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  • The EU's chief Brexit negotiator launched an extraordinary attack on the British government
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 10:33 AM:)

    Guy Verhofstadt

    Guy Verhofstadt is back.

    This time, the EU Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator has launched an extraordinary attack on British government ministers Boris Johnson and Liam Fox.

    Verhofstadt, a "staunch federalist" and long-time opponent of Britain leaving the EU, has been very vocal about how difficult Brexit negotiations will be for Theresa May and Britain.

    Earlier this month, the former Belgian prime minister tweeted saying the EU would not allow Britain to end the free movement of people and retain access to the single market — the type of Brexit the British public wants and May has spoken about in the past.

    Verhofstadt opened fire on Johnson and Fox on Tuesday night via his Facebook page. The Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for International Trade share responsibility for negotiating Britain's exit from the 28-nation bloc.

    Here is the status Verhofstadt posted:

    Guy Verhofstadt

    Verhofstadt, rightly, points out how on Tuesday Johnson vowed to support Turkey's bid to join the Union despite citing the prospect of Turkish membership as a reason why Britain should vote to leave during the Brexit campaign.

    He also criticised Liam Fox, a hardline Brexiteer who recently suggested Britain would pull out of the EU's customs union, only for May to quickly come out and say this hadn't been agreed.

    The relationship between Britain and European leaders has become increasingly confrontational in recent weeks.

    Wolfgang Schauble, Germany's finance minister, said last week Johnson doesn't understand how the 28-nation bloc works and needed to read a copy of the Lisbon Treaty.

    Michael Fuchs, who serves in Angela Merkel's government as the Vice Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union, said he was a "fan" of the UK but added "the British must agree to meet us on an equal footing. They can’t simply do what they wish and expect us to go along with them."

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  • Jeremy Corbyn's refusal to cut immigration could be electoral suicide
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 9:30 AM:)

    Jeremy Corbyn

    Jeremy Corbyn will close the Labour conference on Wednesday by a delivering a highly-anticipated speech on his plans for the party going forward.

    However, rather than focusing on a policy that could unite the fragmented party, like fighting Theresa May's plans for more selective education, the Labour leader is set to declare he has no plans to cut immigration.

    He will say: "A Labour government will not offer false promises. We will not sow division or fan the flames of fear. We will instead tackle the real issues of immigration – and make the changes that are needed."

    In one sense, Corbyn's refusal to promise immigration cuts is admirable as he is remaining loyal to his own principles.

    Despite his historic ambivalence towards the EU as a whole, he has long been a defender of the free movement of people and has consistently argued that government should not see to cut the number of migrants coming to the UK.

    "He is not concerned about numbers. As long as the consequences of immigration are tackled, it is not an objective to reduce the numbers, to reduce immigration," his spokesman said at the conference in Liverpool. 

    But, ultimately, sticking to his principles on the matter over immigration could seriously impede Labour from winning the next general election. That is because the policy of not controlling immigration is deeply unpopular with a massive portion of the votes he needs to win.

    Immigration — specifically immigration levels being too high — was the most pressing concern for Brits heading into the June referendum. A Lord Ashcroft poll published last month said 79% of Brits believed Brexit means the UK cannot continue the free movement of people.

    Brexit polls

    If Labour wants to be a viable government in waiting, it needs to at least talk about immigration in a way that is not outright reluctant to even consider the concerns of the average Brit.

    But Corbyn's policy also puts Labour at risk of losing lots of the support it already has at a time when SNP's domination north of the border and imminent boundary changes threatens the party with electoral disaster. 

    Labour is the party of the British working-class but the majority of Britain's working-class wants to see much tighter restrictions placed on immigration. Labour-held seats in the party's northern "heartlands" will continue to feel left behind if their grievances go ignored — ironic, given Corbyn's promise to leave no person or community behind.

    This is why Labour MPs have urged the party's leadership to take a different approach to talking about immigration.

    Andy Burnham is set to say "millions of our lifelong supporters voted to leave EU and for change on immigration” when he addresses the conference on Wednesday. At an event Business Insider attended earlier this month, MP Stephen Kinnock said the party must be prepared to at least have a conversation about the issue of immigration. Chuka Umunna and Rachel Reeves have made the same point.

    But this is not to say Labour needs to abandon its manifesto and adopt a UKIP-style immigration policy.

    A key part of winning elections is having a good image. Immigration to the UK reached record levels under David Cameron's premiership yet the Tories are still regarded as much more trustworthy than Labour in dealing with it, according to recent polls.

    The opposition needs to prove to the country and its own support that it is willing to talk about immigration and, more importantly, listen to concerns about immigration. Failure to do so will push the party even closer to the brink of electoral suicide.

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    NOW WATCH: The only person who was right about the general election tells us what threw off all the Brexit polls

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  • Jeremy Corbyn is denying that his closest advisor Seumas Milne is about to quit
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 8:30 AM:)

    Seumas Milne

    Jeremy Corbyn's office has denied rumours that the Labour leader's top spin doctor and closest advisor Seumas Milne is quitting.

    Sources close to Corbyn told political blogs Politics Home and Guido Fawkes that Milne is not going anywhere after speculation about the director of strategic communications' future emerged at the Labour Conference in Liverpool.

    "There's no plans for him to leave as far as I'm aware. It's business as usual," a Labour source told Politics Home. The website originally reported that Milne could leave as early as this week.

    Corbyn's team did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

    Milne is working on loan for a year in Corbyn's office from his permanent role at The Guardian. Politico reported last week that the writer is in talks with Guardian editor Katharine Viner about his return.

    "I’m told Milne has had some conversations with Guardian editor Katharine Viner about what he would do if he goes back to the newspaper — but has yet to indicate whether he will actually return," said Alex Spence at Politico.

    The report was backed-up on Wednesday by Sky News' senior political correspondent, Beth Rigby. 

