Recent Controversy Concerning Police Brutality

The political climate in the United States has recently been tense after the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. Everyone is on edge, and the potential for violence to occur is on everyone’s mind. In times like these, it often difficult to propose a plan of action to address the violence problem and still be just to everyone. This is the case with law enforcement, as there has been much recent controversy surrounding police brutality. Without an incredibly nuanced approach, there could be catastrophic consequences.

Following the recent deaths of two Florida police officers and the shooting of two more, lawmakers are considering expanding protections and handing down harsher penalties for those that assault police officers. They plan to do this by adding law enforcement and emergency response personnel to the protected classes of race, religion, and sexual orientation under hate crime laws. This would mean that even off-duty officers would be protected, and this new classification would protect anyone that the perpetrator of the crime even thinks is a police officer, whether it is true or not. The Florida Police Benevolence Association is advocating for this change, citing the current political climate and increased aggression towards law enforcement as reasons for the push. The FPBA states that any move to discourage someone from assaulting a peace officer is a positive change. However, according to The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, this change should not be necessary because increased punishments already exist for those who commit violence against police officers. Any crime committed against law enforcement automatically gets bumped up one level regarding the seriousness of the offense. In fact, similar legislation to include law enforcement under hate crime laws was already proposed in Florida earlier this year, and it was backed by The Florida Sheriff’s Association. That bill was never even heard by a committee, so it is likely this similar bill will die as well.

There are some problems with including law enforcement and emergency personnel under hate crime laws. Would other careers be added to this? What about members of the military? There are branches of criminal defense in Florida that help service members in the event they run into legal trouble, for instance, the Flaherty Defense Firm that was found via a simple Google search, but what if a service member is assaulted by someone who dislikes the military? If we begin to include some occupational choices under the hate crime statute, it is only fair to include all of them. A lawyer in the above article aptly asks, “Are construction workers next?”

The possibility may exist that there is no clear cut way for the government to address violence against police officers. Aside from harsher penalties, which already exist, the police departments could take more precautions to keep themselves safe while also ensuring the protection of the citizens they serve. Putting law enforcement on the same list as those who experience real discrimination every single day is likely not the correct solution, especially when becoming a police officer is a clear choice.

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Why Pruning Trees is Important

Pruning, which is much more than a simple act of sawing off branches, is a horticultural practice. It alters the growth and form of a tree, and is also considered preventive maintenance, since by pruning (correctly) many tree problems may be prevented. Thus, it should be a regular part of a tree maintenance program.

According to the University of Minnesota Extension, there are many different reasons why you should prune your trees.

1. To promote plant health by:

  • Removing dead or dying branches injured by disease, severe insect                infestation, animals, or storms.
  • Removing branches that rub together.
  • Removing branch stubs.

2. To protect people and property by:

  • Removing dead branches.
  • Having hazardous trees taken down.
  • Pruning out weak or narrow-angled branches that overhang homes, sidewalks and parking areas as these could injure people or damage properties.
  • Eliminating branches that interfere with street lights, traffic signals, and overhead wires. However, remember not to attempt to prune near electrical and utility wires to avoid accidents. This should be done only by utility companies or by city maintenance workers.
  • Pruning branches that obscure vision at intersections or the entry to your home.

3. To maintain trees, which is essential in landscapes.

4. To encourage flower and fruit development.

5. To maintaining a dense hedge.

6. To maintain a desired plant form or a special garden form.

7. To improve tree appearance.

8. To control tree shape and size.

9. To keep trees well-proportioned and dense.

10. To remove unwanted branches, suckers, waterspouts and undesirable fruiting structures.

11. To stimulate or restrict growth.

12. To improve aesthetics.

13. To save a storm-damaged tree.

Proper pruning of a tree encourages strong growth, improves plant health, and removes damaged limbs. Pruning should be done at the right time though and in the right way as this can be critical. If not properly done or done at the wrong time, it can kill even a healthy tree.

According to the Hamlin Tree Care, tree trimming and pruning, and other tree care services are not only for homeowners, but for commercial properties, landscape companies & general contractors too. Trees, whether in residential or business areas, are an important investment.

