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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Twenty-four hour Missouri standoff ends, police find three dead

(Reuters) - A 24-hour standoff at a Missouri apartment complex ended on Monday evening, when police broke into the home and found the dead bodies of a man and two of his children, officials said.

The Springfield Police Department said in a statement that officers breached the apartment door and found 51-year-old William Williams, who appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and the bodies of his daughter and son, aged 2 and 4-years-old.

It was not clear from the statement how the children died. A police spokeswoman could not be immediately reached to provide details.

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Missouri set to execute brain-damaged man who killed deputy

Missouri is set to execute the convicted killer of a sheriff's deputy on Tuesday over objections from his lawyers who say a sawmill accident decades ago cost him part of his brain and made him ineligible for the death penalty.

Cecil Clayton, 74, of southwest Missouri, is scheduled to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. CDT at a Missouri state prison. He would be the second inmate executed in Missouri this year and the 10th in the country.

Police were called in November 1996 on a complaint that Clayton, who had been arguing with his girlfriend, was trespassing. He shot Barry County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Castetter in the head while the officer was in his patrol car.

Clayton's attorneys have argued that his intelligence dropped precipitously after a piece of wood was driven into his skull during a sawmill accident in 1972. Surgery was required, resulting in the loss of part of his frontal lobe.

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Iran nuclear talks intensify as sides face tough issues

Iran and major world powers have been making headway in identifying technical options for a historic nuclear deal as an end-March deadline nears but difficult issues must still be addressed, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.

Iran and six world powers are seeking an agreement to curb Iran's most sensitive nuclear activities for at least 10 years in exchange for a gradual end to sanctions on Tehran.

The powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- aim to complete the framework of a final deal by the end of March and reach a full agreement by June 30.

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Pakistan hangs 12 men in largest execution since moratorium lifted

Pakistan hanged 12 male convicts on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry spokesman said, the largest number of people executed on the same day since an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in December.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a de facto moratorium on capital punishment on Dec. 17, a day after Pakistani Taliban gunmen attacked a school and killed 132 students and nine teachers. The slaughter put pressure on the government to do more to tackle the Islamist insurgency.

Twenty-seven people have been hanged since then, most of them militants, but last week it emerged that officials had quietly widened the policy to include all prisoners on death row whose appeals had been rejected.

"They were not only terrorists, they included the other crimes, some of them were murderers and some did other heinous crimes," the ministry spokesman said of the 12 executed at various jails.

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Repeated remembering 'wipes similar memories'

Recalling a particular memory can cause us to forget another, similar memory - and neuroscientists have now watched this process happen using brain scans.

Inside the brains of human subjects, they pinpointed the unique imprints of two visual memories that were triggered by the same word.

Then they watched as repeatedly recalling one of the images caused the second, interfering memory to vanish.

The study is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

The results suggest that our brains actively delete memories that might distract us from the task at hand.

"People are used to thinking of forgetting as something passive," said lead author Dr Maria Wimber from the University of Birmingham.

"Our research reveals that people are more engaged than they realise in shaping what they remember of their lives."

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Russia launches massive Arctic military drills

MOSCOW — The Russian military on Monday launched sweeping military maneuvers in the Arctic and other areas, a show of force ordered by President Vladimir Putin amid spiraling tensions with the West over Ukraine.

The five-day Arctic drills involving 38,000 servicemen, more than 50 surface ships and submarines and 110 aircraft are intended to check the readiness of Russia's Northern Fleet and the military's ability to deploy additional forces from central Russia.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said "the new challenges and military threats require further increase of the armed forces' capabilities."

As part of the exercise the military will check its ability to beef up its forces on the Arctic Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land archipelagos and protect the state borders on land, in the air and at sea, Shoigu said in televised remarks.

Other tasks will include the airlifting of special operations forces to distant locations and efforts to counter the enemy's diversions.

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Lawyer for Pakistan doctor who helped CIA find bin Laden shot dead

A Pakistani lawyer under death threats for defending a doctor who helped CIA agents hunt al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was shot dead on Tuesday, police said, and a Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility.

Samiullah Afridi represented Dr Shakil Afridi, who was jailed in 2012 for 33 years for running a fake vaccination campaign believed to have helped the U.S. intelligence agency track down bin Laden. That sentence was overturned in 2013 and the doctor is now in jail awaiting a new trial.

Samiullah Afridi was shot dead on Tuesday as he was returning to his home in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police said. According to local media, he had recently returned there from abroad after leaving Pakistan for his safety.

The Pakistan militant group Jundullah, a splinter group of the Taliban, claimed responsibility. "We killed him because he was defending Shakil, who is our enemy," spokesman Fahad Marwat told reporters.

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Obama ready to enlist UN against America's representatives

You have to give it to Obama.  His people have figured out clever strategies that circumvent the Constitution, the Congress and the American people as he transforms and undermines the country he now dictates.

 

