Harvey and Irma will flood used car market
The Consumer Federation of America estimated that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma left millions of water-damaged automobiles in their wake, and that some of those cars will be flooding onto used car lots where they will be sold to unsuspecting car buyers. CFA shared 10 tips on how to identify a vehicle that has been damaged by water.
NTSB cites errors in fatal self-driving car crash
The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that a fatal crash between a truck and a self-driven automobile was caused by the truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way and the car driver’s overreliance on his vehicle’s automation. The crash, which killed the car driver, occurred 16 months ago near Williston, Fla. The NTSB said the operational design of the Tesla self-driving car contributed to the driver’s overreliance on the automation.
Border agents seize $7 million drug shipment
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge near Laredo, Tex., seized 127 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and 226 pounds of liquid methamphetamine with an estimated street value of over $7 million. A 30-year-old Mexican national was arrested when a canine alerted officers to the drugs. Also, in a separate incident at the same border crossing, a 27-year-old female U.S. citizen from Pearland, Tex., was arrested after a canine alerted agents to a cache of liquid methamphetamine worth an estimated $2.5 million.
U.S. won’t prosecute cops for Freddie Gray death
The Department of Justice said an investigation into the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray Jr. while in custody of six Baltimore police officers did not produce sufficient evidence to support criminal civil rights charges. The DOJ action echoes the trials in Maryland state courts which resulted in acquittals for four police officers, and dropping charges against the other two officers. Gray’s death provoked civil unrest and rioting that lasted several days, and Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby was accused of filing politically-motivated charges against the police officers.
Project launched to promote hiring of ex-felons
The Democrat-aligned Center for American Progress launched a three-year initiative to persuade states to remove barriers that hinder job opportunities for former felons. CAP noted that after decades of mass incarceration, 1 in 3 Americans have some type of criminal record and nearly half of U.S. children have at least one parent with a record. “Even a minor record can be a lifelong sentence to poverty—not just for the person with the record but also for their children,” CAP program director Rebecca Vallas said.
At Wichita State, trouble will find you
Students who hung a banner from their fraternity house, offering “free house tours,” are facing possible disciplinary action by Wichita State University administrators who see it as a violation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination. In a letter to the school’s president, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education said the banner’s relation to sex was tenuous at best and warned that “an investigation of constitutionally protected speech can itself violate the First Amendment.”
White males dominate gun suicides
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence said that 79% of gun suicide victims are white males, and claimed that the availability of a gun in the home “is a strong predictor of suicide.” The claim was a non sequitur because 100% of gun suicide victims—regardless of their race—had access to a gun. The Center said that suicides account for about two-thirds of all gun deaths, and that 90% of suicide attempts using a gun result in death.
Most retirees collect lowest allowed amount from IRAs
It’s called the “required minimum distribution” or RMD and it is the amount that a person over the age of 70-1/2 must withdraw from an individual retirement account (IRA). According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, slightly more than 25% of retired IRA account owners withdraw funds in excess of their RMD. But for about 75% of retirees, the RMD is the exact amount they withdraw—not one penny more—although their annual RMD is increased each year according to a formula that is meant to deplete an IRA after several decades of retirement.
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, September 12