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Exclusive: U.N. report accuses Saudi coalition of deadly migrant boat attack off Yemen

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. investigators accused a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition of carrying out a deadly March attack on a Somali migrant boat off Yemen and said the alliance had become a cover for some states to avoid individual blame, according to a confidential report seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

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Massachusetts lawmaker Diana DiZoglio urges Gov. Charlie Baker to veto marijuana law rewrite – MassLive.com


MassLive.com

Massachusetts lawmaker Diana DiZoglio urges Gov. Charlie Baker to veto marijuana law rewrite
MassLive.com
Diana DiZolgio, a Massachusetts state representative from Methuen, is asking Gov. Charlie Baker to veto the bill rewriting the state's marijuana laws, arguing that the legislation doesn't go far enough in setting aside money for substance abuse issues.

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Exclusive: U.N. report accuses Saudi coalition of deadly migrant boat attack off Yemen

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. investigators accused a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition of carrying out a deadly March attack on a Somali migrant boat off Yemen and said the alliance had become a cover for some states to avoid individual blame, according to a confidential report seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

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Good Intentions, Bad Outcomes: New at Reason

Government programs that don’t work as intended ought to be cut.

A. Barton Hinkle writes:

If we judged everything by intentions rather than results, the world would be a strange place indeed. Steve never calls his mother on her birthday, but he always means to, so isn’t he a wonderful son?

That goes for government as well: If we judged laws only according to what their sponsors intended, then every law and every program that has ever been enacted has been an unqualified success. After all, nobody intends for things to go wrong—right?

And yet things do go wrong. The news is full of examples.

Take civil asset forfeiture, one particularly dubious form of which Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviving. The intention behind civil asset forfeiture—a practice in which the government seizes the property of suspected criminals—is brilliant: Confiscate the ill-gotten gains, auction them off, and then use the proceeds to finance investments in law enforcement. Using criminals’ own resources against them: It’s law enforcement jiu-jitsu!

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Good Intentions, Bad Outcomes: The Story of Government

If we judged everything by intentions rather than results, the world would be a strange place indeed. Steve never calls his mother on her birthday, but he always means to, so isn’t he a wonderful son?

That goes for government as well: If we judged laws only according to what their sponsors intended, then every law and every program that has ever been enacted has been an unqualified success. After all, nobody intends for things to go wrong—right?

And yet things do go wrong. The news is full of examples.

Take civil asset forfeiture, one particularly dubious form of which Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviving. The intention behind civil asset forfeiture—a practice in which the government seizes the property of suspected criminals—is brilliant: Confiscate the ill-gotten gains, auction them off, and then use the proceeds to finance investments in law enforcement. Using criminals’ own resources against them: It’s law enforcement jiu-jitsu!

It’s also an unmitigated disaster. In practice, giving police officers a financial incentive to seize people’s property without having to bring any criminal charges against them is a recipe for wanton abuse. Thousands of innocent Americans have been robbed at the hands of the very people who are supposed to be protecting them. The problem has grown beyond repeated congressional efforts to contain it. It has even grown so bad that two of the originators behind the idea have called for an end to forfeiture because “government self-interest corrupted a crime-fighting tool into an evil.”

Not every case is quite so extreme. But many are still bad enough. Consider a Kentucky program aimed at reviving poor rural areas by retraining workers to become computer programmers. The effort to breathe new life into the coalfields was part of President Obama’s TechHire Initiative, and was conducted in concert with the Appalachian Regional Commission.

According to a report from The Daily Signal, the job-training program was intended to turn out 200 skilled workers who could write code for smartphone apps and similar high-tech ventures. But the effort has fallen short: After $1.6 million, only 17 program participants have landed tech jobs. Some are quite happy with where they landed, but others who went through the program are not: “I am now in a job that has absolutely nothing to do with programming,” says one.

A spokesman for the company contracted to provide the training says the company isn’t to blame: There were “more challenges than expected when it came to personal development and growth,” she said, citing a lack of “basic business environment skills” such as personal attire and communication.

