October 2011 Archives

Welfare and Drug testing contoversy

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The new law that took effect in July that requires applicants to pay for a drug test that would determine their eligbilty for welfare assisstance, has been denied by nearly 1,600 applicants without the requirement of a reason why, according to the New York Times.

A lawsuit brought against Luis Lebron, a navy veteran with a 4-year-old-son, resulted in the dismissal of the case due to the Florida Judge's belief that it infringes forth amendment guarantees.

Lebron is "happy that the judge stood up for me and my rights and said the state can't act without a reason or suspicion," he said, according to the Star Tribune.

Drug testing was also mandated for new state workers, though it was suspended when the American Civil Liberties Union contested the policy. Both sources explain that Florida is the first state to enact such a law, with the exception to Michigan's attempt that failed a decade ago.

"This potential interception of positive drug tests by law enforcement implicates a far more substantial invasion of privacy than in ordinary civil drug testing cases," Federal Judge Mary Scriven said, according to the Star Tribune.

Citizen Takes Justice by His Own Trigger.

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The citizen who pursued and killed Darren Evanovich, age 23, after he robbed a woman of her purse at a Cub Foods store in South Minneapolis on Oct. 20 will not be charged since his actions were led by self-defense; the citizen's name was not identified prosecutors disclaimed, according to the Pioneer Press.

"He didn't have the gun out. He didn't threaten the guy with a gun until he felt threatened. He certainly has a right to demand a purse back," firearms instructor Gary Shade said to the Star Tribune.

Though Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Shade encourage citizens with a permit to carry a weapon not to pursue alleged criminals, it is still hard to deny a citizens right to do his part within his community.

"While this man is to be commended for helping his fellow citizen in need, a note of caution is appropriate," Freeman said, according to the Star Tribune.

China's Distilled Water Plan

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Israeli distillation equipment designed in coordination with the Beijiang Water Desalination Plant is generated by burning coal to distill water for consumption and is located in the Caofeidian island, under the Heibi Province of China.
Beijing receives one-third of its drinking water from the neighboring province, so concern stems from water supply-remains for the people of Heibi, according to Smart Planet.
"Demand for water here is expected to grow 63 percent by 2030," the business information organization Asia Water Project said, provided by the New York Times.
The current Beijiang plant opened this October and produces 50,000 tons of distilled water each day, according to Smart Planet, meanwhile China produces 600,000 tons of desalinated water in total daily.
The New York Times points out that one pitfall reflects the cost of water in China; the production of distilled water costs twice as much as it would sell for, nonetheless the government of China will put forth $3.1 billion for the coming five years.
"China will probably be the world's largest market for desalination by 2020" water industry analyst Jennie Peng said, according to Smart Planet.

"App gap" concerns

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Technological devices such as the iPhone, iPod, and iPad are consuming many aspects of life for both parents and now children, as well student classrooms.
A study conducted by Common Sense Media reported half of the families with income equal to or greater than $75,000 purchase apps specifically designed for their children, while one-third of the families surveyed with income less than $30,000 did not even know what an app was, the New York Times explained.
Colby Zintl, vice president of communications for Common Sense Media, told John Hines from WCCO's Michele Tafoya Show, that the "app gap" study is important because apps are being created by companies specifically designed to teach children, and that the increase use of tablets in schools may create another form of the digital divide.
"Parents like their media, and it's really tough to resist the lure of putting your kid in front of something that purports to be educational and will keep them occupied," Vicktoria Rideout, author of the "Media Use in America" report, said to the New York Times.
The last research study conducted related to this topic was five years ago, prior to the iPhone's existence, according to Hines from the Michele Tafoya Show. However, both sources explained that TV is still the most popular entertainment tool for children today; the New York Times reported that one-third of 2-year-olds have a TV in their bedrooms.

Vikings' teammate suspended

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Cornerback for the Minn. Vikings, Chris Cook, won't be joining the team for Sunday's game after being charged with felony domestic assault.
Saturday at 2:10 a.m. Cook of age 24 was arrested after police found his girlfriend with considerable signs of strangulation at Cook's townhouse located at the 6400 block of Regency Lane, according the Minnesota Daily.
The court will not punish Cook with regards to his status as a national league football player, "Mr. Cook will be prosecuted just like any other person committing this crime," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said, the Star Tribune reported.
Regardless of whether Cook is convicted, he still faces possible fines, suspension, or a probationary period for his actions that go against the National Football League's personal conduct policy, according to the Star Tribune.
The NFL's personal conduct policy states that "Persons who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are guilty of conduct detrimental and subject to discipline, even where the conduct itself does not result in conviction of a crime."

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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