FERGUSON: ‘ POLICE STOCK UP ON RIOT GEAR IN PREPARATION ON WHETHER TO CHARGE WHITE POLICE OFFICER ‘

#AceWorldNews – FERGUSON – October 24 – Missouri police have been brushing up on constitutional rights and stocking up on riot gear to prepare for a grand jury’s decision about whether to charge a white police officer who fatally shot a black 18-year-old in suburban St. Louis.

The preparations are aimed at avoiding a renewed outbreak of violence during the potentially large demonstrations that could follow an announcement of whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will face a criminal trial for the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown.

Source: 

#ANS2014

#ferguson, #missouri, #st-louis

FERGUSON: ‘ Protest in St Louis Black Armed Teenager Shot 17 Times by Off-Duty Police Officer ‘

#AceNewsServices – FERGUSON – October 09 – An off-duty police officer in St. Louis, Missouri, shot and killed a man after chasing him through a local neighbourhood.

Citizens are marching near the site close to the Missouri Botanical Garden, chanting slogans as more officers stand by.

Protesters in St. Louis’s Shaw neighbourhood

The dead man, an 18-year-old young African American, fired at least three rounds at the officer, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson said at a news conference.

Police reported recovering a 9mm Ruger from the scene.

The 32-year-old officer was heading to his second job as a private security guard and was reportedly wearing a uniform. The police officer has served with the St. Louis force for six years.

St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Alfred Adkins told reporters that the officer approached four men on the street to question them.

“As he exited the car, the gentlemen took off running. He was able to follow one of them before he lost him and then found him again as the guy jumped out of some bushes across the street,” Adkins said.“The officer approached, they got into a struggle, they ended up into a gangway, at which time the young man pulled a weapon and shots were fired. The officer returned fire and unfortunately the young man was killed.”

Concerns are high that this latest police killing will lead to unrest in St. Louis.

People chanted slogans, including: “We’re young, we’re strong, we’re marching all night long!” and “Fight back, fight back!”

St Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters that during the Grand Avenue march in the city’s Shaw neighborhood several police cars were damaged and had their windows smashed.

As in the case with Michael Brown shooting two months ago in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, the suspect was black, the police shooter is white.

The fatal shooting occurred Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis, according to local Fox affiliate KTVI News. Law enforcement explained that the off-duty officer was working a secondary job when he attempted a pedestrian check.

However, as a crowd formed at the scene, some individuals told reporters that the suspect did not have a gun. In fact, multiple people said he was only armed with a sandwich. They also told KTVI that he was shot 16 times.

Local resident Teyonna Myers, 23, said the suspect’s name was 18-year-old Vonderrick Myers Jr., her cousin.

“He was unarmed,” she told the Post-Dispatch. “He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It’s like Michael Brown all over again.”

The death of Michael Brown in the neighboring city of Ferguson sparked a fierce backlash against police, who many in the community criticized for using excessive force. Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, was shot multiple times by an officer, and his death sparked a weeks of protests in the city – as well as nationwide debate over police behavior.

Another relative of Myers reportedly said that before being shot, the young man was also Tasered.

St. Louis police, meanwhile, are still conducting their investigation into the incident.

Video:  

#ferguson, #st-louis

‘ Search for Two Men in Ferguson Shoot-Out ‘

#AceWorldNews – FERGUSON – September 28 – A search for two suspects in a St. Louis suburb that’s undergone racial unrest continued Sunday after a Ferguson police officer was shot in the arm following an encounter with two men at a community centre who ran from him and then opened fire during a foot chase, authorities said.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a media briefing early Sunday that the officer approached the men around 9:10 p.m.

Saturday because the community centre was closed.

As the officer approached, the men ran away.

When the officer gave chase, “one of the men turned and shot,” Belmar said.