Obama ready to enlist foreign aid against America's representatives

BY WASHINGTON EXAMINER MARCH 16, 2015 | 5:00 AM

With Democrats now accusing Republican senators of "treason" for expressing public disagreement with President Obama's Iran policy, it is difficult to imagine that the divisive politics in Washington could get much worse.
But sadly, it's not impossible.
Reuters reported last week that major world powers led by the Obama administration "have begun talks about a United Nations Security Council resolution to lift U.N. sanctions on Iran if a nuclear agreement is struck with Tehran, a step that could make it harder for the U.S. Congress to undo a deal." This has now been confirmed by the White House.
On Saturday, the Huffington Post published a letter that Obama's chief of staff, Denis McDonough, sent to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who has proposed bipartisan legislation that would ensure Congressional approval of any deal. Obama has threatened to veto the bill, and the McDonough letter reiterated this opposition. McDonough also wrote that, "The United Nations Security Council will also have a role to play in any deal with Iran. Just as it is true that only Congress can terminate U.S. statutory sanctions on Iran, only the Security Council can terminate the Security Council's sanctions on Iran. Because the principal negotiators of an arrangement with Iran are the five permanent members of the Security Council, we anticipate that the Security Council would pass a resolution to register its support for any deal and increase its international legitimacy."
Should Obama decide to pursue this route, it would be despicableHe would be enlisting foreign governments to work against the nearly unanimous will of Americans' elected representatives, who wholeheartedly backed sanctions. This would not only undermine the rule of law, but it also hints that worse is still to come. After all, Obama would not feel compelled to circumvent Congress's constitutional treaty and spending powers if he felt that he was getting a good deal from the Iranians that he could actually sell even to skeptical Senate Democrats. In reality, the deal being negotiated would leave Iran's nuclear infrastructure intact. It would make major concessions on uranium enrichment, plutonium development, and missile technology. It would unravel sanctions as thousands of centrifuges would be left spinning, and it would have sunset clause in a decade that would make it easy for the terrorist sponsoring regime to become a nuclear power.
The White House has recently been pushing the line that the U.S. government must speak with one unified voice on Iran. Patriotism supposedly demands no less – at least when Obama is president. But Obama guaranteed that the U.S. government would not speak with one voice when he leaked his plans to shield his Iran deal from congressional scrutiny. The White House's plan, announced earlier this year, is to circumvent Congress by simply avoiding any binding, long-term deal that would require Senate ratification.
The going plan is for Obama to make a short-term deal, then use his authority under current sanctions legislation to extend temporary relief to Iran – and to keep extending that relief indefinitely, as if it were permanent. In short, Obama has found an interesting loophole that allows him to do more by doing less.
Even so, this plan is impractical from Obama's perspective because it depends on the election of a like-minded successor. And so to deal with this contingency, he could use the United Nations to make it more difficult for a Republican successor to reverse his unilateral policy toward a nation that openly loathes America and her allies and seeks nuclear weapons as a means of expanding its influence.
The history of the existing Iran sanctions law makes clear what is really going on here. Obama is working to undermine the principle behind the lawful and duly enacted U.S. sanctions policy that Congress passed with veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress. Obama opposed and worked against the policy at the time, but he signed it anyway because Congress — at the time with one house under Democratic control — would have otherwise overridden his veto.
American sovereignty and the rule of law depend on universal respect for institutions that Obama has repeatedly disrespected. His plot to enlist foreign aid against a coequal branch of the U.S. government would represent just one more slight among the many he has delivered against Congress – many of which have resulted in his being reprimanded by the Supreme Court for claiming power that is not his own.
If a power-hungry president feels slighted when Congress asserts its constitutional role in foreign policy, perhaps that is because he deserves to feel slighted.

Medical 'Meltdown' Imminent, Warns Top Doctor

WASHINGTON – The signs are everywhere of an imminent “catastrophic collapse” of the U.S. health-care system that will leave Americans clamoring for medical attention, medical supplies and hospital care, says the former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Dr. Lee Hieb, a practicing orthopedic surgeon and author of a new book called “Surviving the Medical Meltdown,” says the evidence is mounting that Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, is making health care scarcer and that the worst is yet to come:
  • Shortages of everyday medical supplies – from tetanus toxoid to thyroid, not to mention standard medical equipment – are everyday occurrences now in both urban and rural areas;
  • Wait time for routine specialty care is dramatically increasing;
  • There are not enough specialists to cover emergency-room calls;
  • Hospitals in inner cities and poorer rural regions around the country are closing their doors rather than face economic ruin; and
  • It is difficult in some areas to find a primary care physician, especially for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
“Catastrophic collapse due to a ‘doctor death spiral’ will occur when we drop below a critical number of practicing physicians,” Hieb predicts. “As our population ages, it requires more physician man-hours of medical care. But as our population ages, so too do our physicians. More than half of the surgeons who cover emergency rooms are over 50.

Blueprint For Islamic Caliphate By 2020

Back in 2005, Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein published al-Qaida’s manifesto. In his book, he outlined al-Qaida’s seven-point plan over a 20-year period: “An Islamic Caliphate in Seven Easy Steps.” Ten years later, we can see how al-Qaida and other Islamic jihad groups have followed this plan to the letter – with remarkable success, thanks to the weakness, fecklessness and willful ignorance of Western leaders.

Journalist Yassin Musharbash wrote about Hussein and his book in the German publication Der Spiegel on Aug. 12, 2005, in an article entitled, “The Future of Terrorism: What al-Qaida Really Wants.” Musharbash wrote, “[W]hat this small, slim man has to report is nothing less than the world’s most dangerous terrorist network’s plan of action: al-Qaida’s strategy for the next two decades. It is both frightening and absurd, a lunatic plan conceived by fanatics who live in their own world.”

Der Spiegel appears to be laughing at the plan in this article. But read it now – 10 years on. Who’s laughing now? From Sept. 11 to “the awakening,” the focus on Syria, the overthrow of secular Arab regimes, the declaration of the Caliphate – it’s all there. The article declares it “unworkable” at the time – as well as “both frightening and absurd, a lunatic plan.”

Musharbash wrote: “And not to mention the terrorist agenda is simply unworkable: The idea that al-Qaida could set up a caliphate in the entire Islamic world is absurd. The 20-year plan is based mainly on religious ideas. It hardly has anything to do with reality.”

Has anyone contacted Yassin Musharbash, read that passage to him, and asked him what he thinks of the Islamic State’s declaration of the caliphate, and of the tens of thousands of Muslims from all over the world who take that declaration seriously enough to travel to Iraq and Syria to live and wage jihad in the caliphate?

It’s the delusionists who can’t reconcile reality. Virtually everything has happened as opponents of jihad have predicted for years.

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Civil Rights Commissioner: Will AG Nominee Enforce Immigration Law?

(CNSNews.com) - Before voting to confirm Loretta Lynch as the next U.S. attorney general, the Senate must ask her for a "definite statement" on whether she supports President Obama's executive amnesty; and whether she will enforce immigration law as written by Congress, says Peter Kirsanow, a Republican member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

In a March 14 letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Kirsanow says Lynch "should not be confirmed" if she fails to explain exactly where she stands on Obama's executive actions and how she will enforce the law as it is written.

Kirsanow previously expressed concern that Lynch, during her confirmation hearing, stated that "everyone in this country, regardless of how they came here," shares the same "right and obligation to work."

