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American Energy Innovation Spurring a Manufacturing Renaissance | Energy & Commerce Committee

American Energy Innovation Spurring a Manufacturing Renaissance | Energy & Commerce Committee | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
“Our focus is this: we want to have economic growth in the innovation era” — Chairman Upton HAPPENING NOW: The Subcommittees on Energy and Power and Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade are holding a joint hearing on “A Competitive Edge for American Manufacturing: Abundant American Energy.” The hearing is exploring how new technologies and innovation are unlocking domestic energy resources and helping to revive American manufacturing and bring high-paying jobs back to America. Just hours before the hearing, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) addressed hundreds of manufacturers from across the country gathered for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 2013 Manufacturing Summit. Upton highlighted how America’s changing energy landscape is helping to create more manufacturing jobs at home and making American businesses more competitive. “We now have a whole different theme on energy and that is because we have these abundant resources,” said Upton. “We can actually now talk about exports and talk about reducing the cost of operating your business, and in fact, we can be more competitive with the rest of the world as we work to create the good jobs that we want to have here.” While the U.S. is attracting jobs and new investment, other countries are struggling to keep up as a result of their higher energy costs. TIME magazine featured a cover story in April titled, “How ‘Made in the USA’ is Making a Comeback,” which noted that, “U.S. factories increasingly have access to cheap energy thanks to oil and gas from the shale boom. For companies outside the U.S., it’s the opposite: high global oil prices translate into costlier fuel for ships and planes — which means some labor savings from low-cost plants in China evaporate when the goods are shipped thousands of miles.” Increasingly, these companies are looking to locate their manufacturing in the United States to remain competitive. For example, according to the Wall Street Journal, Alok Industries, which runs textile mills, is planning to open its first mill in the United States “in an effort to save money on energy costs.”
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Ferguson’s Other Race Problem: Riots Damaged Asian-Owned Stores

Ferguson’s Other Race Problem: Riots Damaged Asian-Owned Stores | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
Asian-American-owned businesses in the St. Louis suburb are a mess after days of looting in the wake of Michael Brown’s killing. And one lawyer says the authorities let it happen.

It happened during the L.A. riots, when anger over the police beating of Rodney King spilled into Koreatown. It happened fictionally in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, when an Asian-American business owner was forced to defend his store from rioters.

And it’s happening again in Ferguson: Looted Asian-American businesses have become collateral damage.

Asian-Americans own a number of the stores lining West Florissant Avenue, where more than 20 businesses have suffered damage in the wake of Michael Brown’s killing. At least five of these stores are Asian-American-owned, according to local sources and business records. Just 0.5 percent of Ferguson is of Asian descent, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.

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ISIS terrorists already in U.S.? Texas Gov. Rick Perry says it's 'very real possibility' because of weak border security - South Florida Business Journal

ISIS terrorists already in U.S.? Texas Gov. Rick Perry says it's 'very real possibility' because of weak border security - South Florida Business Journal | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
Texas Gov. Rick Perry linked national security to border security Thursday with this scary thought: “It’s a very real possibility” that terrorists from ISIS already have entered the United States.
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For Medicare, Private Is Better Than Public

For Medicare, Private Is Better Than Public | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
Although Barack Obama ran against Medicare Advantage plans in the 2008 election and although many Democrats regard them as unhealthy "privatization," this is the only place in all of Medicare where the president’s health reform promise is being realized: they are producing better care for a lower cost. Medicare Advantage plans [...]
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Obamacare acting as drag on employment and lifting prices, survey suggests

Obamacare acting as drag on employment and lifting prices, survey suggests | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it

The Philadelphia Fed asked a series of special questions along with its monthly manufacturing report, and the survey suggests that the Affordable Care Act has acted at least initially to reduce employment and increase prices.

A net 15.2% said the number of workers is lower because of Obamacare. A net 16.7% found the proportion of part-time work was up, a net 10.7% said the amount of work outsourced is up, and a net 28.8% said prices charged to customers are higher. A modest 1.6% said wage and salary compensation per worker is higher. See external link to the full survey.

Only 3% said they were dropping health insurance, but 51.5% said they were making changes. And while a net 2.9% said more employees are being covered, manufacturers overwhelmingly report higher employee contributions, deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums and copays, with a lower range of medical coverage and a lower size and breadth of the network.

“This combination confirms that Obamacare has been a negative supply shock – weaker employment and higher prices — a combination that the Fed can do little to fix,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities.

