Featured Story

West Virginia, the Only State to See a Rise in Crime over 18 Years, also has Greatest Increase in Imprisonment Rate

Sunday, September 14, 2014
Crime has fallen in every state but one: West Virginia. There, despite a 195% increase in the imprisonment rate, the crime rate climbed by 6% between 1994 and 2012, according to research from Pew. Statistics would show that an increase in imprisonment wasn’t predictive at all of a state’s relative decline in crime rate.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Obama and Kerry Ally U.S. with 8 Arab Dictators to Combat ISIS

    Saturday, September 13, 2014
    The Saudi dictatorship has long been criticized by human rights groups for everything from lack of free elections to its medieval approach to justice. Last month alone, the country executed 22 people, including eight by beheading. Their crimes were for drug trafficking, adultery, apostasy and “sorcery,” according to The Washington Post. Seeking the Saudis’ help in this cause is especially ironic since the United States was moved to action after ISIS beheaded two U.S. journalists.   read more
  • 72% of Americans Disapprove of Republican Party…but it’s Set to Take Control of Both Houses of Congress Anyway

    Friday, September 12, 2014
    According to a Washington Post-ABC poll, nearly half of all Americans “strongly” disapprove of GOP members in Congress, and their total negative rating is 72%. So how is it Republicans are sitting pretty for November? For starters—according to the Washington Post-ABC News poll—only 25% of Americans think it would be a “bad thing” for the GOP to take over the Senate.   read more
  • One in Five U.S. Women Raped during their Lifetime

    Thursday, September 11, 2014
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using data reported in 2011, determined that 19.3% of women had been raped during their lifetimes. Forty-four percent have endured “other forms of sexual violence during their lifetimes." 79% of rape victims were attacked before the age of 25, with 40% of attacks occurring to those under 18.   read more

Unusual News

  • Expert Witness in Bank Terrorism Financing Case Admits She can’t Read Arabic

    Saturday, September 13, 2014
    Milton-Edwards testified during the civil case, which was brought by the families of 300 victims of suicide attacks in the West Bank, that she found no evidence while researching her book of Hamas being involved in regional charities. But prosecutors discovered that she couldn’t read Arabic. After being asked to read the printed text on a Hamas-sponsored image, Milton-Edwards admitted she could not.   read more
  • Trees Credited with Saving U.S. $6.8 Billion a Year in Health Costs

    Friday, September 12, 2014
    Scientists determined that the United States saves about $6.8 billion a year in healthcare costs by having trees in cities. In 2010 alone, the country avoided 850 deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms, the researchers led by forester Dave Nowak found, thanks to 17 tons of air pollution being removed from the atmosphere by trees.   read more
  • Federal Government to Monitor Police Force Run by Polygamist Mormons

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    The ruling (pdf) comes in the case of the twin cities of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah. The Colorado City Marshal’s Office and the Hildale City Police Department were found to have taken orders from the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), a Mormon sect practicing polygamy.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Outsourcing Special Ops: $2.5 Billion a Year Industry

    Friday, September 12, 2014
    More than half of that $13 billion in spending, says Black, went to just eight companies: Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, Boeing, Harris Corporation, Jacobs Engineering Group, MA Federal, Raytheon and ITT Corporation. “Among the most expensive individual transactions,” wrote Black, “[were] radio communications from Harris Corporation; translation support in classified locations from Shee Atika LLC; procurement of drones equipment from Aerovironment Inc.”   read more
  • Walmart Forces Employees to Buy New Uniforms…at Walmart

    Friday, September 12, 2014
    The new dress code mandates that workers don a collared blue or white shirt and black or khaki pants. There’s the Walmart vest, too, which the company provides. But everything else must be paid for out of employees’ pockets. Many workers have expressed frustration and outrage over the new policy, given that full-time personnel make on average only $27,000 a year. The retail giant also employs a significant number of part-time help, who make even less money.   read more
  • Only 28% of American Workers are Employed by Companies Less than 16 Years Old

    Thursday, September 11, 2014
    Only 28% of the U.S. workforce is currently employed by companies less than 16 years old, according to the Brookings Institution. Back in 1992, the figure was 40%. The authors concluded that the trend toward older businesses is “disturbing” because newer firms tend to be responsible for more innovations than older companies.   read more

