10 Things You Need to Know Today: May 16, 2014

India’s ruling party loses in a landslide, California wildfires flare up, and more
India's next prime minister Narendra Modi greeted supporters Friday. 
India’s next prime minister Narendra Modi greeted supporters Friday.  (AP Photo/ Saurabh Das)

1. India’s ruling party goes down in defeat
Opposition leader Narendra Modi is set to become India’s next prime minister after his Bharatiya Janata Party won a five-week national election in the country’s biggest landslide in decades, according to partial results released Friday. The Indian National Congress, which has long dominated the government, conceded defeat “in all humility.” The result was seen as a protest against a wave of corruption scandals and economic setbacks. [The New York Times]


2. More evacuate as California wildfires flare up
California authorities issued 18,400 new evacuation notices in the San Diego suburb of San Marcos on Thursday after wildfires there flared up just as crews were making progress containing them. Nine unseasonably early fireshave destroyed at least eight houses, an 18-unit condominium complex, and two businesses, and a badly burned body was found in a transient camp. Cooler temperatures are expected to help firefighters regain the upper hand despite the state’s worst drought in decades. [The Associated PressFox News]


3. Workers try to drive separatists out of Ukrainian cities
In a major setback for Russia and Ukrainian separatists, thousands of steelworkers and miners made a push on Thursday to retake several cities in eastern Ukraine from pro-Russian militants. Steelworkers reportedly managed to seize control of the city of Mariupol, which separatists took over several weeks ago. The nationalist workers, who are reportedly all employed by Ukraine’s richest man, also tried to win back the regional capital, Donetsk, but could not immediately drive out their rivals. [The New York Times]


4. VA watchdog reports more complaints of long hospital waits
The Veterans Affairs acting inspector general, Richard Griffin, told Congress on Thursday that new complaints had surfaced about long wait lists and falsified reports at VA hospitals and clinics. Griffin said, however, that he had not confirmed reports that dozens of veterans had died while awaiting treatment. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said he was “mad as hell” about the controversy and promised quick results of an internal audit. [The Associated Press]


5. Judge rules Arkansas gay marriages can resume
An Arkansas judge said Thursday that his ruling declaring the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional applied to all state laws, allowing gay marriages to resume a day after the state Supreme Court had said a law against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples remained in effect. In Idaho, a U.S. appeals court delayed a federal judge’s ruling overturning that state’s gay marriage ban while it considers motions for a longer stay. [Fox NewsReuters]


6. Protesters vent rage at Turkish government over mine disaster
Thousands of trade union members protested Turkey’s worst mining disaster ever on Thursday in cities around the country. Demonstrators clashed with police in the city of Izmir as the death toll in the mine reached 284, with 18 still missing. Public outrage rose against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is preparing a run for president, after one of his aides was caught on camera kicking a protester being held down by police. [BBC News,Montreal Gazette]


7. The Obamas report $2 million to $7 million in assets
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama listed $2 million to $7 million in assets in a financial disclosure report released Thursday. In the report, required of presidents and other officeholders, Obama declared holding $1 million to $5 million in U.S. Treasury notes, along with other holdings in bank accounts, index funds, and college savings plans. Vice President Joe Biden listed $276,000 to $940,000 in assets. [USA Today]


8. J.C. Penney shares rise after brightening quarterly report
J.C. Penney Co. stock jumped as much as 27 percent in late trading Thursday after the struggling department store chain reported its first quarterly sales gain in three years. Penney has lost more than $2.5 billion in three years and is still losing money — but less than expected. Analyst William Frohnhoefer of BTIG LLC said Mike Ullman, who returned as CEO last year, has stabilized the company: “The question is, can he grow it?” [Bloomberg Businessweek]


