A Florida state audit found the town violated 31 local, state and federal laws. The biggest unknown is the whereabouts of $600,000 in speeding ticket revenue.
Town mayor Barry Moore has been sitting in jail since November on charges of illegally selling painkillers. He’s not sure, but he thinks he may still be the mayor.
“It’s something out of a Southern Gothic novel,” said state Senator Rob Bradley. "The mismanagement was so deep, we have to seriously consider abolishing the government.” read more
The massive spill in February was from one of Duke Energy’s power plants that sent at least 80,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River, which flows between Virginia and North Carolina.
North Carolina's Republican Governor Pat McCrory—who has received more than $1 million in campaign donations from Duke Energy, where he once served as an executive—has told the utility to explore ways of moving its ponds, which could cost $1 billion.
Duke's response: ratepayers will have to foot the bill. read more
An American gun manufacturer has outraged Italians over what they say is a crass manipulation of Renaissance art just to sell an assault weapon.
Illinois-based ArmaLite produced an ad showing Michelangelo’s David holding an AR-50A1 bolt-action rifle.
The ad was published in major Italian newspapers and websites. The condemnation from government and cultural fronts was sharp and immediate.
“The image of David, armed, offends and infringes the law,” said Italy's minister of culture. read more
One of CFPB's key duties is to ensure that banks don’t discriminate when it comes to customers’ ethnicity. But the agency appears to have its own problem with favoring white employees over non-white ones.
In rating the performances of CFPB workers, management has clearly given a greater number of higher marks to whites than minorities.
The percentage of whites receiving high ratings was 75%, while the rate for Asians as well as Hispanics was 65%, and for African-Americans it was 58%. read more
The weak economic recovery has been hard on college graduates seeking employment who, in turn, have made it more difficult for young people with only a high school education looking for work.
The situation is forcing people with bachelor’s degrees to accept low-wage service jobs, while those with no college are either stuck in even lower paying jobs or are dropping out of the job market altogether.
The Koch brothers, who provide one of the largest sources of money for Republican politicians and conservative causes, spent $413 million in the 2013 election.
That exceeded the combined spending of the top 10 unions: $153 million.
Lloyd Mayer, who examined some of the Koch groups’ tax filings, said he has never seen a tax-exempt financial network like it. “It’s designed to make it opaque as to where the money is coming from and where the money is going. No layperson thought this up.” read more
This smart gun communicates with a wristwatch that comes with it. The gun user must be wearing the watch, or else the weapon won’t fire.
Gun control advocates say it's a great example of gun safety that could help end the black market for stolen firearms.
But that’s not how many gun owners see it. Gun-rights organizations like the NRA have long hated smart guns. Also, Smith & Wesson was nearly boycotted out of business after agreeing to develop the technology.
For three decades politicians in the U.S. thought that punishing drug offenders and violent criminals meant subjecting them to mandatory prison sentences. This policy resulted in skyrocketing prison populations throughout the nation, and more tax dollars spent.
But by the turn of the new century, policymakers began to rethink their approach to crime. Liberal arguments for sentencing reform began to garner more attention, and even conservatives started to reconsider sentencing laws.
Dick Faulkner was part of a World War II bomber crew headed for factories supplying the Nazi war machine.
But their plane, “Berlin Playboy,” encountered German antiaircraft fire. Another B-17 flew straight into the Playboy, slicing it in half.
Faulkner managed to jump out of the crippled aircraft and deploy his malfunctioning parachute.
He was the only crew member who made it out alive.
Authorities in Mexico say they have killed Nazario Moreno, leader of a notorious drug cartel for the second time.
That’s right, the second time.
Moreno, head of the Knights Templar, was reportedly killed by police in a shootout back in 2010. But his body was never recovered following the incident.
The rumors of his survival fueled a perception of him as a mythical, legendary figure.
Mexican officials now admit that Moreno wasn’t killed four years ago. But they say he is dead now.
To export natural gas, companies first have to convert it into a liquid to facilitate transporting it. Once it becomes Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), it can be loaded onto special tankers and shipped across the Atlantic (or the Pacific.
But once it gets delivered to some far-flung port, LNG has to be reconverted into a gas to make it usable. That means the country receiving American LNG exports has to have a regasification plant.
Ukraine currently has zero regasification terminals. read more
The committee completed the report in 2012, but submitted the report to the CIA for vetting. Since then, the report has been in limbo with none of it available to the public. But committee members have said it discussed how CIA personnel misled Congress and the Bush administration about the techniques it was using to interrogate prisoners. It also shows, according to committee members, that the harsh techniques did not result in the information that led to the capture of Osama bin Laden in 2011. read more
A study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) associates a 5.7-magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma—the most powerful in the state’s history—with the practice of injecting wastewater from fracking into the earth’s crust.
The quake occurred on November 6, 2011, near Prague, Oklahoma. read more
U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have all contended that the treaty, which forbids imprisonment without trial and arbitrary killings, among other abuses, does not apply to actions taken outside the United States. This interpretation has allowed these presidents to violate anti-torture and other provisions by holding prisoners outside the United States, including at Guantánamo Bay and at “black sites” around the world.
The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that the state’s method for funding schools created too many disparities between districts and must be modified.
The state had cut payments to less-wealthy districts during the recent recession. Restoring that money will be difficult, thanks to massive tax cuts enacted by the state’s Republican governor, Sam Brownback, and its legislature.
Many teens aren’t aware that hookah pens and e-cigarettes are often the same thing. Both devices use a fluid that contains flavor. With devices marketed as e-cigarettes, the fluid also contains nicotine. But the fluid used in hookah pens and vape pipes, which comes in flavors such as bubble gum and chocolate, often contains nicotine as well. read more
Because the military did not recognize PTSD until years after the conflict ended, many veterans were denied government benefits and other opportunities had they received a discharge for medical reasons—something many veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who suffer from PTSD now receive. read more