TIME Crime

Oklahoma City Police Bid a Sad Goodbye to K-9 ‘Kye’

Oklahoma City police officer Sgt. Ryan Stark, center, leans over the casket of his canine partner, K-9 Kye, following funeral services for the dog in Oklahoma City, on Aug. 28, 2014.
Oklahoma City police officer Sgt. Ryan Stark, center, leans over the casket of his canine partner, K-9 Kye, following funeral services for the dog in Oklahoma City, on Aug. 28, 2014. Sue Ogrocki—AP

The dog was stabbed during a burglary

K-9 Kye, a three year old Belgian German Shepard, died Aug. 25 after being stabbed by a burglary suspect the day prior. Sgt. Stark tried to separate the dog and the suspect before fatally shooting the suspect.

TIME United Kingdom

No, Britain Is Not Poorer Than Alabama

Is the United Kingdom really "poorer than much-maligned Kansas and Alabama"? Er, not quite

Britain just loves confirming the worst about itself. Our tabloids thrive on stories that portray the country as a teeming mass of greedy migrants and workshy idlers, run by a parliament of elites in alliance with a small uber-class of the 1%. The truth is rather more complex than that, of course, but no newspaper will go broke telling Brits that their country’s gone to the dogs.

Take Fraser Nelson’s bleak diagnosis in The Spectator of how Britain compares to the poorest states in the U.S., which has been picked up widely by media on both sides of the pond. If Britain were somehow to become the 51st state of America, Fraser suggests, it would rank near the bottom:

“If you take our economic output, adjust for living costs and slot it into the US league table then the United Kingdom emerges as the second-poorest state in the union. We’re poorer than much-maligned Kansas and Alabama and well below Missouri, the scene of all the unrest in recent weeks. Only Mississippi has lower economic output per head than the UK; strip out the South East and Britain would rank bottom.”

This may shock Americans who stick to an outmoded idea of the United Kingdom as a sceptred isle of pageantry and gentility (though any Yank who has ever visited an urban center outside of London on a Friday night will know that it isn’t all tea and hunting parties). But are our poorest areas really comparable to the worst of Mississippi or Alabama?

The statistics tell only part of the story, and it seems Nelson has rather skewed them to favor his conclusion. In pure GDP per capita, the UK ranks 21st in the world. That’s behind the U.S., at 6th, but ahead of countries such as Italy, Israel and Japan. When compared to U.S. states, it puts Britain in the lower half of the table, nestled between Tennessee and Missouri.

It’s only when you adjust the UK GDP per capita for living costs—that is, when you factor in that a dollar goes further in the U.S. than its equivalent in sterling does in the UK—that the Brits sink to the bottom of the state-by-state listings.

But here’s the thing: Nelson doesn’t appear to have attempted to factor in living costs within the U.S. The idea that a dollar spent in New York goes equally as far as a dollar spent in Alabama is laughable, but the comparison he uses proceeds from that assumption.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds sizable regional differences in the Consumer Price Index, with the South some 21 points below the Northeast. There’s no easy way to work that differential into Nelson’s back-of-an-envelope study, especially as the BLS doesn’t break down CPI by state. But isn’t it a little inaccurate to factor in the living costs of the UK and not the states used as a comparison?

It is also a little simplistic to equate poverty with GDP, which measures business and government spending as well as individual consumer behavior. Poverty is better reflected by rates of joblessness, education level and life expectancy. The UK’s unemployment rate is 6.6%, roughly comparable to New York (36th among the states). The UK has a 91% high school equivalent graduation rate, which would put it in the top 5 among states. And the UK’s life expectancy at birth is over 80; that would rank it among the top 10 states.

None of this is to say that Britain—an island of roughly the same square mileage as Michigan, but with a population almost twice the size of California—doesn’t have huge structural economic problems, or its own areas of persistent blight. But it shouldn’t take an oversimplified comparison to Mississippi to make residents see them.

Nelson does, however, get one thing absolutely right. If there’s one thing the Brits enjoy more than despairing at their own squalid state of affairs, it’s smugly noting that at least the Americans have it worse.