"This statement is contrary to U.S. immigration laws," Kirsanow wrote in his letter to McConnell. "Illegal aliens are prohibited from working in this country. Yet the nominee for the office ultimately charged with enforcing those laws asserts otherwise."

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Four San Francisco police probed for hate speech: newspaper

Four members of the San Francisco Police Department are under investigation for allegedly sending racist and homophobic text messages and all of them have been on the force for more than a decade, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Sunday.

The news comes in the wake of reports of racially charged policing that targeted black residents of the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri and a members of an Oklahoma fraternity singing a racist song that have raised attention on racial tensions in the United States.

The racially charged and homophobic texts came to light in a filing in federal court on Friday by prosecutors seeking to keep one of the officers in custody as he appeals his conviction and 40-month sentence on federal corruption charges, the newspaper said.

San Francisco Police officials were not immediately available for comment.

San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr said on Saturday that he could not confirm the officers' identities under state law, but will seek to fire those responsible for the messages, it said.

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Flawed Social Security data say 6.5M in US reach age 112

WASHINGTON — Americans are getting older, but not this old: Social Security records show that 6.5 million people in the U.S. have reached the ripe old age of 112.

In reality, only few could possibly be alive. As of last fall, there were only 42 people known to be that old in the entire world.

But Social Security does not have death records for millions of these people, with the oldest born in 1869, according to a report by the agency's inspector general.

Only 13 of the people are still getting Social Security benefits, the report said. But for others, their Social Security numbers are still active, so a number could be used to report wages, open bank accounts, obtain credit cards or claim fraudulent tax refunds.

"That is a real problem," said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. "When you have a fake Social Security number, that's what allows you to fraudulently do all kinds things, claim things like the earned income tax credit or other tax benefits."

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Federal officials plan to track every fish and crustacean shipped to U.S. ports

Described as a modern-day pirate, Arnold Bengis is the face of fishery crime.

He has already served a five-year federal prison sentence for stealing massive amounts of rock lobster from South African waters and importing it to the United States. Now, a federal judge wants the former Long Island resident and two co-conspirators to fork over an additional $22.5 million in restitution to the South Africans on top of $7 million already collected in a separate criminal case.

The illegal fishing and fraud Bengis engaged in is part of a global black market valued by experts at up to $23 billion.

It’s exactly what the Obama administration targeted Sunday in announcing a new plan to stop seafood crime. The plan includes an ambitious system that aims to track every wild fish and crustacean from where it is caught to where it is shipped in the United States.

Before any seafood enters the U.S. market, officials said, it must contain information that federal, state and local officials currently do not ask for: its origin, who caught it, when and with what. That data can be taken by any federal, state and local authority at a port and submitted to a central database for tracking.

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Why ‘BPA-Free’ May Be Meaningless

After years of campaigning, health advocates finally convinced many household product manufacturers to remove the chemical Bisphenol A, known as BPA, from items like receipts, plastic bottles and the lining of tin cans. And as a result, it’s not hard to find products labeled “BPA-free.” But it turns out the chemicals used to replace BPA may have nearly the exact impact on the human body — hormone disruption — as BPA, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

“According to pretty much all the literature there is on these two substitutes, they are hormonally active in ways similar to BPA – similar mechanisms, similar potencies,” said study author Johanna Rochester, a researcher at the Endocrine Disruption Exchange.

The study evaluated existing research on two BPA replacement chemicals: Bisphenol S and F, known as BPS and BPF. The similarity between the compounds may extend beyond the name, the study suggests. For one, the compounds’ structures are remarkably similar. The compounds also behave like BPA, part of the reason why they make a good replacement for manufacturers — if not for consumers looking to oust hormone-disrupting chemicals from their products.

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Cheers to worldwide beer map showing every country's most popular brew

Spying on students? Education publisher Pearson monitoring social media activity

One of the world’s largest education publishing companies, which crafted the standardized tests for the new Common Core curriculum, has been monitoring social media accounts to see if students refer to their exams.

Pearson -- a British-based publishing house with it's U.S. headquarters in New Jersey -- has the contract to develop and provide the PARCC (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) standardized tests. PARCC is one of the two agencies that developed the Common Core program.

Word that Pearson was monitoring social media posts for students commenting on the exams was first reported on the blog of Bob Braun, a former education reporter for The Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey.

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Christie's Camden tax breaks reward political insiders

CAMDEN, N.J. — During Chris Christie's first term as governor, he made tax incentives a cornerstone of a promised "New Jersey Comeback" that would lure new businesses to the state. With New Jersey's job growth still poor at the beginning of his second term last year, the governor doubled down.

New Jersey's Economic Development Authority has handed out more than $2 billion in tax breaks since 2014, more than the total amount issued during the decade before Christie took office.

The aid has gone disproportionately to businesses in Camden, a city of 77,000 that ranks among the nation's most impoverished. Development projects in the city received $630 million in future tax breaks last year. Because of those grants, Christie said in his State of the State address, Camden is "seeing a new tomorrow."

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Taxpayers stuck with the tab as helicopter flight schools exploit GI Bill loophole

For some flight schools that train helicopter pilots, the GI Bill that took effect in 2009 was a windfall the government never intended.

Helicopter schools had been struggling financially, and the bill excluded them from direct funding. But after finding a loophole in the law that allows them to charge unlimited fees for training military veterans, the schools rapidly expanded. They now collect tens of millions a year in taxpayer dollars.

For two years of training to become a pilot, the government often pays more than $250,000, more than twice the amount non-veterans pay at many schools, the Los Angeles Times has found from interviews, government documents, price lists and flight school contracts.

At one flight company — Utah-based Upper Limit Aviation — records show 12 veterans whose training had cost the government more than $500,000 each.

Upper Limit's fees make it the costliest education of any type funded by the GI Bill. The company will collect roughly $36 million this year from the government, based on its current enrollment and estimates it submitted to the state of Utah.

Sean Reid, who owns the company with his mother, Lois Reid, confirmed that figure.

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{WSW} First Meeting for the WSW Sea Gull Century Team!

FIRST SEAGULL CENTURY MEETING
Sunday, March 29th at 2pm 
at the Women Supporting Women office 
1320 Belmont Ave. Suite 402
Please RSVP by replying to this email. 

