Mohammed Sajid

Women Now Make Up The Majority Of Law Students

In a historic milestone, women now make up the majority of law students in the United States, comprising of just over a 50 percent of the seats at accredited Law Schools in the country.

According to the American Bar Association, the number of male and female students enrolled in Juris Doctorate programs had been nearly equal until this year which also marked the first time women law students outnumbered their male counterparts.

Data released by the American Bar Association shows that 55,766 women were enrolled nationwide in a Juris Doctorate program compared with 55,059 men.

The released data also showed that over 51 percent of first year students were female.

The American Bar Association requires accredited schools to annually disclose data in a number of fields such as admissions, financial aid and employment outcomes.

Most law schools however, do not require students to identify their gender hence some students are not included in the data as they do not identify with either gender.

Overall, law school enrollment remains flat with only a tiny increase in first year students.

Enrollment numbers have stabilized after dropping drastically by almost 30 percent since 2010.

Women outnumbering men in law schools is a historical milestone as this was one area where male enrollment exceeded female enrollment despite women historically having earned 57.1 percent of college degrees.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo: University of Michigan School of Law. Jason Crotty/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Colorado Weed Shops Have Sold Over $1 Billion In 2016

The first ten months of 2016 marked a historic moment for the legalized cannabis industry as Colorado Cannabis shops reached a milestone of a $1 billion in regulated, legal cannabis sales.

New October data from the Colorado Department of Revenue shows that recreational and medical cannabis shops in Colorado have sold over $1.1 billion worth of marijuana products so far this year.

This total eclipses last year’s sales figures which fell just shy of the billion dollar mark at $996 million.

The state of Colorado was the first American state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012 with the passing of the Colorado Amendment 64.

Photo Credit: John W. Schulze/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: John W. Schulze/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The state had previously decriminalized the drug in 1975 and allowed medical use of cannabis upon prescription in the year 2000.

Marijuana retailers in the state reported record sales in the month of September 2016 when marijuana sales hit an all-time high in Colorado.

$82.8 million worth of marijuana was peddled at retailers in the month of October along with $35 million more in medical sales.

These figures marked a 46% cumulative year upon year increase for October.

The state government has collected over $151 million in taxes from legal Marijuana sales. Three different taxes are imposed on recreational marijuana in the state of Colorado – the standard 2.9 percent sales tax, a special 10 percent sales tax, and a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale transfers of which the first $40 million is earmarked for school construction projects.

ArcView Group, a research firm which specializes in the Cannabis industry, estimates that the legal marijuana industry in the United States could reach a figure of $22 Billion in total annual sales by the year 2020.

It is important to note, however, that the drug remains illegal on a federal level although it has been voted into legalization by several states. It remains to be seen how President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration will deal with the issue of marijuana legalization.

Although Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, three more states of Alaska, Oregon and Washington have also launched legalization programs of their own.

Last month, voters in California, Maine, Nevada and Massachusetts have all voted in favor of legalized recreational pot. Medical Marijuana is also legal in 28 states.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Fake American Embassy In Ghana Forged Visas For A Decade

Media outlets, government officials and citizens of the world were all astounded when news reports arose that a fake embassy in Ghana had been selling US visas for the past decade without arousing any suspicion.

For a decade, an American flag flew outside a battered pink building in Ghana, welcoming unsuspecting, out of town tourists.

Inside a painting of Barack Obama, the current President of the United States adorned the wall.

Located in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, the embassy sold illegally obtained authentic visas for a price of up to $6,000.

The embassy was said to be operated by a criminal network made up of Ghanaian and Turkish gangsters.

Operatives posed as consular officers and staffed the operation in the fake embassy.

The operatives were not American but spoke English and Dutch.

The State Department issued a statement which said “The criminals running the operation were able to pay off corrupt officials to look the other way, as well as obtain legitimate blank documents to be doctored.”

The officials also said that the embassy was shut down in the summer after a tip from an informant reached the Regional Security office.

Raids conducted resulted in the arrest of a number of operatives and also to the seizure of authentic and counterfeit Indian, South African and Schengen Zone visas as well as passports from over 150 countries.


Here is the actual US Embassy. Spot the difference?

It is unknown as to how the criminals managed to get their hands on these authentic visas.

The fake embassy was in stark contrast to the real US embassy which is a heavily fortified complex located in one of the country’s most expensive neighborhoods.

The fake embassy was open three days a week and did not accept walk-in customers. Instead, advertising was done openly on billboards.

Despite the size of the scam, the State Department told the Associated Press that no people entered the United States by using forged visas.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Pakistan’s First Transgender Model Makes Waves With Debut Photoshoot

KARACHI, Pakistan- It’s not very often you hear about a transgender model making waves in the fashion world. It’s particularly uncommon for a transgender model to be attaining fame in a Muslim country.

Kami Sid is a Pakistani social activist who is renowned for her endless campaigning for the LGBT community in her home country.

She was previously featured in a documentary filmed by the BBC titled ‘How Gay is Pakistan’ which brought her to light in various circles.

Kami Sid made her debut in the fashion world in a powerful photoshoot that aims to end stigma and phobia against the LGBT community in Pakistan.

Read More: Black-Listed-How Discrimination Forces Transgender People Of Color Into Poverty And Prostitution

The LGBT community has been frequently targeted in the country with over 45 transgender people having been killed in the past year in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province alone.

In May, a 23 year old trans woman named Alisha, was gunned down and denied treatment at the hospital due to her gender identity.

#kamisutra #waqarjkhan #nighatmisbah #haseebsiddiqui #breakingstereotypes #fashionforcause #supportequality

A photo posted by Waqar J Khan (@waqar_j_khan) on

Earlier this month, a transgender person was beaten by a group of five men in Sialkot and tortured horrendously.

The beating was caught on tape and made rounds on the internet.

The five men were arrested by the police.

Read More: “You’re Pretty. I Mean For A Brown Girl”

Kami hopes that her photoshoot can help end transphobia and break the stereotypes attached to it.

Her photoshoot was captured by Haseeb M. Siddiqi with makeup artistry being provided by Nighat Misbah.

The two collaborated with stylist Waqar Khan to give Kami the fierce look.

Although violence against the LGBT community continues, the positive reaction to Kami’s photoshoot on social media shows that in some circles transphobia is rapidly declining.

This can be considered progress in a country like Pakistan where Sharia law and Islamic fundamentalism is rampant and LGBT rights are nearly non-existent.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

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