Weekly News Briefs: Feb. 26


New ‘Religious Liberty’ bill passes Senate
On Friday, Feb. 23, the Georgia Senate approved a bill that would allow adoption agencies to reject gay couples and use religion as a justification. Senate Bill 375 has previously raised concerns, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, of hurting Atlanta’s chances of landing Amazon’s HQ2. Sponsor Sen. William Ligon, said the bill will encourage more religious-based agencies to open up and thus open “as many doors as possible for those children.” But critics of the bill say it would reduce options for children looking to be adopted based on its allowance on discrimination.


Sheriff accused of overlooking Parkland shooter’s red flags
Florida Republican lawmakers are calling for the suspension of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for “incompetence and neglect of duty” prior to the high school shooting, according to The Washington Post. They accuse Israel of failing to maintain “a culture of alertness, vigilance and thoroughness amongst his deputies,” and as a result failed to protect students and teachers from dying. Israel responded by saying that while the department did not properly follow through on the red flags, he should not be held personally accountable.


Over 16 Turkish women to hang for IS ties
An Iraqi court found 16 Turkish women guilty of joing the Islamic State (IS) and has sentenced them to death by hanging, according to BBC. The women confessed to marrying IS fighters and providing aid to the group, as well as helping carry out terrorist attacks. The sentence comes as part of a series of trials of hundreds of women that have been detained and are suspected of being supporters of the Islamic State. In early February, another Turkish woman was handed the death penalty and 10 others were sentenced to life in prison.