    Senior Guardian source; "looks like Milne is coming back" but yet to agree terms; whether he freelance/staff, his purdah period

    — Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) September 28, 2016

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  • Britain's top banking watchdog says some banks are gaming new rules designed to punish execs
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 7:34 AM:)

    A general view of a guest playing chess at the IWC booth ahead of the launch of the Pilot's Watches Novelties from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2016 on January 18, 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by )

    The CEO of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is warning that some banks are going "against the intention" of new rules designed to punish senior executives for wrongdoing.

    In his first column since taking the role in July this year, FCA CEO Andrew Bailey talks about the new senior managers' regime introduced by the regulator 6 months ago. The new rules are meant to clearly set out responsibilities in an organisation, giving the watchdog license to punish managers and executives whose subordinates break the rules.

    He writes in the Guardian:

    "Since the regime was introduced, we have been undertaking work to ensure that senior manager responsibilities are properly allocated and understood in firms. In some cases, we have seen evidence of overlapping or unclear allocation of responsibilities. In other cases firms appear to be sharing responsibility amongst more junior staff, obscuring who is genuinely responsible. This goes against the intention of the senior managers and certification regime and should not continue."

    Only a handful of bankers went to prison as a result of wrongdoing in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis and the new rules are part of the FCA's efforts to bring more accountability to the sector. However, there was some suggestion that even the new rules are too soft on bankers.

    Despite some bad apples, Bailey writes that: "Generally, we have observed that firms are taking their responsibilities seriously and have broadly got the regime right.

    "But we recognise culture change takes time and there is still more to do. So we have to keep a watchful eye on the progress firms are making."

    Bailey, who was executive director of banking at the Bank of England until 2011, also defends the FCA's decision last year to drop an inquiry into banking culture, a move widely seen as kowtowing to the wishes of bankers.

    Bailey writes: "This led to a number of commentators saying the FCA doesn’t care about culture in financial services. I have been chief executive of the FCA for three months and I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. Culture matters a great deal."

    You can read the full Guardian piece here.

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  • Larry Sanders on his brother Bernie, and why he'll never join Corbyn's Labour
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 7:18 AM:)

    bernie sanders brother larry sanders

    Larry Sanders is best known as the brother of Bernie, the US senator who became a household name in 2015 after he ran for the US Democratic Presidential nomination.

    But Larry, 82, made his own headlines last week. He is running as the Green Party's candidate for a UK by-election in David Cameron's Oxfordshire constituency, following the former prime minister's resignation from the seat.

    Sanders, who was born in New York but moved to the UK in the 1960s, is currently the Green party's health spokesperson.

    Business Insider spoke to him to hear more about his campaign, and ask whether he thinks parallels between Jeremy Corbyn and his brother Bernie — Bernard, as he calls him — are useful.

    We also heard why:

    • He's not "in the least bit tempted" to join Jeremy Corbyn's Labour.

    • Bernie Sanders has more in common with Green MP Caroline Lucas than Jeremy Corbyn.

    • He is "following Bernard's lead" in supporting Hillary Clinton.

    Business Insider's Thomas Colson: What issues do you intend to base your election campaign on?

    Larry Sanders: The main thing we want to do is tell people that there's a real alternative. Our view is that the political establishment — Labour, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats — have, over the last 30 years or so, presided over an enormous increase in inequality. Enormous amounts of wealth and income are flowing to the very richest people, and damaging many other people.

    Some people in the middle do alright, many below [the middle income level] are struggling to stay where they are, and many more are falling into poverty.

    People in the middle do alright, many below are struggling to stay where they are, and many more are falling into poverty

    The general argument has been — "well, that's the way the markets work, what we need is to keep out of the way of the markets, and everything will turn out alright."

    Well, I think we know now that things haven't turned out alright. There are logical, rational, practical, alternatives, and we would like people to listen to them.

    TC: How central will the NHS be to your campaign?

    LS: Very. The NHS and social care will be two central issues. They're both enormously important, and I think most people are not entirely aware — I think they're a bit aware — of just how much damage has been done by privatisation, primarily by underfunding. When it comes to the NHS and social care, funding means people. We have a shortage of both hospital and GP doctors, we have a shortage of care workers, and we have a shortage of hospital beds. In most of these categories we're at the bottom of the European spectrum. And it has an effect, of course.

    TC: You used to be active in the Labour Party. Are you tempted to rejoin the party under Jeremy Corbyn?

    LS: No, I'm not in the least bit tempted towards him. To his credit, Jeremy Corbyn has supported some very good policies. He signed onto Caroline Lucas' Bill to reinstate the NHS, and to end privatisation. And that was at a time last year when only about half an dozen or so Labour MPs supported it.

    I'm not in the least bit tempted towards Jeremy Corbyn

    But he's not good on funding. He and Diane Abbott, his health spokesperson, are trapped in the idea that there really isn't enough money. So they're proposing that we stick to the same ratio between the NHS and national income as the Tories are. My view is that if they do that, we'd face the same problem.

    And probably the biggest problem is that the Labour Party under him is far from being a cohesive body. I'm certainly not alone in noticing that. 

    TC: Broadly speaking, do you welcome the fact that the Labour Party has moved left? Do you think that indicates a more general national shift leftwards?

    LS: I think it's a sign that this log-jam of politics over the last thirty years is breaking. In the same way, my brother Bernard's success in America has been a sign of that. I don't think we can carry on as we were. It doesn't mean that things will get better: they could get worse. I think we're at a very critical moment.

    TC: What do you make of the media's treatment of figures like Jeremy Corbyn? Do you believe there is an inherent right-wing bias?

    LS: Well I think it's very clear. The largest number of readers in the country are reading very right-wing papers which are owned by tax-exiled millionaires, and their interests and their views are of their own. They're not very good for the rest of the public. With a lot of them — I really can't be specific because I don't read them, but I see the headlines — there is a kind of constant drip-feed of attacks on immigrants, while defending what I see as this enormous switch of wealth to other people.

    TC: Do you think the comparisons between Corbyn and your brother are useful, or accurate?