MAN GETS 6 TO 10 YEARS FOR CUFFING BOY WITH DEAD CHICKEN

MONROE, N.C. (AP) -- A North Carolina man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six to 10 years in prison Wednesday for handcuffing an 11-year-old boy by his ankle to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck as punishment.

Dorian Harper entered the guilty plea to three felonies - child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and maiming without malice. His plea came a day after a jury was seated.

"Yes, sir," Harper, 58, said when the trial judge asked if he was guilty.

He also apologized as he was sentenced.

"There hasn't been a day when I haven't been remorseful," he said.

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BREAKING NEWS : Police in Mesa, Ariz., hunting gunman who shot at least 6 people, reportedly killing 1

Police are hunting a gunman who shot at least six people this morning -- reportedly killing one -- in multiple locations in Mesa, Ariz.

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Breaking: Geomagnetic Storm As Coronal Mass Strikes Earth

CME IMPACT, SEVERE GEOMAGNETIC STORM: Arriving earlier than expected, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field on March 17th at approximately 04:30 UT. At first, the impact sparked a relatively mild G1-class  geomagnetic storm. Since then, however, the storm has intensified to G4-class , ranking it as the strongest geomagnetic storm of the current solar cycle. This storm is underway now. 

Before sunrise, bright auroras were sighted over several northern-tier US states including Minnesota,WisconsinMontanathe Dakotas and Washington. Marketa Murray sends this picture from Dalton Highway in Alaska. 

Auroras may appear as far south as Alabama. 

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OC: Second Fire at Downtown Brew Pub Building in Little Over Month

SU Mens Lacrosse -- the buzz

This is from the current poll comments on the Lax Power website:

Salisbury: #15. (AO) — #13. I'm not ready to say the Gulls are back after a couple of wins against light competition, but they are finding the back of the net, which is encouraging. We'll know more after Cabrini/Stevenson. (D-III) — #19. (goalielax10) — #14. (LaxForNow) — #18. Still not sure this team deserves to be ranked but I'll bet nobody on the schedule is looking forward to playing them. (minkhoo) — Started the Capital conference schedule with an impressive win. (nevadajoe) — #18. (Richard) — #13. Losses to OWU, Gettysburg, and Lynchburg--which don't actually sound that bad anymore. (Ron Burgundy) — Back on track, outscoring HSC and St. Mary's 30-10 this week. Cabrini this week should be a good barometer to see how good they can be this year. (Southwillrise) — #20. Played better against H-SC and St. Mary's. Not great, but just good enough to re-enter my top 20. (thatsmell) — #15. (The Reason) — Welcome back to my top 20. You're in mostly by default, but the two resounding wins this week help. Big opportunity this week against Cabrini to right the ship. (trplax25) — Gulls have a stronger week. (valaxfan) — Just keep winning CAC games, boys! (zarching)

‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ was built on a lie

The late evening of Aug. 9, 2014, I couldn’t sleep. I was due to substitute-anchor MSNBC’s “UP with Steve Kornacki” and should have been asleep. But after looking at my Twitter feed and reading the rage under #Ferguson, I felt compelled to type a reaction to the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. Tying the shooting to the inane whine of certain politicians about a “war on whites,” I decried the next morning the death of yet another unarmed black man at the hands of a white police officer.

In those early hours and early days, there was more unknown than known. But this month, the Justice Department released two must-read investigations connected to the killing of Brown that filled in blanks, corrected the record and brought sunlight to dark places by revealing ugly practices that institutionalized racism and hardship. They have also forced me to deal with two uncomfortable truths: Brown never surrendered with his hands up, and Wilson was justified in shooting Brown.

The report on the Ferguson police department detailed abuse and blatant trampling of the constitutional rights of people, mostly African Americans, in Ferguson. Years of mistreatment by the police, the courts and the municipal government, including evidence that all three balanced their books on the backs of the people of Ferguson, were laid bare in 102 damning pages. The overwhelming data from DOJ provided background and much-needed context for why a small St. Louis suburb most had never heard of exploded the moment Brown was killed. His death gave voice to many who suffered in silence.

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EVO BEER DINNER



Evolution Craft Brewing Company
201 East Vine Street Salisbury, MD 21804

SPD Press Release 3-18-15 - Armed Robbery Suspects

'Mars One' Finalist: Organization Is A Total Scam

Mars One, the non-profit organization that has been recruiting hopefuls wishing to be among the first humans to ever step foot on the red planet, is pretty much a giant scam according to one finalist.

Dr. Joseph Roche, an assistant professor at Trinity College’s School of Education who holds doctorate degrees in both physics and astrophysics, filled out an application several years ago mostly out of curiosity. Over time, he found himself among the list of 100 finalists for the project.

The organization claims it fielded applications from some 200,000 interested individuals but according to Roche, the real number was just 2,761. But aside from that misrepresentation, Roche told Medium that what worried him the most as someone close to the program was the fact that some had paid their way onto the list.

Furthermore, Roche claims the organization is asking finalists to donate any money they make from guest appearances to the cause. For a project that’ll require billions of dollars in funding, requesting what amounts to a drop in the bucket from participants seems a bit suspect.

There's more here

Cheney just accused Obama of playing 'race card' — in Playboy

Former US Vice President Dick Cheney doesn't mince words when it comes to President Barack Obama.

In a new interview for the April issue of Playboy, Cheney repeatedly tore into Obama on a wide array of issues, including the racially charged riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and foreign policy.

"I look at Barack Obama and I see the worst president of my lifetime, without question," Cheney told journalist James Rosen. "I used to have significant criticism of Jimmy Carter, but compared to Barack Obama and the damage he is doing to the nation—it’s a tragedy."

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State Dept. Funding Used To Influence Israeli Election

Abraham Fund Initiatives received $98,000 grant from State

A group that is working to influence the Israeli elections is currently receiving funding from the U.S. Department of State, according to public records and statements from the organization.

The Abraham Fund Initiatives, which is leading an effort to increase Arab voter turnout for the elections on Tuesday, received a $98,000 grant from the State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative in September, the group said on Tuesday. The grant is funded through December 2015.