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Divorce Involving Military Personnel

Divorce Involving Military Personnel

After October 2001, when combat in Iraq and Afghanistan began, the U.S. the Defense Department noted and got concerned over the rate of divorce involving military personnel suddenly increased.

The war in Iraq and Afghanistan resulted to the deployment of more than 2 million American service men and women to these two countries – to search for the brains behind the 9/11 attack. Due to the long deployment, however, the most common effect was a decision and move by civilian spouses to divorce their military partner.

It was also noted by the Defense Department that the rate of divorce among military couples increased steadily from 2001 to 2011 – the beginning and the duration of the Afghan operations. Divorce was higher between couples who were childless and who got married before 2001. Studies sponsored by the Department of Defense somehow manifested that civilian spouses who were married to service men/women after 2001were more prepared to accept the consequences of being married to a military personnel, and that includes long deployments when called to active duty, as well the risk of being a casualty of war.

Even if one of the spouses in a divorce case is a military personnel, the divorce process will still have to be governed (largely) by state laws and procedures. There are some states, though, that consider certain military regulations and federal statutes in a divorce process, such as the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act. The Act is about division of military retired pay, medical assistance and other benefits.

It is explained by a San Antonio Military Divorce Attorney from the law firm Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht that “Military divorces are subject to greater scrutiny and regulation than their civilian counterparts. While regular divorce only falls under the state’s jurisdiction, a military divorce will be looked at by both state and federal courts. There are special rules and requirements that make a military divorce a substantially different experience than a non-military one. For example, one may have to travel back to their home of record for a court to be able to grant a divorce, while civilians can just travel to the court where they live. To this end, the effect such a divorce has on one’s life also varies from those going through a traditional divorce, and can also introduce overwhelming stress and hardship.

There are also highly specific factors involving military divorces, such as GI bill benefits, military pensions, and military health insurance. Thus, for a more guaranteed smooth transition into your new life, you may require professional and knowledgeable legal representation from an attorney who is familiar with both state and military divorce laws. This just means that you should not enter divorce proceedings unprepared — hire a knowledgeable military divorce attorney to represent you.

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Common Property Crimes

Common Property Crimes

Property crimes are crimes involving the destruction or stealing of property, usually without the use of force or threat. Properties most commonly involved are cash, electronic devices, and jewelry.

Since these crimes involve valuable items, they are taken seriously by courts, and you may suffer devastating consequences, not just direct consequences like jail time, but also indirect ones like limited employment opportunities in the future. For this reason, you should also take criminal charges such as property crimes seriously. The best way to show how serious you are is by getting the help of legal professionals who specialize in these kinds of crimes, like these Columbia criminal defense lawyers.

Arson

Arson is the act of maliciously putting a property of another on fire with the intention to cause damage to it. Some jurisdictions only include residential properties, while others include any property, such as vehicles.

Burglary

Burglary refers to the act of entering a property with the intention of committing an offense. The most common offense associated with burglary
is theft, but it is not uncommon for burglary to be a factor in arson, kidnapping, rape, and vandalism.

Motor Vehicle Theft

Motor vehicle theft involves a person who is stealing or attempting to steal another person’s motor vehicle. The most common methods of motor vehicle thieves include forced entry to an unattended vehicle, forced taking of an attended vehicle or carjacking, and hotwiring.

Robbery

Robbery occurs when a person is taking or attempting to take a property that does not belong to him by using force or threat of force. What makes it different from shoplifting and other forms of theft is the violence involved in the act of stealing.

Being charged of these property crimes can have serious repercussions, but it is a good thing that you can defend yourself through getting legal help. But at the end of the day, you don’t want to encounter the hassles of attorney fees and lost time, so it is better to just completely avoid these property crimes.

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The Dangers of Defective Pharmaceutical Products

To get the relief that we need from minor pains or illnesses, like headache, toothache or cough and colds, we take over-the-counter medicines; for serious illnesses, like diabetes, heart ailment, and the likes, however, we rely on the drug a doctor will prescribe.

Perfectly safe and effective drugs can work wonders. Safe and effective, though, sometimes never go together for what may be safe for one, may serve as poison (or a cause of another type of illness) to another and what may just be the right dosage for one may not be enough for someone else.

