayo could prompt the Supreme Court to take a new look at the free- speech rules for high schools. Ever since students protested the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands, the justices have said the First Amendment protects the rights of students to peacefully protest at school, so long as their actions do not lead to a “ substantial disruption.” In recent years, however, some school officials have moved to curtail political fashion statements such as wearing T- shirts with Confederate flags or anti- gay slogans. They have argued that some limits were necessary to avoid offending other students and possibly provoking violence. On Friday, the justices met to decide on hearing a case asking whether a school official’s fear of violence justified disciplining students for wearing American flags on their shirts. The appeal in Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District asks the justices to decide whether wearing an American flag can be curtailed as an unnecessary provocation, or instead is a right of every citizen protected by the First Amendment. A decision on whether they will accept the case could come as soon as Monday. The legal battle began on May 5, 2010, at Live Oak High Boehner promises action on sanctions if Iran talks fail WASHINGTON –– The House will act quickly to tighten sanctions on Iran should the administration’s nuclear talks with the Islamic Republic fail, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Sunday. The Ohio Republican said on CNN’s “ State of the Union” that he’s skeptical the Obama administration will reach a deal with Iran to rein in that country’s nuclear program. “ Frankly, we should have kept the sanctions in place so that we could have gotten to a real agreement,” he said. Boehner, who is traveling to Israel this week with a group of Republican lawmakers, brushed aside suggestions that his trip amounts to a “ victory lap” to celebrate the re- election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke to a joint session of Congress on March 3 at the speaker’s invitation. “ My visit there was planned months ago, before the prime minister came here and before his re- election, so it’s not quite what I would describe as a ‘ victory lap,’” he said. — from wire reports AP FILE Jim Ramirez waves the flag of Mexico while wearing a U. S. flag while selling the items on the corner of 38th and Federal in the heart of Denver’s northside Hispanic enclave May 5, 2006. Supreme Court may rule on Cinco de Mayo controversey

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