The State Department’s funding process came under scrutiny in January, after the Free Beacon reported that the nonprofit group OneVoice—which is involved in a similar initiative to increase voter turnout among left-leaning voters—had received grants from the agency. The OneVoice grant ended at the end of November, before the Israeli elections were announced, according to the State Department.

However, a bipartisan Senate committee is currently investigating whether any of the government funding received by OneVoice was later used for election-related activities.

Aaron Klein, an Israeli journalist, first reported on the Abraham Fund’s Arab get-out-the-vote initiative last week, and noted that the group had received State Department funding in the past. That prior grant for $999,000 expired in 2013.

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Penn State fraternity suspended over nude photos of sleeping women

A Penn State University fraternity has been suspended after police discovered two private Facebook pages containing pictures of mostly nude women taken while the subjects were sleeping or passed out.

Several members of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity contributed photos to the Facebook pages, according to a search warrantseen by the Guardian.

One page, called “Covert Business Transactions”, was deleted after a victim allegedly discovered the page. In its place, fraternity members created a second version called “2.0”, police said.

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How liberal discipline policies are making schools less safe

New York public-school students caught stealing, doing drugs or even attacking someone can avoid suspension under new “progressive” discipline rules adopted this month.

Most likely, they will be sent to a talking circle instead, where they can discuss their feelings.

Convinced traditional discipline is racist because blacks are suspended at higher rates than whites, New York City’s Department of Education has in all but the most serious and dangerous offenses replaced out-of-school suspensions with a touchy-feely alternative punishment called “restorative justice,” which isn’t really punishment at all. It’s therapy.

“Every reasonable effort must be made to correct student behavior through…restorative practices,” advises the city’s new 32-page discipline code.

Except everywhere it’s been tried, this softer approach has backfired.

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Hello Tokyo! Michelle Obama arrives in Japan to make amends after snub

Michelle Obama has touched down in Tokyo in what is being described as a 'makeup call' after she 'snubbed' the Japanese by failing to accompany her husband during his state visit to Japan last year.

In a further patching up of relations, Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, is due to make a reciprocal visit to America next month.

Mrs Obama's previous no-show upset members of the Japanese establishment so deeply that one politician, Kazuyuki Hamada, made the outrageous claim that the Obamas were getting divorced, as the president had been using Secret Service agents to cover for his extramarital affairs.

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Unemployment

Police will face no charges in 2011 Memorial Day shooting on Miami Beach

Prosecutors will not charge the police officers who killed a motorist on South Beach in a hail of bullets after a chaotic chase during Memorial Day weekend four years ago.

In a long-awaited ruling on the controversial incident, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office officially ruled Tuesday that the 12 officers were "legally justified" in killing Raymond Herisse after he plowed into several cars and nearly ran over several bicycle cops. Police bullets - over 100 were fired in all - also wounded four bystanders.

Though opening fire on a Collins Avenue teeming with a holiday crowd might not have been a safe choice, under Florida's "fleeing felon" law, prosecutors decided that officers acted lawfully in trying to keep Herisse from hurting anyone.

"This was not a routine stop of an individual who had committed a traffic violation," prosecutors wrote in an 88-page final memo detailing the controversial May 30, 2011 shooting. "The surrounding officers obviously and correctly viewed this as a dangerous and potentially desperate suspect."

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BREAKING NEWS: Three gunmen in Tunisian museum attack may be at large

Two or three gunmen responsible for an attack on a popular museum in Tunisia -- which left 19 dead, including 17 tourists -- may still be at large, the country's prime minister says .

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Secret Service wants to build $8M fake White House

In response to a series of major security lapses, the Secret Service wants lawmakers to provide $8 million to build a model White House.

The embattled agency is requesting the funds to build a scale replica of the White House in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Beltsville, Md., to better train agents to protect the presidential mansion, according to The New York Times.

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy will make the pitch to members of Congress during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Tuesday.

“The Secret Service currently uses a rudimentary, not-to-scale simulation of the north grounds of the White House, using bike barricades to act as the fencing,” Clancy will say during prepared remarks, which were obtained by the Times. “There are no structures, vehicle gates, lighting or other aids to enhance the training simulations.”

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The literary life (and death) of Susan Berman, alleged Robert Durst victim

When she was killed 15 years ago, Susan Berman was a 55-year-old writer struggling to stay relevant. Now her work is suddenly at a premium. Paperback editions of her memoir "Easy Street" — which could be gotten for $10 or less Monday morning — are now priced at $50 and up at the online used bookstore AbeBooks.

Berman has gone from forgotten author to high-profile victim. On Monday, Los Angeles prosecutors charged Robert Durst, subject of the just-concluded HBO documentary "The Jinx" with Berman's murder. He is in custody in New Orleans.

"The Jinx" told the life story of real estate scion Durst and of the deaths and disappearance of people close to him, with his cooperation. It concluded Sunday night with Durst saying, on tape but off screen, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."

He appeared to be alluding to others covered in the documentary: His wife, who went missing in New York in 1972; Morris Black, his Texas neighbor whom he admitted to dismembering but whose murder he was acquitted of; and Susan Berman, who was found on Christmas Eve 2000 in her rented Benedict Canyon home, dead of a gunshot to the back of the head a day or two before.

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Maryland gains 500 jobs in January, unemployment rate holds steady

Maryland added 500 jobs in January, driven by gains in the public sector and keeping the unemployment rate steady.

Private sector jobs in the state decreased by 300 in the month, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Labor. The public sector, meanwhile, added 500 jobs in January.

The state's preliminary unemployment rate remained at 5.5 percent, on par with the U.S. unemployment rate in February.

Kelly M. Schulz, Maryland's newly appointed labor secretary, said the private sector losses reflect reductions from seasonal hospitality jobs during the holiday months.

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‘The Jinx’ Director on Robert Durst Arrest: ‘I Am Relieved’

“We were concerned that Bob was floating around,” says filmmaker Andrew Jarecki

Robert Durst’s arrest in New Orleans the night before Sunday’s finale of HBO docuseries “The Jinx” marked the end of a long journey for director Andrew Jarecki.

“We were obviously glad that they made the arrest. We were concerned that Bob was floating around, and we knew that Bob had been upset about Episode 5,” Jarecki told the New York Times Monday.

