LINCOLN, NE – AUGUST 31: Nebraska fans release red balloons after the Nebraska Cornhuskers score their first points of the game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)Nebraska football has a long-held tradition of releasing red balloons into the air, following the Huskers’ first touchdown during games at Memorial Stadium. While many Husker fans love the tradition, a number of groups have raised concerns about the environmental impact.In 2014, an environmentalist unsuccessfully petitioned the school to end the tradition. A few years later, a lawsuit was raised, but ultimately thrown out in court.Through this fall, the balloons continue to fly. However, the tradition was brought into the spotlight once again last November.A marine biologist found a Huskers balloon, still inflated, on the coast of East Hampton, New York on Long Island.The local alumni association said that it does not release balloons, but speculated that it might have been local fans. It does seem unlikely that the balloon flew all the way from Lincoln.It still once again brought the tradition to the forefront, as those concerned about the environment push for the school to change it.Now, Nebraska-Lincoln students have the chance to vote on the balloon release tradition.The vote is non-binding, but the results will go to the athletic department. From The Daily Nebraskan:Government Bill 26 moves to add a question to the spring general election ballot to survey the student body about eliminating the balloon release at football games. The ballot item would only pose the question to collect students’ opinions and is not binding.Currently, Husker football fans release balloons after the first touchdown during home games at Memorial Stadium. The bill states people have pressured University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s administration to eliminate the tradition because of the environmental damage the balloons cause.If passed, students will answer whether they are against the balloon release, support the tradition or are indifferent to the issue.1011 Now in Lincoln spoke to a number of students who support continuing tradition, although it was short of a true sampling. Still, it will be interesting to see what the student body believes about this, given the environmental ramifications.[The Daily Nebraskan]
Mr. Ban commended Afghan political leaders, and all who participated in the electoral process – voters, the electoral institutions, and both winning and losing candidates – for their contribution to Afghanistan’s democratic development.“The inauguration marks the end of the electoral process and the beginning of a period in which Afghan governing institutions must work together to solve the pressing problems that the country faces, putting aside the differences as any robust and vibrant democracy demands,” a statement issued by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson stated.The 249 members of the Wolesi Jirga were sworn in by President Hamid Karzai. The country’s second Parliament to be inaugurated since the ousting of the Taliban regime in 2001 includes 69 women.“Today is a historic day for Afghanistan and for all the countries wishing and working with Afghanistan for its future,” Staffan de Mistura, the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said following the inauguration ceremony.Tensions rose in the past week with more than 200 losing candidates holding a sit-in at the presidential palace and holding demonstrations to protest Mr. Karzai’s decision to open the legislature before a special tribunal had reviewed all allegations of voting irregularities. A political compromise led to today’s inauguration, while the courts will continue to investigate allegations of criminal fraud, according to UNAMA. Mr. de Mistura emphasized the significance of the Parliament being able to start its work, including approving the State budget, while “justice can continue to take its course.” 26 January 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his top envoy for Afghanistan have welcomed the inauguration earlier today of the country’s new Parliament, which comes four months after the 18 September elections for the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house.
A senior clergyman has been suspended by church elders after he was arrested on suspicion of voyeurism at a shopping centre.The Very Rev Martin Thrower, 55, has been banned from the pulpit for now by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich in Suffolk after he was detained by police.The churchman’s shocked wife Pauline said the arrest had caused his family “great sadness” but insisted they were all standing by him with “unconditional love”. Whilst this has come as a shock to us as a family we are all supporting Martin with unconditional love at this difficult time.Pauline Thrower Mr Thrower in front of St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh, SuffolkCredit:Su Anderson/Archant Mr Thrower, a widely-respected figure in the local church, has been rector of Hadleigh with Layham and Shelley for the last seven years.The father-of-three also holds the important regional positions of Dean of Bocking and Rural Dean of Hadleigh.Mr Thrower was arrested on August 4 at the Buttermarket shopping centre in Ipswich. He hasn’t been charged over the serious allegations but has been bailed to return to Suffolk Police HQ in Martlesham, near Ipswich, in October.John Howard, spokesman for the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “I can confirm that The Very Rev Martin Thrower, Rector of Hadleigh, Layham and Shelley, and also rural dean of Hadleigh, has been arrested by Suffolk Constabulary for voyeurism.”He has been suspended from all offices within the diocese until further notice. We have made arrangements to look after his church duties and to offer support to his parishes at this difficult time.”Mr Howard added: “We will make no further comment while the police investigation is ongoing. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with everyone affected by this situation.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Mrs Thrower told the East Anglian Daily Times: “It is with great sadness that we find ourselves in the situation we are now in.”Whilst this has come as a shock to us as a family we are all supporting Martin with unconditional love at this difficult time.”Mr Thrower has led the church in Hadleigh since 2009 and leads a team that has been doing a lot of work in the local community.His determination to shake up St Mary’s in Hadleigh sparked controversy three years ago as he said he wanted to remove many pews to create a more flexible space.The Victorian Society objected to his radical scheme. But Mr Thrower, who has three children got his way after winning permission from church leaders and the work was carried out.His church has since been used by a much wider variety of community groups as a result of his pioneering blueprint.One of these is the Porch Project for youngsters aged from 11 to 20, who meet there twice a week for leisure groups.Although it is backed by St Mary’s and meets there, it is a separate organisation and supports 300 youngsters in Hadleigh.The market town has regularly been slammed for a lack of activities for young people.At the time of the firestorm over the pews in 2013, Mr Thrower insisted: “Churches weren’t built with pews in.”They were built to be the community space, to have the market in and host big meetings and we have an aspiration to return the building to being the true parish church.”