66 police officers were slain in 2016
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said 66 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2016, an increase of 61% over the 41 officers who were killed the previous year. Among those killed last year, 17 were ambushed, 13 were answering a disturbance call, and nine were investigating suspicious persons. Although traffic stops are generally believed to pose heightened dangers for police, the FBI said that four officers were killed in 2016 while conducting a traffic stop.
High blood pressure linked to racial segregation
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health are claiming that living in a racially segregated neighborhood is linked to a rise in the blood pressure of black adults. Conversely, the researchers found that high blood pressure declines when a black adult moves out of a segregated neighborhood; and, the decline lead to statistically significant reductions in heart attacks and strokes.
Olive oil case settlement is the pits
A settlement in a class action lawsuit involving an olive oil maker’s claim of using olives grown in Italy drew an objection from the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness. Under its terms, the settlement provides a $1 million payment to attorneys and less than $200,000 and a promise to remove “Imported from Italy” from the product’s label for the consumers who brought the class action.
Snowden’s helpers face possible torture
Human Rights Watch said the Hong Kong Immigration Department rejected asylum for seven persons who helped Edward Snowden escape capture while he arranged an asylum deal with Russia. HRW said two men and a woman from Sri Lanka, a woman from the Philippines, and their three children who were born in Hong Kong, are seeking asylum in Canada to avoid being sent to their home countries where they fear they will face persecution.
Vatican ambassadorial post is not justified
The Freedom From Religion Foundation wants President Trump to eliminate the ambassadorship for the Vatican, calling it an “unconstitutional and inappropriate” use of taxpayer funds. FFRF’s call came amid reports that President Trump will nominate Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, for the largely ceremonial post. In a letter, FFRF reminded that Congress enacted a law in 1867 to forbid the expenditure of funds “for the support of an American legation at Rome,” but the law was abrogated by President Reagan in 1984.
U.S. sets poor example for world’s democracies
About 55.7% of the U.S. voting age population—roughly 136.8 million Americans—cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election, an achievement that set a poor example for the world’s democracies. The U.S. ranked 28th behind other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Pew Research Center said, that scored higher voter participation rates in their countries’ last elections.
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, May 15