CIA keeps bin Laden’s pornography under wraps
Nearly 470,000 files from Osama bin Laden’s computers which were seized during the 2011 raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, were made public by the Central Intelligence Agency. Some of the files are being withheld from the public, the CIA said, such as copyrighted movie videos and the radical Islamic terrorist’s pornography collection.
More JFK documents are released
The National Archives released 676 documents from the John F. Kennedy assassination, including 553 Central Intelligence Agency documents that were previously redacted in their entirety. Last Friday’s release follows the release of 2,891 documents on October 26 to meet the deadline set by the 1992 President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act. Over 5 million assassination records have now been released and about 29,000 remain subject to further review before they can be released, the National Archive said.
Second Amendment doesn’t apply to gun sales
The Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” does not provide an ancillary right to sell arms, the Congressional Research Service pointed out in a memo to Capitol Hill lawmakers. The memo reviews last month’s 9-2 ruling by the en banc U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a California county’s zoning ban on firearms stores within 500 feet of residentially zoned property. The court held that while the Second Amendment protects the right to acquire firearms, it does not protect a corresponding right to sell a firearm.
Consumer agency bans tiny magnets
The Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the distribution and sale Zen Magnets and Neoballs because they pose a substantial risk of injury to the public. The rare-earth magnetic products can be especially harmful if two or more of them are swallowed and attracted to each other. The CPSC’s final order gives Zen Magnets LLC 30 days to submit a plan that includes a refund and notice to the public. The case that led to the ban began five years ago when the CPSC’s own staff filed an administrative complaint.
FDA issues cannabidiol warnings
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stepped gingerly into the state-federal marijuana dispute by warning four companies to stop making medical claims for cannabidiol, a substance extracted from marijuana that does not have any psychotropic effect. CBD is marketed in such forms as oils, capsules, syrups, teas and topical lotions to provide relief for various health conditions. But, the FDA drew the line against claims that CBD provides relief for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Among those receiving letters was Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises LLC, Colorado Springs, Colo., which manufactures the popular Charlotte’s Web brand of CBD products.
Employment grew in October
Employment rose by 261,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.1%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. The month had its ups and downs. According to the BLS, October brought a sharp increase in restaurant and bar jobs that overshadowed the loss of jobs in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. BLS said the unemployment rate declined to 3.6% for adult women, and 3.8% for adult men.
Temporary Protected Status: Another path to America
U.S. immigration law allows refugees a special category of visa, known as Temporary Protected Status, that allows them to reside and work in the U.S. while riding out wars and natural disasters that beleaguer their home countries. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are approximately 437,000 TPS refugees from 10 countries living in the U.S. CRS said about 91,000 refugees from Honduras and Nicaragua have been in the U.S. since TPS was granted to them in late 1998. Also, there are 262,500 TPS refugees from El Salvador, 58,500 from Haiti, and 6,900 from Syria.
Female worker pay hits a 40-year high
During the 40-year period between 1976 and 2016, real median earnings for female workers rose from $16,483 to $30,882, an 87% increase or an average of 1.6% a year, the U.S. Census Bureau said. In contrast, pay for male workers rose from $39,523 in 1976 to $42,220 in 2016, a 6.8% increase. Actually, male pay was down 2.6% from its $43,360 peak that was achieved in 1999.
Trade deficit grew in September
The U.S. trade deficit grew by $43.5 billion in September, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced on the eve of President Trump’s departure for 10 days of meetings with the nation’s major Asian trading partners. In September, the U.S. imported $240.3 billion and exported $196.8 billion worth of goods and services. Among September’s largest trade imbalances were those with China ($29.9 billion), Japan ($5.9 billion) and South Korea ($2.4 billion).
Teacher sentenced for child pornography
Joshua Noble, 39, a substitute high school teacher in Fergus Falls, Minn., received a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to distributing child pornography through online chatrooms. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said a computer confiscated from Noble contained 244 sexually abusive images of infants, toddlers and children.
CEO sentenced for $750 million securities fraud
Michael Baker, 58, the chief executive officer of Arthrocare Corp. in Austin, Tex., was given a 20-year prison sentence for orchestrating a fraud that caused the company’s shareholders to lose more than $750 million, the Department of Justice said. Baker and his co-conspirators were accused of inflating sales and revenues through a series of end-of-quarter product shipments to distributors that met the company’s need to meet Wall Street analysts’ forecasts.
Two guilty of selling licenses to truck drivers
Two employees of the California Department of Motor Vehicles—Kari Scattaglia, 39, of Newhill, Calif., and Lisa Terraciano, 51, of North Hollywood, Calif.—pleaded guilty to charges of selling commercial driver’s licenses. The two women, the Department of Justice said, accessed the DMV’s data base and fraudulently altered records to show their clients were qualified to drive tractor-trailer trucks when, in fact, they did not take a driving test. DOJ said the two women sold at least 216 fraudulent CDLs.
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 Friday, November 3