Durst, 71, seemingly confessed to three murders during the finale. “There it is. You’re caught,” he said. “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.” He was not on camera when he made the startling admission, and Jarecki said Durst left his microphone on and was talking to himself in the bathroom.

The real estate heir was arrested Saturday on charges stemming from an investigation into the murder of his friend Susan Berman in Los Angeles in 2000. He had previously denied involvement in Berman’s death, as well as the 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathleen.

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Disturbing Video: 5-Year-Old Boy Clobbered Trying to Defend His Viciously Beaten Teen Sister

Police have arrested a girl they believe attacked a 13-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother after the now-viral video of the vicious beatings were posted on social media.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department told WXIN-TV the alleged assailant was arrested Sunday on an unrelated charge. Her name hasn’t been released because she’s underage. The victim’s ages were reported on a WRTV-TV newscast but not their names.

Here’s the clip. (Content warning: The video contains profanity and violence.):

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Cher commits to helping Virginia woman, 96, to return home

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — A judge says a 96-year-old woman whose late-life marriage to a 95-year-old beau was widely publicized should be returned to her longtime northern Virginia home after the musician Cher promised to pay to fix it up.

In a court deposition, Cher said she was inspired last year when she a saw news story about Edith Hill and her newlywed husband, Eddie Harrison.

Hill and Harrison were separated after their marriage became embroiled in a court dispute over whether Hill had the mental capacity to marry her companion. Court records indicate that Hill suffers from mild dementia.

Harrison died in December, just weeks after Hill was taken away to Florida on the recommendation of a court-appointed guardian, but a custody dispute continued over who should care for Hill and where she should live.

Cher said she will help pay for needed upgrades to Hill's family home in Alexandria. And earlier this month, a judge ordered that Hill should return to Alexandria once repairs are complete.

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More than 289,000 Marylanders Signed Up For Health Care

The state of Maryland says 289,131 residents enrolled in health care in the second sign up period.

The state says 122,778 enrolled in private plans. Of those, 87,007 received an advanced premium tax credit. There were 35,771 enrolling in private plans without a subsidy.

There were 166,353 enrolled in Medicaid.

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News Anchor Inexplicably Says Lady Gaga Sings 'Jigaboo Music'

Lady Gaga performed a medley from The Sound Of Music at last night's Oscars ceremony, wowing the audience and the film's original star, Julie Andrews.

Lady Gaga Owns Oscars With 'Sound of Music' Medley

Beauty queen-turned-news anchor Kristi Capel was also impressed by the performance, though she had a strange way of expressing her feelings. "It's hard to really hear [Gaga's] voice with all the jigaboo music that she does, or whatever you want to call it. She has a gorgeous voice -- I never knew!"

In case you're not a racist from 1901, jigaboo is an antiquated racial slur for African-American.

Capel has since tweeted apologies, claiming she 1) Didn't know the meaning of the word and 2) Didn't know it was a word. Why one would use a word they didn't know was a word is a question for the ages.

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Did Jews ‘Sell Out Israel’ By Supporting Obama?

Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann thinks so

Minnesota Republican Michelle Bachmann, former kibbutznik and failed Yiddishist, has some harsh words for American Jews who voted for President Obama. Namely, that in supporting a president who lobbied Congress to hold off on additional sanctions against Iran, they sold out Israel.

According to Talking Points Memo, Bachmann made the assertion in an interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. “What has been shocking has been seeing and observing Jewish organizations who it appears have made it their priority to support the political priority and the political ambitions of the President over the best interests of Israel,” Bachmann said. “So in some respects, they sold out Israel.”

Bachmann argued that since sanctions against Iran are in Israel’s best interest, the lack of support for them by Obama—and his Jewish donors—signifies a failure to protect the Jewish State. “The Jewish community gave him their votes, their support, their financial support and as recently as last week, 48 Jewish donors who are big contributors to the president wrote a letter to the Democrat senators in the U.S. Senate to tell them to not advance sanctions against Iran. This is clearly against Israel’s best interest,” she said.

It sure takes a lot of chutzpah—or as Bachmann calls it, “chootspa“—to accuse Jews of selling out Israel. Have a listen for yourself:

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Raven-Symoné: Michelle Obama Planet of the Apes Comparison Wasn't Racist, Some People Just Look Like Animals

Raven-Symoné was just trying to share her view, but it wasn't exactly received well.

The actress was a guest co-host on The View earlier today and at one point of the show, began to discuss the controversial headlines surrounding Michelle Obama.

For those who are unaware, FLOTUS was recently at the center of some eyebrow-raising comments made by Univision's Rodner Figueroa on the program El Gordo Y La Flaca when he stated, "Mind you, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she's part of the cast of Planet of the Apes, the film."

Yikes! Whoopi Goldberg introduced the topic to the audience and Rosie Perezkicked off the discussion by stating that his comment (which ultimately cost him his job) was racist.

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Kraft recalls 242,000 mac and cheese cases over possible metal fragments

NEW YORK (ABC News) - Kraft Foods Group said Tuesday it is voluntarily recalling 242,000 cases of its Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner because some boxes may contain small pieces of metal.

"The recalled product is limited to the 7.25-oz. size of the Original flavor of boxed dinner with the 'Best When Used By' dates of Sept. 18, 2015 through Oct. 11, 2015, with the code 'C2' directly below the date on each individual box. The 'C2' refers to a specific production line on which the affected product was made," the company said in a statement.

The recalled boxes were shipped to customers in the U.S. and several other countries. The affected dates of this product were sold in only these four configurations, the company said

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Worcester County Library Presents...

Special Guest ~ Wayne Gilchrest

Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 6:30 pm

Location: Snow Hill Branch

Wayne T. Gilchrest is the Director of the Sassafras Environmental Education Center, an education division of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Maryland’s First Congressional District from 1991 to 2008. Mr. Gilchrest will discuss the frequent tension between agriculture and environmental concerns and suggest some possibilities for finding common ground. (Postponed until March 19, 2015)

HOMEOWNER CHARGED: With Gun Possession After Shooting Two Home Intruders because of His Criminal Background

Is this fair? This man who has a criminal background is being charged with gun possession after shooting two men who forced their way into his home and said they were armed.

