News Roundup

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Boston is in chaos. One suspect in the marathon bombings has been killed and the other is on the run. Reports suggest that the two are brothers, of Chechen origin. Other issues seem small by comparison, but nevertheless:

1. Sex offender residence bill passes. SB 23, now S.L. 2013-28, has passed and takes effect immediately. It amends G.S. 14-208.16(a), which prohibits a registered sex offender from knowingly residing within 1,000 feet of a school or child care center, by adding the following to G.S. 14-208.16(a): “This subsection applies to any registrant who did not establish his or her residence, in accordance with subsection (d) of this section, prior to August 16, 2006.” According to the introductory language of the bill, the General Assembly deemed this amendment necessary because the effective date language for the legislation that enacted G.S. 14-208.16(a) was not codified and, as a result, “law enforcement officials mistakenly believe, based only upon the codified portion of the law which provides the conditions upon which a residence is established and not the effective date of the residency, that a registered sex offender can legally reside within 1,000 feet of a school or day care center if the offender moves in with a family member who had established residence at the location prior to the effective date of the law, even though the offender did not establish residence at that location prior to August 16, 2006.” (Hat tip: AOC.)

2. Newt Gingrich weighs in on North Carolina’s juvenile age. The former speaker of the United States House of Representatives co-wrote this News and Observer editorial in support of raising the juvenile age to 18 for individuals charged with misdemeanors. As noted previously on this blog, H 725 would do just that.

3. Background check bill defeated. This week, the Senate voted against a bill that would have expanded the NCIC background check requirement, currently applicable only to sales by licensed gun dealers, to include private sales made at gun shows or online. The New York Times discusses the bill’s defeat here.

4. Online gun sales. Speaking of online sales, the Times also did some investigative reporting on Armslist and other online classified advertisement services for guns. Wherever you are on gun rights vs. gun control, the resultant article is an interesting read.

5. Suspects charged with Texas prosecutor murders. As CNN reports, “[a] former justice of the peace now faces capital murder charges in the killings of two Texas prosecutors and the wife of one of them.” The defendant’s wife is also charged. It seems that the defendant was disgruntled as a result of being prosecuted for, and convicted of, burglary and being removed from office.

6. Judge holds himself in contempt. On a lighter note, a Michigan judge held himself in contempt and fined himself $25 when his new cellphone started asking for voice commands during court. The Wall Street Journal has the story, and a copy of the order, here. Apparently the judge has a “one strike” rule in his courtroom. He told a reporter, “[i]t’s a small county. Your reputation is important. I wanted to make sure anyone who had a phone taken by me knew that I lived by the same rules.”

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2 comments on “News Roundup

  1. This week the House put forth a bill that would regulate the ownership of “aggressive dog breeds.” The bill and information on its progress can be found here: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2013&BillID=h956. If successfully enacted, the law would require owners of certain bog breeds to pass a background check, take a four hour educational course, pay $25, and apply for a permit. Failure to do so could result in a $50 fine and/or Class 3 misdemeanor.

  2. One other big story this week: the explosion at the fertilizer plant in TX. a few days ago I read about a company called CVR Energy owned mostly by billionaire Carl Icahn. Icahn evades state and federal taxes of stock dividends through a “Master Level Partnership.” This “partnership” is only for very wealthy people, and it is apparently not regulated by the IRS. I wonder if the people who work at the energy/oil/fertilizer plants, who are exposed to danger every day are angry at Icahn and all of the wealthy leaders who have lucrative desk jobs. I wonder if an angry worker caused the explosion. And I wonder why the IRS doesn’t take the initiative to level the tax playing field for all Americans and why they apparently favor billionaires over the middle class and poor folks.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-01-16/icahn-to-almost-double-money-with-520-million-cvr-refining-ipo

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