“New data that once again highlights the incestuous relationship between Big Pharma and the medical industry indicate that British doctors were paid some $64 million by drug makers, which was only slightly less than in 2012.
According to Reuters, such industry payments to physicians have increasingly come under scrutiny following several scandals involving drug sales practices, most notably in the United States, as well as concerns that such close ties put commercial interests of drug makers ahead of what is best for patients.
As noted by Reuters:”
The figure, announced by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) on Thursday, was slightly down on the 2012 level of 40 million pounds [about $66.9 million].
Via Natural News
“Police officers in Alexandria, Virginia, frequently take pictures of the license plates of random vehicles all over the city — meaning that people’s addresses, work locations and daily routines are well known to the authorities who collect such information and store it for stretches of time.
The disturbing discovery was made by Katie Watson, an investigative reporter with Watchdog.org’s Virginia bureau. Watson submitted a public records request with the Alexandria Police Department for all information the police had about her. Watson already knew that the police used automatic license plate recognition software to collect information. What she didn’t know was how pervasive the surveillance was.
“From my research and interviews on police and ALPR technology for Watchdog.org, I was pretty sure they would have something of my records,” she told The Daily Caller. “But I have to admit I was pretty shocked to see police had taken pictures of my license plate while my car was safely inside my apartment complex’s parking lot.””
Via The Daily Caller
“A leading privacy watchdog has warned that the FBI plans to have up to a third of all Americans on a facial recognition database by next year.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation notes in a communique that some 52 million Americans could be on the Next Generation Identification (NGI) biometric database by 2015, regardless of whether they have ever committed a crime or been arrested.
The group managed to obtain information pertaining to the program via a freedom of information request.
The database will also hold fingerprints, of which the FBI has around 100 million records, as well as retina scans and palm prints. Profiles on the system will contain other personal details such as name, address, age and race.
The system will be capable of searching through millions of facial records obtained not only via mugshots, but also via so called “civil images”, the origin of which is vague at best.”
Via Info Wars
“Grocery shoppers may soon need more green in their wallets to afford their next salad.
The cost of fresh produce is poised to jump in the coming months as a three-year drought in California shows few signs of abating, according to an Arizona State University study set to be released Wednesday.
The study found a head of lettuce could increase in price as much as 62 cents to $2.44; avocado prices could rise 35 cents to $1.60 each; and tomatoes could cost 45 cents more at $2.84 per pound. (The run-up in produce prices is in line with other projections showing that overall food cost gains are expected to accelerate this year.)
The latest projections were compiled by Timothy Richards, an agribusiness professor at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. He studied the drought’s effect on farmland and consumer purchasing trends to determine the eight fresh fruits and vegetables likely to see the largest price increases this spring and summer.
And the price increases may already be happening. Grocery prices rose by 0.5% for the second-straight month in March, according to the Labor Department’s consumer-price index, released Tuesday. It was the largest two-month gain in the food-at-home category since 2011. Fruit and vegetable prices rose 0.9% last month, after a 1.1% gain in February. Meat and dairy prices are also increasing. Meanwhile, overall consumer prices rose just 0.2% last month, as broader inflation in the economy remains tepid.”
Beyond Parody: Taxpayer-Funded University To Pay Paul Krugman $25,000 Per Month For Income Inequality Initiative…
In late February, the City University of New York announced that it had tapped Princeton economist and New York Times blogger Paul Krugman for a distinguished professorship at CUNY’s Graduate Center and its Luxembourg Income Study Center, a research arm devoted to studying income patterns and their effect on inequality.
About that. According to a formal offer letter obtained under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, CUNY intends to pay Krugman $225,000, or $25,000 per month (over two semesters), to “play a modest role in our public events” and “contribute to the build-up” of a new “inequality initiative.” It is not clear, and neither CUNY nor Krugman was able to explain, what “contribute to the build-up” entails.
It’s certainly not teaching. “You will not be expected to teach or supervise students,” the letter informs Professor Krugman, who replies: “I admit that I had to read it several times to be clear … it’s remarkably generous.” (After his first year, Krugman will be required to host a single seminar.
Via Weasel Zippers
“Michigan officials and President Barack Obama’s Administration are discussing a plan to free up $100 million in federal money to aid Detroit’s retired city workers, the Detroit Free Press reported on Tuesday.
Citing two people familiar with the talks, the newspaper said the talks were centered around federal money flowing to Michigan for blight removal. Under the plan, $100 million would be earmarked for Detroit, reducing the $500 million the city’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, plans to use to eliminate blight over the next 10 years.
The $100 million saved could then be used by Orr to ease pension cuts for retirees under the city’s plan to adjust its $18 billion of debt and exit the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, according to the report.”
No Joke: UN Says We Need A Giant Vacuum Cleaner To Suck CO2 From The Skies To Save World From Global Warming…
” In order to stave off the worst of global warming’s consequences, the world’s nations must find a way to reduce carbon emissions by 40 to 70 percent by 2050. That’s one of many claims made in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The new report also suggests vacuuming up vast amounts of CO2 from the skies and storing it underground may be the most viable solution for mitigating the greenhouse gas effect in the short term.
It’s the third report on climate change released by the IPCC, a group of international climate scientists organized under the auspices of the United Nations. The group’s second report, which was released last month, predicted serious environmental and economic catastrophe in the latter half of the 20th century, should calls to slow global warming continue to go unanswered.”
Via Weasel Zippers
“Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have all become places where people post intimate details about their lives: vacation photos, work successes, buying a new house, car, or other cool stuff.
However, this information is also up for grabs by the Internal Revenue Service.
The taxman is reportedly using data from social media on people who file fishy-seeming taxes or don’t file at all, according to Marketplace. The IRS loses roughly $300 billion per year to tax evasion; and in times of budget cuts, with a smaller staff, the agency has allegedly turned to both data mining and data crunching.
In its quest to find and audit tax dodgers, the IRS is said to use online activity trackers to sift through the mass amounts of data available on the Internet, according to Marketplace. This data is then added to the information the agency already has on people, such as Social Security numbers, health records, banking statements, and property.”