But once you set aside the question of whether former coal miners clean up nicely, there’s still the grim fact that a federal program to help communities partake in the 21st century economy could scare up fewer than 20 jobs. That’s swell for the individuals, but it’s not going to bring an entire geographic region back to life. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam—who has his own plans for reviving rural Virginia with “new-collar” jobs—might want to take note.

The Trump administration, which has proposed shutting down the Appalachian Regional Commission, also recently announced that it would be cutting $100 million in grants for teen pregnancy prevention. This promptly led to an epidemic of pearl-clutching at media outlets that think the surest cure for any problem is a tractor-trailer full of somebody else’s money.

But as The Federalist‘s Mollie Hemingway pointed out, the programs funded by the grants are remarkably ineffective. The Department of Health and Human Services’ own analysis found that many of them either (a) did not reduce rates of teenage sexual activity, unprotected sex, sex without birth control, or pregnancy or (b) reduced the rates only for a short while. In one case, girls who went through the funded program actually “reported becoming pregnant at a higher rate” than girls in a different program.

If the programs are not doing what they are being funded to do, then why continue to fund them?

Granted: Some—maybe even many—government programs do exactly what they are supposed to, and they do it well. But that is far from universally true. Two years ago, for instance, the Department of Labor released an analysis of the Re-Integration of Ex-Offenders (RExO) program, which is supposed to help former prison inmates rejoin society. The analysis found “no effect” on recidivism, mental health, substance abuse, housing, or child support. And the effects on employment, “while statistically significant,” were “quite small in practical terms.”

So Washington canceled the program, right?

Of course not. It was renamed, and continues as the Reentry Employment Opportunity program. Because after all, it’s full of good intentions.

This column originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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Exclusive: U.N. report accuses Saudi coalition of deadly migrant boat attack off Yemen

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. investigators accused a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition of carrying out a deadly March attack on a Somali migrant boat off Yemen and said the alliance had become a cover for some states to avoid individual blame, according to a confidential report seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Read More

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Google just killed off one of its biggest features – and you won’t even notice

Google Search just killed off Instant, one of the most unique features of its desktop search engine – and one you probably never used. For those not familiar with the nomenclature, Instant was first introduced in 2010 and provided immediate search results as you type them on a desktop. While Google will continue to provide search suggestions as you type, it won’t actually load any search results until you select one of those suggestions or press enter. Here’s a video of how Instant worked if you need a refresher: The company provided the following statement to Search Engine Land, which…This story continues at The Next Web
Or just read more coverage about: Google

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Marijuana stocks have mostly been unstoppable – Motley Fool

Marijuana stocks have mostly been unstoppable
Motley Fool
According to both the 2016 Gallup poll and the more recent CBS News poll, an all-time record percentage of respondents — 60% and 61%, respectively — want to see marijuana legalized across the country. If pollsters focus purely on medical cannabis, …

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Ohio-based retailer partnering with Canadian medical marijuana company – Dayton Daily News


Dayton Daily News

Ohio-based retailer partnering with Canadian medical marijuana company
Dayton Daily News
Officials from a Canadian medical marijuana company say they partnered with a Columbus family known for fashion retailers American Eagle and DSW — as well as an Ohio State University sports arena — to help score some home turf advantage as they …

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25 marijuana gardens on tribal land raided in Northern California – East Bay Times


East Bay Times

25 marijuana gardens on tribal land raided in Northern California
East Bay Times
The County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team led a raid on about 25 marijuana gardens on Sherwood Valley tribal land in Willits on Tuesday, assisted by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. The team, including Mendocino County Sheriff's Office …

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Colorado district attorney says marijuana is ‘gateway drug to homicide’ – NBC4i.com

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Marijuana enforcement gets huge win with Hoppz’ Cropz, more busts on the way – KOAA.com Colorado Springs and Pueblo News


KOAA.com Colorado Springs and Pueblo News

Marijuana enforcement gets huge win with Hoppz' Cropz, more busts on the way
KOAA.com Colorado Springs and Pueblo News
The first major enforcement move to stop illegal marijuana gifting through storefronts is taking place. The Colorado Attorney General in town today announcing an indictment of Hoppz' Cropz, a marijuana gift shop, its owner and employees. The AG says

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