The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto argued Tuesday that the discussion about sexual assault in the military has become “a war on men.”
Taranto brought up the case of Capt. Matthew Herrera, an Air Force officer accused of sexual assault by a fellow servicewoman, in a column as an example of Congress’ “effort to criminalize male sexuality.” Capt. Herrera was ultimately not convicted of sexual assault by his commander, Lt. Gen. Susan Helms—but as a consequence, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) put a “permanent hold” on Helms’ nomination to serve as vice commander of the Air Force Space Command, a career setback Taranto laments.
Capt. Herrera had testified before Helms that his accuser “flirted” with him, and a lieutenant who was present at the time of the alleged assault agreed. Therefore, Taranto reasons, Herrera’s accuser was equally at fault.
“It’s fair to say that Capt. Herrera seems to have a tendency toward sexual recklessness,” Taranto wrote. “Perhaps that makes him unsuitable to serve as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. But his accusers acted recklessly too. The presumption that reckless men are criminals while reckless women are victims makes a mockery of any notion that the sexes are equal.”
The first experimental drug to boost brain synapses lost in Alzheimer’s disease has been developed by researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. The drug, called NitroMemantine, combines two FDA-approved medicines to stop the destructive cascade of changes in the brain that destroys the connections between neurons, leading to memory loss and cognitive decline.
The decade-long study, led by Stuart A. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., professor and director of the Del E. Webb Center for Neuroscience, Aging, and Stem Cell Research, who is also a practicing clinical neurologist, shows that NitroMemantine can restore synapses, representing the connections between nerve cells (neurons) that have been lost during the progression of Alzheimer’s in the brain. The research findings are described in a paper published June 17 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Hooray Science! Hooray Beer!
Amazon and other e-commerce firms are cutting ties with all Minnesotans who earn money by posting links that send traffic to online merchants after lawmakers passed a tweak to state sales tax law.
Minnesota E-Fairness legislation, signed by Gov. Mark Dayton on May 23 and going into effect July 1, classifies independent bloggers and online reviewers as a physical presence of a business in the state. This means online companies who pay these people to generate new sales must collect tax not just on those sales, but on all sales in the state.
The tax on online sales is already due, but the onus has been on consumers, who often never pay the tax. The new law puts the onus on Amazon, as long as they have a single blogger posting links to its products from Minnesota.
The state has estimated the new law will generate $5 million in new revenue, but Amazon is having none of it.
The company sent an email to associates in Minnesota, saying it will close all accounts in the state to avoid the tax.
“This is a direct result of the unconstitutional Minnesota state tax collection legislation passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Dayton,” the letter said. “We will no longer pay any advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon Site after June 30 nor will we accept new applications for the Associates Program from Minnesota residents.”
The state Department of Revenue said it is working on this issue today, but was not immediately ready to comment.
Aaron Hall, an attorney in Minneapolis who has clients who will be affected and has written about the new law, said even he will lose a couple hundred dollars a month as Amazon pulls the plug on the Minnesota program.
“A lot of bloggers have been hit,” Hall said.
Amazon, which was not immediately available for further comment, is not the only company cutting off ties with Minnesota bloggers and reviewers. Commission Junction, a California-based firm that handles online marketing and advertising, has also pulled out of the state, Hall said. Commission Junction was not immediately ready to comment.
The people affected are part of a grass-roots, independent e-commerce sales force, creating accounts with these companies and posting special links to blog posts, reviews and display ads that credit them for sales. Sometimes they earn a commission, up to 6 percent, Hall said. Some people make tens of thousands of dollars a year.
Amazon has already pulled out of states like California, North Carolina, Colorado, Connecticut, Arkansas, Illinois and Rhode Island for similar reasons.
The online giant called Minnesota’s E-Fairness legislation “unconstitutional” in its lette, and called for federal lawmakers to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act to resolve the confusion of online sales tax policy from state to state.
“Congressional legislation is the only way to create a simplified, constitutional framework to resolve interstate sales tax issues and it would allow us to re-open our Associates program to Minnesota residents,” Amazon said.
Emerging from a private meeting with House Republicans, Boehner said he told his conference that any immigration reform bill that hits the floor has to have the majority support from both parties.
“I don’t see any way of bringing an immigration reform bill to the floor that doesn’t have the majority support of Republicans,” he told reporters.
Senior bankers guilty of reckless misconduct should be jailed, a long-awaited report on banking commissioned by the government has recommended.
The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards was set up by Chancellor George Osborne last year after a number of scandals involving the industry.
Jail reckless bankers, standards commission urges
The cross-party group’s fifth report attacked the lack of accountability of bankers and also said some bonuses should be withheld for up to 10 years.
The Treasury has welcomed the report.
It called it “a very impressive piece of work” and promised to provide a response before the summer recess.
“Where legislation is needed, we have said we will support it, and the banking bill currently before Parliament can be amended to ensure they are quickly enacted,” a spokesman added.
The 571-page report also called on the government to review alternatives for selling off the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), including breaking it up, and demanded action to make the banking market more competitive.
