RantCrush Top 5: January 18, 2017

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It’s inauguration week, but there are a lot of other things going on too. For example, the Air Force just relaxed its rules for recruits who have used marijuana before enlisting. Read more about that here. And that’s good news! Now check out some rant-worthy news. Welcome to RantCrush Top 5, where we take you through today’s top five controversial stories in the world of law and policy. Who’s ranting and raving right now? Check it out below:

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Chelsea Manning Will Be Freed in May After Obama Commuted Her Sentence

After seven years in military prison, whistleblower Chelsea Manning will be freed on May 17, after President Obama commuted most of her remaining sentence yesterday. More than 117,000 people signed an online petition asking Obama to shorten her sentence. Manning was locked up in 2010 after leaking classified material and military files to Wikileaks. She applied to be pardoned three years ago, but that request was rejected. In her petition this November, she said that she realized she was asking for too much, too soon.

The information Manning leaked was not considered damaging to U.S. interests, only embarrassing. She has struggled in military prison, as a transgender woman without access to proper healthcare, and has tried to commit suicide twice.

Another consequence of Obama’s decision is that Julian Assange will open himself up to extradition to the U.S., as he promised last week. Assange has called Manning a hero who should never have been convicted.

Emma Von Zeipel
Emma Von Zeipel is a staff writer at Law Street Media. She is originally from one of the islands of Stockholm, Sweden. After working for Democratic Voice of Burma in Thailand, she ended up in New York City. She has a BA in journalism from Stockholm University and is passionate about human rights, good books, horses, and European chocolate. Contact Emma at EVonZeipel@LawStreetMedia.com.

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