Student loan service under investigation for bias – fed watchdog

Student loan service under investigation for bias – fed watchdog

A federal watchdog is investing whether student-loan servicing companies engaged in discrimination against borrowers with outstanding debt based on their race, sex or gender, denying them affordable plans.

“We’re looking at disparities in outcomes… and we believe there may be some,” Patrice Alexander Ficklin, director of the office of fair lending at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said on a call with reporters Friday, according to the Washington Post.

Ficklin said they had identified a student loan company servicing an area with “substantial risk of credit discrimination” but did not disclose how they reached that conclusion or disclose the name of the servicing company.

CFPB has jurisdiction over the largest servicing companies, including Navient, Great Lakes and American Education Services.

Last month, the CFPB reported a 429 percent increase in student loan complaints about providers from December through February compared with the previous year.

Consumers say lenders process payments incorrectly, make it harder for them to enroll in more affordable payment plans, and fail to act when borrowers complain.

The CFPB is already suing Navient – which services 12 million student loan borrowers and over $300 billion in federal and private student loans – for cheating borrowers by making them pay more for their loans than was necessary.

In the suit filed January 19, the CFPB claimed the company steered borrowers into payment options that made borrowers pay more for their loans and made the loan service more money.

Read More:

https://www.rt.com/usa/384803-federal-student-loan-investigation/

Today In History

Original Black Panther shot dead

Bobby Hutton shot deadBobby Hutton, an orginial member of the Black Panther party was was shot dead by Oakland police at the age of 17.

 

Little Bobby Hutton was the first to join the newly formed Black Panther Party for Self Defense. He was only 16 years old when he joined but already believed in the ideals that Seale and Newton had outlined in the Ten-Point Program; he was dedicated to serving his community.

On April 6, 1968, Oakland police ambushed a carload of BPP members on a side street. An hour and a half shootout ensued, resulting in the death of BPP member Bobby Hutton and the arrest of all others present on the scene. Bobby Hutton was shot more than twelve times after he had already surrendered and stripped down to his underwear to prove he was not armed. The murder of Bobby Hutton was a major event in the party’s history: it incensed them and inevitably made them stronger.  Source PBS

If your searching for a good read on the Panther, check out:

The Prison Factory

 I stumbled across this documentary on Al Jazeera.  It is definitely worth checking out.  Click in link below in the description to open the player to view the documentary.

 

Description Al Jazeera:

The US state of Alabama has the fifth highest incarceration rate in the world. Its prison system has become so dangerously overcrowded that in 2016, for the first time, the US Justice Department launched a federal civil rights investigation into the entire state’s prison conditions.

Meanwhile, prisoners have been taking matters into their own hands. In September 2016, inmates at Holman Prison went on strike to protest against what they call cruel and unusual forms of punishment – including labour, for little to no pay. Inmates used smuggled cellphones to spread the word about the strike, which took hold in about two dozen states.

How did a group of prisoners calling themselves the Free Alabama Movement organise the single largest prison strike in US history? Fault Lines’ Josh Rushing travelled to Alabama to find out more about them – discovering two of the group’s leaders are now in solitary confinement. Despite their isolation, through letters and videos they are still finding ways to get their message to the world.

Source: Al Jazeera

DEA approves synthetic marijuana for big pharma company against legalization

DEA approves synthetic marijuana for big pharma company against legalization

A synthetic marijuana product could be available for commercialization after the DEA gave a newly approved drug a schedule II classification.

On Thursday, Insys Therapeutics announced that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an interim final rule that would put Syndros, their synthetic marijuana drug, on Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Insys is looking forward to bringing this new drug product to chemotherapy patients to help alleviate their nausea and vomiting and AIDS patients with anorexia associated weight loss, respectively,” Dr. Santosh Vetticaden, interim CEO, said in the announcement.

We look forward to interacting with the FDA to finalize the labeling and subsequent launch of Syndros in the second half of 2017,” Vetticaden said.

Syndros is a synthetic version of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component in the plant. In July 206, the company announced the FDA approved their liquid form of synthetic THC to treat anorexia associated AIDS patients, and nausea and vomiting induced by cancer patients going through chemotherapy.

The DEA approval placed Syndros and its generic formulations in schedule II of the CSA, which is reserved for drugs that have “a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.

While some Schedule II drugs can be used for medical purposes, like Vicodin, oxycodone, Adderall, and many prescription painkillers, Schedule I drugs are all federally illegal. Non-synthetic marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which is reserved for drugs that have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

In 2011, Insys wrote a letter to the DEA, urging them to maintain the Schedule I status for non-synthetic marijuana, citing “a longstanding policy of the United States to disfavor domestic cultivation of narcotic raw materials because of concerns about the abuse potential from farming of this material.