    LS: It depends what you use the comparisons for. I use it to say that people are aware that the way things are going are not very good, and they're looking for alternatives. Bernard's range of policies is different to Jeremy Corbyn's, though. I think a better comparison is between Caroline Lucas and my brother. But not yet in getting as many votes - not quite!

    bernie sanders brother larry sanders

    TC: You're running to take David Cameron's seat in parliament. What did you make of his premiership?

    LS: I think it's a very sad legacy. He's obviously an incredibly bright and capable man, and he started off with some very interesting phrases, if nothing more. He had, for example, a different attitude towards climate change to most Tories.

    But in the end he ended up encouraging fracking, which I think anyone serious about climate change would not do. 

    David Cameron is obviously an incredibly bright and capable man

    In the end, I think, he turned out to be too much a clever politician, and in the end it caught up with him. 

    TC: In terms of his legacy, do you think it will be defined solely by Brexit?

    LS: I think that's true. I think the economy has not really recovered, and that's to a large extent because of the Tory policy of taking money out of the economy. That's just foolish economics. And it was very nasty: they did go after poor people and disabled people more than anyone else. So I think it will be a very poor legacy.

    TC: Turning to America, what is your view of your brother's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton - do you support her?

    LS: Really in the same way, I'm following Bernard's lead. Mr Trump would be a particular disaster. I don't think we've had the leader of a major country who pushes that level of racism and bigotry in a very long time.

    Mr Trump would be a particular disaster — I don't think we've had the leader of a major country at that level of racism in bigotry in a very long time

    The alternative at this moment is Clinton, and she's far superior.

    TC: Your brother Bernie has credited you with passing onto him your political values. Where did you get your own from?

    LS: These things are always very difficult to know. Growing up, my parents were not particularly political. They didn't belong to any party. But they were very strong supporters of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. And so, in many ways, I think that my political views, and Bernard's political views, are kind of a New Deal based on a different period, with different issues.

    But it's the same idea: you can have a democratic government that can do powerful things for the people. You don't have to wait for the bankers and their friends to get their act together.

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  • The 13 countries where people live the longest in the world
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 7:00 AM:)

    iceland church

    The World Economic Forum (WEF)'s recently-released Global Competitiveness Survey does not just look at the financial health of countries around the world – it also looks at the health of populations.

    The WEF ranked countries in terms of the average life expectancy, showing where in the world people live the longest.

    As you would expect, the more developed the economy, the more likely it is to have a longer life expectancy due to access to a high level of healthcare, as well as typically healthier diets.

    However, what is interesting is that some of the places listed have a lower life expectancy than expected due to the rise in mental health related issues resulting in suicide.

    We have cross referenced the ranking against OECD data on each country to try and figure out why people there live so long — check it out.

    13. Sweden — 82 years. Swedes live two years longer than the average age in all OECD countries. The OECD noted that high water quality contributes to a healthier nation.

    12. Iceland — 82.1 years. Iceland has "The World’s Best Diet" according to a vote by nutritionists. It is said to reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

    T=9. Republic of Korea (South Korea) — 82.2 years. Life expectancy in the country has risen over the last few years due to the improvement in the economy generating a more prolific middle class. However, the OECD warns pollution is still high compared to other member countries.



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  • RBS is paying $1.1 billion to settle 'toxic' mortgage mis-selling claims in the US
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 6:28 AM:)

    ross mcewan1

    Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is paying $1.1 billion (£850 million) to settle two claims it mis-sold "toxic" mortgage security products to US credit unions in the US in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

    RBS' US subsidiary sold mortgage-backed security products to two credit unions — US Central Federal Credit Union and Western Corporate Federal Credit Union — in the run-up to the financial crisis.

    The products were so-called "toxic" mortgage-backed securities and when the housing bubble burst, both credit unions failed. RBS admits no wrongdoing under the terms of the settlement.

    RBS is paying the sum to the National Credit Union Administration in the US and says the settlement is "substantially covered by existing provisions." The state-owned bank's provisions were $3.8 billion (£2.9 billion) at the end of June, according to the BBC.

    The bank is still facing mortgage-backed security claims from the US Federal Housing Finance Agency and an investigation by the US Department of Justice. RBS says in a statement that: "litigation and investigations may require additional provisions in future periods that in aggregate could be materially in excess of the provisions existing as of 30 June 2016."

    Here is the full statement from RBS on the settlement, sent to Business Insider over email:

    The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS Group) has reached a final settlement with the National Credit Union Administration Board to resolve two outstanding civil lawsuits for US$ 1.1 billion (£846 million). The settlements, involving its subsidiary RBS Securities Inc., relate to the two residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) cases (asserting claims on behalf of US Central Federal Credit Union and Western Corporate Federal Credit Union), most recently disclosed in RBS’s 2016 Interim Results Announcement (“2016 Interim Results”). The settlement amount is substantially covered by existing provisions as of 30 June 2016 and will have no material impact on the RBS Group’s CET1 ratio.

    RBS continues to litigate various other RMBS-related civil claims identified in its disclosure, including those of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and to respond to investigations by the civil and criminal divisions of the U.S. Department of Justice and various other members of the RMBS Working Group of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (including several state attorneys general). As previously stated, RMBS litigation and investigations may require additional provisions in future periods that in aggregate could be materially in excess of the provisions existing as of 30 June 2016. Please see RBS’s 2016 Interim Results for further details.

    RBS will publish its Q3 2016 results on 28 October.

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  • Demonstrators gather in the San Diego area after police fatally shoot a man they say was 'acting erratically'
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 6:24 AM:)

    el cajon shooting

    Protesters gathered in the San Diego area on Tuesday after a man was fatally shot by police.

    The incident happened in the city of El Cajon, about 16 miles northeast of San Diego.

    El Cajon police said officers were responding to reports of a man acting erratically. In a press release describing the incident, the department said the man, an African-American in his 30s, was "walking in traffic."

    Local news outlets cited family members who identified the man as Alfred Olango.

    As two officers tried to detain Olango, police said he kept one hand in his pocket.

    "At one point, the subject rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together and extended them rapidly toward the officer taking up what appeared to be a shooting stance," the police department's press release noted.