9. Clippers owner Donald Sterling fights NBA punishment
Disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is refusing to pay a $2.5 million fine issued by the NBA over secretly recorded racist remarks that have been attributed to him, according to Sports Illustrated. Sterling has hired prominent antitrust lawyer Maxwell Blecher, who has written NBA leaders threatening to sue, saying Sterling did nothing to deserve the lifetime ban the league imposed in April, and “no punishment is warranted.” [Sports Illustrated]


10. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is not as great as it used to be
Jupiter’s most distinctive feature — the Great Red Spot — is shrinking, according to a NASA review of images form the Hubble Space Telescope. The spot is a gigantic storm in the planet’s atmosphere that was once as wide as three Earths side by side. It was 14,500 miles across in 1979, and a thousand miles thinner in 1995. Now its width is down to 10,250 miles. Scientists suspect eddies have been altering the storm’s internal dynamics. [CNET]

Today in History: A President Lies

And later admits it
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was definitely not happy about President Truman's lie.
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was definitely not happy about President Truman’s lie. (Bettmann/CORBIS)

May 5, 1960: President Eisenhower denied that a U.S. spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. Eisenhower was lying. The Soviets produced the U.S. pilot, Francis Gary Powers. Eisenhower admitted lying about the incident. At a later Paris peace conference with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Eisenhower refused to apologize. Khrushchev stormed out of the meeting and the Cold War got colder.

Francis Gary Powers — the U-2 spy pilot shot down by the Soviets — was held until 1962, when he was traded for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. Powers later became a traffic reporter for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles; he died in a 1977 helicopter crash. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

May 5, 1962: President Kennedy congratulated the first American in space — Alan Shepard — after his 15-minute mission aboard his Freedom 7 capsule. The capsule, powered by a Redstone missile, propelled Shepard to an altitude of 116 miles. During his 15-minute mission (Shepard did not go into orbit), he was able to see the curvature of the Earth, and described a view never seen by any American before. On May 8, Shepard traveled to the White House to receive a NASA Distinguished Service Medal from President John F. Kennedy. Three weeks later, JFK would announce to a joint session of Congress the goal of sending an American safely to the Moon by the end of the decade.

May 5, 1985: President Reagan angered Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors by visiting a German cemetery — Bitburg — where Hitler’s SS troops were buried. Before going to Bitburg, Reagan also visited the site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, in which victims of Nazi persecution, mostly Jews, were exterminated. At Bergen-Belsen, Reagan stood by a marker identifying a mass grave of 50,000 bodies and said solemnly, “Here they lie. Never to hope. Never to pray. Never to love. Never to heal. Never to laugh. Never to cry.”

Quote of the Day

“I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.” -Harry Truman

10 Things You Need to Know Today: May 5, 2014

Ukrainian separatists storm a police station, nine performers injured in a circus accident, and more
A woman watches as pro-Russia demonstrators storm a government building in Donetsk, Ukraine. 
A woman watches as pro-Russia demonstrators storm a government building in Donetsk, Ukraine.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

1. Ukraine separatists free compatriots from Odessa police station
Pro-Russian separatists — chanting “We will not forgive!” and “Russia!” — stormed a Ukrainian police station in Odessa on Sunday and freed nearly 70 of their allies. Forty-two activists died in a gun battle and fire in the city two days earlier. Odessa police said they had allowed the activists to walk free. The government in Kiev sent a special police unit to restore order and criticized Odessa police for failing to foil “terrorists.” [ReutersThe Washington Post]


2. Circus high-wire performers injured in fall
Nine circus performers were seriously injured Sunday during a high-wire act in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in Providence, Rhode Island. A metal frame the aerialists were hanging from broke loose from its support, sending eight women tumbling as far as 40 feet onto a dancer. “Clearly something went very wrong with this apparatus,” said circus spokesman Stephen Payne. “The safety of our performers is the No. 1 priority.” [USA Today]


3. Portugal says it won’t need more bailout help
Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced Sunday that his government would not need any more bailout money after it gets the last part of its three-year, $108 billion bailout package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund next month. In the future, he said, the country will get the financing it needs from lending markets. The news marked a significant milestone in Europe’s recovery from its debt crisis. [MarketWatch]


