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News: Week in Review

Charlie Turner

Mississippians finally get to drink decent beer

At long last, our beer-imbibing brethren in Mississippi will be able to legally sip on glasses of Chimay Blue, Delirium Tremens, and Pliny the Elder. Passed earlier this year, a law went into effect on Sunday, July 1st allowing the sale of beer with an alcohol SoPecan_label_spot_curves_030912content up to 10% by volume. The previous limit was 6.25%.

Though local papers are reporting most stores won’t be able to get high gravity stock in until at least Tuesday, Mississippi’s sole brewery, Lazy Magnolia, has an immediately available release called Timber Beast that clocks in at 8% by volume.

While this is a big step in the right direction, our southern friends are still missing out on tasty treats like Victory’s Old Horizontal (11%), Founder’s Devil Dancer (12%), and Brew Dog’s Tactical Nuclear Penguin (37%).

Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate upheld by Supreme Court

In a decision that shocked many, the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s hallmark healthcare law in a 5-4 decision. Chief Justice John Roberts said in the majority opinion that the penalty for not obtaining health insurance is a tax and therefore constitutional.

ACA Protesters“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax,” Roberts wrote.

The argument for the healthcare law’s legality because the penalty might be considered a tax had been largely discounted prior to the decision.

Before the decision, pundits had guessed that Justice Kennedy, traditionally the most moderate of the justices, would act as the likely swing vote. It had also been assumed that the legality of the law would come down to whether or not it would fall under the category of interstate commerce. Incidentally, Kennedy joined the conservative court members in opposing the law.

Had the High Court struck down the individual mandate – the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance – the entire package would have essentially fallen apart. Without healthy people also paying for insurance, rates would have skyrocketed as companies would still be obligated to pick up those with preexisting c

Heat wave


Extreme Heat wave in U.S.

Let’s be clear, warm weather is one of the best excuses to crab an ice cold beer and I’m never one to oppose that (as if an excuse).  That said, I could do without the absurd level of sweat that plagues anyone walking outside for any amount of time.

For the last week or so, the Eastern United States has been hotter than hell. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, hurricane-like windstorms have swept through, knocking out power lines and leaving an estimated 19 people dead. It’s estimated that nearly two million people are without power between Indiana and Maryland.

Pepco, a major power company on the East Coast, said they will have restored power to about 90% of customers by Friday.

Until then, I plan to find me sipping on the some refreshing lagers.

Waldo Canyon Fire partially containedWaldo Fire

The Waldo Canyon fire that has destroyed over 17,000 acres has finally started to slow its spread. On Sunday, all but about 3,000 evacuees from the Colorado Springs area were allowed to return to their homes.

According to the fire’s Command Team, the fire is 55% contained. Because of quick containment progress, fire teams have moved up their date for total containment to July 11th.

The fire is the most destructive in Colorado history and has so far claimed two lives and burned 346 homes around Colorado Springs.

News Corp splits up

In the wake of the phone hacking scandal that rocked Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and led to the closing of News of the World, News Corp’s board announced on Thursday that the multinational company would split into two entities – one for publishing and one for entertainment.

MurdochDespite the timing, Murdoch denies the split had any relation to the phone hacking scandal.

In a statement, Murdoch said, “There is much work to be done but our board and I believe that this new corporate structure we are pursuing would accelerate News Corp’s businesses to grow to new heights and enable each company and its divisions to recognise their full potential and unlock even greater long-term value.”

The soon-to-be publishing company will include News organizations including the Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, The Australian, The New York Post, Dow Jones newswire and publisher HarperCollins.

Despite several spokespeople from Newscorp claiming the split will only be a positive for its individual entities, as print media continues to suffer world wide, many employees at News Corp papers have expressed concern that the split might precede substantial cuts at less profitable publications.

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