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Sun, 28 Aug 2016
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Consumer-culture values are detrimental to many children

© iStock.com/princigalli
Children who turn to consumer culture can enter a 'downward spiral' in terms of their well-being and popularity, a new study shows
The pressure to be cool, look good and own the 'right stuff' is detrimental to many children and teenagers, according to new research by University of Sussex psychologists.

The study shows that, while many young people buy into consumer culture believing it will make them feel better about themselves and help them to make friends, often the reverse happens.

The result is a negative downward spiral, say the researchers, whereby those with low well-being turn to consumerist values, which impacts further still upon their state of mind.


11 attacks confirmed along Phoenix interstate in spate of serial freeway shootings

© Arizona Department of Public Safety / Reuters
A bullet hole is shown in a windshield of a car that was traveling on Interstate 10 in Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona police confirmed an eleventh attack on Thursday in a spate of serial freeway shootings near Phoenix along Interstate 10. In the latest incident, a bullet pierced the side of a tractor-trailer.

Police said no one was hurt in the incident and that they could be dealing with more than one gunman. They are investigating another incident where a projectile damaged the window of a car, according to NBC News.

The shootings began on August 29 along a route used by hundreds of thousands of people in Phoenix, Arizona. To date, no one has been killed.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey pleaded for the public's help on Thursday.

"I'd ask Arzionans to remain alert and aware, and we are going to find who's doing this and bring them to justice," Ducey said during a press conference.


New York first state to mandate $15 wage for fast food workers

© Carlo Allegri / Reuters
New York will raise the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 per hour, marking the first time any US state has agreed to raise the industry's wages that high. The governor said he will try to increase the minimum wage for all workers next.

Fast food workers' wages will reach a minimum of $15 an hour by 2018 in New York City, while they will have to wait until 2021 in the rest of the state. Notably, the move did not require action by state lawmakers because the issue fell under the jurisdiction of the State Labor Commission, which approved the proposal on Thursday.

Once the wage increase kicks in, it could affect approximately 200,000 fast food workers in the state.

Speaking at a New York City event with Vice President Joe Biden at his side, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo turned attention to raising wages outside of the fast food industry. He pledged to work towards a $15 minimum wage for all workers across the state. Currently, New York's minimum wage of $8.75 is set to hit $9 per hour by the end of the year.

Eye 2

Police release video showing brutal restraint and fatal tasering of mentally ill woman

© FairfaxCountySheriff / YouTube
Still from the video showing Fairfax County deputies in full biohazard gear restraining Natasha McKenna on February 3, 2015
Fairfax County has released the video of deputies struggling with a mentally ill woman, who died after being repeatedly shocked with a stun gun. Virginia authorities declined to press charges, ruling the death of Natasha McKenna a 'tragic accident.'

The 46-minute video shows the team of deputies, dressed in full biohazard gear with shields and masks, wrestle McKenna on the ground and struggle with her for over 20 minutes.

"You promised you wouldn't kill me," McKenna says as she stumbles out of the cell, naked. "I didn't do anything." At one point, she is shocked by a taser four times, and passes out. She lapsed into a coma and died several days later.

McKenna, 37, was arrested in January for attacking a police officer in nearby Alexandria. She had a documented history of mental illness, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. The recorded incident happened on February 3, a team of six deputies was sent to retrieve McKenna from her cell and transport her to Alexandria for a hearing.



Retired tennis pro James Blake tackled and handcuffed by abusive NYPD cop

© Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Mr. Blake playing a match last month in Connecticut
The New York Police Department is investigating an episode in which James Blake, a retired top-10 professional tennis player, said he was pushed to the ground outside his hotel by a police officer on Wednesday and handcuffed by several officers who had mistaken him for a suspect in a fraudulent credit card operation.

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said in an interview on Wednesday on NY1 that Mr. Blake's account was "very disturbing."

"He has a right to be upset about it," Mr. Bratton said.

By late evening, the police had reviewed a video that showed the officer taking Mr. Blake to the ground, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.

That officer is expected to be placed on modified assignment as soon as Thursday, the official said, and added, "The bottom line is they got the wrong guy."

Mr. Blake, 35, who retired two years ago and was in town making appearances for corporate sponsors at the United States Open, was leaving the Grand Hyatt Hotel on East 42nd Street for the Open around noon when he was accosted by a plainclothes officer, he said in an interview with The Daily News.


One Marine killed and 18 injured in vehicle accident at military base

© AP
One Marine was killed and 18 others injured Thursday in a single-vehicle rollover crash during routine training at Camp Pendleton Marine Base.