4. Research finds “diversity gap” in public schools
Nearly half of the students in public schools are minorities, but only 18 percent of their teachers are non-white, according to studies by the National Education Association and the Center for American Progress. Both groups recommend recruitment efforts to close the “diversity gap.” “Nothing can help motivate our students more than to see success standing right in front of them,” NEA executive committee member Kevin Gilbert said. [The Associated Press]


5. George H.W. Bush honored for breaking tax pledge
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation gave former president George H.W. Bush its 2014 Profile in Courage Award for breaking his “read my lips: no new taxes” campaign pledge to strike a budget compromise in 1990. The controversial move has been cited as a possible reason Bush lost his bid for reelection two years later. “America’s gain was President Bush’s loss,” Jack Schlossberg, a grandson of JFK and a member of the award committee. [Reuters]


6. Rare goblin shark caught in Gulf of Mexico
Shark experts have determined that a beast caught recently off the coast of Florida was a rare goblin shark. The deepwater predator, which feeds on shrimp and squid, was only the second ever caught in the Gulf of Mexico and the first since 2000. Shrimper Carl Moore, who caught the roughly 18-foot shark, threw it back after snapping photos. He said when he saw the fish he remarked, “Man, he’s ugly!” [CNN]


7. Sinn Fein leader released in 1972 murder case
Police in Northern Ireland released Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams with no charges on Sunday after holding him for four days in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville. Former Irish Republican Army fighters have accused Adams, now a member of parliament in the Irish republic, of involvement in a series of killings, which he denies. He says the police timed his arrest to hurt Sinn Fein in elections later in May. [Reuters]


8. Nigerian president vows to find kidnapped girls
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan promised Sunday to rescue the more than 200 high-school girls abducted last month by members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. “Wherever these girls are, we’ll get them out,” he said. Nigeria’s government has faced mounting protests over its handling of the case. About 100 people demonstrated outside the Nigerian High Commission in London on Sunday, chanting, “Bring them back!” [CNN]


9. Bombing kills at least three in Kenya
Three people were killed Sunday in bus bombings in Kenya, a day after more deadly attacks in Mombasa. Nobody immediately claimed responsibility, although the al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab has conducted similar attacks in the past in retaliation for Kenya’s intervention in neighboring Somalia in 2011. [Reuters]


10. San Antonio beats Dallas to advance in NBA playoffs
The San Antonio Spurs pulled off an emotional victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday in the seventh and final game of their first-round series to advance in the NBA playoffs. The Spurs got a lift from star point guard Tony Parker, who scored 32 points on 11 for 19 shooting from the field. The Brooklyn Nets also advanced with a game seven win against Toronto. [The Washington PostThe New York Times]

Top 3 Insane Sex Myths (That Are Actually True)

#3. Hickeys Can Cause Strokes and Paralysis

Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The Myth:

“That weird kid from history class told me that he gave himself that hickey with a vacuum cleaner to make it look like he had a girlfriend.”

“Holy shit, tell him not to do that, man! I met this kid at camp whose friend did that and died.”

Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
Which still barely cracks the top 10 of disturbing vacuum cleaner sex tricks.

The Truth:

In case you don’t know, a hickey, or love bite, is a sign of affection whereby your partner puts their mouth on your neck and sucks so hard that it leaves a long-lasting mark. Yeah, it’s actually pretty fucking weird when you see it written out like that, but what’s weirder is the fact that it can apparently give you a goddamn stroke, which is even less romantic.

A Maori woman from New Zealand freaked out a little when her left arm suddenly stopped workingone day. Needing her arm to do various arm-related things, she decided she should hit up the local ER. When the doctors looked her over, they decided that she’d had a stroke and gave her some blood thinners as part of the standard treatment, although they had no idea what might have caused a healthy woman to stroke out like that.

