What We Read Today 16 May 2014

May 16th, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

  • Kentucky Sues DEA To Free Its Impounded Hemp Seeds [Update] (Ryan Grim and Matt Ferner, Huffington Post) If a government official breaks a law he is likely to be fired (or worse). U.S. federal law classifies industrial hemp as a controlled substance since it is a low psychoactive member of the cannabis family, the most famous member being marijuana. The U.S. law is one of the most restrictive in the world. The problem here is not the DEA, it is a U.S. law that doesn't make sense. See Wikipedia for descriptions of the many industrial and commercial product uses of hemp, one of the most environmentally friendly bio crops that can be grown. Econintersect message to U.S. Congress: Fix the stupid law, stupid!

Follow up:

  • Feds Lurch Closer to Rewriting Rules of Internet (Julianne Pepitone, NBC News) Fast lanes on the internet took a step closer to reality on Thursday (15 May 2014), The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) approved a preliminary proposal that would allow companies that could afford to pay extra to buy faster delivery on the internet. Companies like Netflix could deliver video content at speeds then companies like Econintersect could not afford to use. The FCC says it is also considering changing the classification of internet services providers to a utility (like telephone and electric service) It is argued that this would assure fair access to all internet traffic generators and allow small start-ups to continue to have the ability to compete with the "big boys". See recent GEI News articles here and here for news about the darker side potential of changing net neutrality rules.
  • Trading Ban American Airlines Retirement Accounts (AAII Investor Update) Over the past three years approximately 1,300 American Airlines employees from trading into their retirement plan mutual funds over the past three years due to excessive activity. The mutual fund company involved is T. Rowe Price. Although most mutual funds have this clause in their agreements it is rare that it is exercised. Mutual fund management is not organized for handling frequent trading. Those who wish that feature should use ETFs which are structured to be able to handle rapid trading patterns. A problem for many retirement plans is that they have mutual fund options only and the ETFs are not available for traders.
  • World Court to Target UK for War Crimes in Iraq (Sarah Lazare, Common Dreams) Hat tip to Rob Carter. Then International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced a preliminary investigation into allegations of atrocities 'involving systematic detainee abuse' by UK soldiers in the city of Basra in southern Iraq. The events being investigated occurred between 2003 and 2008. The US. has never agreed to be be under the jurisdiction of the ICC.
  • Sudan judge sentences Christian woman to death for apostasy (MSN News) A Christian woman, eight months pregnant, has been sentenced to hang in three days under the Islamic sharia law of Sudan. Her crime? Being a Christian when her father was Muslim. Under Sharia law the religion of the father is required for the child and changing from Muslim religion is a capital crime. Under Sudanese law President Obama would be sentenced to death. The woman can avoid the death penalty by recanting Christianity and returning to Islam. In any case she will receive 100 lashes for adultery because her marriage to a non-Muslim carries that penalty under sharia law.

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