Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Government Stating That Recession Is Over In U.S While Unemployment Rates Still Sore Higher In 27 States

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The national unemployment rate may have only ticked up slightly in August, but on a state-by-state basis, the jobs picture continues to look a lot more grim in places like Nevada, Michigan and California.

A total of 27 states reported higher unemployment rates in August, nearly double the 14 that saw increases in July, the Labor Department said in its monthly report on state unemployment Tuesday.

While the rate remained at 9.6% for the country as a whole, Nevada, Michigan and California have consistently racked up rates above 12%.

Nevada had the worst rate for the fourth month in a row, at a record high of 14.4%, up from 14.3% in July. Michigan followed with 13.1% unemployment, unchanged from the prior rate, and California was third with a 12.4% rate, an increase from 12.3% in July.

Mother Passes Out Condoms At School Dance

LONGMONT, Colo. - The mother of a male student at Skyline High School in Longmont is under fire for allegedly passing out condoms to students during the school's homecoming dance.

It happened on the evening of September 11th.

Both parents and students tell FOX31 News the mother was attending the dance and began distributing the condoms while telling students, "Condoms are cheaper than babies."

One parent, who just found out about the incident on Monday was angry and contacted FOX31 News by email.

We contacted the St. Vrain School District which said administrators were angry and disturbed as well.

A district spokesperson told us the news came as a complete surprise to them and they had no idea it happened until Monday.

"This is a gross violation of school policy and something we will not tolerate,” says John Poynton, spokesperson for the St. Vrain School District. "If we do find that this parent was handing out condoms to students on school property, we will take the appropriate action and she will not be allowed on campus again."

Atlanta Georgia Has Health Day For Homeless

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In downtown Atlanta today, an entire block on Ellis Street was sectioned off for Lazarus Ministries’ fourth annual Health Day with the homeless men and women of the city. The street was packed with volunteers and local homeless people talking, eating, and playing games together. Scores of clothes, sack lunches, and health-related services were offered to people, as well as entertainment and opportunities for conversation. A collaborative effort between Lazarus Ministries and SafeHouse Outreach, Health Day is a chance for the homeless to be overwhelmed by abundance, not need.

The event featured complimentary blood pressure checks, dental examinations, haircuts, manicures, coffee, and entertainment for all who participated. Homeless men, women, and children - many living in and out of local shelters - filled the street where tables were set up for health and hygiene screenings, clothes donations, and job readiness counseling. Volunteers at these stations included doctors and other health professionals, beauticians, and counselors. Groups from local churches and shelters also helped with the event, facilitating entertainment through karaoke, face painting, board games, and a dunk-tank.

Scientists Say The Story Of Moses Parting The Red Sea Is True

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The parting of the waters described in the book of Exodus that enabled Moses and the Israelites to escape the pharaoh's army is possible, computer simulations run by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado at Boulder show.

To test the theory that the biblical account may have depicted actual events, the researchers studied maps of the region, archaeological records and satellite measurements to find a topographical feature where such an event might have been possible. They settled on an area south of the Mediterranean Sea where some oceanographers say a branch of the Nile River drained into what was called the Lake of Tanis, a coastal lagoon 3,000 years ago.

The computer model shows a 63 mph east wind blowing across the area and its 6-feet-deep waters for 12 hours. In the scenario, the wind pushed back the waters into both the lake and the channel of the river, exposing a mud flat 2 to 2.5 miles long and 3 miles wide for four hours. As the winds died down, the waters quickly flowed back in and in theory would have drowned anyone on the mud flat.

“The simulations match fairly closely with the account in Exodus,” said Carl Drews of NCAR, the lead author of the study published in the online journal PLoS ONE. (Read the full study)

“The parting of the waters can be understood through fluid dynamics. The wind moves the water in a way that’s in accordance with physical laws, creating a safe passage with water on two sides and then abruptly allowing the water to rush back in.”

YouTube: Parting the waters, Part 1: The physics of a land bridge

Parting the waters, Part 2: Carl Drews on wind setdown research

Greatest Baseball Play, Rick Monday Saves U.S. Flag From Being Burned

On April 25, 1976 at Dodger Stadium, Rick Monday of the Chicago Cubs, grabbed and secured the American flag from two Men attempting to burn our flag in the middle of the playing field. It was an outstanding display of American Patriotism. Our Question Is Why Aren't More American's like this today. We see people in America allowed to trample, and burn our flag and we are just standing by and not stopping it. There are some debates whether it is against the law or not to desecrate our Nations Flag. But what this man did was the greatest baseball play in history we need more Americans like him today to stand up and just run and take the flag back.

UK: Govt. Trying To Pass Law That All Pay Checks Go To Them First

The UK's tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.

The proposal by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.

Currently employers withhold tax and pay the government, providing information at the end of the year, a system know as Pay as You Earn (PAYE). There is no option for those employees to refuse withholding and individually file a tax return at the end of the year.

If the real-time information plan works, it further proposes that employers hand over employee salaries to the government first.

"The next step could be to use (real-time) information as the basis for centralizing the calculation and deduction of tax," HMRC said in a July discussion paper.

HMRC described the plan as "radical" as it would be a huge change from the current system that has been largely unchanged for 66 years.

Even though the centralized deductions proposal would provide much-needed oversight, there are some major concerns, George Bull, head of Tax at Baker Tilly, told CNBC.com.

"If HMRC has direct access to employees' bank accounts and makes a mistake, people are going to feel very exposed and vulnerable," Bull said.

And the chance of widespread mistakes could be high, according to Bull. HMRC does not have a good track record of handling large computer systems and has suffered high-profile errors with data, he said.

The system would be massive in terms of data management, larger than a recent attempt to centralize the National Health Service's data, which was later scrapped, Bull said.

If there's a mistake and the HMRC collects too much money, the difficulty of getting it back could be high with repayments of tax taking weeks or months, he said.

"There has to be some very clear understanding of how quickly repayments were made if there was a mistake," Bull said.

HMRC estimated the potential savings to employers from the introduction of the concept would be about £500 million ($780 million).

But the cost of implementing the new system would be "phenomenal," Bull pointed out.