A homeowner who shot two intruders who broke into his home has been charged with gun possession.

Harold Williams, 42, of Fayetteville, North Carolina shot the two men, Roy Lee Hawk, 27, and Martize Douglas, 23, who said they were armed, as they forced their way into his home on Friday evening.

Both men were injured in the incident, as Hawk on Saturday was listed in critical condition and Douglas was listed in serious condition.

Williams was not harmed during the incident.

Police said the homeowner is a convicted felon and is not supposed to be in possession of a gun – he has since been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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A Soldier, his Dog, and Delta Airlines DFW

This soldier was a K9 soldier with a dog trained to find IED's. Yes, the second small coffin is the soldier's partner. This is a soldier and his dog who died for us. And Hats off to Delta.

UK Kennel Club says tests show dog was poisoned in Belgium

LONDON — Toxicology tests show that the Irish Setter who died after appearing at Britain's top dog show was almost certainly poisoned after the contest, organizers said Monday.

The Kennel Club, which runs the world-famous Crufts show, said the tests showed that the dog, known as Jagger, died on March 7 after returning to his home in Belgium of fast-acting poisons that usually would cause symptoms within three to four hours. That would rule out a poisoning at Crufts, which took place March 5.

"It is highly likely that the poisons, thought to be on a piece of beef, were eaten in Belgium, shortly before Jagger's death," the club said of the results.

The dog ingested aldicarb and carbofuran, two insecticides used in agriculture but not approved in the European Union, the club said.

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Oklahoma isn't alone in race-related fraternity incidents

WASHINGTON — Their reputations sullied by race-tainted incidents, many colleges are clamping down on campus fraternities. Despite some swift and tough actions by schools — and in some cases, public humiliation — episodes such as the racist chants by members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma keep surfacing.

In recent years, numerous other fraternities have been suspended and students expelled from school for racially tinged parties or behavior, such as hanging nooses or shouting racial profanities.

"All too often the outcry has been, 'Look at those bad apples we need to root out,'" said Nolan L. Cabrera, a professor in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. "When in fact the conversation we need to have is, 'Why is this occurring on such a widespread level throughout the country?'"

Many incidents come to light after the students themselves post pictures or videos online, drawing public attention; others are reported by onlookers or whistleblowers.

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Look At This Little Gem

We tried to warn you that this guy has some issues.

First of all Josh, the image you show above is a STATE ROAD, not a County road. I'm sure glad you weren't elected. 

Jack McCauley before Maryland Senate

Research suggests Bay creates its own phosphorous

By BRUCE HOTCHKISS
Senior Editor

A researcher and scientist at the University of Delaware is suggesting the Chesapeake Bay ’s principal problem with phosphorous is not what is coming off the land around it but what it is creating within its own waters.

Dr. Deb Jaisi, an assistant professor in the University of Delaware ’s Department of Plant and Soil Science, is in the second year of a soybean checkoff-funded study that shows that phosphorous build-up in the Bay is the result of a process called “remineralization” as opposed to what might be called “remobilization.”

In that event, Dr. Jaisi said, it’s “an efficient system for microorganisms but a real pain for nutrient management.” 

Questioned as to whether his findings might impact the current and on-going debate in Maryland on the use of the so-called Phosphorous Management Tool to measure the phosphorous runoff from watershed cropland, Dr.Jaisi paused, then replied, “I can’t answer that.”

Another pause. “I don’t know that yet.”

He did say, however, in an interview with The Delmarva Farmer, that “more P is coming from mineralization than flowing from the earth.”

What precisely is remineralization?

Airline passenger subdued after rushing toward cockpit on Dulles flight

A woman aboard a United Airlines plane texted her husband that she was experiencing the “scariest moment” of her life after a passenger raced screaming toward the cockpit before being subdued by others on the plane, the woman’s husband said Tuesday.

Donna Tellam of Boulder, Colo., was returning from a business trip to London via Dulles International Airport on Monday night, according to her husband, Curt.

In a text, Donna Tellam told her husband that “some crazy guy just tried to get into the cockpit.” She also wrote that three passengers took the person down, right at her feet near her first-class seat.

None of the passengers aboard the flight were reported to be injured.

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Md. venture fund helps bring Indiana tech firm to Frederick

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A Maryland state-sponsored venture capital fund is helping a growth-minded technology firm move its headquarters from Indiana.

The Department of Business and Economic Development said Monday that the Maryland Venture Fund has invested $500,000 in Blue Pillar, a company that makes software to help large organizations manage energy consumption.

Blue Pillar’s business relations chief, Scott Bender, says the company has about 40 workers, mostly in Indiana. He says the engineering and development teams will remain there while the company expands its headquarters office in Frederick.

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Letter sent to White House tests tentatively for cyanide

WASHINGTON (AP) — An envelope addressed to the White House has tentatively tested positive for cyanide after two rounds of analysis, the Secret Service said Tuesday. Additional testing will be necessary to confirm the finding.

The letter was received Monday at a facility that screens mail for the White House and is located away from the grounds of the executive mansion and its surrounding buildings in the heart of downtown Washington.

Initial biological testing came back negative, said agency spokesman Robert Hoback.

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Alabama federal judge declines to lift gay marriage order

The battle over gay marriage in Alabama heightened on Monday when a federal judge refused to stay her order to a county judge that he start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade said in a five-page order that Mobile County Probate Court Judge Don Davis must comply with her previous ruling, which found the state's gay marriage ban to be unconstitutional.

Alabama's all-Republican Supreme Court had contravened that ruling earlier this month. It ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, arguing that the ban was constitutional.

The clashing court orders underscore the depth of opposition to gay marriage in socially conservative Alabama. The gay-marriage ban was passed in 2006 by 81 percent of voters.

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These 13 States Want to Allow College Students to Carry a Gun

Thirteen states are sponsoring bills that would allow concealed guns on college campuses.

Phil Keating reported from Florida State University on "America's Newsroom" and revealed that a recent poll found that 84 percent of students are opposed to the idea.

Keating noted that this is a very timely issue at FSU, following a shooting outside the university library in November that left three students injured.