Controversies

  • Bush Administration Threatened to Fine Yahoo $250,000 a Day if it didn’t Cooperate with Spy Program

    Saturday, September 13, 2014
    Newly released court records show Yahoo agreed to comply with demands from the National Security Agency (NSA) to provide copies of customers’ emails and other online communications. Its actions, however, were prompted by the threat of being fined $250,000 a day if the company did not play ball with the NSA’s PRISM program that sought to mine information from Internet providers.   read more
  • 9 Losing Candidates in Tennessee Sue County Officials, Alleging Hacked Voting Machines

    Friday, September 12, 2014
    The suit claims that the Diebold voting machines have “incurable deficiencies…including an inability to secure it from even amateur level taint by fraudulent programming.” It also points out that the Diebold system that was employed in the contested election is used nowhere in the United States except for two counties in Tennessee, one of which is Shelby.   read more
  • Women Account for only 23% of House of Representatives Committee Witnesses

    Thursday, September 11, 2014
    The Sunlight Foundation, an independent watchdog, found of the 5,575 people who have appeared or are scheduled to appear before House committees over the past two years, only 23% are women. The House Committee on Agriculture had the lowest rate (13%), while the highest belonged to the Committee on Education and the Workforce (40%). For the record, women comprise 51% of the U.S. population.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Texas and California Account for One Quarter of U.S. Jobs Dependent on Exports

    Thursday, September 11, 2014
    Not surprisingly perhaps, these two states are also the nation’s most populous: California and Texas. The Lone Star State accounts for 16% of all jobs dependent on exports, the highest rate in the U.S., according to the Department of Commerce. California is second, with 11%. The two states make up 20% of the population of the United States.   read more
  • Mexico Owes Water to U.S.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2014
    Under the terms of a 1945 agreement, Mexico and Texas are supposed to send each other a certain amount of water. Texas’ share comes from the Colorado River, while Mexico’s originates along the Rio Grande. Each year, Mexico’s allotment is supposed to total 350,000 acre feet (one acre-foot of water is equivalent to 326,700 gallons). But the country has fallen behind on its deliveries, and currently owes 380,000 acre-feet to the U.S.   read more
  • Leading Women Soccer Players Threaten Legal Action if Forced to Play World Cup on Artificial Turf

    Saturday, September 06, 2014
    The 2015 Women’s World Cup will take place at six Canadian venues, including the finals at Vancouver’s BC Place, which has artificial turf. Since FIFA rules demand that all games be played on the same surface, the entire event will be grass-free. But that has incensed many international soccer players because the surface changes how the ball moves and how the game is played and is responsible for more injuries than natural grass. The men’s World Cup is played on grass.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Ambassador to the United States from Indonesia: Who Is Budi Bowoleksono?

    Saturday, September 13, 2014
    After a stint as deputy director general for Multilateral Affairs, in 2008 Bowoleksono was assigned his first ambassadorial post in Kenya, with responsibility for Seychelles, Mauritius and Uganda, in addition to the United Nations Environment Program and the U.N. High Commission for Refugees. He returned home in 2010 to serve as secretary general in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.   read more
  • Ambassador to the United States from Timor-Leste: Who Is Domingos Sarmento Alves?

    Saturday, September 13, 2014
    Alves was the spokesman for RENTIL, the National Resistance of Students of Timor-Leste, during that group’s 12-day sit-in at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta in 1994, which coincided with a visit from President Bill Clinton. Alves and 28 other protestors were granted political asylum in Portugal.   read more
  • Deputy Commandant, Army Command and General Staff College: Who Is Christopher Hughes?