    The department published a still image captured from video obtained from a witness. The image appears to show the confrontation between the officers and Olango.

    One of the responding officers deployed a "less lethal electronic control device," police said. Another officer fired several shots from his service weapon, hitting Olango.

    The man later died at a hospital as a result of his injuries.

    Demonstrators gathered at the scene, chanting and criticizing the way police handled the situation.

    One man said he was driving out of a nearby apartment building as the incident unfolded, according to a report from The San Diego Union-Tribune. Michael Ray Rodriguez said, in a matter of seconds, an officer opened fire.

    “[The officer] let go of the trigger and shot him again and again,” Rodriguez said, adding he heard five shots, The Union-Tribune reported.

    el cajon shooting

    Investigators were on site for several hours before the police department officially addressed the incident in a late-night news conference.

    A department spokesman urged the public to remain calm and said the agency plans to be "open and transparent" as the investigation continues.

    El Cajon police do not have body cameras, The Union-Tribune reported. El Cajon police Lt. Rob Ransweiler told the newspaper that the department recently completed a pilot program with body cameras, and ordered them.

    "The equipment has not been delivered," Ransweiler said.

    The shooting follows weeks of demonstrations after black men were fatally shot by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and in Charlotte, North Carolina, cases which themselves have reignited a historically fraught discussion about police relations, specifically in communities of color.

    So far this year, at least 715 people have been fatally shot by police, according to data compiled by The Washington Post.

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  • The 10 most important things in the world right now
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 5:21 AM:)

    India Festival Costumes

    Hello! Here's what you need to know on Wednesday.

    1. Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign claims it pulled in a whopping $18 million fundraising haul after the first debate. Trump and the GOP raised a combined $90 million in August, trailing Hillary Clinton's $143 million haul during the same month.

    2. For the first time ever in its 126-year history Arizona's largest newspaper is endorsing a Democratic presidential candidate. The Arizona Republic's editorial board vaulted Hillary Clinton as a centrist who "knows how to compromise and to lead with intelligence, decorum and perspective."

    3. SpaceX founder Elon Musk wants to colonize Mars with a million people in an effort to protect humanity from certain doom. The tech billionaire unveiled his ambitious plans to establish a human settlement on the red planet starting in 2022.

    4. Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf will forfeit $41 million in pay, after allegations the bank's employees opened millions of accounts without customers' permission to reach aggressive sales targets.

    5. The suspect in the bombing in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood appears to have acted on his own, according to the FBI.

    6. Former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres has died at age 93. Peres' key role in the first Israeli-Palestinian peace accord earned him a Nobel Peace Prize and revered status as Israel's then most recognizable figure abroad.

    7. The maker of TempurPedic mattresses crashed by more than 25%, following a dismal update on its business.

    8. Uber has finally found a CFO, having promoted an unnamed internal employee on January 16 to the role of chief financial officer.

    9. Amazon is looking to compete against delivery services like FedEx and UPS, with a new planned some executives call "Consume the City."

    10. US president Barack Obama has tapped Jeffrey DeLaurentis, America's top diplomat in Havana, to become the first official ambassador to Cuba in five decades.

    And finally ...

    What it's like to eat dinner at the same restaurant as the Obamas.

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  • Chelsea Clinton responds to Trump's threat to bring up her father's mistress: 'It's a distraction from his inability to talk about what's actually at stake'
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 4:44 AM:)

    bill chelsea clinton debate

    Chelsea Clinton responded on Tuesday to Donald Trump's claim that he refrained from bringing up her father's alleged extramarital affairs for her benefit at the presidential debate Monday night.

    Trump threatened to bring up Gennifer Flowers, a former model Bill Clinton said he had an extramarital affair with decades ago, in the debate against Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

    "If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row," Trump tweeted on Saturday, "perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!"

    If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row, perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2016

    The Trump campaign later said Flowers had not been formally invited. Trump didn't mention her after all, and the Republican candidate said after the debate that it was because Chelsea Clinton was there.

    "I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary and her family, and I said to myself, I couldn't do it. It's inappropriate. It's not nice," Trump said. "I was, but I decided not to do it out of respect for Chelsea."

    Chelsea Clinton responded to his claim on Tuesday, telling Cosmopolitan's Prachi Gupta that the attacks Trump lobbed at her mom this time were like those he's made in the past.

    "My reaction to that is just what my reaction has been kind of every time Trump has gone after my mom or my family," Clinton said, "which is that it's a distraction from his inability to talk about what's actually at stake in this election and to offer concrete, comprehensive proposals about the economy, or our public school system, or debt-free college, or keeping our country safe and Americans safe here at home and around the world."

    She continued:

    "Candidly, I don't remember a time in my life when my parents and my family weren't being attacked, and so it just sort of seems to be in that tradition, unfortunately. And what I find most troubling by far are ... Trump's continued, relentless attacks on whole swaths of our country and even our global community: women, Muslims, Americans with disabilities, a Gold Star family. I mean, that, to me, is far more troubling than whatever his most recent screed against my mom or my family [is]."

    Read the full interview in Cosmo here >>

    SEE ALSO: TRUMP: I was going to bring up Bill Clinton's sex scandals, but decided it was too 'inappropriate'

    DON'T MISS: Ivanka Trump defends her dad's controversial comments about women: He's 'an equal-opportunity offender'

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  • Trump campaign: Howard Dean's cocaine comment was 'beyond the pale'
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 4:27 AM:)

    donald trump

    Donald Trump's campaign on Tuesday denounced Howard Dean's suggestion that the GOP nominee was on cocaine at the presidential debate against Hillary Clinton. 

    During the affair Monday night at Hofstra University, Trump could be heard sniffling throughout the night. 

    Speculation over whether the presidential candidate was sick ran rampant on social media. 

    Dean, the former governor of Vermont and a Clinton supporter, took the rumors one step further by suggesting Trump's sniffles were evidence of cocaine use.

    Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?

    — Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) September 27, 2016

    "Governor Dean's comment was beyond the pale and has no place in our important political discussion," the Trump campaign said in a statement to NBC News on Tuesday night. 

    "On a night where millions of Americans were able to compare and contrast the policies of both candidates, Governor Dean went straight to the gutter and was nothing more than a sad distraction in a desperate attempt to stay relevant," the campaign added. 

    After the debate, Trump denied sniffling and blamed the sounds of breathing on a defective microphone that he claimed was tampered with. 

    In an interview with MSNBC Tuesday, Dean defended his original comment. 

    "Well, you can't make a diagnosis over the television, but [the sniffling] is a signature of people who use cocaine," Dean said. "I'm not suggesting that Trump does, but I'm suggesting we think about it, because here's the interesting constellation — he sniffs during the presentation, which is something that users do. 

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  • Conservative Arizona newspaper tears into Donald Trump, endorses Hillary Clinton for president
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 4:15 AM:)

    hillary clinton debate

    During its 126-year history, The Arizona Republic, Arizona's largest newspaper, has always endorsed a Republican candidate for president. 

    But that all changed with Donald Trump.

    For the first time ever, the newspaper's editorial board has announced it is endorsing a Democratic candidate: Hillary Clinton. 

    Referring to Trump, the board wrote, "The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified." 

    In the piece, the newspaper praises Clinton's political track record and her ability to withstand criticism throughout her career, including from Trump, who has often crossed generally accepted boundaries during this election cycle — hitting Clinton's personal and professional life in ways the paper describes as "demeaning."

    "They are evidence of deep character flaws," the editorial board wrote, "They are part of a pattern."

    "The challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head and the ability to think carefully before acting," the column reads. "Hillary Clinton understands this. Donald Trump does not."

    The publication goes on to criticize Trump's many controversies on the campaign trail — many of which have prompted critics to question whether he is fit to be commander-in-chief.

    "The president commands our nuclear arsenal," they wrote. "Trump can’t command his own rhetoric." 

    Apparently rebutting evidence that Trump appeals to down-trodden working-class voter who feel alienated by their government, the editorial board vaulted Clinton as a centrist who "knows how to compromise and to lead with intelligence, decorum and perspective."

    "This is Hillary Clinton’s opportunity. She can reach out to those who feel left behind. She can make it clear that America sees them and will address their concerns."

    Read The Arizona Republic's full endorsement here»

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    NOW WATCH: Clinton calls out Trump for not releasing his tax returns — 'Maybe he's not as rich as he says he is'

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  • Trump campaign claims it pulled in whopping $18 million fundraising haul after debate
    (Politics - September 28 2016 - 2:05 AM:)

    Donald Trump

    The Trump campaign said on Tuesday that it pulled in $18 million in new fundraising, fewer than 24 hours after the first general-election debate between Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

    "As a result of Donald Trump's huge debate win [Monday] night, we had a massive fundraising day, bringing in more than $18 million," campaign finance chairman Steven Mnuchin, said in a statement Tuesday night.

    Trump earlier in the day tweeted that his campaign had already taken in $13 million. "And we're still going," he added.

    Trump and the GOP raised a combined $90 million in August, trailing Hillary Clinton's $143 million haul during the same month.

    As recently as June, the Trump campaign had only $1.3 million in cash on hand. Trump has often boasted about running a lean operation compared to Clinton, whose campaign began the month of September with approximately $152 million cash on hand when combined with the campaign's joint accounts.

    Trump's fundraising announcement also echoes the real-estate mogul's assertions that he won the first of what will be three general-election debates against Clinton. The match-ups are widely considered to be the most-anticipated presidential debates in modern history.

    Though Trump performed well in a number of online polls immediately after Monday night's event, none of those surveys were scientific, meaning those who were polled were not a representative sample of people who watched the debate.

    Business Insider politics editor Oliver Darcy noted that, after the first debate, the only scientific poll was conducted by CNN/ORC, which showed viewers thought Clinton handily defeated Trump.

    SEE ALSO: CNN INSTANT POLL: Hillary Clinton won in a landslide

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  • These are the nicknames that Chinese people gave to Donald Trump
    (Politics - September 27 2016 - 11:58 PM:)

    A carnival float mocking US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

    Long before Donald Trump bashed China during Monday's presidential debate, the Republican nominee was already quite famous in China.

    Chinese people see Trump as an "internet celebrity" on social media, a phrase used to describe people who gained popularity online by behaving in outlandish ways, and who oftentimes would not be taken seriously.

    As Trump announced his candidacy last year, Chinese people immediately gave him several nicknames, which all sound funny with a disrespectful tone in Mandarin, mostly because, at the time, they believed Trump was just a joke and had no chance of winning White House.

    Here's some of the nicknames:

    'Chuan-pu' (川普)

    "Chuan-pu", transliterated from "Trump," is an abbreviation of "Sichuan Putonghua." The phrase literally means "Mandarin with a Sichuan accent," which is usually used to mock someone from Sichuan Province who may not speak standard Mandarin and have some accented pronunciation.

    This supposedly mocking nickname has been adopted by many Chinese-language news agencies outside mainland China, including VOA.

    Here's how to pronounce "Chuan-pu."

    Activists hold a large muppets mocking Donald Trump.

    'Chuang-po' (床破)

    "Chuang-po" also sounds similar to "Trump," and literally means "breaking bed."

    The two nicknames above serve as first names, and the last name Chinese people give to Trump is "Tang," which sounds similar to "Don."Because Chinese usually take what appears first as a surname, when they see "Donald Trump," they would naturally take "Donald" as a last name and "Trump" as a first name.

    Also, "Tang" is a real surname that thousands of Chinese people are using, so it makes "Tang-Chuan-Pu" or "Tang-Chang-Po" sound more like a real name — except that few people would name themselves after either "Sichuan Putonghua" or "breaking bed."

    'Tang-Na-De Te-Lang-Pu' (唐纳德·特朗普)

    The last one is the official translation of Donald Trump, adopted by Wikipedia and Chinese mainstream media. The translation has no special meaning in it. And internet users normally don't use such a formal name to refer to Trump on social media.

