S2 E5: U.S. Territories, Ferguson & Israel: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

S2 E5: U.S. Territories, Ferguson & Israel: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Ferguson, Missouri

  • The Department of Justice released two reports on Ferguson, Missouri: one announcing no civil rights charges against officer Darren Wilson for the Michael Brown shooting, and the other revealing systemic racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department and courts.
  • Emails from Ferguson officials and police officers contained racial jokes and derogatory remarks about African-Americans.
  • The mayor of Ferguson argued that the actions of these individuals were not representative of the city, but the emails were sent from official city email addresses during work hours.

Israeli Election Ads

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent election ad campaign in Israel warns voters that if the center-left defeats his right-wing party, ISIS will take over.
  • Isaac Herzog, one of Netanyahu's opponents, released an ad addressing concerns about his voice by dubbing it with a booming baritone.
  • The Yesh Atid party's campaign ad consists of a three-hour-long single shot of a man summarizing his party's achievements while someone paints a mural behind him.

Coca-Cola Ad Controversy

Voting Rights in US Territories

  • The 50th anniversary of the first Selma March highlighted the ongoing challenges with voting rights in the United States, particularly for American citizens living in US Island territories who do not have the right to vote for president.
  • Puerto Ricans are US citizens but have fewer voting rights than any US state.
  • Guam residents have no say in general elections for their commander-in-chief despite their significant contributions to the US military.
  • American Samoa is a US territory, but people born there do not automatically get US citizenship.
  • American Samoans cannot run for president, serve on a federal jury, or become public school teachers.
  • The Obama Administration has fought a lawsuit by five American Samoans seeking to change their status, citing outdated legal decisions that suggest residents of the territories can be given fewer rights because they belong to "alien races."
  • The US should find a better reason to deny Americans the right to vote than citing a 100-year-old legal decision written by a racist.

Daylight Saving Time (DST)

  • Daylight Saving Time (DST) was introduced during World War I by the Germans as a fuel-saving measure.
  • In the modern era, DST does not save energy and may actually lead to a slight increase in electricity consumption.
  • Studies show an increase in car accidents and work-related injuries the week after the time change.
  • Despite these negative effects, 70 countries around the world still observe DST.

Plain Packaging for Tobacco Products

  • Ireland became the first country in the EU and only the second in the world to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products.
  • The tobacco industry has been using aggressive tactics to prevent countries from adopting plain packaging laws.
  • Jeff the Diseased Lung, a mascot created by Last Week Tonight, has become a symbol of the fight against the tobacco industry.
  • Animated videos and other creative content featuring Jeff have been spreading awareness about the dangers of smoking.

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