#ANS2014

#ferguson, #racial, #st-louis

US Dakota: “Farmer Readies His First #GMO Wheat Crop”

#AceNewsServices says over the past 20 plus years the “The Rise and Rise of Monsanto” has made significant advances in the development of herbicide-tolerant wheat, the company announced recently, and could have the first-of-its-kind crop ready for farming in just a few years’ time.

sayno2gmo

sayno2gmo

Genetically-modified wheat is not legally approved anywhere in the world, but the billion-dollar St. Louis, Missouribased agriculture company has for years been determined to develop the first #GMO variety of the cash crop. Now Monsanto’s chief technology officer thinks the company is on the right track with regards to research.

Monsanto’s GMO wheat-in-progress is among 29 endeavours being undertaken by the group to have made “phase advancements” recently, company reps said in a conference call last week, and testing has advanced from the “proof of concept” stage to early development.

monsanto-labeling-300x300Monsanto-made wheat, like other #GMO crops created by the company, would be resistant to their weed killer Round-up and thus join the likes of other “Round-up Ready” products already sold by the company, including bio-engineered soy-bean and corn.

“From an overall market perspective, the grain industry and the wheat industry — specifically the wheat trade industry — has remained very interested and supportive of biotech advances,” Monsanto CTO Robb Fraley said during last week’s call, according to Baking Business reporter Eric Schroeder.

“A wheat farmer generally is also a corn and soy-bean farmer, and they understand the benefits of the technology, and the wheat industry has watched the benefits that this technology has brought to both corn and soy-beans. So we continue to make advances,” added Schroeder.

According to the company’s top technologist, though, GMO wheat would likely not be reality until a couple of years down the road.

“We are still several years away from a product launch, but it is nice to see those products in the pipeline,” Fraley  added.

Indeed, Monsanto has actually spent the better part of a decade-and-a-half researching GMO wheat. The company began field testing a variety starting in 1998, but suspended operations in 2005 after determining that a super-wheat strain was not quite ready to be launched.

As RT  states Monsanto also recently announced that sales of its Round-up Ready soy-bean grew 16 percent during the quarter ending November 30, 2013.

Piper Jaffray Cos analyst Michael Cos told Bloomberg News at the time that Monsanto’s GMO soybean “will prove to be the single most important earnings driver” for the company during the course of the next two years. According to Fraley’s  assessment, though, the company could be nearly completion on its GMO wheat by then.

Should Monsanto stay on track, however, they’ll still have to worry about the restrictions currently in place in the United States and abroad against #GMO wheat. The company became the centre piece of a biotech scandal last year when remnants of old biotech wheat turned up on an Oregon farm practically a decade after Monsanto supposedly stopped testing the crop. After those reports circulated, a government official for Japan’s farm ministry placed an embargo on all US wheat.

Many others countries outside the US have banned #GMO imports, and China recently refused no fewer than five shipments of American corn allegedly over concerns it could have been tainted by a biotech variety of the crop.

Ace Related News : ETH 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

#acenewsservices, #biotechnology, #china, #genetically-modified-crops, #genetically-modified-organism, #genetically-modified-wheat, #monsanto, #oregon, #soybean, #st-louis, #united-states, #wheat

AmeriCashLoans: Borrowing Just $1,000 Turns Into $40,000 Debt

"DO NOT USE PAY DAY LENDERS TO BORROW MONEY"

“DO NOT USE PAY DAY LENDERS TO BORROW MONEY”

#AceDebtNews says as more and more people are put into #debt by #greedy lenders, out to make a profit out of misery.

This story has been agreed and it is copy righted thanks   Editor.

When Lenders Sue, Quick Cash Can Turn Into a Lifetime of Debt

by Paul Kiel ProPublica,  Dec. 13, 2013, 10:47 a.m.

A version of this story will be published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sunday.

Five years ago, Naya Burks of St. Louis borrowed $1,000 from AmeriCash Loans. The money came at a steep price: She had to pay back $1,737 over six months.

“I really needed the cash, and that was the only thing that I could think of doing at the time,” she said. The decision has hung over her life ever since.

A single mother who works unpredictable hours at a chiropractor’s office, she made payments for a couple of months, then she defaulted.

