An Arizona-based advocacy group is accusing US Border Patrol of using the desert’s harsh terrain as a ‘weapon’

Thomson Reuters The US Border Patrol agency has engineered the death and disappearance of tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants by using the desert wilderness as a “weapon”, according to an advocacy group. Agents chase and scatter border crossers across hostile terrain in a strategy that leaves many people injured, dead or lost, turning the US’s south-western frontier into … [Read more...]

Israel could become a counterterrorism training hub for countries worried about ISIS

Thomson Reuters Israel could become a training hub for security and counterterrorism units from Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries concerned about Islamic State and other terrorist groups, according to Michael Brodsky, Israel’s envoy to Kazakhstan.In advance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic visit to Kazakhstan next week, Brodsky wrote in The Astana Times on … [Read more...]

There’s a big change happening to Social Security in 2017 — here’s what you need to know

Allison Shelley/Getty ImagesThe maximum Social Security tax in 2017 will be $7,886.40 per employee, which represents a pretty big increase over 2016. That's the simple answer. Below, find out why the maximum Social Security tax is increasing so much, whether the increase will affect you, and what to expect in the coming years. The maximum Social Security tax in 2017 The current Social Security tax … [Read more...]

Here’s an addict’s take on Duterte’s war on drugs

REUTERS/Ezra Acayan/File PhotoMeth. Syabu. Ice. Crystal: call it what you will, but prices on streets of Manila have fallen. A sachet split three ways that used to cost up to 500 pesos (HK$78) now goes for only 200 pesos. Often “cooked”, Breaking Bad-like, in makeshift, temporary laboratories, the drug is made from a combination of harsh chemicals typically obtained from toxic … [Read more...]

For China, climate change is no hoax – it’s a business and political opportunity

How Hwee Young/AP PhotoIn mid-November, while Americans were preoccupied with election returns, China sent some of its clearest signals yet that it will continue to pursue an international leadership role on issues including climate. At an international climate change summit in Marrakech, the Chinese government reasserted its commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The government … [Read more...]

A lesson on life’s end: How one college class is rethinking doctor training

Thomson ReutersA person’s breath is usually invisible. It’s quiet and automatic, unseen and unheard. It can be so silent that anxious parents hold mirrors next to their newborns’ faces, trying to catch a glimpse of it. But in the days before death, the nature of breath changes. Instead of passing through the body unnoticed, it calls for attention. It becomes noisy, hollowed, … [Read more...]

Florida is stockpiling an untested lethal-injection drug

Associated Press/Sue OgrockiMuch like the rest of the U.S., Florida is running out of lethal-injection cocktails. But the Sunshine State is reportedly now stockpiling new execution drugs, including one that’s apparently never been used in any state. The move raises more questions about the state’s already controversial capital punishment protocol. According to records obtained by … [Read more...]

In Alabama, you can be sentenced to death even if jurors don’t agree

AP/Pat SullivanRonald Bert Smith walked into a Huntsville, Ala., convenience store with a Colt .45 semi-automatic pistol on Nov. 8, 1994, and shot clerk Casey Wilson to death during a robbery captured on video. A jury in August 1995 unanimously convicted Smith of capital murder. Then the jurors, in a 7-5 vote, recommended that the judge sentence Smith to life without parole instead of death. So … [Read more...]

Donald Trump’s conflict-of-interest blind spot

REUTERS/David MoirPresident-elect Trump will face an array of conflicts of interest when he takes office. These conflicts are not minor or isolated. They are legion. And, to use his own favored language, they will be “huge.” His real estate holdings abroad make him vulnerable to offers of favorable treatment (or financial threats) by governments overseas. He stands to personally … [Read more...]

Court blocks New York City from discarding undocumented immigrants’ records

New York City Hall via APA New York state court on Tuesday temporarily stopped New York City from destroying the personal records of hundreds of thousands of municipal I.D. card holders after Republicans argued the records might be needed to track criminals. Seeking to protect illegal immigrants who fear deportation under a President-elect Donald Trump administration, city officials had been … [Read more...]

Homebuyers aren’t ready to be deterred by rising mortgage rates

Last week, rates for a 30-year-fixed mortgage crept up to 4.08 percent, according to the most recent numbers released by Freddie Mac. That’s an increase of a little over half a percent in just three weeks, and the highest rate seen since July of 2015. How will homebuyers react? A Redfin survey in early November asked just that. The majority of homebuyers said that rates were “very … [Read more...]

CHARLES SCHWAB: ‘Take a cautious approach to the bond market’

Scott Olson/Getty Images Major changes in fiscal and monetary policy are on the horizon, significantly altering the outlook for the bond market in 2017. The era of boosting growth with loose monetary policy is giving way to a new era of expansive fiscal policy. The transition began this summer, and we expect it to accelerate under the incoming administration. After seven years of gridlock in … [Read more...]

27 smart things to do with your holiday bonus

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Police respond to reports of shots fired at Nevada school

Washoe Schools (Reuters) - Police and school officials in Reno, Nevada, said officers were responding to a high school on Wednesday after receiving reports of shots being fired. The campus of Procter R. Hug High School was on a "code red" lockdown, though the scene was considered stable and secure, Washoe County School District spokesman Riley Sutton said by phone. The Reno Police Department said … [Read more...]

Congress just passed the 21st Century Cures Act — a massive bill touted to streamline drug approvals

AP Photo/Susan WalshWASHINGTON — It took nearly three years for Congress to pass the 21st Century Cures Act. The next question is: How long will it take the Food and Drug Administration to implement it? The legislation, designed to accelerate the introduction of new medical treatments by speeding up some FDA approval processes and boosting federal funding, passed the Senate Wednesday by a 94 … [Read more...]

Egypt floats its currency

Reuters/Victoria Hazou(Reuters) - Egypt's central bank floated the pound currency on Thursday, devaluing by 32.3 percent to an initial guidance level of 13 pounds to the U.S. dollar in a move to rebalance currency markets after weeks of turbulence. The Egyptian pound had been pegged at 8.8 to the dollar since March, but a shortage of dollars in the economy had put the currency under intense … [Read more...]

2 US military members and 16 Afghan civilians have been killed in northern Afghanistan

REUTERS/Goran TomasevicKUNDUZ, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Two U.S. service members were killed on Thursday while helping Afghan security forces fighting the Taliban around the northern city of Kunduz, the U.S. military said, while Afghan officials reported at least 16 civilians were killed. Although the U.S. military gave no details, Afghan officials said there had been heavy fighting about 5 km (3 … [Read more...]

‘There can be friendship between Trump and Putin’: Cambodia’s prime minister wants Donald Trump to win the US presidential election

Thomson ReutersPHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Thursday he wanted U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump to win next week's election because Trump would reduce tension with Russia and be good for world peace. Hun Sen is a self-styled strongman whose has ruled for three decades. He has at times reacted angrily to U.S. concerns about the state of human rights and … [Read more...]