Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Super-delegates: A class by themselves

Much has been said and written about super-delegates whose thumbs will press against the scales of power at the Democratic and Republican presidential nominating conventions. But who are they and how do they get there? As explained by the Congressional Research Service, super-delegates at the Democrats’ meeting are party leaders and elected officials, and the list includes President Obama, Vice President Biden and former presidents (Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton) and former vice presidents (Walter Mondale and Al Gore Jr.), Democratic members of Congress, Governors, and the Democratic National Committee. GOP super-delegates are the members of the Republican National Committee.


Payday lenders leave trail of broken bank accounts

When a payday lender collects a payment directly from a borrower’s bank account, the withdrawal can result in an overdraft that imposes a penalty on the borrower. A report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that payday lenders create an average of $185 in bank penalties for each borrower whose bank account is open to lenders, and that one-third of borrowers who get hit with a penalty wind up having their accounts closed altogether.


Gauntlet thrown on climate change subpoena

A subpoena that demands 10 years’ worth of climate change research materials “is offensive, un-American, unlawful, and will not stand,” the Competitive Enterprise Institute responded to U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker. CEI accused Walker and the attorneys general of 16 states, all of them Democrats, of abusing their authority to punish a think tank “for its public policy views, chill its associations, and silence its advocacy” because it doesn’t share the attorneys generals’ view that human activity causes climate change. “You can either withdraw it or expect to fight, because CEI strongly believes that this campaign to intimidate those who dissent from the official orthodoxy on climate change must be stopped,” CEI said.


Crime rate remains at historic low

The Brennan Center for Justice said in a report that crime rates in America’s 30 largest cities were nearly identical in 2014 and 2015, declining by a mere 0.1% between the two years, and that national crime rates remained at historic low levels despite spikes in murders in Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Based on FBI crime data, the report identifies Detroit as the nation’s “murder capital” with a rate of 43.8 murders per 100,000 residents. Chicago was the nation’s most violent city with 2,377 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.


Modern-day “Bonnie and Clyde” lose gun battle

Russell Moore Jr., 25, of Fulton, Mo., and Victoria Buoi, 24, of Boonville, Mo., are in custody after leading police in a running gun battle near Columbia, Mo. They were charged with possessing a stolen semi-automatic pistol, and Moore was charged with firing the weapon and striking and disabling a pursuing police vehicle. While being pursued by police on an interstate highway, Moore fired at four semi-trailer trucks because he wanted to cause an accident that might have ended the pursuit, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.


Drug seller imprisoned for heroin death

Danny Ortiz, 32, a member of the Barrio Azteca gang in El Paso, Tex., was given a 200-month federal prison sentence for selling heroin that resulted in the overdose death of Kellie Kondrat whose body was discovered by police in Socorro, Tex., U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. The investigation that led to Ortiz’s arrest was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations as part of Operation Community Shield which combats transnational criminal street gangs, prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs.


“Double sawbuck” is getting a facelift

Civil War era heroine Harriet Tubman who helped create the “Underground Railroad” that helped slaves escape will occupy the front side of the $20 currency note, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced. The bill’s present front side occupant, President Andrew Jackson, will be moved to the currency’s back side. Also, $5 and $10 notes will be redesigned to honor suffragettes who campaigned for ratification of the women’s voting rights amendment, while the front of the $10 bill will still feature Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury Secretary and the architect of the U.S. economic system, Lew said.


Attn: News Desk is a daily compilation of press releases found on more than 1,000 websites that are maintained by the federal government and national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.

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