AwakenedEye/iStock/Getty Images

No, not that kind, either.

But then one of them noticed a bruise on her neck right next to a major artery. The woman told them it was a hickey, presumably rolling her eyes at the clueless nerds. But when they examined it closer, they discovered that the woman had been hickeyed so hard that it had bruised a major artery, which clotted to the point of stroke and potential paralysis. Doctors could find no other recorded examples of this happening, although obviously that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened — it’s not like this is the first thing they check for on stroke victims.

#2. Food Allergies Can Be Transmitted Through Semen

Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

The Myth:

“My hairdresser warned me to be careful, since I’m allergic to peanuts. Her sister’s face swelled up like a balloon when she gave her boyfriend a blow job after he had eaten some trail mix.”

The Truth:

We covered semen allergies before. They’re pretty terrible on their own, what with the baby batter making you swell up and itch or giving you the flu, but the dangers of unprotected sex can be even more subtle than that: It is also possible for food allergies to be triggered by semen if the guy you’re doing the nasty with has recently eaten the thing you’re allergic to.

Krzysztof Ziarnek, via Wikipedia
Which begs the larger question: “Why the hell were you eating ragweed in the first place?”

Just ask the British woman who had what might be the first recorded case of a sexually transmitted allergic reaction. Her boyfriend ate a few handfuls of mixed nuts, but, knowing about his lady friend’s debilitating Brazil nut allergy, he showered and brushed his teeth before making his move. Still, after they finished up, the woman began to experience the tell-tale signs of having ingested nuts, and not the kind of nuts that she thought she’d had in her mouth. After going to the doctor, their fears were confirmed when the doc did one of those skin-prick tests with his nutty semen.

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
“Judging by the giggling coming from the lab, I’m pretty sure your results came back positive.”

That’s right — in what must have been the most awkward hospital visit of all time, the doctor asked him to eat some Brazil nuts and then rub one out into a vial so that he could smear it on his girlfriend’s arm, at which point he would have been right to ask whether he could check the guy’s medical license.

#1. Cheating on Your Spouse Can Cause Injury or Death

Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The Myth:

“You’d better be careful if you’re thinking of cheating on that nice girl, because karma will always catch up with you in the end. Death karma.”

George De Sota/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The kind terrible Seagal movies are named after.

The Truth:

We mentioned earlier that boner fractures are more common among unfaithful partners, due to the “Let’s try it on my motorcycle!” nature of the sex they’re having. But it turns out those guys are getting off easy.

People have been spreading urban legends about infidelity causing death since time immemorial. It’s easy to see why — there’s no better way to discourage immoral behavior than to perpetuate a rumor that God will strike you down for it. But surely, as far as biology is concerned, there shouldn’t be anything dangerous about infidelity, because it’s not like nature cares whether you and the person you’re boning have matching rings, right? Well, here’s where things get weird.

Michael Blann/Photodisc/Getty Images
Weirder, anyway. These are usually some off-the-menu hijinks to begin with.

Sure, people just stop being alive during sex sometimes. That’s not really news, since TV and movies have been playing the “old man dies on top of his young girlfriend” bit for years. Studies report that roughly 1 percent of sudden deaths happen during some bedroom hanky-panky. But here’s the thing: Of that group of people, almost all of them were cheating on their significant other.

That means that if you’re getting some on the side, you might want to make sure you lay off the pork rinds and go for a jog once in a while. Also, some sad news for cheating d-bags everywhere: The fatalities are almost exclusively dudes. Although they were usually with a much younger woman, so we guess that’s a trade-off you’ve got to choose for yourself.

Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
“He died as he lived: drunk under some woman he met on Craigslist.”

As you can guess, the logic is similar to the penis breaks — those older guys in full midlife crisis mode are trying to go extra hard, while also feeling the fear of getting caught and the excitement that comes with banging a secretary in their office. That winds up being a little too much for the ol’ ticker (or whatever other organ was the weak link in their system), and before they know it, they’ve humped their way right off the mortal coil. We’d offer some word of caution here, but it’s not like it would actually stop anyone, right?