21-year-old FSU student Rebekah Hargrove, who carries a weapon at all times except on campus, told Keating, "Walking alone at night anywhere, college campus or not, it can be dangerous. I mean, I'm only 5'3". If some big man came and tried to attack me, I would have an equalizing weapon if I had a firearm on me."

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Israel election: Netanyahu claims victory as main rival concedes

Jerusalem (CNN)Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory Wednesday after a bitter election and last-minute declarations to boost his party's low opinion poll numbers.

With 99% of the votes counted, his Likud party grabbed at least 29 of the 120 seats in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, according to unofficial numbers from the Israeli election committee.

Its main rival, the Zionist Union alliance, got at least 24 seats, the committee said.

Netanyahu's road to victory was bumpy, with the final results a far cry from experts' predictions.

For weeks, his party was lagging in various opinion polls, prompting Netanyahu to make sharp turns toward the right during the final days of the campaign.

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2015 National Poison Prevention Week

Ex Wants Cut of Donations to Man Who Walks 21 Miles to Work

You may remember the heartwarming story of James Robertson, a Detroit man who received tons of help from strangers when news outlets began reporting on his staggering commute of walking 21 miles round trip to and from work.

Robertson's life changed forever when donors raised more than $350,000 for him.

Now, Robertson's ex-girlfriend, who also happens to be his former landlord, is demanding $50,000 for home repairs that she claims are necessary because he was a slob.

Since receiving the huge sum of money, Robertson has moved into his own place in the suburbs and filed a restraining order against his ex, Tanya Fox.

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Kick Butts Day

With Less Than One Month Away From April 15th Deadline, More Than Half of Taxpayers Still To File

Comptroller Urges Maryland Taxpayers to E-File for Quick Refunds; Provides Checklist to Help Prevent Errors

Annapolis, Md. – With the tax-filing deadline less than a month away, Comptroller Peter Franchot encouraged taxpayers who have yet to file to take advantage of all the conveniences of electronic filing.

“I want to encourage all taxpayers to file electronically,” Comptroller Franchot said. “It is the best way to ensure a quick refund and allows taxpayers who owe money to delay payment until April 30.”

To date, more than 1.24 million taxpayers have filed their personal tax returns electronically with more than 48,000 filing via paper. Based on 3.04 million returns filed last year, the returns filed so far represent 42 percent of last year’s total.

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Tickled Paint Event

Devreco Deal Story Series - The Brick Room

More Seattle restaurants close doors as $15 minimum wage approaches

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015. As that date approaches, restaurants across the city are making the financial decision to close shop. The Washington Policy Center writes that “closings have occurred across the city, from Grub in the upscale Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, to Little Uncle in gritty Pioneer Square, to the Boat Street Cafe on Western Avenue near the waterfront.”

Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But, according to Seattle Magazine, the “impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour” is playing a “major factor.” That’s not surprising, considering “about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs.” Seattle Magazine,

“Washington Restaurant Association’s Anthony Anton puts it this way: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”

“He estimates that a common budget breakdown among sustaining Seattle restaurants so far has been the following: 36 percent of funds are devoted to labor, 30 percent to food costs and 30 percent go to everything else (all other operational costs). The remaining 4 percent has been the profit margin, and as a result, in a $700,000 restaurant, he estimates that the average restauranteur in Seattle has been making $28,000 a year.

“With the minimum wage spike, however, he says that if restaurant owners made no changes, the labor cost in quick service restaurants would rise to 42 percent and in full service restaurants to 47 percent.”

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Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford Hosts First Heroin Summit In Cecil County


Summits Will Be Hosted Across The State

ANNAPOLIS, MD –
Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford today joined with members of the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, elected officials, and substance abuse advocates for the first of a number of regional summits to address Maryland’s growing heroin crisis. The summit was hosted by Cecil County Executive Tari Moore and held in the Administration Building in Elkton, Md.

The Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, created by Governor Hogan in February 2015 with two executive orders and led by Lt. Governor Rutherford, is made up of law enforcement professionals, elected officials, and substance abuse experts. The group will meet regularly and solicit input and guidance from a wide variety of sources throughout the state, including educators, families of those suffering from addiction, and other vested stakeholders.

“We want to hear firsthand from Marylanders about how the heroin crisis has impacted their communities,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “This is a problem that does not have an easy or overnight solution. This task force will employ every resource available in order to develop a holistic approach to fight this public health emergency.”

In 2013, heroin-related overdose deaths (464) outnumbered homicides (387), a 95 percent increase in heroin-related overdose deaths since 2010. Preliminary findings for 2014 show overall heroin-related overdose deaths have continued to rise and will outpace those in 2013 by approximately 20 percent. There is growing evidence that many new heroin addictions stem from the abuse of prescription painkillers. Once addicted to these opioids, individuals may switch to increasingly cheap and “available” heroin.

"It’s an honor to be selected to host the first regional summit for Maryland's Heroin and Opioid Task Force," stated Cecil County Executive Tari Moore. "I am pleased to share how hard Cecil County has worked to implement solutions to fight this battle, and what we believe future challenges will be. We stand ready to partner with the State of Maryland in moving forward."

Representatives from several counties, including Cecil, Harford, Kent, and Queen Anne’s, attended today's summit.

There Has To Be A Logical Answer...


C.I.A. Cash Ended Up in Coffers of Al Qaeda

WASHINGTON — In the spring of 2010, Afghan officials struck a deal to free an Afghan diplomat held hostage by Al Qaeda. But the price was steep — $5 million — and senior security officials were scrambling to come up with the money.

They first turned to a secret fund that the Central Intelligence Agency bankrolled with monthly cash deliveries to the presidential palace in Kabul, according to several Afghan officials involved in the episode. The Afghan government, they said, had already squirreled away about $1 million from that fund.

Within weeks, that money and $4 million more provided from other countries was handed over to Al Qaeda, replenishing its coffers after a relentless C.I.A. campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan had decimated the militant network’s upper ranks.

“God blessed us with a good amount of money this month,” Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, the group’s general manager, wrote in a letter to Osama bin Laden in June 2010, noting that the cash would be used for weapons and other operational needs.

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