The Philadelphia Fed survey is a respected (though volatile) report, and as the name implies, only covers the portion of the U.S. the regional central bank tracks. The same report indicated that Obamacare isn’t much of an impediment — manufacturing sentiment as measured by the Philly Fed rose to its highest level since March 2011.

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“I was going to gay bars, having affairs”: George Takei on the torments of life in the closet

“I was going to gay bars, having affairs”: George Takei on the torments of life in the closet | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
The actor, who plays himself in a new documentary, on the coming-out process, "Star Trek" and feuding with Shatner
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OneTaste: Number 893 on the 2014 Inc. 5000

Teaches a practice centered on clitoral stimulation for the purpose of enhancing energy, focus, libido, and connection to others.
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Startup Accelerator BRIC House Launches in Boca Raton

Startup Accelerator BRIC House Launches in Boca Raton | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it

South Florida-based entrepreneurs John Kemp and Ryan Texeira announced they are launching a startup accelerator and incubator in Boca Raton called BRIC House.

The BRIC’s startup accelerator program will offer up to USD $100,000 in seed capital to the companies that are chosen, as well connect them with mentors.

BRIC House will also host local events for South Florida entrepreneurs, including Hack-the-enterprise, Code on the Ocean, Startups Night, and Brainstorm your Idea, help you to grow or pivot your idea.

Some weeks ago, Axis Space launched and has been fostering Fort Lauderdale’s tech community.

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Introducing Spreecast Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Plans | Spreecast Blog

Introducing Spreecast Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Plans | Spreecast Blog | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of our new plans – Spreecast Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. We’ve expanded our options to provide more tailored solutions for all of our Spreecast creators. Starting today, you can sign up for one of our new plans. Here is a quick summary of our plans but you can find in-depth information about our plans on our Pricing & Plans page: Basic – For everyone. Take advantage of Spreecast’s many features, and still have great free support from the Spreecast help center. Bronze – For Spreecast creators who are familiar with Spreecast and want to use Spreecast to promote their business. Everything you get in our Basic plan, plus the ability to embed Unlisted spreecasts on your website, rights for commercial use of your spreecasts and access to your spreecasts beyond 7 days. Silver – For Spreecast creators who want more insights and backup. Everything you get in our Bronze plan, plus analytics reports to help you understand your viewers better and downloadable copies of your spreecasts. Gold – For Spreecast creators who want no ads or want to run their own ads. Everything you get in our Silver plan, plus no ads, ability to serve your own ads, access to phone support, and a dedicated account manager. Platinum – or Spreecast users who want the ultimate Spreecast experience. Everything you get in our Silver plan, plus live Spreecast event production support from our experts remotely. To upgrade your account to the Spreecast Bronze, Silver or Gold plan, please visit our Pricing & Plans page and click on the button of your desired plan to proceed. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at support@spreecast.com.
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Ferguson Update: National Guard Deployed, School Postponed

Ferguson Update: National Guard Deployed, School Postponed | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it

Members of the National Guard have arrived in the St. Louis area, one day after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he would deploy troops to prevent violence in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb that's been wracked by outrage and looting over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager last weekend.

"Members of the National Guard are arriving in South St. Louis," local TV news KMOV reports, in a tweet this morning. "They will be heading to #Ferguson today."

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Woman Arrested For Smuggling 3.7 Pounds of Cocaine in Her Fake Boobs

Woman Arrested For Smuggling 3.7 Pounds of Cocaine in Her Fake Boobs | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
A 43-year-old Venezuelan woman was apprehended at Madrid International Airport with 3.7 pounds of cocaine in her breast implants. Authorities noticed her suspicious behavior during a routine screening of passengers returning from Bogota, Colombia.
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Vietnam struts its military stuff for Dempsey