    Monday, September 08, 2014
    As Hughes and his unit approached Sistani’s residence, a crowd formed and began to get ugly. In response, Hughes held his rifle at arm’s length, muzzle down, and ordered his troops to take a knee and smile. Hughes and his unit then left the scene. He drew much attention, even being mentioned in one of President George W. Bush’s weekly radio addresses, for diffusing the situation. Sistani later issued a proclamation asking Najaf’s residents to cooperate with the Army.   read more

Featured Story

West Virginia, the Only State to See a Rise in Crime over 18 Years, also has Greatest Increase in Imprisonment Rate

Sunday, September 14, 2014
Crime has fallen in every state but one: West Virginia. There, despite a 195% increase in the imprisonment rate, the crime rate climbed by 6% between 1994 and 2012, according to research from Pew. Statistics would show that an increase in imprisonment wasn’t predictive at all of a state’s relative decline in crime rate.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Obama and Kerry Ally U.S. with 8 Arab Dictators to Combat ISIS

    Saturday, September 13, 2014
    The Saudi dictatorship has long been criticized by human rights groups for everything from lack of free elections to its medieval approach to justice. Last month alone, the country executed 22 people, including eight by beheading. Their crimes were for drug trafficking, adultery, apostasy and “sorcery,” according to The Washington Post. Seeking the Saudis’ help in this cause is especially ironic since the United States was moved to action after ISIS beheaded two U.S. journalists.   read more
  • 72% of Americans Disapprove of Republican Party…but it’s Set to Take Control of Both Houses of Congress Anyway

    Friday, September 12, 2014
    According to a Washington Post-ABC poll, nearly half of all Americans “strongly” disapprove of GOP members in Congress, and their total negative rating is 72%. So how is it Republicans are sitting pretty for November? For starters—according to the Washington Post-ABC News poll—only 25% of Americans think it would be a “bad thing” for the GOP to take over the Senate.   read more
  • One in Five U.S. Women Raped during their Lifetime

    Thursday, September 11, 2014
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using data reported in 2011, determined that 19.3% of women had been raped during their lifetimes. Forty-four percent have endured “other forms of sexual violence during their lifetimes." 79% of rape victims were attacked before the age of 25, with 40% of attacks occurring to those under 18.   read more

Unusual News

  • Expert Witness in Bank Terrorism Financing Case Admits She can’t Read Arabic

    Saturday, September 13, 2014
    Milton-Edwards testified during the civil case, which was brought by the families of 300 victims of suicide attacks in the West Bank, that she found no evidence while researching her book of Hamas being involved in regional charities. But prosecutors discovered that she couldn’t read Arabic. After being asked to read the printed text on a Hamas-sponsored image, Milton-Edwards admitted she could not.   read more
  • Trees Credited with Saving U.S. $6.8 Billion a Year in Health Costs

    Friday, September 12, 2014
    Scientists determined that the United States saves about $6.8 billion a year in healthcare costs by having trees in cities. In 2010 alone, the country avoided 850 deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms, the researchers led by forester Dave Nowak found, thanks to 17 tons of air pollution being removed from the atmosphere by trees.   read more
  • Federal Government to Monitor Police Force Run by Polygamist Mormons

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    The ruling (pdf) comes in the case of the twin cities of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah. The Colorado City Marshal’s Office and the Hildale City Police Department were found to have taken orders from the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), a Mormon sect practicing polygamy.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Outsourcing Special Ops: $2.5 Billion a Year Industry

    Friday, September 12, 2014
    More than half of that $13 billion in spending, says Black, went to just eight companies: Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, Boeing, Harris Corporation, Jacobs Engineering Group, MA Federal, Raytheon and ITT Corporation. “Among the most expensive individual transactions,” wrote Black, “[were] radio communications from Harris Corporation; translation support in classified locations from Shee Atika LLC; procurement of drones equipment from Aerovironment Inc.”   read more
  • Walmart Forces Employees to Buy New Uniforms…at Walmart

    Friday, September 12, 2014
    The new dress code mandates that workers don a collared blue or white shirt and black or khaki pants. There’s the Walmart vest, too, which the company provides. But everything else must be paid for out of employees’ pockets. Many workers have expressed frustration and outrage over the new policy, given that full-time personnel make on average only $27,000 a year. The retail giant also employs a significant number of part-time help, who make even less money.   read more
  • Only 28% of American Workers are Employed by Companies Less than 16 Years Old

    Thursday, September 11, 2014
    Only 28% of the U.S. workforce is currently employed by companies less than 16 years old, according to the Brookings Institution. Back in 1992, the figure was 40%. The authors concluded that the trend toward older businesses is “disturbing” because newer firms tend to be responsible for more innovations than older companies.   read more