Elderly Resident Shoots and Kills Two Young Home Invaders in California

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Here is another great example of guns being used an equalizer. What chance would two elderly people living alone have against two young men in the prime of their life in a physical altercation?

According to neighbors, an elderly, widowed homeowner asked her brother to move into her home due to a string of burglaries in the area.

This turned out to be a good decision according to CBS Sacramento,

According to the Sacramento Police Department, officers were called to the 1000 block of Arcade Boulevard around 12:18 a.m. Sunday for a robbery in progress. Once at the scene, however, officers found that two young men had been shot dead.

Investigators say that one of the occupants of the home confronted the suspects during the burglary and fired a firearm in self-defense. Michele Gigante with Sacramento Police said the occupants of the home are an elderly man and woman, but would not say which of them fired the shots. The man and woman were not injured in the incident.

Police say the two suspects appear to be in their late teens to early twenties. However, the local California media jumped on the chance to use the phrase “Teens Shot Dead” in headlines about the incident.

Based on police comments it sounds like the shooting was clearly self defense and it seems there are no intentions by authorities to pursue charges against the elderly residents.

As a reminder, these two deaths will be included the homicide stats for 2014 that anti-gun groups will surely tout as reasons to increase gun control.

Wake Up America: 1 in 13 U.S. Children Take Psychiatric Drugs

An increasing number of children in America are being labeled, diagnosed and branded. Unique personalities are being scolded and molded by drugs to adapt childhood behavior into societal norms. Children have become like sculptures, motionless, lifeless, as psychiatric drugs chisel away at their natural state of well-being.

Living under a controlled paradigm designed by Drug Companies

The emotional and behavioral differences among children are yoked into compliance, to conformity. A child’s struggles aren’t listened to, aren’t understood. Their differences, behavior and problems are stamped into their mind as if they are a mental illness. Psychiatric drugs are driven down the throats of young people, as pharmaceutical companies expand their controlling influence.

A shocking new study facilitated by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reveals that 1 in 13, or 7.5 percent of US children, are now on some type of psychiatric drug. Taking a step back, it’s as if the lives of people today are controlled by a paradigm designed by drug companies. The potential of free thought is a mere speck of what it could be.

The minds of a generation have been collectively hijacked in the 21st century; an alarming number of parents and medical professionals have become disillusioned in a new age of chemical quick fixes. Mind-altering drugs are pushed onto children with little regard for their natural ability to overcome challenges. The root issues are never dealt with when a drug is issued as the one-size-fits-all band-aid.

A generation ago, all these mental illnesses and ADHD labels were nonexistent. Children’s minds were left unaltered. They were never so psychotically evaluated, labeled and nitpicked like they are today. They were not subjects of a multinational psychiatric drugging machine, which now possesses 1/13 of today’s American culture.

Boys drugged more than girls, belittled in an emasculated culture

The childhood drug study, based on 6- to 17-year-olds, shows another alarming trend; boys are more likely to be prescribed psychiatric drugs than girls. 9.7 percent of boys are drugged compared to 5.2 percent of girls. It’s apparent that these drugs are a way to emasculate boys, as strength is belittled and minds are altered to submit.

The increasing psychiatric diagnoses on children show that medical professionals have generally strayed away from treating people as human beings and have instead become like drug peddlers and distributors. They’ve become mindless themselves, submitting to new labels and diagnoses formulated and made into doctrine through the psychiatrists’ Bible, the DSM. While the American Psychiatric Association believes that medical professionals are doing a better job today at pinning down psychiatric problems in children earlier and responding to them sooner, this is no excuse to drug children out of their wits, out of their problems, personalities, abnormalities, masculinity and/or behavioral differences.