Vietnam struts its military stuff for Dempsey | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
DANANG, VIETNAM — The Vietnamese military showed an unprecedented amount of leg here Thursday. It sought to catch the eye of Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first of his kind to visit the Communist country since its founding — and the withdrawal of U.S. forces. From past-their-prime fighter jets and missile boats to spit-and-polish pilots and sailors from the People's Air Force and Navy, the Vietnamese put on a show. Dempsey seemed charmed. "Forty-five years ago, I couldn't imagine we'd be sitting in this room, having this conversation," Dempsey told the Vietnamese Navy brass from Naval Zone 3. No, in 1969, at the height of the war, the notion of U.S., Viet Cong and North Vietnamese military leaders posing for photos and exchanging gifts would have been considered absurd. Though calling it a conversation might be overstating the stilted, translated, ceremonial chat, the talk and the talker intended to send a message. America, its top military officer said, is serious about shifting its focus and resources to the Pacific. His presence here alone, despite the latest fires in the Middle East, speaks louder than any prepared remarks he could deliver. Dempsey, in meetings with academics, politicians and military officials here this week, stressed that Vietnam's strategic location between China to the north and bustling nations to the south, along with its long coastline with the South China Sea, makes it a central player in the region. For their part, the Vietnamese were eager to show that they're up to the challenge. First up was Vietnam Air Division 372. The grounds of its headquarters hold the inevitable spoils for the victors: 1960s U.S. warplanes, most likely captured when South Vietnam fell in 1975. But on the flight line and in meeting rooms, it was all (or mostly all) smiles for the chairman. The Vietnamese showcased its hardware despite its age. Young pilots stood by their 1960s-era MiG 21s, Russian-made fighter jets that bedeviled American fliers. The F-4's they flew had radar and missiles that allowed them to destroy the MiGs from distance. But the Vietnamese pilots regularly popped up after the F-4's had flown past their bases, taking a heavy toll. At Naval Zone 3's pier, Dempsey walked the gangway onto a patrol boat of the same vintage as the MiGs. It was unusual access to a Vietnamese naval ship for a high-ranking officer. Vietnamese army minders popped up to point out what could (not much) and could not (most everything) be photographed. It's possible they, like militaries everywhere, are not eager to display capabilities or, more often, advertise vulnerabilities. The ship in the adjacent slip appeared to have been painted recently, although not below the water line, suggesting that it may not have been thoroughly overhauled in some time. In any event, Vietnam would be hard-pressed to challenge the Chinese, who are increasingly asserting claims in the waters off Danang.
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Click here to support Help For Medical Expenses! by Kayden Steppinoutonfaith Kinckle

Click here to support Help For Medical Expenses! by Kayden Steppinoutonfaith Kinckle | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
STEPPIN OUT ON FAITH…. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE!! We are deeply humbled and appreciative of the overwhelming amount of support we have received.
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This rap video about webinars is brilliant viral marketing (video)

This rap video about webinars is brilliant viral marketing (video) | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
How do enterprise software companies like On24 drum up attention to their webinar platforms? Rapping, of course.
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Latest Fight Time Promotions’ News…

Latest Fight Time Promotions’ News… | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it

Fight Time Promotions announces an expansion in 2015 to Orlando, Tampa and Miami in Florida as well as North Carolina. As Fight Time Promotions gets closer to Fight Time 20 later this month (August 29th); the company is releasing an expansion for next year to bring more professional world-class MMA to Florida fight fans and beyond.


Fight Time Promotions will still hold events in its home city of Ft. Lauderdale during the 2015 Season.

“We just completed our first event outside of the state of Florida and the experience was amazing,” said Howard Davis Jr., CEO of Fight Time Promotions and 1976 Boxing Olympic Gold Medalist. “We know what it takes to hold an event abroad and now after 4-years of branding our company in South Florida; we’re ready to take Fight Time Promotions on the road.”

With nearly 20 professional MMA events in Florida; Fight Time Promotions has been the most consistent MMA promotion in the state, since it began holding shows in 2010.

By the end of the year; Fight Time Promotions will complete 5 professional MMA shows in Florida with one already in the books in North Carolina. The company will also have 5 amateur MMA events under its belt as well, after all is said and done this year.

Next year’s expansion will have Fight Time Promotions at 12 to 15 professional MMA events in Florida and beyond. The amateur MMA Division series will continue in South Florida with 5 events in 2015.

“We’re looking for fighters to sign on a multi-fight deal as we get ready to travel in 2015 and give fighters more shows to be able to fight on with Fight Time Promotions,” said Howard Davis Jr.

The company is currently working on its 2015 Season dates and will release them soon.

Fight Time Promotions recently signed a distribution deal with Alliance Entertainment and will have all of its shows sold on DVD and on-line through major retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy and Target.

Right now, the 2014 Season includes two events from the historic War Memorial Auditorium in Ft. Lauderdale with Fight Time 20 (August 29th) and Fight Time 21 (Nov. 7th).