Controversies

  • Bush Administration Threatened to Fine Yahoo $250,000 a Day if it didn’t Cooperate with Spy Program

    Saturday, September 13, 2014
    Newly released court records show Yahoo agreed to comply with demands from the National Security Agency (NSA) to provide copies of customers’ emails and other online communications. Its actions, however, were prompted by the threat of being fined $250,000 a day if the company did not play ball with the NSA’s PRISM program that sought to mine information from Internet providers.   read more
  • 9 Losing Candidates in Tennessee Sue County Officials, Alleging Hacked Voting Machines

    Friday, September 12, 2014
    The suit claims that the Diebold voting machines have “incurable deficiencies…including an inability to secure it from even amateur level taint by fraudulent programming.” It also points out that the Diebold system that was employed in the contested election is used nowhere in the United States except for two counties in Tennessee, one of which is Shelby.   read more
  • Women Account for only 23% of House of Representatives Committee Witnesses

    Thursday, September 11, 2014
    The Sunlight Foundation, an independent watchdog, found of the 5,575 people who have appeared or are scheduled to appear before House committees over the past two years, only 23% are women. The House Committee on Agriculture had the lowest rate (13%), while the highest belonged to the Committee on Education and the Workforce (40%). For the record, women comprise 51% of the U.S. population.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Texas and California Account for One Quarter of U.S. Jobs Dependent on Exports

    Thursday, September 11, 2014
    Not surprisingly perhaps, these two states are also the nation’s most populous: California and Texas. The Lone Star State accounts for 16% of all jobs dependent on exports, the highest rate in the U.S., according to the Department of Commerce. California is second, with 11%. The two states make up 20% of the population of the United States.   read more
  • Mexico Owes Water to U.S.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2014
    Under the terms of a 1945 agreement, Mexico and Texas are supposed to send each other a certain amount of water. Texas’ share comes from the Colorado River, while Mexico’s originates along the Rio Grande. Each year, Mexico’s allotment is supposed to total 350,000 acre feet (one acre-foot of water is equivalent to 326,700 gallons). But the country has fallen behind on its deliveries, and currently owes 380,000 acre-feet to the U.S.   read more
  • Leading Women Soccer Players Threaten Legal Action if Forced to Play World Cup on Artificial Turf

    Saturday, September 06, 2014
    The 2015 Women’s World Cup will take place at six Canadian venues, including the finals at Vancouver’s BC Place, which has artificial turf. Since FIFA rules demand that all games be played on the same surface, the entire event will be grass-free. But that has incensed many international soccer players because the surface changes how the ball moves and how the game is played and is responsible for more injuries than natural grass. The men’s World Cup is played on grass.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Ambassador to the United States from Indonesia: Who Is Budi Bowoleksono?

    Saturday, September 13, 2014
    After a stint as deputy director general for Multilateral Affairs, in 2008 Bowoleksono was assigned his first ambassadorial post in Kenya, with responsibility for Seychelles, Mauritius and Uganda, in addition to the United Nations Environment Program and the U.N. High Commission for Refugees. He returned home in 2010 to serve as secretary general in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.   read more
  • Ambassador to the United States from Timor-Leste: Who Is Domingos Sarmento Alves?

    Saturday, September 13, 2014
    Alves was the spokesman for RENTIL, the National Resistance of Students of Timor-Leste, during that group’s 12-day sit-in at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta in 1994, which coincided with a visit from President Bill Clinton. Alves and 28 other protestors were granted political asylum in Portugal.   read more
  • Deputy Commandant, Army Command and General Staff College: Who Is Christopher Hughes?

    Monday, September 08, 2014
    As Hughes and his unit approached Sistani’s residence, a crowd formed and began to get ugly. In response, Hughes held his rifle at arm’s length, muzzle down, and ordered his troops to take a knee and smile. Hughes and his unit then left the scene. He drew much attention, even being mentioned in one of President George W. Bush’s weekly radio addresses, for diffusing the situation. Sistani later issued a proclamation asking Najaf’s residents to cooperate with the Army.   read more