So AmeriCash sued her, a step that high-cost lenders 2013 makers of payday, auto-title and installment loans 2013 take against their customers tens of thousands of times each year. In just Missouri and Oklahoma, which have court databases that allow statewide searches, such lenders file more than 29,000 suits annually, according to a ProPublica analysis.

ProPublica’s examination shows that the court system is often tipped in lenders’ favor, making lawsuits profitable for them while often dramatically increasing the cost of loans for borrowers.

High-cost loans already come with annual interest rates ranging from about 30 percent to 400 percent or more. In some states, if a suit results in a judgment 2013 the typical outcome 2013 the debt can then continue to accrue at a high interest rate. In Missouri, there are no limits on such rates.

Many states also allow lenders to charge borrowers for the cost of suing them, adding legal fees on top of the principal and interest they owe. One major lender routinely charges legal fees equal to one-third of the debt, even though it uses an in-house lawyer and such cases usually consist of filing routine paperwork. Borrowers, meanwhile, are rarely represented by an attorney.

After a judgment, lenders can garnish borrowers’ wages or bank accounts in most states. Only four states prohibit wage garnishment for most debts, according to the National Consumer Law Center; in 20, lenders can seize up to one-quarter of borrowers’ paychecks. Since the average borrower who takes out a high-cost loan is already stretched to the limit, with annual income typically below $30,000, losing such a large portion of their pay “starts the whole downward spiral,” said Laura Frossard of Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma.

The peril is not just financial. In Missouri and other states, debtors who don’t appear in court also risk arrest.

As ProPublica has previously reported, the growth of high-cost lending has sparked battles across the country. In response to efforts to limit interest rates or otherwise prevent a cycle of debt, lenders have fought back with campaigns of their own and by transforming their products.

Lenders argue their high rates are necessary if they are to be profitable and that the demand for their products is proof they provide a valuable service. When they file suit against their customers, they do so only as a last resort and always in compliance with state law, lenders contacted for this article said.

After AmeriCash sued Burks in September 2008, she found her debt had grown to more than $4,000. She agreed to pay it back, bit by bit. If she didn’t, AmeriCash won the right to seize a portion of her pay.

Ultimately, AmeriCash took more than $5,300 from Burks’ paychecks. Typically $25 per week, the payments made it harder to cover basic living expenses, Burks said. “Add it up: As a single parent, that takes away a lot.”

But those years of payments brought Burks no closer to resolving her debt. Missouri law allowed it to continue growing at the original interest rate of 240 percent 2013 a tide that overwhelmed her small payments. So even as she paid, she plunged deeper and deeper into debt.

By this year, that $1,000 loan Burk’s took out in 2008 had grown to a $40,000 debt, almost all of which was interest. After ProPublica submitted questions to AmeriCash about Burks’ case, however, the company quietly and without explanation filed a court declaration that Burks had completely repaid her debt.

Had it not done so, Burks would have faced a stark choice: declare bankruptcy or make payments for the rest of her life.

A Judge’s Dismay

Appointed to Missouri’s associate circuit court in St. Louis last year by Gov. Jay Nixon, Judge Christopher McGraugh came to the bench with 25 years’ experience as an attorney in civil and criminal law. But, he said, “I was shocked” at the world of debt collection.

As in Burks’ case, high-cost lenders in Missouri routinely ask courts to hand down judgments that allow loans to continue growing at the original interest rate. Initially, he refused, McGraugh said, because he feared that would doom debtors to years, if not a lifetime, of debt.

“It’s really an indentured servitude,” he said. “I just don’t see how these people can get out from underneath [these debts].”

But he got an earful from the creditors’ attorneys, he said, who argued that Missouri law was clear: The lender has an unambiguous right to obtain a post-judgment interest rate equal to that in the original contract. McGraugh studied the law and agreed: His hands were tied.

Now, in situations where he sees a debt continuing to build despite years of payments by the debtor, the best he can do is urge the creditor to work with the debtor. “It’s extremely frustrating,” he said.

Since the beginning of 2009, high-cost lenders have filed more than 47,000 suits in Missouri, according to a ProPublica analysis of state court records. In 2012, the suits amounted to 7 percent of all collections suits in the state. Missouri law allows lenders to charge unlimited interest rates, both when originating loans and after winning judgments.