Before drugs are made available in the market, it first needs to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And, before approval by the FDA, the drug’s manufacturer first needs to show proofs that the drug has been tested and proven safe and effective for patient use.

Despite the extensive research and tests conducted by pharmaceutical experts, many drugs still get reported to the FDA as causing the development of more serious illnesses or causing death in some of those who use them. Many prescription drugs, as well as over-the-counter drugs, have been linked to either of the two or both. This may probably be due to any of the following reasons:

First, since the drug companies are the ones sponsoring the tests conducted on their medical products, they get the chance to keep the negative results detected from their drug and submit only the positive outcome of the tests to the FDA

Second, despite the real effectiveness and safeness of the drug, a patient’s immune system may not be strong enough to fight possible drug side-effects, the patient may have a medical health condition, or the patient may be taking another medication that counteracts with the new drug he or she is taking. This is why it is essentially important that doctors explain to their patients everything concerning the drug that they will prescribe; about the drug’s possible effects and what health condition and which medication will not work well with it.

Pharmaceutical companies, which have knowledge or come to know of their drug’s defects through reported cases, have the obligation to include in their drug’s prescription label the risk/s associated with using the medicine. Companies which negligently fail in their duty to inform consumers about the risks associated with using their medical product can be sought after by those harmed through the use of their drug to seek compensation from them for all the damages (present and future) resulting from use of the medicine.

As stated in the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, millions of people in the United States rely on pharmaceutical products to regulate physical and mental conditions. If a pharmaceutical product negatively affects you or a loved one, then you might be due financial compensation by the pharmaceutical product’s manufacturer or distributor. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options on this matter.

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Common Mistakes in Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

Assisted living, according to SeniorAdvice.com, is an alternative housing facility that provides help for those individuals who need guidance in fulfilling their needs and doing their daily tasks such as dressing up, eating, and socializing.

In the United States, many families have to deal with sending their loved ones to assisted living facilities, and it poses great challenges to the people involved. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to overlook some important information since this is a crucial decision, which may also be overwhelming, for the family. In order to avoid future problems while choosing a home for your elder, here are some common mistakes that you should avoid.

Disregarding future needs and convenience tops the list. Families may only choose what’s best for the current situation without thinking about the future assistance that may be needed, which could lead to transferring homes or requiring different medical care. This problem disadvantages those who have dementia since it will be hard for them to adjust.

The next mistake is when families choose homes that appeal to them and not basing their choice on the needs of the elders. This usually happens when the elder is too weak to participate in the decision-making, so it is advised to carefully consider their situation and preferences.

The third mistake is choosing a home based on proximity. Families often think of the closest facility as the best one out there, since they will be able to visit all the time. In truth, there are far better choices in terms of the quality of the service, which ultimately should be the goal of the decision.

Another mistake that may happen is deciding too early and not giving a thorough research. While you may need to be urgent in picking a facility, comparing homes and taking enough time are always effective in providing the best assistance possible. All in all, families should allot enough time in choosing a home, so future difficulties may be avoided.

There are many resources to learn about the quality of assisted living facilities, such as the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation.

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Car Accident Consequences

The effects of a car crash range from annoying to horrific. If you just spent the weekend buffing your car to someone and a high-shine scratches on the paint and side swipes you in your very first day out, that’s annoying, but hardly actually worth a call to your insurance carrier. You’ll be one in about 10-million individuals who fail to report a minor accident.

Even then, you can find lots of noted automobile accidents in the United States that end in harms and deaths. It’s projected that about one man is hurt every 14 seconds someplace in the USA, and one person dies every 48 minutes. And you don’t even need even be in a vehicle or to be driving to be involved with a car crash. According to the website of Hankey Law Office, P.C., there are about 60,000 people annually who are hit by a vehicle and the speed often causes serious injury, perhaps also long-lasting disability even if it is 30 mph or lower. In a lot of cases, the pedestrian dies without actually understanding her, especially in urban areas or what struck him.

The drivers, pedestrians, and travelers involved are immediately impacted by the effects of a vehicle accident. It’s often the physical and monetary side that hurts the most no issue the severity of the incident. Even for minor injuries, the journey to the emergency area may place the patient back up to $1,000, and for the injuries that were truly severe, the costs can be substantial. Often, the injury victim needs to pay-out-of-pocket expenditures for charges not included in the insurance carrier.