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  • GOP SENATOR: Politics around the spending bill battle are a key reason Trump 'is doing so well'
    (Politics - September 27 2016 - 10:19 PM:)

    David Perdue

    Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia told Business Insider on Monday that the battle over the government spending bill is "one reason why Donald Trump is doing so well."

    On Tuesday, the Senate voted to reject a spending bill to fund the government through early December by a 45-55 vote, far short of the 60 needed to pass.

    If no extension is passed by the end of the week, there will be a partial shutdown of the federal government.

    Senate Democrats have said they will refuse to back a bill that provides disaster relief to Louisiana but not to Flint, Michigan for its water crisis.

    A total of 13 Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, joined the Democrats in opposing the bill Tuesday.

    Speaking in Hempstead, New York, before the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Perdue said Monday that he's "outraged" an agreement on funding the government for the near future has not been met. But, he did say he's sure a bill will get passed this week.

    "I mean, neither side benefits from a day past the end of the fiscal year," he said. "I will say there are political games going on to keep Republican senators who are running for office in Washington longer than they need to be."

    "We should've done this last week," he continued. "Actually, this whole thing should've been done back in July to be honest with you."

    The Georgia Republican said this is an example of the "political insider games" that "outrages people back at home."

    "It's one reason why Donald Trump is doing so well," he said.

    SEE ALSO: A massive voter registration effort is taking place Tuesday — and thousands of companies are involved

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  • Donald Trump claims stop-and-frisk had a 'very, very big impact' on New York City's crime rate — here's what the data really say
    (Politics - September 27 2016 - 10:14 PM:)

    donald trump debate

    Donald Trump recently came out in full support of stop-and-frisk policing. And he used the first presidential debate on Monday night to hammer home his point.

    "[I]n New York City, stop-and-frisk, we had 2,200 murders, and stop-and-frisk brought it down to 500 murders," Trump said. 

    He continued: 

    "But we went from 2,200 to 500. And it was continued on by Mayor Bloomberg. And it was terminated by current mayor [Bill de Blasio]. But stop-and- frisk had a tremendous impact on the safety of New York City. Tremendous beyond belief. So when you say it has no impact, it really did. It had a very, very big impact." 

    But a look at the statistics casts doubt on most of these claims, especially Trump's praise of stop-and-frisk, a policing tactic many consider unconstitutional and ineffective today.

    Let's start with the back-and-forth between Trump and Clinton on whether crime in New York City has increased or decreased under de Blasio:

    Clinton: "Well, it's also fair to say, if we're going to talk about mayors, that under the current mayor, crime has continued to drop, including murders. So there is ..."

    Trump: "No, you're wrong. You're wrong."

    Clinton: "No, I'm not."

    Trump: "Murders are up. All right. You check it."

    Technically, there has been a slight increase in year-to-date murders since 2013. According to the NYPD's crime statistics database, Compstat, the city experienced 243 murders through mid-September in 2013, 228 in 2014, 257 in 2015, and 246 in 2016. That's a 1.2% change from 2013 to 2016.

    But year-to-date total crime — a compilation of seven major categories: murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny, and grand larceny auto — has fallen significantly since de Blasio took office. Year-to-date crime as of mid-September was at 78,201 in 2013; 75,916 in 2014; 73,985 in 2015; and 72,008 in 2016, according to Compstat. As a whole, crime in those categories went down 7.9% from 2013 to 2016.

    And that decrease happened while stops — the element Trump purports catalyzed the half-true uptick in crime and murder — decreased as well. 

    Odd how wrong Trump is about crime in the city he lives in. #stopandfrisk declined, so did murders. cc @JPeterDonald #Debates2016 pic.twitter.com/W2oACPZLSy

    — Azi (@Azi) September 27, 2016

     J. Peter Donald, assistant commissioner for communication and public information at the NYPD called the above a "great chart."

    Analysis by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), an organization often at odds with the NYPD, confirmed the decline in stops. The NYCLU relies on self-reported data from NYPD officers, however, which can prove problematic — especially because a recent report found that in many cases, officers failed to document the suspicion that would have warranted the stop.

    Regardless, in 2013, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 191,558 times. By 2015, that number decreased to 22,939, according to the NYCLU.

    Over the last several years, stop-and-frisk policing has gone by the wayside across the country. In 2013, a judge ruled New York City's use of it unconstitutional and racially discriminating. And in 2015, a report from President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing reported that "stop-and-frisk campaigns harass law-abiding black and brown citizens without contributing to public safety."

    As for Trump's claims that New York City went from having 2,200 murders to 500 murders, he's likely referring to 1990, when the number of murders peaked at 2,245, up 17.8% from the previous year. More than two decades passed before that number dropped below 500 in 2012. 

    NYPD historical murder rate

    Most importantly, New York City's drop in historical murder rate correlates to a nationwide drop in murder and crime rates, especially in large cities. And while it's hard to pinpoint a cause, theories range from a decline in lead poisoning to a decline in alcohol consumption, both of which can make people less violent.

    Although it's difficult to isolate stop-and-frisk as a variable, simple data show that crime continued to decrease even coupled with a substantial decline in stops. 

    In 2002, when Bloomberg — still a firm believer in stop-and-frisk's ability to "keep New York safe" — first took office, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 97,296 times, according to the NYCLU. Stops peaked in 2011, still under Bloomberg's purview, with 685,724 stops. By 2015, however, stops reached a pre-2002 low of 22,939. 

    Despite a nearly 97% reduction in stops, the number of crimes between 2011 and 2015 barely changed. In 2011, crimes were at 74,566 and 73,985 in 2015.

    While the decline in crime was starting to flatten out, The Washington Post's Max Ehrenfreund pointed to a study from legal scholar and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Fagan and other researchers on Operation Impact, a program under Bloomberg and then-police Commissioner Ray Kelly, which placed newly graduated police rookies on foot patrol in the city's highest crime neighborhoods, known as "impact zones."

    stop stop and frisk protest

    The program presented an opportunity to study whether "investigative stops," or stops conducted with reasonable suspicion a crime had occurred, was occurring, or was about to occur, contributed to New York City's stark decline in crime rate, according to to the authors.