Fight Time 22 takes place on Dec. 5th and is a special red-carpet fundraising event to raise money and awareness for Autism Speaks. This PRO MMA showcase will be held at the Newport Beach Resort in Sunny Isles Beach.

For now; the company is focusing on this month’s Fight Time 20, which includes the Fight Time Promotions’ Lightweight Title match-up between Mike “The Wolverine” Rio VS Frank “The Tank” Carrillo, former UFC fighter and Canada’s top Light Heavyweight – Kalib Starnes VS Mike Hayes as well a special Heavyweight feature with Jeff “The Snowman” Monson, who is also Fight Time Promotions’ Heavyweight champion. The undercard also promises to be just as exciting as the headlining fights.

For tickets or information call: 786-543-1177 or email: fight@fighttimepromotions.com


Read more at http://www.eastsideboxing.com/2014/latest-fight-time-promotions-news/#5Tt3sJQU8bgchlKE.99

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Harvard Researcher on Aging: There's no 'limit on the human lifespan'

Harvard Researcher on Aging: There's no 'limit on the human lifespan' | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
My peers of a certain age will remember an Oil of Olay commercial about deciding not to grow old gracefully, but rather to "fight it every step of the way." And while we spend billions trying to turn back time, the Fountain of Youth has yet to be found at the bottom of a lotion bottle. But one researcher from Harvard Medical School, David Sinclair, believes the secret to stopping the aging process is closer than we think. "I wouldn't begin to put a limit on the human lifespan," he says. Sinclair has spent the past 20 years looking for ways to help people live longer, healthier lives. In an exclusive look at his strictly guarded mouse lab, Sinclair showed us how his research team is looking to stop the clock on aging. It was Sinclair's research on resveratrol, a molecule found in grapes, that made headlines a decade ago when it showed promising results in keeping overfed mice as healthy as lean mice. Sinclair even chose to test resveratrol on himself, something he has been doing for the past 10 years, and he says he's feeling fit and healthy. Likewise, his parents, who are in their 70s, report similar results from taking resveratrol. Today, Sinclair has taken his research even further. By prematurely aging mice, he is able to test new molecules on them in an attempt to return them to their younger, healthier state. He's hopeful that the molecules will one day help prevent or delay diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's in humans. All of this, of course, is still very much in the research phase, but Sinclair is confident that his work will lead to many of us living longer and healthier lives. "Can we one day live to 150?" he asks. "I don't see why not; it's just a matter of when." Who do you think is a global game changer, and what person would you like to see featured in this series? Let me know on Twitter (@katiecouric) or on Tumblr.
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Obamacare cuts seen, but lion’s share of workers face price hikes

Obamacare cuts seen, but lion’s share of workers face price hikes | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it

MarketWatch’s Steve Goldstein points out in a blog Thursday that the Fed is saying a sizable number of employers have fewer employees as a result of the Affordable Care Act, while the number of part-time workers has gone up as well.

 

One other thing to note in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’sbusiness outlook survey for August, however, is how much more of a stake employees will have on their own health insurance, regardless of Obamacare. While the Fed says the percentage of those who have cut back on workers is in the double digits, more than a lion’s share of employees who remain at their posts are going to pay more for it.

 

A whopping 91.2% of employees are seeing their deductibles go up, with no companies saying they are lowering that figure. And a total of 88.2% of workers are paying more for premiums, countered by a tiny portion, 2.9%, who are contributing less, for a net of 85.3%.

There’s more. Out-of-pocket maximums are higher for a net 73.6% while co-payments are higher for a net 61.8%, the survey says. Further, a net 38.3% of employees say the range of options is lower while 26.5% say the size of their network of providers is smaller.

Goldstein notes that a net 15.2% of employers have cut back while 16.7% have more part-time workers. What the figures also show is that the proportion of those who experienced no change in these realms is in the high 70s and low 80s. But it’s a good bet that workers at the “no change” companies are paying more for their health care.

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Visibly Angry Obama Denounces Beheading of James Foley (Video)

Visibly Angry Obama Denounces Beheading of James Foley (Video) | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
ISIS's slaughter of American journalist James Foley was "brutal," President Obama said today.
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They Asked Homeless People To Write Down A Fact About Themselves...

