How The NYPD Became The Most Expensive Police Force In The US

New York City has the biggest police budget of any city in the United States. In 2020, the New York Police Department spent $6 billion. But the true cost of the police is well above $10 billion a year. Most of that goes to uniformed officers’ salaries, pension, and overtime. As police budgets have risen, the extra policing hasn’t necessarily led to less crime. Instead, record-high settlements in police misconduct cases, unconstitutional policing policies, and high-profile deaths of Black New Yorkers have called the budget into question. Following the death of George Floyd, New Yorkers took to the streets, calling for a $1 billion cut to the 2021 NYPD budget. But the real cuts amounted to only about $420 million.

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How The NYPD Became The Most Expensive Police Force In The US

Amazon fires a ‘lie’ says Brazil’s Bolsonaro | AFP

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said it is a “lie” that fires are ravaging the Amazon rainforest, despite data from his own government showing the number of blazes is rising.

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Fires rage in Brazilian Amazon, reach farms | AFP

With buckets and sprayers, locals battle a blaze raging across the Brazilian Amazon forest and farms near the town of Sinop, which they claim was caused by illegal burning, while the administration of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro is under pressure to stop Amazon deforestation and forest fires.

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Protest held in front of Jeff Bezos’ penthouse in New York | AFP

Protesters gather in front of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ apartment in New York, calling for billionaires to be taxed. Amazon’s profits nearly doubled to $5.2 billion since the start of the pandemic.

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Why Icelandic Sea Salt Is So Expensive | So Expensive

Hand-harvested Icelandic sea salt could cost you more than 30 times the price of table salt. Housed in one of the most remote and coldest locations in the country, Saltverk salt factory produces 10 metric tons of salt each year. But there’s one other thing that’s unique about the way it’s processed: Everything is powered entirely by geothermal energy. Unlike processed rock salt, the sea minerals remain in the crystals — but these are only a tiny percentage of the final product. The final result is very minimally processed, flaky sea salt from clear Icelandic waters.

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Why Icelandic Sea Salt Is So Expensive | So Expensive

Isolated but not protected, COVID-19 weakens the Amazon’s indigenous | AFP

The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated all the evils suffered by the world’s largest tropical rainforest, weakening its first defenders, indigenous peoples, and distracting the world as forest fires are set to rage once again.

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The Rise Of The $3 Billion Tear Gas Industry

The use of tear gas during the recent protests surrounding police misconduct in the United States has reignited the debate about the legality of its use on large assemblies. Classified as a “less-lethal weapon,” tear gas has become a weapon of choice for law enforcement officers ever since it first emerged during World War I. Today, the less-lethal weapons industry generates billions of dollars each year, and tear gas products reportedly comprise about 25 percent of the entire industry. Although tear gas is illegal in the context of warfare, it remains legal for use by law enforcement for riot control purposes. The legality of its use has been debated for nearly a century. While the debate continues, tear gas continues to be used on protests in the United States and around the world.

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The Rise Of The $3 Billion Tear Gas Industry

The Truth Behind Italy’s $1 Homes

Starting in early 2019, 20 towns across Italy began selling homes for €1, or about $1.10. Local governments hope the plan will attract fresh faces and new businesses to towns that have been suffering from rapid depopulation and a growing number of abandoned homes for decades. But the true cost of these homes turn out to be much higher than $1.

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The Truth Behind Italy’s $1 Homes

Bezos dodges questions at first Congress hearing

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos dodged tough questions related to new evidence the online retailer stifled competition and raised prices on certain products during a House Judiciary hearing on antitrust trust laws. (July 29)

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4 Big Tech CEOs draw scrutiny on Capitol Hill

Four Big Tech CEOs – Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai of Google and Tim Cook of Apple – are testifying on their companies’ practices on the issue of market dominance in the industry. (July 29)

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US tech firms will emerge stronger from COVID crisis: antitrust chair | AFP

Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook will likely emerge from the coronavirus pandemic even stronger, House Judiciary Antitrust subcommittee chair David Cicilline says while opening an unprecedented hearing featuring the CEOs of the four giants. SOUNDBITE

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US tech giants too powerful: antitrust panel chair | AFP

Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook are “too powerful”, House Judiciary Antitrust subcommittee chair David Cicilline says while opening an unprecedented hearing featuring the CEOs of the four giants. SOUNDBITE

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How Billionaires Got $637 Billion Richer During The Pandemic

40 million Americans filed for unemployment during the pandemic, but billionaires saw their net worth increase by half a trillion dollars. This isn’t the first time billionaires have seen gains while others dealt with loss, and it tends to tie back to two things. First, the government disproportionately gives more aid to banks and corporations. Then, when the stock market bounces back, the unequal bailouts mean that the wealthy still have money on hand to invest and thus profit, while the middle and lower classes do not. Wealth-friendly tax laws and loopholes then keep those billionaires at the top. Knowing all of this, some are advocating for policies to help level the playing field and create change.