Psychiatric drugs condemn personality differences and throw away discipline

These psychiatric drugs do not teach children how to cope with challenges in life. These drugs replace discipline and perseverance with chemical alterations that harbor physical, emotional, mental and spiritual side effects.

If a psychiatric drug is credited for helping change a child’s behavior or depressive state, then the child is inherently taught to be mentally and spiritually dependent on a substance to cope with life’s tough realities. This drug-care illusion could ultimately be cast onto every human being, since behavioral differences, life challenges and brain chemical imbalances are all possible at some point in every person’s life.

Leaning on drugs to deal with life does not allow time for the chemically imbalanced brain to heal naturally. The brain can become dependent on the chemical alteration while fighting side effects and withdrawals. Important bodily functions like metabolism and sleep can also be adversely affected as well as elicit unnatural changes in communication, violent behavior and lack of empathy for mankind.

Children enrolled in Medicaid drugged more readily

The study also showed that kids enrolled on Medicaid are more likely to be branded and drugged with psychiatrics. Medicaid boasts 9.9 percent of children taking drugs for behavioral problems, as opposed to 6.7 percent of children covered under private insurance.

In the CDC report, the researchers wrote, “Over the past two decades, the use of medication to treat mental health problems has increased substantially among all school-aged children and in most subgroups of children.”

Why have medical professionals and parents settled for a method of labeling and drugging so disempowering and so defeated?

It’s definitely time to take a closer look at the overmedication epidemic going on right now in American culture. It’s time to question the labels, the diagnoses and the blind servitude of psychiatric medicine.

Sources for this article include



While on Phone With 911, 50 Yr Old Woman With a Carry Permit Shoots Home Invader in Detroit

A 50 year old woman in Detroit, who has lived in the same home for 20 years, took her brother’s advice last year when she bought a gun and got her carry permit.

Of course, in this situation, the carry permit wasn’t in play since the incident happened inside the woman’s home, but I always like to point out when carry permit holders use their guns in a defensive situation since anti-gunners like to say it never happens.

The woman armed herself when a 24 year old male broke a window to her home with a crowbar.

Despite repeated warnings from the woman that she was armed and would shoot, the suspect still entered the home.

That’s when the woman opened fire and hit the suspect once in the arm. That was enough to stop the attack right there.

According to local media reports, the woman was on the phone with a 911 operator throughout the incident.

The suspect was taken by authorities to an area hospital for treatment of his wounds, which were described as “temporarily serious”.

Common Core Tests Laced with Corporate Slogans: Are Children Being Indoctrinated?

All across the state of New York, this year’s Common Core English tests have been featuring a host of brand-name products like Barbie, iPod, Mug Root Beer and Life Savers. In addition, for clothing giant Nike, some tests even included the shoe company’s well-known slogan, “Just Do It.”

According to Fox News and other sources, the brand names appeared on tests that more than 1 million students in grades three through eight were required to take in April, “leading to speculation it was some form of product placement advertising.”

State education officials and the publisher of the test say the brand references were not paid product placements but just happened to be included in previously published packages selected for the tests.

But some critics aren’t sold on that explanation. They have questioned why specific brand names would have to be mentioned at all.

“It just seems so unnecessary,” Josh Golin, associate director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which monitors marketing directed at children, told the news channel.

“It would be horrible if they were getting paid for it,” he said. “But even if they’re not, it’s taking something that should not be a commercial experience and commercializing it.”

‘Why are they trying to sell me something?’

The test questions have yet to be made public. Teachers and principals, meanwhile, are barred from discussing them.

However, teachers who have posted anonymously on education blogs complained that some students became confused by the brand names, which were accompanied with their respective trademarked symbols.

As reported by Fox News:

The Nike question was about being a risk taker and included the line, “‘Just Do It’ is a registered trademark of Nike,” according to students who took the test.

Sam Pirozzolo, of Staten Island, whose fifth-grader encountered the Nike question, said there was apparently no reason for such a specific brand.