    The researchers concluded, however, that Operation Impact had a "statistically significant but relatively small association with a reduction in total crimes." That reduction was most pronounced with probable-cause-related stops — which is not how a judge ruled New York was conducting them in 2013.

    In fact, the study's authors warned against "the cost of extra intrusion and burdens on local residents that have no crime reduction benefit."

    Based on his research, Fagan told The Washington Post that Trump's claims about stop-and-frisk are "not true, simply not accurate."

    SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton questioned whether Donald Trump 'owes about $650 million to Wall Street or foreign banks' — here's the backstory

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  • The 31 most competitive countries in the world
    (Politics - September 27 2016 - 10:01 PM:)

    blue lagoon iceland

    Every year, the World Economic Forum releases its Global Competitiveness Report on the state of the world's economies.

    The WEF looks at data on areas as varied as the soundness of banks to the sophistication of businesses in each country. It then uses the data to compile a picture of the economy of almost every country on earth.

    Countries were ranked according to the "12 pillars of competitiveness," which includes macro-economic environment, infrastructure, health and primary education, and labour market efficiency.

    This year, the UK moved up three places to become the 7th most competitive economy in the world — but Brexit could threaten this as WEF says "our analysis suggests there is more downside risk from Brexit than there is upside when it comes to the competitiveness of the UK economy."

    There was also a bit of change at the top of the rankings for this years 2016-2017 rankings. 

    Take a look at the top 31. The numbers cited is the overall ranking given by WEF:

    31. Czech Republic — 4.72. WEF says inefficient government bureaucracy and tax regulations hold the country back from a higher ranking.

    30. Estonia — 4.78. The country retains its position at 30 as it continues to be one of the most innovative economies in the world.

    29. Saudi Arabia — 4.84. WEF says the country slipped four places in the rankings "mainly as a result of a deteriorating macroeconomic environment following the drop in energy prices." However it noted that the country has unveiled an ambitious plan to diversify the economy.

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  • The UK risks unravelling everything within its economy and society with Brexit
    (Politics - September 27 2016 - 10:01 PM:)


    Britain's exit from the European Union — Brexit — could undo all the progress it has made becoming one of the world's most competitive countries, according to the World Economic Forum. 

    Every year the WEF's benchmark Global Competitiveness Report ranks countries on how competitive their economies are. 

    WEF looks at data on areas as varied as the soundness of banks to the sophistication of businesses in each country to compile a picture of the economy.

    Countries were ranked according to the "12 pillars of competitiveness," which includes macro-economic environment, infrastructure, health and primary education, and labour market efficiency.

    For the year 2016-2017, the prestigious institution outlined how the UK has risen up the overall Global Competitiveness Index by three positions hitting 7th place

    However, it warned that Britain's score was calculated based on pre-Brexit data and therefore the true effects from Britain leaving the EU have not been taken into consideration.

    "Our analysis suggests there is more downside risk from Brexit than there is upside when it comes to the competitiveness of the UK economy," said WEF in a statement sent to Business Insider. 

    Britain voted to leave the EU on June 23. Since then, the Sterling has hit 30-year lows, the Bank of England has implemented a range of stimulus measures including lowering rates to 0.25% to encourage spending and borrowing, and a number of agencies have revised down UK GDP projections.

    WEF said there are three uncertain areas for Britain that could affect the economy's competitiveness. "We regard these as uncertain because the direct impact could either be negative or positive:" wefUKdata

    1. Effectiveness of anti-monopoly policy —  WEF points out that the "UK already has an effective anti-trust regime, although so does the EU, so any impact is likely to be quite small." Only time will tell if Britain can successfully forge ahead with this without the help of the EU.

    2. Agricultural policy costs — Some 40% of the EU budget, worth €58 billion (£50.3 billion, $65.2 billion) a year, is spent on the agricultural policy.

    WEF said that if the UK leaves the EU, "on paper it [looks like it] could be a big saving" for Britain because it would not have to contribute to the EU budget.

    However, it warned that "the UK government has said it will match the subsidies," meaning that if UK farmers receive a subsidy from a collective fund from the EU, the UK will now have to stump up the costs itself, without any outside help.

    3. Exports — This is perhaps the most uncertain of all the fields as the UK has yet to trigger Article 50. No one has any idea what a Brexit will look like and what impact this will have on trade rates and laws.

    WEF notes that "it is very hard to say" what the overall impact would be. "Brexit may have the effect of reducing exports if access to traditional export markets becomes harder, however the depreciation of the pound serves as an automatic stabilizer that may help counterbalance this effect," it added.

    And these factors aren't the only ones that adding to the uncertainty. WEF said that "given that the pillars are interconnected, this analysis misses out on the indirect effects, which can be substantial."

    "Brexit poses a considerable risk to the UK’s competitiveness: of the 112 indicators that make up a country’s competitiveness profile, we identify 14 that could be directly negatively impacted by Brexit and only 2 that could be directly positively impacted," said WEF in a statement.

    "We identify three other indicators where Brexit could have uncertain direct impact. Of the 14 indicators that could have a direct negative impact, the UK tends to do better currently than either Norway or Switzerland," the group said.

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  • Trump keeps praising a controversial American general whose actions nearly prompted World War III
    (Politics - September 27 2016 - 9:47 PM:)

    donald trump

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump once again on Monday invoked the name of a controversial US Army general during the presidential debate — a seemingly odd choice, considering the officer almost started another world war and was later fired for insubordination.

    Hillary Clinton "tells you how to fight ISIS on her website," Trump said of the Democratic nominee. "I don't think Gen. Douglas MacArthur would like that very much."

    MacArthur has quite a storied, yet controversial, military career. He served in World War I and World War II, and received the Medal of Honor for his defense of the Philippines in 1942. But his actions in Korea almost led to a third world war, and a very public spat between MacArthur and President Harry Truman resulted in his firing for insubordination.

