Amid ongoing controversy over its scrutiny of nonprofits, the Internal Revenue Service has decided it will no longer screen approximately 80% of the organizations seeking tax-exempt charitable status each year, a change that will ease the creation of small charities while doing away with a review intended to counter fraud and prevent political and other noncharitable groups from misusing the tax code.
Lawrence Lessig on His Super PAC to End Super PACs’PAC to End PACs’ Hits $5 Million Funding GoalNew Home: Most Migrant Kids Who Cross Border Can Stay NBC NewsAdmit It, You’re Only Pretending To Like These 23 Things Huffington PostWrecked Costa Concordia Floats Once Again NBC News
As of July 1, any group that pays a $400 fee and declares on a three-page online form that it has annual income of less than $50,000, total assets of less than $250,000 and is in compliance with the tax-code requirements of a charity will automatically be allowed to accept donations that are tax-deductible for the donors. Previously the groups had to fill out a detailed 26-page form, submit multiple supporting documents and provide a narrative description of their intended activities.
Another tale of egregious science reporting, this time “Time” magazine is the culprit.
This is like the old game of telephone. Communicate a message from person to person to person and watch how the original message disintegrates.
The message in question started as a basic research paper in the journal Medicinal Chemistry Communications - entitled:
The synthesis and functional evaluation of a mitochondria-targeted hydrogen sulfide donor, (10-oxo-10-(4-(3-thioxo-3H-1,2-dithiol-5-yl)phenoxy)decyl)triphenylphosphonium bromide (AP39)
That journal is not quite on the regular reading lists of newsrooms around the globe. Ah, but that’s why universities issue news releases.
And, in what appears to be a news-release-driven story, that research at the University of Exeter in the UK is drawing attention around the globe - apparently because a university news release about the research stated:
“It may smell of flatulence and have a reputation for being highly toxic, but when used in the right tiny dosage, hydrogen sulfide is now being being found to offer potential health benefits in a range of issues, from diabetes to stroke, heart attacks and dementia.”
The news release said “The research is being conducted in several models of disease, and pre-clinical results are promising,” but didn’t explain what those models were. I’m going to bet that many of the journalists who wrote about this don’t even know that pre-clinical means this isn’t human research.
In an interview with Jim Schneider of VCY America on Tuesday, anti-immigrant activist William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC claimed that in the event of a U.S.- China war over the Taiwan Strait, China will recruit undocumented immigrants to fight the U.S. from within and will then give them American land, a move he compared to Abraham Lincoln giving land to former slaves after recruiting blacks to fight in the Civil War.
“Once again, with China, the Pentagon has reports from war colleges saying, ‘We’ve got large groups of people’ — and they won’t say who they are, but they’re talking about the 20-plus million illegal immigrants — they’re like, ‘We’ve got large groups of people that might not be fond of the Constitution that could be called upon by a foreign power in case of conflict,” Gheen said.
“What they’re talking about is, let’s say that the United States and China end up having to go to war tomorrow over the Taiwan Strait. Well, all the sudden, China pulls an Abraham Lincoln on us and says, ‘Hey, illegals, we’ll give you the whole place, just punch America in the gut for us.’ And America won’t be able to sustain our fleet. America can be taken out by a sneak attack from within.”
Women may soon bid farewell to birth control pills and welcome a new type of contraception in the form of microchip implants. An MIT startup backed by the Bill Gates Foundation plans to start pre-clinical testing for the birth control chip next year and pave the way for a possible market debut in 2018.
The fingernail-size microchip implant holds enough 30-microgram daily doses of levonorgestrel—a hormone already used in several contraceptives—to last for 16 years. Women who received the implant under the skin of buttocks, upper arm or abdomen would also get a remote control that allows them to halt or restart the implant whenever they like, according to MIT Technology Review.
MicroCHIPS, the MIT startup behind the birth control implant, developed a clever design for a titanium and platinum seal that temporarily melts when an internal battery sends an electric charge running through the seal. That lasts just long enough for the melted seal to release the daily dose of levonorgestrel from the microchip reservoirs.