First Lt. Colleen McFadden said she had very few details to release, including what type of vehicle rolled over or the extent of the injuries involved.

Several patients from the accident were taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, hospital spokeswoman Bobette Brown said. She would not say exactly how many or give any further details them, citing legal restrictions.

The Marine who was killed was from the 1st Marine Division, and that person's name will not be released until 24 hours after relatives are notified, McFadden said.

"The command's priorities are to take care of the Marines, Sailors and families of the unit," McFadden said in a statement. "We want to ensure the Marines and their family members are being provided for during this difficult time."

Camp Pendleton, a vast seaside base north of San Diego, is the major West Coast outpost for the U.S. Marine Corps.

In November 2013, four Marines were killed there while clearing explosives in a Camp Pendleton training area.

Top Secret

History teacher denies Native American Genocide: Native student disagrees - ejected from the class and expelled

A Native American student at Cal State Sacramento University was told by her history teacher that there was no genocide against the indigenous population of North America. When the student, Chiitaanibah Johnson, took issue with this claim and challenged him, she was ejected from the class and expelled.

The professor said he didn't care for the term "genocide" as he didn't think it accurately describes what happened in relation to Native American history.

U.S. History Professor Maury Wiseman accused Johnson of "hijacking" his class when she challenged him on this. He also pointed out that he was very offended at her accusations that he was a "bigot" and "racist."

The professor cancelled class for the rest of the day and apologized for the 19-year-old sophomore's "disruptions."


Hundreds of thousands of Catalans fill Barcelona streets calling for secession from Spain

© Albert Gea / Reuters
Catalan pro-independence supporters take part in a demonstration, called "Via Lliure a la Republica Catalana" (free way to the Republic of Catalonia) at during the "Diada de Catalunya" (Catalunya's National day) in Barcelona, Spain, September 11, 2015
Hundreds of thousands of Catalans have filled the streets of Barcelona, calling for secession from Spain, as the region prepares to go to the polls in what local politicians say will serve as a proxy vote for independence.

The massive pro-independence rally, called under the title "Gateway to the Catalan Republic" (Via Lliure cap a la República Catalana) is taking place in Barcelona, the regional capital, on Catalonia's national Day, September 11.

About 500,000 people registered on social networks to participate in the pro-independence event, Jordi Sanchez, the president of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), told Sputnik news agency on Friday. However, photos and videos from the scene suggest that many more people had flooded into the streets of Barcelona.

Sanchez said he believed the rally will be one of the largest in Catalonia's history.


Crane collapse at Grand Mosque in Mecca kills at least 87 people

© Ali Al Qarni / Reuters
At least 87 people have died after a crane collapsed on the Grand Mosque of Mecca on Friday, Saudi authorities say.

According to Saudi Interior Ministry, at least 184 more people were injured in the incident.

The tragedy comes ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage which is due later this month. Millions of Muslims from around the world will converge on the holy city between September 21-26.
Local media reports suggested that the accident occurred due to heavy rains the Kingdom. The governor of the Makkah region, the capital of which is Mecca, Khalid al-Faisal has ordered the launch of an investigation into the causes of the accident.

Photos taken from the scene and posted on social media show bodies lying in blood on the mosque's floor surrounded by construction rubble and metal parts of the crane.


Party like it's 2008: 'Liar loans' making a come-back

© Hugh
Earlier this year, as the US auto sales miracle unfolded on the back of record loan terms and record high average monthly payments, we continually argued that underwriting standards were likely to deteriorate going forward as competition for the finite pool of creditworthy borrowers heats up.

Helping to drive (no pun intended) the shift towards looser lending standards is the proliferation of the originate-to-sell model - the same originate-to-sell model that helped steer the US housing market right off a cliff in 2007/2008. The concept is simple: if you're making loans with the intention of carrying them on your books, you're likely to care far more about the creditworthiness of the borrower than you are if you're simply going to ship the loans off to Wall Street to be run through the securitization machine and then sold off to investors via MBS [mortgage-backed securities]. That same dynamic is now at play in the market for car loans. Auto-backed ABS issuance should come in at around $125 billion this year - that's up 25% from 2014 and accounts for more than half of total consumer loan-backed supply.

As was the case during the lead up to the housing market collapse, this dynamic embeds an enormous amount of hidden risk in the paper backed by the shoddy loans. This paper is very often highly rated because despite what happened in 2008, the idea still exists that although one risky loan may be properly viewed as a speculative investment, a whole bunch of pooled risky loans are somehow safe as can be.

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