    "It was with the deepest personal regret that I found myself compelled to take this action," Truman said in 1951, telling the nation he would be relieving the general of his command. "General MacArthur is one of our greatest military commanders. But the cause of world peace is more important than any individual."

    The general had gone directly against the president and lost. Yet Monday was hardly the first time Trump has praised MacArthur.

    "Remember the old days of General MacArthur and General Patton, and these great generals," Trump previously said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015, when he was still weighing a run for president. "General MacArthur is spinning in his grave when he sees what we do."

    Crossing the border

    Korean War US Army

    On June 25, 1950, communist forces from North Korea crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea. The surprise attack resulted in numerous cities being overrun — to include Seoul — and the United Nations intervened.

    MacArthur was put in command of all American troops in Korea, tasked with beating the communist forces back while also trying to minimize outside influence from China and the Soviet Union. Though defense cuts to the US military resulted in some initial failures, MacArthur eventually succeeded in driving North Korea back to the border in the fall of 1950.

    Meanwhile, Truman was worried that China might enter the war, but MacArthur assured him the chances of that were slim. 

    His assurances proved incorrect, and hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers attacked American lines during the winter of 1950. The assault later led to a stunning defeat of two US Army divisions, which the Armed Forces Journal called "the greatest battlefield defeat in the Army's modern history."

    The "limited war" that Truman wanted was about to expand beyond his control, as MacArthur was asking for permission to bomb inside China and help nationalist forces from Taiwan to invade the country.

    A potential World War III was about to start.

    'There is no substitute for victory'


    Instead of seeking an expansion of the war, Truman disagreed with MacArthur's push to attack China. With the war deeply unpopular at home, the president was trying to end it by opening peace negotiations in early 1951.

    General officers are supposed to give frank advice on what they believe is the best military strategy — while avoiding any public statements on policy — because they are ultimately subordinate to the president in the chain of command. As retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said in 2012, it is essential for service members to remain neutral in politics and follow the legitimate orders of whoever is above them, since the military is "not a special-interest group."

    But MacArthur ignored this by often writing letters about what the US should do in Korea.

    The "politicized, erratic and egotistical" general was undermining the president in public statements and in private communications with politicians back in the US, who were urging him to leave the military and run for president himself.

    MacArthur was considered a "media whore" of his time, Daniel Drezner, a professor of international affairs at Tufts University, told Reuters. And he wasn't just insubordinate to Truman: As Tom Ricks has noted, MacArthur holds the unique record among military officers of defying three US presidents.

    A scathing letter MacArthur wrote in March 1951 to a Republican congressman was the final straw for Truman.

    The letter, which was read on the House floor on April 5, directly criticized the president, challenging his authority and ultimate command over the military as commander-in-chief.

    "If we lose the war to communism in Asia, the fall of Europe is inevitable, win it and Europe most probably would avoid war and yet preserve freedom," MacArthur wrote. "As you pointed out, we must win. There is no substitute for victory."

    Historian David McCullough later wrote that "virtually all that he said was bound to provoke Truman" — and it did.

    Days later, Truman, along with his advisers and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agreed that MacArthur had to be fired. He was replaced by Gen. Matthew Ridgway.

    It was a tough decision at the time: With MacArthur's public pronouncements and record in World War II, he was loved by the American public. Some even called for Truman's impeachment.

    Truman signing North Atlantic TreatyThough MacArthur's legacy remains controversial, Truman's decision to assert civilian control over the military and avoid a war with China has been regarded much more positively among historians.

    "I fired him because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the president," Truman later explained. "I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the laws for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail."

    'I don't want my generals being interviewed'

    Besides Trump's praise of controversial generals like MacArthur or Patton, he also brings them up as the heroes America needs now because they did not reveal their plans ahead of time to the enemy. Trump says he would "utterly destroy ISIS," though he has not explained how.

    And he often brings up those same generals as his reason: Not wanting to tip off the enemy.

    "I don't want my generals being interviewed," he said at a rally earlier this year.

    But this line of reasoning deals with tactical decisions, not strategy — a distinction Trump never makes.

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  • One person was arrested every 49 seconds for marijuana in 2015
    (Politics - September 27 2016 - 9:38 PM:)

    marijuana pot weed drugs protest

    A huge number of Americans are getting arrested for marijuana-related offenses.

    643,000 people were arrested for marijuana in 2015, according to crime data released by the FBI on Monday. That amounts to one person arrested for marijuana every 49 seconds.

    574,000 of these arrests were for possession rather than distribution and sale, according to the FBI's data.

    While the 2015 numbers are startling, marijuana arrests have actually steadily decreased since 2007, when 872,720 people were arrested. 2015 also saw the lowest total number of marijuana arrests since 1996.

    However, for a plant that's already recreationally legal for adults in four states and Washington D.C., that's still a huge drain on the country's legal system.

    States spent a combined $3.6 billion on enforcing marijuana possession laws alone, according to a 2013 report from The American Civil Liberties Union.

    While marijuana prohibition is quite costly, legalizing and commercializing the drug could generate up to $28 billion in tax revenue.

    Recent polls also show that the majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana nationwide.

    California Marijuana

    "While the numbers are thankfully dropping over time, it’s alarming and simply unacceptable that someone is harassed by the police just for marijuana every 49 seconds in this country," Tom Angell, the chairman of Marijuana Majority, an advocacy group told Business Insider via email. "Polls now consistently show that a growing majority of Americans supports full legalization, and it’s about time more politicians and law enforcement caught up."

    In November, recreational marijuana is set to hit the ballot in five states, including Massachusetts, Maine, Arizona, California, and Nevada.

    "Our movement is set to more than double the number of states with legalization this November, and we won’t stop pushing until the day when no one is put into handcuffs or cages just because they choose to consume cannabis," Angell said.

    SEE ALSO: These are the 9 most popular weed strains in Colorado

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