The research showed that federal drug offenders convicted at trial in 2012 received sentences that averaged 16 years—triple the average of five years and four months for those who accepted a plea bargain. As a result of options facing them, 97% of defendants in these cases pleaded guilty. Consequently, federal drug trials are almost becoming a thing of the past. read more
Among the 18 chemicals were 11 perfluorinated compounds, an herbicide, two solvents, caffeine, an antibacterial compound, a metal and an antidepressant. None are currently regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, which means utilities don’t have to limit their levels or even monitor for them. PFOS may cause attention disorders in children and thyroid disease in men. It was used in Scotchgard until 3M phased it out more than a decade ago. read more
The United States’ largest oil companies, as well as dozens of other major corporations, have seemingly decided climate change is for real, and it’s time to prepare for it. But this position does not sit well with many in the Republican Party who refuse to acknowledge climate change and insist on fighting any federal policies addressing it. read more
In January 2002, the ALA came out forcefully against the threat to privacy as posed by the Patriot Act, drafting and releasing a resolution regarding the law’s infringement on the rights of library users. It is unknown whether any public libraries have been forced to share users’ data with the NSA—because these institutions are prohibited by the government from saying so. read more
The federal complaint says that families of the 58 out of 63 babies born to the diplomats and their spouses between 2004 and 2013 received the benefits. While the Russian diplomats and their spouses were defrauding Medicaid, they were spending tens of thousands of dollars on luxury goods and vacations, including jewelry, watches, clothes and shoes, at Jimmy Choo, Tiffany & Company and Bloomingdale’s.” read more
The 36-year-old mayor opened his first dispensary in 2007, four years before being elected to the Sebastopol Planning Commission. He was elected to the city council in 2011 and was picked by his fellow council members as vice mayor. Jacob was instrumental in writing Sebastopol’s medical marijuana ordinance, said to be a model for other cities in the state. read more
Tsunis is the chairman and CEO of Chartwell Hotels, which owns, develops and manages Hilton, Marriott and Intercontinental hotels in Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, and manages his family’s portfolio of real estate holdings.
Because of his business’s presence in northern Pennsylvania, Tsunis told the National Herald that he has taken advantage of the growth of natural gas fracking by “providing a lot of the picks and shovels for the Marcellus Shale.”
After months of stories exposing one controversial NSA program after another, perhaps the biggest shocker yet has come to light: that the agency is hauling in five billion cell phone records a day, and that it can track any such device in the world.
“Analysts can find cellphones anywhere in the world, retrace their movements and expose hidden relationships among the people using them," reported The Washington Post. read more
Renewable energy has been touted as the future direction for fulfilling U.S. power needs. But those operating the grids that carry and deliver electricity to homes and businesses have serious concerns over how to incorporate solar, wind and other “green” energy sources in the coming years.
Experts at Caltech said that incorporating green energy will be “one of the greatest technological challenges industrialized societies have undertaken.”
Some of the largest school districts in the United States are moving away from two decades of “zero tolerance” policies that resulted in thousands of students being arrested and dropping out. Instead, education officials are trying to help at-risk kids avoid trouble and stay in school.
The shift away from “get tough” policies has taken place in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver and most recently Broward County, Florida, home to Fort Lauderdale.
The latest attempt by the federal government to improve drug safety involving pharmacies and manufacturers will take a decade to fully implement. Also, some of the key provisions are strictly voluntary on the part of industry.
Crafted by the FDA and and signed into law by President Barack Obama last week, the new rules were prompted by the tragedy involving a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy that killed 64 people who developed fungal meningitis from tainted medication.
Within a half hour, 11-year-old Madison Root had sold seven bunches of mistletoe at $4 each. But a private security guard stopped Root from making her sales because a city ordinance bans such commerce without a permit.
That’s why the guard informed Root that she could simply ask people for donations, and forego the mistletoe altogether.
To which she replied: “I don’t want to beg! I would rather work for something than beg.”
Dumping medicine in the trash is generally not advisable, and the Food and Drug Administration provides detailed instructions to consumers regarding the proper disposal of prescription drugs. It suggests using drug buy-back programs, but if those are not available, it recommends mixing the medicine with kitty litter or coffee grounds (soaking the mixture with water is advisable) prior to disposing of it in the garbage. read more
Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri claim they were brought to a Central Intelligence Agency “black site” in Poland in December 2002, where they were detained and tortured until June 2003, at which point they were transferred to other interrogation sites before being shipped to Guantánamo.
Zubaydah was accused by the George W. Bush administration of helping mastermind the September 11, 2001, attacks. But he has never been charged with a crime.
For the first time in 40 years of the quadrennial “America’s Place in the World” survey, 53% of respondents said the U.S. plays a less important and powerful role as a world leader than it did a decade ago. An even larger majority (70%) said their country is losing respect internationally—the highest since May 2008. read more
Police officers in Dallas will now have the right to remain silent for three days following their participation in or witnessing of a police-related shooting.
The new department policy also allows officers to view any available video footage of the shooting before talking to investigators.
Before Police Chief David Brown made the change, officers were required to provide a statement within hours of the incident.
The UN drone fleet currently consists of just two aircraft, made in Italy. They’re being deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to monitor the border with Rwanda and Uganda.
The Falco drones, manufactured by Selex ES, will observe the movements of a Rwandan Hutu rebel group, FDLR, and Ugandan rebels, ADF-NALU. Both operate in the DRC’s east, which is rich in minerals.