In May, the web site theoatmeal.com published a cartoon reviewing the Tesla Model S. In the second half of the review, the cartoonist, Matthew Inman, pointed out that while Tesla Motors was perfectly free to use inventor Nikola Tesla’s name without any family connection, it might be nice to show the company’s respect for Tesla the man by donating to an effort to build a Tesla museum in Shoreham, N.Y., at the site of Nikola Tesla’s laboratory. At the time, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had already contributed $2500 to the successful Indiegogo campaign to buy the property. Inman asked for more—$8 million more—to build a museum on the property. Musk quickly tweeted, “I would be happy to help.”
Alex White could have predicted it. Actually, he did. White, 28, is the co-founder of a company called Next Big Sound (“Making data useful”), which, as its name and slogan imply, uses computer algorithms to determine which musical acts are about to take off.
“We are making these predictions and drawing a line in the sand…It is sort of a mix of art and science.”
Launched in 2009, and widely consulted by the mainstream music industry, the company crunches consumption data from social media and music-streaming sites, tracks buzz on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and YouTube, and collects private sales figures from clients and partners to inform its predictions. Its engineers and analysts—some of whom hail from data positions at Microsoft, the New York Yankees (think Moneyball), and the Department of Defense—compile everything into a ranking system.
The company’s Social 50 chart lists the internet’s most talked-about acts—the Beyoncé’s of the world—while its Next Big Sound chart lists the hottest up-and-comers. St. Paul and the Broken Bones, as it happens, showed up at the top of the latter chart about a week before its March SXSW showcase. “I learned that we were number one on something,” Janeway recalls with a full-bodied laugh. “And I thought, ‘Oh! We are number one on something!’”
Can you say “GOP Obstructionism?” Yes, we can all say that in truth.
As part of his proposal for dealing with the crisis of child migrants crossing the border, President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion in funding that would be used for, among other things, hiring more judges for the nation’s 59 immigration courts. Those courts have been overwhelmed by the influx of kids coming to the United States without parents or other relatives. But they were overwhelmed even before the children started showing up, in large part because of Republicans’ unwillingness to fund and staff them like other federal courts.
For years, since the second Bush administration radically stepped up, and Obama continued, deportation efforts targeted at undocumented immigrants, advocates have been begging Congress to beef up the funding for the courts that must process those new cases. As far back as 2006, then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales recognized that the immigration courts were woefully understaffed to process a backlog of cases that back then stood at 169,000. Gonzales called for more funding to increase resources for the courts, including adding more 40 judges.
But then his office proceeded to attempt to fill those jobs (and others at the Department of Justice) with political hacks who couldn’t make it through the Senate confirmation process to land on a regular federal court. (Immigration courts fall under the jurisdiction of the DOJ, and their judges don’t require Senate confirmation.) One example: Carey Holliday, a Louisiana delegate to the 2004 GOP convention who made headlines for trash-talking former Mother Jones editor Michael Moore, who was at the convention filing dispatches for USA Today.
The last time anyone saw Russel Rebello alive, he was near the stern of the Costa Concordia, helping passengers into rescue boats.
But the 33-year-old waiter from India never escaped the doomed cruise ship. And he’s the only victim of the 2012 shipwreck whose remains haven’t been found.
Investigators hope that could change soon. On Monday morning, salvage crews began the arduous task of trying to refloat the ship so they can move it to the Italian port of Genoa to be dismantled
Israel’s military said it downed a drone along its southern coastline on Monday, the first time it encountered such a weapon since its campaign against the Gaza Strip militants began last week.
The drone came from Gaza and was shot down near the southern city of Ashdod, the military said. It did not say what the drone was carrying and there was no immediate confirmation from Gaza on the use of unmanned aircraft.
Since the latest bout of fighting began last Tuesday, militants have fired nearly 1,000 rockets at Israel, causing some injuries and damage to property, but no fatalities among Israelis. By contrast, 172 Palestinians have died as a result of Israel’s air attacks.
The Chicago jail and many of its 3,300 counterparts across the country have become treatment centers of last resort for people with serious mental illnesses, most arrested for non-violent crimes. And like other jails, it is awash in a tide of booking and releases that make it particularly unsuited for the task.
U.S. jails, most of whose 731,000 inmates are trying to make bail or awaiting trial, hold roughly half the number in prisons. But last year, jails booked in 11.7 million people - 19 times the number of new prison inmates. The revolving door complicates the task of screening for mental illness, managing medications, providing care and ensuring inmate safety.
“Jails are churning people,” says Henry J. Steadman, a consultant to government agencies on how courts and correctional facilities deal with people with mental illnesses.