Articles from Daniel Parker

Coalition Works To Strengthen Laws Against Human Traffickers

Human Trafficking in VirginiaVirginia’s status as the last state to enact a standalone statute for human trafficking may be a thing of the past after the General Assembly in 2015.

Several groups have formed a coalition called Kids Are Not For Sale to strengthen laws against human traffickers by passing legislation that creates a separate statute for human trafficking in Virginia. Shared Hope International, Richmond Justice Initiative, Regency Law School and the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative are all a part of the grassroots movement to enact the new statute. The statute eliminates the need to prove coercion, force or fraud, if the victim is a minor. Continue reading

Richmond May Ban Bullhooks, a Sharp Tool Used to Train Elephants


A close look at a Bullhook.

Richmond may see the end of the circus if it passes a citywide ordinance banning the use of bullhooks, a controversial instrument used to train elephants.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus attracts crowds of 50,000 to Richmond each year, according to Tom Albert , Vice President of Government Relations for Feld Entertainment Inc., a parent company of Ringling Bros.  A similar ordinance to ban bullhooks was passed in Los Angeles in October 2013 and will come into effect for the city in 2017. Circuses traveling through Los Angeles plan to tour in surrounding counties once the bullhook is banned.

“Make no mistake this is a ban on circus’ in Richmond.” Tom Albert said. Continue reading

Virginia Law Enforcement Giving Out Potentially Invasive Software

keep computer from spywareA report claims that local police stations have unwittingly been giving out invasive software to concerned parents.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on digital civil liberties, claims ComputerCOP, a child Internet safety software program distributed by police departments all over the country, may potentially pose a threat to the privacy of its users. Several police departments and agencies in Virginia are known to distribute ComputerCOP to citizens.

In its October report, the EFF claimed that ComputerCOP is a poorly designed spyware. Spyware are computer programs that gather information about a person without their consent or knowledge. Continue reading

Is Virginia Prepared for Ebola?

Photo: Wikimedia

Photo: Wikimedia

By Daniel Parker

The Virginia Department of Health has implemented a strategy to handle Ebola, however some Virginian lawmakers claim the current precautions don’t go far enough.

Ebola is a hemorrhage fever that has devastated countries in West Africa like Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. The VDH’s current policy involves conducting follow-up interviews with people suspected of potentially having Ebola. These investigations are conducted by VDH epidemiologists called disease detectives. VDH criteria for investigation is based around travel history and symptoms. Continue reading

Daniel Parker

About Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker is currently a student at the Virginia Commonwealth University. He has an associates in social science and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a staff editor for Poictesme, a student run literary magazine. Daniel also regularly contributes to The Commonwealth Times, VCU’s school paper.