“I’m sure they could have used a historical figure who took risks and invented things,” Pirozzolo said. “I’m sure they could have found something other than Nike to express their point.”

West Hempstead, Long Island, resident Deborah Poppe said her eighth-grade son was also puzzled by a question, which spawned complaints for a second year in a row, about a busboy who failed to clean some spilled root beer — Mug Root Beer, to be exact, which is a registered trademark of PepsiCo.

‘”Why are they trying to sell me something during the test?'” she quoted her son as saying. “He’s bright enough to realize that it was almost like a commercial.”

Use of brand names was just one of numerous complaints about Common Core that have been raised by parents across New York and around the country. The standards are allegedly intended to increase academic rigor, but the product naming sounds more like brand indoctrination than anything else.

Some who have complained about the testing say questions are too difficult and they don’t actually measure what a student is learning.

As for the branding, that appears to be endemic to New York, at least for now.

‘Branding on tests in inappropriate’

New York State Education Department officials, along with Pearson — the education publishing giant with a $32 million five-year contract to develop New York’s tests, said companies did not pay to be put on tests.

“There are no product placement deals between us, Pearson or anyone else,” said Tom Dunn, an Education Department spokesman. “No deals. No money. We use authentic texts. If the author chose to use a brand name in the original, we don’t edit.”

Stacy Kelly, a spokeswoman for Pearson, told Fox News that neither her company nor the NY state education department received any compensation for the product mentions. And if any brand happens to come up in the testing, “the trademark symbol is included in order to follow rights and permission laws and procedures.”

Some advertising experts criticized the idea of product placement on tests, saying it was inappropriate.

“If any brand did try to place there, what they would lose from the outrage would surely trump any exposure they got,” Michal Ann Strahilevitz, a marketing professor at Golden Gate University, told Fox.






Students, It’s Illegal To Wear An American Flag Shirt On Cinco De Mayo

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Students in a California school district will not be allowed to wear American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo, due to concerns that such displays of patriotism would inflame racial tensions by offending Mexican students on their holiday.

The district’s policy concerned many free speech advocates, but was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In response, Tea Party groups plan to protest outside Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill. And theywill be wearing American flag T-shirts.

“They silenced a symbol of patriotism and freedom in America,” said Georgine Scott-Codiga, president of the Gillroy-Morgan Hill Patriots, in a statement to KCBS.

The trouble dates back to Cinco de Mayo in 2010, when the school forced four students to remove their American flag T-shirts. Administrators worried that fighting would break out between white and Latino students if the shirts were noticed, and so the four offending students were sent home.

The practice of limiting one group’s free speech rights because that speech might cause another group to react violently is known as the “heckler’s veto.” It is understood by free speech enthusiasts to have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights. 

The Ninth Circuit, however, ruled in February that the school was legally permitted to abridge white students’ free speech rights in service of Latino students’ feelings.

The Tea Party protest is focused on the free speech issue, said Scott-Codiga.

Police will being standing by in case things get out of hand.

Shop Owner Shoots, Kills Armed Robber, Accomplice Now Facing Murder Charges for His Friend’s Death


A 16 year old Texas teenager finds himself facing murder charges after he and two friends encountered an armed citizen during an attempted armed robbery.

Under Texas law, you can be charged with murder if anyone dies while you are committing a crime, even if you didn’t pull the trigger yourself.

According to Valley Central,

Pharr police said Perez, the 16-year-old and another suspect attempted to rob Deuce’s Smoke Shop in Pharr early Monday morning.

Three suspects stormed the shop wearing hoodies and when the three gunmen walked in, they shouted “hands up!”

The owner of the smoke shop told Action 4 News that he feared for his life especially when he saw three armed suspects walk through the front door.

Investigators said the owner, who feared for his life, reached for his gun and fatally shot 18-year-old Perez.

The third suspect is still on the loose.

Police say that this same shop has been robbed once before. That time the thieves were luckier and made off with some cash and a gun.