They Asked Homeless People To Write Down A Fact About Themselves... | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
Rethink Homelessness asked homeless people on the streets of Orlando, Florida, to write down a fact about themselves that other people wouldn’t know just by walking past them.
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Apple closes at all-time high as rumors swirl

Apple closes at all-time high as rumors swirl | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
One hour ago Apple's stock price closed at a record high of $100.53 per share. That closing price beats out Apple's previous all-time high of $100.30 -- adjusting for the company's stock split in J...
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Mississippi-Backed Biofuel Company on Verge of Bankruptcy

Mississippi-Backed Biofuel Company on Verge of Bankruptcy | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it

Biofuel manufacturer KiOR’s financial struggles might leave Mississippi holding the title to another failed green energy project.

According to the company’s quarterly report, without additional financing KiOR won’t be able to meet its financial obligations past Sept. 30.

One of its biggest creditors is the state of Mississippi.

The company owes the state $69.275 million on a no-interest loan to build a first-of-its kind plant to convert wood pulp into gasoline, fuel oil and diesel fuel in Columbus, Miss. It missed its most recent semi-annual payment of $1.875 million to the state, which granted forbearance June 3. But that ends Oct. 31.

The company revealed in its most recent quarterly report it lost $24 million in the previous quarter and $629.3 million since the company was founded in 2007.  The company’s stock price was down to 23 cents per share on the New York Stock Exchange last week after opening at $15 per share in 2011.

The state’s possible loss on KiOR would dwarf both the Yalobusha County beef plant (more than $50 million in a loan given in 2003 under the administration of then-Gov. Ronnie Musgrove) and Twin Creeks Solar ($26 million in 2010).

If KiOR defaults on its loan, the administration of then-Gov. Haley Barbour would be responsible for more than $95 million in taxpayer money spent on failed green-energy ventures.

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Blurring the line between police officer and soldier: The rise of the warrior cop

Blurring the line between police officer and soldier: The rise of the warrior cop | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it

On Jan. 4 of last year, a local narcotics strike force conducted a raid on the Ogden, Utah, home of Matthew David Stewart at 8:40 p.m. The 12 officers were acting on a tip from Mr. Stewart's former girlfriend, who said that he was growing marijuana in his basement. Mr. Stewart awoke, naked, to the sound of a battering ram taking down his door. Thinking that he was being invaded by criminals, as he later claimed, he grabbed his 9-millimeter Beretta pistol.

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The police say that they knocked and identified themselves, though Mr. Stewart and his neighbors said they heard no such announcement. Mr. Stewart fired 31 rounds, the police more than 250. Six of the officers were wounded, and Officer Jared Francom was killed. Mr. Stewart himself was shot twice before he was arrested. He was charged with several crimes, including the murder of Officer Francom.

The police found 16 small marijuana plants in Mr. Stewart's basement. There was no evidence that Mr. Stewart, a U.S. military veteran with no prior criminal record, was selling marijuana. Mr. Stewart's father said that his son suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and may have smoked the marijuana to self-medicate.

Early this year, the Ogden city council heard complaints from dozens of citizens about the way drug warrants are served in the city. As for Mr. Stewart, his trial was scheduled for next April, and prosecutors were seeking the death penalty. But after losing a hearing last May on the legality of the search warrant, Mr. Stewart hanged himself in his jail cell.

The police tactics at issue in the Stewart case are no anomaly. Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.

The acronym SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. Such police units are trained in methods similar to those used by the special forces in the military. They learn to break into homes with battering rams and to use incendiary devices called flashbang grenades, which are designed to blind and deafen anyone nearby. Their usual aim is to "clear" a building—that is, to remove any threats and distractions (including pets) and to subdue the occupants as quickly as possible.

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Today the U.S. has thousands of SWAT teams. A team prepares to enter a house in Vallejo, Calif., on March 20, above. Daily Republic/Associated Press

The country's first official SWAT team started in the late 1960s in Los Angeles. By 1975, there were approximately 500 such units. Today, there are thousands. According to surveys conducted by the criminologist Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University, just 13% of towns between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team in 1983. By 2005, the figure was up to 80%.

The number of raids conducted by SWAT-like police units has grown accordingly. In the 1970s, there were just a few hundred a year; by the early 1980s, there were some 3,000 a year. In 2005 (the last year for which Dr. Kraska collected data), there were approximately 50,000 raids. Some federal agencies also now have their own SWAT teams, including NASA and the Department of the Interior.