Borrowers such as Burks often do not know how much they have paid on their debt or how much they owe. When creditors seek to garnish wages, the court orders are sent to debtors’ employers, which are responsible for deducting the required amount, but not to the debtors themselves.

AmeriCash, for instance, was not required to send Burks any sort of statement after the garnishment began. She learned from a reporter how much she had paid 2013 and how much she still owed.

After AmeriCash’s deduction and another garnishment related to a student loan, Burks said she took home around $460 each week from her job.

No court oversees the interest that creditors such as AmeriCash charge on post-judgment debts. For instance, the judgment that Burks and an attorney for AmeriCash signed says that her debt will accrue at 9 percent interest annually. Instead, AmeriCash appears to have applied her contractual rate of 240 percent a year.

That seems unjustified, McGraugh said. “I would believe you’re bound by the agreement you made in court.”

In the past five years, AmeriCash has filed more than 500 suits in Missouri. The suits often result in cases like Burks’, with exploding debts. One borrower took out a $400 loan in late 2005 and by 2012 had paid $3,573 2013 but that didn’t stop the interest due on the loan from ballooning to more than $16,000. (As in Burks’ case, AmeriCash relieved that debtor of his obligation after ProPublica submitted a list of questions to the company.)

AmeriCash, a private company based in a Chicago suburb, has five stores in Missouri, as well as 60 more across four other states. The company did not respond to repeated phone calls and emails about its practices. The firm’s attorney, Wally Pankowski of the Evans & Dixon law firm, declined to comment.

Cases in which lawsuits led to exploding debts abound in Missouri, and ProPublica found examples involving several different lenders.

Erica Hollins of St. Louis took out a $100 loan from Loan Express just before Christmas 2006. She soon fell behind on the payments, but instead of suing immediately, the company waited, the debt growing at 200 percent interest all the while. When the company sued two and a half years later, it received a judgment to collect on $913, including interest.

For years, the company garnished Hollins’ paychecks from her job at a nursing home. When, after a total of nearly $3,600 in payments, Hollins still had not cleared her debt, she called Loan Express’ attorney, she said. As in Burks’ case, the lender was represented by Pankowski. “I asked him would I ever be done paying for this?” she recalled. “And he said, 2018Maybe, maybe not.’ ” (Pankowski declined to comment on the case.)

Hollins sought legal help. Now she’s filed suit against the company, alleging it intentionally delayed suing so that her debt would multiply. The suit is ongoing.

Todd Stimson, who owns Loan Express, as well as three other stores in Illinois, said his company waited to sue Hollins because he believed her wages were already being garnished by another creditor. He also said his company gave her ample opportunity to avoid a suit in the first place but that Hollins didn’t pay. Companies like his have to sue in such situations, he said. Otherwise, “word gets out in the neighborhood, 2018Oh, you won’t get sued anyway, just don’t pay them.'”

As for Hollins paying back more than 35 times what she borrowed, Stimson said his company might have stopped the garnishment if Hollins had asked, although he added that “legally, I don’t have to.”

Not all lenders pursue as much as they are legally entitled to. Some lenders charge triple-digit rates in their contracts, but they lower the rate after receiving a judgment.

Speedy Cash, for instance, has filed at least 9,382 lawsuits in Missouri over the past five years, more than any other high-cost lender, according to ProPublica’s analysis. It has six stores in the state, in addition to making loans online.

Speedy Cash’s loans can be very expensive. A 2011 contract for a $400 loan, for instance, shows a 389 percent annual interest rate and total payments of $2,320 over a year and a half.

Case Files: Missouri

Missouri allows high-cost lenders who win judgments against  delinquent borrowers to charge unlimited interest rates on the debts, inflating the amount owed. Here are three examples:

 

#americash-loans, #americashloans, #burk, #burks, #jay-nixon, #loan, #missouri, #national-consumer-law-center, #naya-burks, #oklahoma, #propublica, #st-louis, #st-louis-post-dispatch