USDA: Nearly 36,000 Retailers Engaged in Food Stamp Fraud

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has published a report estimating that 35,891 food retailers around the country engaged in food stamp fraud, illegally “trafficking” more than $1 billion in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits annually over the three-year period from 2012 through 2014.

“Retailer trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits occurs primarily when SNAP recipients sell their benefits for cash to food retailers, often at a discount,” the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service said in a summary of the report.

“SNAP benefits are permitted for the purchase of eligible food items from authorized food retailers,” said the report. “The sale or exchange of SNAP benefits for anything other than food sold by an authorized SNAP retailer is illegal.”

CNS News

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Washington Infringes Gun Rights of Law-Abiding Citizens Following FL Tragedy

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With calls for stricter gun regulations intensifying across the nation following the deadly Florida school shooting which killed 17 people recently, the Washington State Legislature on Tuesday passed a bill to ban bump stocks an add-on device that allows a semi-automatic rifle to function almost like a fully automatic weapon.

The Bump Stock Ban bill was passed Tuesday on a 31-18 vote after the Washington Senate accepted the changes made by the House of Representatives. Before giving it a green signal, the House on Friday made one change to the bill, thus allowing people who already possess bump stocks to sell them to the Washington State Patrol or a local law enforcement agency for $150, the Seattle Times reported.

The bill now requires the approval of Gov. Jay Inslee, who is expected to sign it soon. Once the new legislation sets in, manufacture or sale of bump fire stocks in Washington will become illegal from July 1. Also, it would become illegal to own or possess a bump stock in the state from July 2019.

“It is crucial that we ensure that weapons are not turned into illegal machine guns,” Democratic Sen. Manka Dhingra said after the passage of the bill. “I think the culture has changed, where a lot of people really want to see sensible, targeted gun legislation.”

IB Times

Supreme Court: Illegals Don’t Have “Automatic Right to Freedom”

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Immigrants being held for deportation don’t have an automatic right under the law to post bond and be set free, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a decision that could give the Trump administration more freedom to pursue stiff detention policies for illegal immigrants who show up at the border claiming asylum.

In the 5-3 ruling, the justices also took a dim view of the kinds of class-action lawsuits on behalf of immigrants that have become a key tool for anti-Trump immigrant rights activists, leaving the activists worried about the fates of other cases winding their way through the lower courts challenging President Trump on issues such as illegal immigrant Dreamers and Iraqi deportees.

The ruling was also a rebuke by the high court to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which had its decision overturned.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. chided the 9th Circuit for ignoring the text of immigration laws and creating a legal standard for bail hearings “out of thin air” by requiring that immigrants be given periodic bail hearings.

Washington Times

Bill Gates Slams Bitcoin, Praises Automation

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates has expressed major reservations about cryptocurrencies, warning that due to their use in the purchase of illegal dangerous drugs, crypto is actually killing people “in a fairly direct way.”

During a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Tuesday – his sixth on the forum – Gates discussed various issues, from quantum computing, to how automation will affect society, and the technological advances he’s most looking forward to over the next decade.

Then Redditer Askur1337 posed the question: “What’s your opinion on Crypto Currencies?” The tech billionaire responded with a word of caution, flagging his concerns over both anonymity of cybercurrencies and, more ominously, their role in “causing deaths.”

RT

Trump Could Set Stage For Millions to Shed Student Loan Debt

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Total household debt has climbed to a record $13 trillion.

One factor driving overall American indebtedness higher is the ever-increasing burden of student loans, and a policy change being mulled by the Trump administration could cause that student loan bubble to pop.

Student loan debt stands at a staggering $1.4 trillion, owed by some 44.2 million borrowers. The average class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt. That represents a 6% increase from the previous year.

Outstanding student loan balances increased by 1.5% in Q4 2017 and delinquency levels remain high.

Schiff Gold

Human Brain Still Active 5 Minutes After Heart Stops Beating

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Neurologists studying the brains of nine patients as they died have found surprising information about what happens to your brain after it dies.

According to the new study, death is marked by a final wave of electrical activity in our brains called “spreading depression.”

This “spreading depression” is a final flurry of activity that occurs in the brain before it finally shuts down, according to the experts.

The findings suggest that it could be possible to reboot the brain for as long as three to five minutes after a human heart stops beating or ceases to show signs of life.

London Independent

Bayer to Win EU Approval For $62.5 Billion Monsanto Deal

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German drug and crop chemical maker Bayer (BAYGn.DE) is set to gain conditional European Union antitrust approval for its $62.5 billion bid for world No. 1 seed company Monsanto (MON.N), two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The takeover, the latest in a series in the agribusiness sector in recent years, would create a company with a share of more than a quarter of the world seed and pesticide market.

Bayer has already pledged to sell certain seed and herbicide assets for 5.9 billion euros ($7.2 billion) to BASF (BASFn.DE) to address EU regulatory concerns.

The company will also give BASF a license to its digital farming data, and it appears BASF will have exclusive access as Bayer has not offered a legal obligation to license to other rivals, a person with knowledge of the matter has told Reuters.

Reuters

BAYER KNOWINGLY INFECTED CONSUMERS WITH HIV

Feds Refuse to Reclassify Pot Despite Owning Medicinal Patent on its Benefits

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On Monday, a federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a request to reclassify marijuana — currently a Schedule I drug, leaving the plaintiffs in a limbo after many states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

The plaintiffs — Marvin Washington, Dean Bartell, Alexis Bartell, Jose Belen, Sebastien Cotte, Jagger Cotte, along with the Cannabis Cultural Association Inc. — filed the petition challenging classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, hoping that it’s reclassification would pay way for legalization of cannabis across the nation. They sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the federal court.

They petitioners claimed that the “current scheduling of marijuana violates due process because it lacks a rational basis.”

For decades, Marijuana has been under the Schedule I category of the Controlled Substances Act, the highest level of drug classification making it on par with dangerous drugs like heroin. The government has repeatedly rejected appeals for reclassification. The substances in this schedule have “a high potential for abuse,” (2) “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and (3) there is “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.”

IB Times

Trasgender Clinic Experiments on Kids

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An Ohio pro-life group called out a Cincinnati hospital clinic for “experimenting” on transgender kids before knowing the effects of or approving many of the treatments it’s implementing.

“Stop experimenting on our children and start caring for them the way Cincinnati Children’s Hospital was designed to,” Citizens for Community Values (CCV) executive director Aaron Baer said at a news conference Monday. “We’re demanding they research this,” he added, according to Cincinnati.com.

He also indicated the CCV will file ethics complaint. Religious and education freedom, free speech, strong families and the right to life are among the group’s core issues it focuses on most heavily.

Daily Caller News Foundation

Same People Behind Failed Agent Orange Study in Charge of Vaccine Safety at CDC

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When historians write about the Vaccine Decades (1976–2020), there are two names that will live in infamy: Dr. Frank DeStefano, and Dr. Coleen Boyle.

In the 1980s, Congress mandated Agent Orange studies. Frank and Coleen ended the studies two years early, ensuring that “no link” would be found between illnesses being reported by injured veterans and dioxin. The early termination of the study allowed the US Department of Veterans Affairs to deny any connection between Agent Orange and medical problems, preventing veterans and their families from qualifying for compensations. Here’s your hurt, what’s your hurry. The Boyle/Destefano team bamboozle was outed by Admiral Zumwalt who went to the President and laid out the science in a classified report (now declassified):

Without exception, the experts who reviewed the work of the Advisory Committee disagreed with its findings and further questioned the validity of the Advisory Committee’s review of studies on non — Hodgkin’s lymphomas .

World Mercury Project