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Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

The first Civilians in American History to be Executed for Treason

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg – Americans who were involved in coordinating and recruiting an espionage network that included Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried for conspiracy to commit espionage, since the prosecution seemed to feel that there was not enough evidence to convict on espionage. Treason charges were not applicable, since the United States and the Soviet Union were allies at the time. The Rosenbergs denied all the charges but were convicted in a trial in which the prosecutor Roy Cohn said he was in daily secret contact with the judge, Irving Kaufman. Despite an international movement demanding clemency, and appeals to President Dwight D. Eisenhower by leading European intellectuals and the Pope, the Rosenbergs were executed at the height of the Korean War. President Eisenhower wrote to his son, serving in Korea, that if he spared Ethel (presumably for the sake of her children), then the Soviets would simply recruit their spies from among women.

Saturday 20th June 1953.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed early this morning at Sing Sing Prison for conspiring to pass atomic secrets to Russia in World War II.

Only a few minutes before, President Eisenhower had rejected a last desperate plea written in her cell by Ethel Rosenberg. Mr Emanuel Bloch, the couple’s lawyer, personally took the note to the White House where guards turned him away.

Neither of the two said anything before they died. The news of their execution was announced at 1.43 a.m. (British time).

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What a way to go, in your sleep after a day out hunting

While one of our judges apparently enjoys cavorting naked at a nudist camp, one of the US Supreme Court judges has died in his sleep after a hunting trip in Texas.

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.

Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.

According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

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Good move by the seppos, perhaps we could do the same here

The Supreme Court of the United States is looking at whether compulsory collection of union dues is against the First Amendment of the Constitution.

On Friday the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case next term that could wipe out public-sector unions. These unions require all public employees in a certain profession to pay fees associated with nonpolitical union representation, like collective bargaining. Now 10 California teachers, along with the Christian Educators Association International, are suing to halt the collection of these fees. They believe that mandatory union payments constitute compelled political speech in violation of the First Amendment.

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Good news: gays can have mothers-in-law now in the US

The US Supreme Court has handed down their ruling that same-sex couples can enjoy the same misery of heterosexual married couples…mothers-in-law.

Gay and lesbian Americans have the same right to marry as any other couples, the U.S. Supreme Court declared Friday in a historic ruling deciding one of America’s most contentious and emotional legal questions. Celebrations and joyful weddings quickly followed states where they had been forbidden.

The vote was narrow – 5-4 – but the ruling will put an end to same-sex marriage bans in the 14 states that still maintain them, and provide an exclamation point for breathtaking changes in America’s social norms in recent years. As recently as last October, just over one-third of the states permitted gay marriages.

Public acceptance has also shot up in recent years, in stark contrast to the widespread outcry against a 2004 ruling by the high court in Massachusetts legalizing same-sex marriage there, prompting several states to ban it and galvanizing conservative voter turnout during George W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

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