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Why Salad Chains Are Everywhere

Sweetgreen, Chopt, and other chains have transformed salad from a side dish to a $12 meal. In the last two decades, salad chains have popped up all over US cities. Salad is now associated with a trendy healthy lifestyle, but these salad are expensive. At an average price of over $10, salad is becoming unaffordable for a lot of people.

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The Rise And Fall Of The Mall

Starting with the opening of the Southland Mall in 1956 malls have been a vaulted piece of Americana for decades. Thousands were built across the country and for a while it seemed they would dominate the American landscape forever, but in recent years they’ve rapidly lost their value. So how did malls go from being a mainstay in American society to a quickly vanishing memory?

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How Airplane Interiors Are Designed | Big Business

Maximizing limited space is one of the biggest challenges when designing airplane interiors. We went behind the scenes with a product manager and engineer to see how the Delta’s 777 aircraft was redesigned.

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Why Army Recruits Master The ‘Rolling T’ Combat Formation At Boot Camp | Boot Camp

We got an inside look at how United States Army infantry soldiers train for combat in urban environments during their 22-week One Station Unit Training.

Senior video correspondent Graham Flanagan spent four days at the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence inside the Fort Benning military base near Columbus, GA, where future infantry soldiers engage in training known as Military Operations in Urban Terrain, or MOUT.

A 200-square-meter compound built to resemble a European village serves as the MOUT training site, where soldiers spend up to 60 hours in training during their time at Fort Benning.

One of the key components of MOUT is learning a mobile combat formation known as the “Rolling T.” The formation is designed for a four-soldier squad to navigate a hallway or corridor, and adapt when faced with corners or intersections where an unseen threat may exist. According to Staff Sgt. Dewayne Waugh, the formation is applicable wherever the Army is tasked with conducting search and clearance operations in urban environments.

According to one former Army soldier who spoke to Business Insider, avoiding civilian casualties is one of the biggest takeaways during MOUT training. Role players pretending to be civilians are used to ensure the mission objectives are accomplished without harming bystanders.

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Why Army Recruits Master The ‘Rolling T’ Combat Formation At Boot Camp | Boot Camp

6 Months Of The Coronavirus Pandemic In 6 Minutes

Within the first 6 months of 2020, new information about the COVID-19 coronavirus has transformed everyday life in the United States. The government has shifted to recommending face masks in public, ramped up testing, and struggled with re-opening. Nevertheless, the number of cases is rising, with the United States hitting upwards of 60,000 new cases in a single day in July, according to Johns Hopkins data pulled July 8. Dr. Anthony Fauci has called the pandemic his “worst nightmare,” saying, “it isn’t over yet.”

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Farmers trade fruits for essentials in the Amazon

Two siblings provide farmers in Colombia’s Amazon jungle with food and other essentials in exchange for fruit they harvest that would otherwise go to waste because of the coronavirus pandemic. (July 9)

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How The Ford GT Was Aerodynamically Designed | The Car Design Show

The Ford GT has a storied history from its Le Mans victory over Ferrari in 1966 to its return 50 years later to win again. But the Ford GT is more than a well-engineered car. It’s a purpose-built race car with an exterior design to maximize its aerodynamic performance on any race track.

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How A Couple Saved $50,000 In Emergency Funds

One couple was able to throw a baby shower during the pandemic because they saved enough for a full year of expenses.

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How A Couple Saved $50,000 In Emergency Funds

Pandemic Dating, According To An Anthropologist, Pathogen Expert, And Love-Life Coach | What’s Next

What does the pandemic mean for dating, as social distancing measures become the norm? Love-life coach Matthew Hussey joins anthropologist Helen Fisher and pathogen expert and epidemiologist Syra Madad over Zoom to give us all insight into why this might be the best time for dating and how to make a romantic connection even when you can’t (and shouldn’t) meet a new date in person.

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Why Anti-Racism Protestors Want To Remove These Two Statues Celebrating Slavery’s End

Statues depicting Confederate, colonial, and the history of slavery are being taken down amid anti-racism protests. As the Black Lives Matter movement has shifted people’s views on the US’ racist history, anti-racism protesters demand the removal of the Emancipation Memorials, commemorating slavery’s end.

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Why Anti-Racism Protestors Want To Remove These Two Statues Celebrating Slavery’s End

Hand to ‘Hanna’ combat

Stars of Amazon action series “Hanna” discuss their training for fight scenes and the remote location shoots for Season 2. (June 30)

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Why Millions Of Potatoes Are Being Thrown Away During The Pandemic | Big Business

Potato farmers in Idaho and Montana are destroying millions of potatoes. Restaurant closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a glut, and now, billions of pounds of potatoes are stuck in the supply chain. It’s caused unprecedented financial losses, food waste, and emotional turmoil for farmers whose livelihood depends on their crops.

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