Americans have long been wary of using the military for domestic policing. Concerns about potential abuse date back to the creation of the Constitution, when the founders worried about standing armies and the intimidation of the people at large by an overzealous executive, who might choose to follow the unhappy precedents set by Europe's emperors and monarchs.

The idea for the first SWAT team in Los Angeles arose during the domestic strife and civil unrest of the mid-1960s. Daryl Gates, then an inspector with the Los Angeles Police Department, had grown frustrated with his department's inability to respond effectively to incidents like the 1965 Watts riots. So his thoughts turned to the military. He was drawn in particular to Marine Special Forces and began to envision an elite group of police officers who could respond in a similar manner to dangerous domestic disturbances.

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Which Drug Is Your State Most Addicted to? This Map Reveals a Disturbing Trend

Which Drug Is Your State Most Addicted to? This Map Reveals a Disturbing Trend | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it

The Obama administration has committed over $10 billion to drug education programs and support for expanding access to treatment. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), prescription drug abuse is the country's "fastest-growing drug problem" and has been classified as an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

The following findings reveal the most recent data available from the ONDCP. The map depicts the drug that was most commonly cited among primary drug treatment admissions in each state. Alcohol is not included in the data.

As is clearly illustrated, data from New England and neighboring states indicates a particularly disturbing trend: a growing addiction to heroin.

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Google Dark - Reason.com

Google Dark - Reason.com | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
In April an anonymous individual launched a search engine called Grams that caters to contraband needs.
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Vietnam struts its military stuff for Dempsey

DANANG, VIETNAM — The Vietnamese military showed an unprecedented amount of leg here Thursday. It sought to catch the eye of Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first of his kind to visit the Communist country since its founding — and the withdrawal of U.S. forces. From past-their-prime fighter jets and missile boats to spit-and-polish pilots and sailors from the People's Air Force and Navy, the Vietnamese put on a show. Dempsey seemed charmed. "Forty-five years ago, I couldn't imagine we'd be sitting in this room, having this conversation," Dempsey told the Vietnamese Navy brass from Naval Zone 3. No, in 1969, at the height of the war, the notion of U.S., Viet Cong and North Vietnamese military leaders posing for photos and exchanging gifts would have been considered absurd. Though calling it a conversation might be overstating the stilted, translated, ceremonial chat, the talk and the talker intended to send a message. America, its top military officer said, is serious about shifting its focus and resources to the Pacific. His presence here alone, despite the latest fires in the Middle East, speaks louder than any prepared remarks he could deliver. Dempsey, in meetings with academics, politicians and military officials here this week, stressed that Vietnam's strategic location between China to the north and bustling nations to the south, along with its long coastline with the South China Sea, makes it a central player in the region. For their part, the Vietnamese were eager to show that they're up to the challenge. First up was Vietnam Air Division 372. The grounds of its headquarters hold the inevitable spoils for the victors: 1960s U.S. warplanes, most likely captured when South Vietnam fell in 1975. But on the flight line and in meeting rooms, it was all (or mostly all) smiles for the chairman. The Vietnamese showcased its hardware despite its age. Young pilots stood by their 1960s-era MiG 21s, Russian-made fighter jets that bedeviled American fliers. The F-4's they flew had radar and missiles that allowed them to destroy the MiGs from distance. But the Vietnamese pilots regularly popped up after the F-4's had flown past their bases, taking a heavy toll. At Naval Zone 3's pier, Dempsey walked the gangway onto a patrol boat of the same vintage as the MiGs. It was unusual access to a Vietnamese naval ship for a high-ranking officer. Vietnamese army minders popped up to point out what could (not much) and could not (most everything) be photographed. It's possible they, like militaries everywhere, are not eager to display capabilities or, more often, advertise vulnerabilities. The ship in the adjacent slip appeared to have been painted recently, although not below the water line, suggesting that it may not have been thoroughly overhauled in some time. In any event, Vietnam would be hard-pressed to challenge the Chinese, who are increasingly asserting claims in the waters off Danang. For now, Dempsey assured the Vietnamese sailors that the old enemies should nurture their new friendship carefully. He called for slow and steady progress.
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Ferguson Residents Protect Stores from Looters During Police Standoff

Ferguson Residents Protect Stores from Looters During Police Standoff | Business News & Finance | Scoop.it
Protesters in Ferguson, Mo. are standing their ground against both police and looters Friday night, refusing to disperse despite orders and attempting to protect local businesses from what the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery--who took the above...
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