LE BOURGET, France — Boeing Co. won major orders from five customers for a stretched-out version of its popular 787 Dreamliner jet at the Paris Air Show Tuesday, further evidence of a strengthening market for more expensive long-haul jets.
Boeing announced the formal launch of its 787-10 program at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday and says it already has commitments for 102 jets from five customers: Air Lease Corp., Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, International Airlines Group and GE Capital Aviation Services. The new 787-10 lists at $290 million, making the deal worth nearly $30 billion at full price, although customers often negotiate deep discounts.
United remains the only U.S.-based airline to fly the 787, which is steadily winning customers after being beset with problems concerning lithium-ion battery on two Japanese carriers. The plane, like its newest rival the Airbus A350, uses lightweight materials and new engine technology to cut down on fuel consumption at a time of rapidly increasing jet fuel prices. Boeing has said passengers will notice bigger windows and an adjustment in cabin pressure which means they will not suffer from jet lag as badly as on other aircraft.
The original 787 can seat between 210 and 250 passengers. Boeing has started building a longer version, the 787-9, that would hold between 250 and 290 passengers, while the 787-10 would seat between 300 and 330.
The air show is a platform for the race for sales between Boeing and its European rival Airbus, which is hoping that the event spark interest in its A350, its long-haul wide-body rival to the 787. The first A350s are expected to be delivered in mid-2014, after the aircraft receives regulatory approval.
Yegor Borisov, head of the Sakha Republic, a vast and sparsely populated region of eastern Siberia, has called for an urgent cull of wolves after the predators swamped populated areas in a search for food.
The local government has announced a three month “battle against wolves” to be launched on January 15.
Special task forces will be put together and the hunting season extended all year round in a bid to tackle what the local authorities have described as a “mass migration” of the creatures.
The governor has even promised a six-figure cash prize for the hunters who bring back the most skins.
The sparsely populated Sakha Republic, also known as Yakutia, has seen several dramatic confrontations between humans and the animals in recent years.
Last January a “super pack” of 400 wolves laid siege to the remote town of Verkhoyansk, forcing locals to mount patrols on snow mobiles until the government could send in extra help.
Wolves usually hunt in small groups of just six or seven, and naturalists believe only a serious failure of the usual food supply could have brought such a large pack together to tackle larger prey.
This year naturalists say a shortage of the wolves’ traditional pretty – especially blue hares – has seen vast numbers of the hungry animals migrating from their mountainous hunting grounds to central parts of the republic.
While scientists agree a food shortage is at the root of the problem, it is not clear what has impacted the small mammal population. Some naturalists have pointed to cyclical fluctuations in the population of small mammals, but others have suggested unusually harsh winters could have played a role.
There are thought to be about 3,500 wolves in the Sakha Republic, which covers an area larger than Argentina. The local government says the territory can realistically support no more than 500.
While no attacks on humans have been reported recently, the influx of predators into more populated regions has had a big impact on agriculture – especially the region’s traditional reindeer herders.
Wolves killed 313 horses and over 16,000 reindeer in 2012, according to the agriculture ministry.
Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano registered a massive eruption, emitting a plume of ash and gas that reached an altitude of 2.4 miles. Note: video is silent. (June 18)
A day after the cast of an Atlanta sports radio show was fired for mocking Steve Gleason’s battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the former Saints player issued a response.
Team Gleason, an organization named after the former NFL player, posted a statement on its Facebook page Tuesday, accepting the apologies of the radio hosts, and thanking those who defended Gleason.
“… I would like to thank the public for their support,” the statement read. ” ‘Defend Team Gleason’ now has been officially redefined. Additionally, the DJs have provided genuine apology. Received and accepted. We have all made mistakes in this life. How we learn from our mistakes is the measure of who we are.”
Gleason, 36, suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS patients lose the ability to speak and move, which has happened to Gleason.
The show, Mayhem in the AM, was broadcast on 790 The Zone Monday morning.
In a statement Monday, General Manager Rick Mack said the station regrets comments made about ex-New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason.
“790 The Zone, our owners, sponsors and partners in no way endorse or support this kind of content,” Mack said.
The station lists the hosts as Nick Cellini, Steak Shapiro and Chris Dimino.
“I gave them everything on a silver platter, and these dogs didn’t do anything,” she said of the original investigators. She said she had to battle to get key evidence introduced, and deal with detectives who didn’t take her leads seriously. “I’m in this for all of us,” she said of the victims’ mothers. “I feel that she (Jessica) is with me, helping me.”
Finally this year, the state agreed to create a small team of investigators devoted to focusing on the murders. The difference from past cases is that victims are now much more empowered than in the 1990s, prosecutors are more willing to listen to them. Moreover, following the reported disappearances of more than 24,000 people over the last six years in Mexico, a strong tradition has emerged of relatives taking it on themselves to carry out basic investigation tasks that police can’t or won’t do.
“This was done with the creation of the investigative agency, our presence and the efforts of the mothers, who were the ones who provided leads from the beginning,” said Norma Ledesma, leader of the advocacy group Justice for Our Daughters. “They (the mothers) carried out their own investigation.”
“Mothers today know their rights,” Ledesma said.