Insys also opposed legalization in Arizona, donating $500,000 to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, a group opposing Proposition 205, an initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol in Arizona.

Read More:

https://www.rt.com/usa/382254-dea-synthetic-marijuana-big-pharma/

One person killed & over a dozen injured in US nightclub shooting

One person killed & over a dozen injured in US nightclub shooting – police (VIDEO)

One person has been killed and at least 14 others injured at the Cameo Nightclub in Cincinnati, Ohio, local police report. The victims of the shooting have been taken to area hospitals as police interview witnesses.

The shooting happened at about 2am local time on Sunday, WLWT report.

Police in Cincinnati say there were “at least a couple of shooters” who opened fire on clubgoers, as cited by AP.

Security forces would not immediately report whether anyone was taken into custody over the shooting or what circumstances led to it.

According to Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate, the incident was one of the largest he has worked on in his career of over 20 years in the force, the news outlet reported.

He added that the Cameo Night Club has had issues in the past and that police are having some problems with gathering witness accounts.

“Many of them fled, unfortunately. Many of the witnesses fled, but everyone that we can identify is being interviewed,” he told WLWT.

Hundreds of people were in the nightclub when the incident happened, the official noted.

Source:

http://www.rt.com

Oklahoma tribe sues oil companies over recent spike in ‘induced’ earthquakes

Oklahoma tribe sues oil companies over recent spike in ‘induced’ earthquakes

The Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit in a tribal court accusing multiple oil companies of triggering earthquakes that caused damage to several properties in town.

On Friday, the Pawnee Nation filed the suit against the oil companies alleging that they were the cause of the sharp increase in earthquakes over the past few years. One of which – the largest earthquake in the state’s history, a magnitude 5.8, which caused extensive damage to several historic buildings and residential homes in Pawnee in September.

For more than 90 years, these buildings have been a key part of Pawnee Nation, first as our schools and now as the home to our government,” Andrew Knife Chief, executive director of the Pawnee Nation, said, according to his attorneys.

These energy companies must recognize the direct impact of their actions on the livelihood of our tribe and must put an end to their dangerous activities,” he added.

The case will be heard in the tribe’s district court with a jury comprised of Pawnee Nation members. If an appeal was filed, the case would be heard by a five-member trial Supreme Court, and their decision would be final.

Once the tribal court rules, it can be taken to a state district court for enforcement.

We are a sovereign nation and we have the rule of law here,” said Knife Chief, according to the Associated Press. “We’re using our tribal laws, our tribal processes to hold these guys accountable. The damage was done to the Pawnee Nation and the folks that live on trust land.

Weitz & Luxenberg, who are representing the 3,200-member tribe in court, say that this is the first time that an earthquake case has been filed in tribal court.

As a part of the ongoing case, renowned environmental activist Erin Brockovich will also be consulting with Weitz & Luxenberg. Brockovich has already made several trips to the area to talk with locals about how to legally fight the energy giants.

The Pawnee Nation is alleging the energy companies caused the earthquakes by injecting wastewater deep into underground wells, where fluids can cause pressure changes and weaken fault lines.

Read More:

https://www.rt.com/usa/379405-pawnee-tribe-induced-earthquakes-lawsuit/

8 Foods That Cause Cancer – You Need to Stop Eating Them NOW!

 

Canned-tomatoes

 

By Organic and Healthy

It’s hard to know what’s safe to eat sometimes. Sure, we know to avoid GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, and overly refined foods – but beyond that, it can get confusing.

Fortunately, we’re here with expert advice.

We talked with specialists from eight different fields, to ask them what food they’d each be certain to avoid; their recommendations are below.

1. The Endocrinologist Won’t Eat: Canned Tomatoes

As Fredrick Vom Saal, endocrinologist at the University of Missouri, explains: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A (more commonly known as BPA), a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”

The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles or in Tetra Pak boxes.

2. The Farmer Won’t Eat: Corn-Fed Beef

As Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and renowned sustainable farming author, notes: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.

The solution: Buy grass-fed beef.

3. The Toxicologist Won’t Eat: Microwave Popcorn

As Olga Naidenko, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group, notes: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize–and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.

The solution: Pop organic kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dill weed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.

4. The Farm Director Won’t Eat: Nonorganic Potatoes

As Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board, notes: Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes–the nation’s most popular vegetable–they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. “Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won’t,” says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). “I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”

The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh.

Read More:

http://www.naturalblaze.com/2017/02/8-foods-that-cause-cancer-you-need-to-stop-eating-them-now.html

 

Read more…