Defense missile maintains perfect record
A test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) element of the nation’s ballistic missile defense system successfully intercepted a missile over the Pacific Ocean, the Missile Defense Agency said. For THAAD, it was the 14th successful intercept in 14 attempts. The target missile was launched from a C-17 cargo plane flying north of Hawaii and the THAAD missile was fired from the Pacific Spaceport Complex at Kodiak, Alaska.

FBI headquarters project is canceled
The General Services Administration said it has canceled the procurement of a building in suburban Washington, D.C., that would consolidate the FBI’s various departments at a single location. The project envisioned that part of the new building’s cost would be financed from the sale of the FBI’s current headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue for commercial and residential development. GSA said it requested $1.4 billion for the project but Congress appropriated only $523 million for it.

Internet frontier is unruly and uncivilized
A survey of 4,248 U.S. adults found that 41% of Americans with online access have personally experienced harassment, and 66% of them have observed harassment directed toward others. The Pew Research Center survey found that most occurrences of harassment can be ignored as a nuisance of online life, but 18% said they have been subjected to severe harassment such as physical or sexual threats, or stalking.

Drug maker fined for oxycodone sales
Mallinckrodt LLC, a pharmaceutical manufacturer headquartered in England and St. Louis, Mo., was fined $35 million for failing to report suspicious orders and recordkeeping violations with regard to its generic oxycodone business. According to the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration, Mallinckrodt failed to comply with Controlled Substance Act provisions that require drug makers to implement systems for detecting and reporting suspicious orders.

Lights go out for telemarketing scammers
A federal judge banned two Maryland telemarketing operators from utilizing telemarketing tactics to sell light bulbs and cleaning supplies, the Federal Trade Commission said. The companies were accused of tricking small business owners by claiming they wanted to send a free sample or catalog, but instead sent light bulbs and cleaning supplies with an invoice for an amount far above the market price. Businesses that paid the invoices became targets for future shipments of unordered merchandise.

TSA finds a “poster boy” for intrusive screenings
Transportation Security Administration officers at the McGhee Tyson Airport at Alcoa, Tenn., found a loaded Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistol hidden inside a passenger’s wheelchair cushion. It was the 15th weapon seized by TSA at the Tennessee airport so far this year, compared to last year’s total seizure of 16 weapons.

Bank ordered to pay female in wage dispute
A federal judge ordered the Heritage Bank in Wood River, Neb., to pay $30,598 to a female employee who accused the bank of violating the wage discrimination clause of the 1963 Equal Pay Act, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said. The woman, Christine Schwieger, was paid a base salary of $30,000 in 2014, but a man who was hired to replace a co-worker was paid $40,000 to perform the same job.

Snakes land in customs agent’s lap
Customs agents at the John F. Kennedy International Mail Facility in Jamaica, N.Y., had suspicions about an express mail package from Hong Kong that supposedly contained a “plastic tray.” An x-ray showed what appeared to be snakes inside a round-shaped container, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. When opened by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers, the package was found to contain five juvenile King Cobras and three Geckos who presumably were traveling as the snakes’ dinner companions.

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 Tuesday, July 11

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