Marriage still “fast and furious” in Nevada
Nevada posted the nation’s highest marriage rate in 2015 when 31.0 marriages were performed for each of the state’s 1,000 residents, the National Center for Health Statistics said. The statistic failed to explain that most Nevada marriages involve tourists who visit Las Vegas or Reno to combine their marriage with their honeymoon. Nevada’s 2015 rate was barely one-third of the 99.0 per 1,000 rate that was posted in 1990. In 2015, Nevada was followed by Hawaii (15.9 per 1,000, again a reflection of tourism) and Arkansas (10.0 per 1,000).
Guide to wasteful government spending
There’s hardly a politician who doesn’t promise to be a relentless champion in the fight against waste, fraud and abuse, and it’s even rarer to find a politician who means it. Steadfastly resolute in its long effort to get politicians to put their feet where their mouths are, Citizens Against Government Waste released a compendium of the federal government’s costliest and most wasteful programs. The list includes such perennial favorites as the multi-billion dollar subsidy programs for sugar, dairy and peanuts under laws that were enacted 80 years ago during the Great Depression, and the Market Access Program that distributes $200 million a year so major U.S. corporations and trade associations can promote sales of their products in foreign markets.
Pay-to-pollute scheme attacked by lawsuit
Food & Water Watch filed a lawsuit that accuses Pennsylvania environmental officials of violating the Clean Water Act by approving a permit that allows an egg processing facility to purchase pollution credits from a state credit bank. F&WW said the permit allows Michael Foods, of Klingerstown, Pa., to discharge nitrogen and phosphorous into streams that flow into the protected Chesapeake Bay.
Nigerian scam spoofed DHS Secretary
An email secured by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, which was found among 216 pages of Department of Homeland Security documents, revealed a West Africa phishing scam that solicited Americans to provide personal information as a prelude to claiming $4.5 million in “abandoned” U.S. funds. The scam letter was made to appear that it had come from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. More worrisome, the cache of documents contain evidence that Johnson and other DHS officials used private email accounts; and, that Johnson’s private account received emails from the ambassadors of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Helicopter accidents declined in 2016
The number of helicopter accidents and resultant deaths declined for a third consecutive year in 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration said. In 2016, there were 106 accidents (compared to 121 in 2015, 138 in 2014, and 146 in 2013) and 17 of the accidents involved fatalities (compared with 17 in 2015, 21 in 2014, and 30 in 2013).
Human Rights Watch seeks end to child marriages in U.S.
In New Jersey and New York, a child as young as 13 or 14 years old can get married with parental consent or a judge’s order, Human Rights Watch said with a plea to raise the legal marrying age to 18. Young girls are put in untenable positions when trapped in an unwanted marriage. HRW points out that child brides can’t seek help from a shelter because “many shelters won’t accept minors, attorneys are often reluctant to represent these children, and non-profits can be accused of kidnapping if they assist married girls to leave violent or forced marriages.”
Campus group’s cannabis trademark is restored
A three-judge panel in the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district judge’s grant of a permanent injunction against the Iowa State University’s rejection of a student organization’s proposed trademark that depicted a cannabis leaf. It was a natural for the school’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). The lawsuit was filed by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) which argued the university engaged in viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.
Federal raid did not use excessive force
Sending dozens of agents to raid the home of a suspected collector of Native American artifacts may have seemed a bit excessive, but the agents were entitled to immunity because they were following FBI and Bureau of Land Management policies, a three-judge panel at the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The case became complicated when the artifact collector, Dr. James Redd of Blanding, Utah, committed suicide the day after the raid. His estate claimed the appearance of so many heavily armed and armor-clad agents was an unconstitutional display of “excessive force.” Their search of Dr. Redd’s home yielded 800 illegally collected artifacts.
Rip ‘n Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.
The press releases and documents linked to this report were posted on their websites on Monday, February 13