The financial and physical pain is usually followed by a mental reaction, for example developing dystychiphobia (fear of accidents) or (fear of riding in a motorized vehicle). These are devastating conditions, although they scarcely occur. But when the injury turns out to have already been caused by neglect by among the parties, the mental aspect might be overwhelming. The sole consolation the hapless victims has been that in these instances, it can not be impossible to prosecute for compensation. In order not to be overcome by these unwarranted results in a racing or drunk driving automobile accident, consult a personal injury lawyer in your region.

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Health Risks of Toxic Molds

The threat of toxic mod has been on the public eye lately, and health concerns have caused a number of lawsuits filed. Misconception of toxic molds has only caused widespread fear about the safety of their homes, schools, workplace, and other places. Because molds can grow anywhere damp, humid, and warm, they can be found in just about every state in the US. The real danger of mold is when they are in high concentration in a small area, which eventually lead to the following health problems:

  • Allergic reactions – sensitivity to molds can differ from person to person, but general symptoms consist of eye irritations, nasal stuffiness, wheezing, coughing, and skin irritations. Severe symptoms include shortness of breath, flu-like symptoms, and fever.
  • Aspergillosis – this covers a family of diseases related to the genus of Aspergillis; ABPA (allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis) is the non-invasive form that causes allergy-like symptoms, while invasive aspergillosis causes serious health complications that damages tissues of different organs, but common in lungs. It can spread throughout the whole body if left untreated.
  • Toxin-related maladies – although there has been reports of a link between mold exposure and serious diseases (such as brain damage, chronic fatigue syndrome, infant lung hemorrhaging, and other health issues, scientists still need further proof of their direct connection. Nevertheless, toxigenic molds are still considered a factor in many serious diseases and injuries.

It is important to note that certain types of people can be more sensitive when exposed to molds than other people. People with lung conditions, weakened immune systems, and other preexisting health conditions are considered at higher risks of illnesses after exposures to toxic molds, along with the elderly and infants who run the risk of developing health complications.

Because of the lack of medical data relating mold exposure to a specific set of symptoms, it is often very difficult to pin-point the direct cause of the condition that a certain individual is suffering from. Furthermore, the use of “toxic mold” has caused more confusion, since regardless of whether molds are toxigenic or not, they may still cause symptoms if they are exposed to molds of high enough concentrations.

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Does Xarelto Have Deadly Side Effects?

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the manufacturing and mass distribution of the blood thinning agent, Xarelto, back in 2011. It is also known by the name of its most potent and active ingredient, rivaroxaban. Since then, it has gained popularity all over the world – used commonly as a preventative measure against deep vein thrombosis (DVT) for people undergoing or who have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery. Worldwide, its sales amount up to $1 billion.

Unfortunately, there are unforeseen consequences to this anticoagulant drug that many of the people who had taken it were completely unaware of. Some patients experience discoloration in their urine or stool, sometimes even finding blood in them. Muscle weakness and fatigue are also symptoms of side effects that are much more serious that meets the eye. Many patients, according to the website of Williams Kherkher, have filed legal action against the manufacturers and claim that the drug caused severe gastrointestinal bleeding or brain hemorrhaging as a result of taking Xarelto.

Internal bleeding is not as easily spotted as an open flesh wound. These injuries are often brought to attention after careful examination. If an organ – such as the brain, the heart, the stomach – has its blood flow altered due to the presence of the bleeding, the organ could cease to function entirely. Brain hemorrhaging, for example, is caused by a ruptured vein in the brain that then surrounds the organ with blood, thereby tending to cause spasms or strokes.

There have been claims from the victims of these drugs (after study and investigation) that the manufacturers, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, through Janssen Pharmaceuticals, were aware of these side effects but failed to label the products or inform patients of these possibly disabling and lethal side effects. Manufacturers of drugs like these need to be held legally accountable for defects found in their pharmaceuticals. It is then recommended that experienced legal representation is sought immediately if one has been found in a similar, Xarelto-born situation.

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