TIME White House

LIVE: Obama Speaks on ISIS and Ukraine Crisis

President expected to address the fight against Sunni militants in Iraq, and the worsening situation in Ukraine

+ READ ARTICLE

President Obama is expected to address the nation from the White House press briefing room on the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and greater Syria (ISIS) and worsening violence in Ukraine.

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton on Ferguson: ‘We Are Better Than That’

"We can't ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness and equality"

+ READ ARTICLE

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her first public comments Thursday on the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., calling for the country to address “inequities” in the criminal-justice system.

The likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate addressed both the shooting and the days of often violent protests that followed, saying, “This is what happens when the bonds of trust and respect that hold any community together fray.”

Clinton’s comments came at the end of a paid speaking appearance in San Francisco. She said her “heart just broke” for Brown’s family after the unarmed 18-year old was shot by police officer Darren Wilson more than two weeks ago. She also condemned the “terrible” images on television of heavily armed police facing off with largely peaceful protesters. “Nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone,” she said. “Not in America, we are better than that.” And Clinton called for a renewed focus on reforming the nation’s criminal justice system, saying the country must confront lingering unfairness.

“We can’t ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness and equality,” she said.

“Imagine what we would feel and what we would do if white drivers were three times as likely to be searched by police during a traffic stop as black drivers, instead of the other way around,” Clinton said, “if white offenders received prison sentences 10% longer than black offenders for the same crimes, if a third of all white men — just look at this room and take one third — went to prison during their lifetime. Imagine that. That is the reality in the lives of so many of our fellow Americans and so many of the communities in which they live.”

Clinton noted that her remarks fell on the 51st anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech during the 1963 March on Washington. “That mission is as fiercely urgent today as when he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the hot August sun all those years ago,” she said. “So we have a lot of work to do together.”

TIME Military

America Is Using Cannons to Kill Mosquitoes in Iraq

The wreckage of a car belonging to Islamic State militants lies along a road after it was targeted by a U.S. air strike at the entrance to the Mosul Dam
U.S. airpower has been largely limited to attacking and destroying Humvees and other vehicles inside Iraq. Youssef Boudlal / Reuters

The world’s most powerful military is dispatching multi-million-dollar aircraft and their pilots into harm’s way to destroy $70,000 Humvees

The new war the U.S. is waging over Iraq is succeeding. With help on the ground from Kurdish and Iraqi troops, U.S. airstrikes have pushed fighters from the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) away from the Mosul Dam.

But the daily details of U.S. military airstrikes only serve to highlight how little American military might can do.

“The strikes destroyed an [ISIS] Humvee,” U.S. Central Command said Wednesday.

“One strike destroyed an [ISIS] Humvee near the Mosul Dam,” Sunday’s announcement said.

“The strikes destroyed or damaged three [ISIS] Humvees,” Centcom said a week ago.

The world’s most powerful military is dispatching multi-million-dollar aircraft and their pilots into harm’s way to destroy $70,000 Humvees.

Adding insult to injury, the U.S. gave those vehicles to the Iraqi military, which fumbled them into ISIS hands after the militants overran Mosul and plundered Iraqi arsenals two months ago.

This may be the challenge of 21st century war. The American military, honed by its successes in World War II, is primed to attack militaries that look like it. Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq each presented U.S. war planners with target-rich environments.

But why should anyone confronting U.S. might want to fight on America’s terms? That’s why the U.S. military has been less successful in the target-poor environments of Vietnam, Afghanistan and post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.

President Barack Obama’s 100-plus airstrikes in Iraq against ISIS targets have beaten the jihadists back. Now he’s weighing an expanded campaign that would attack ISIS targets across the border, in Syria.

But any such action lacks a smart and achievable goal. Attacking ISIS in Syria would make the U.S. a de facto ally of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, whose civil war has killed nearly 200,000. It was three years ago this month that Obama said Assad must surrender power.

Most Americans don’t want more military action in the Middle East. Until they do—and their representatives in Congress are willing to back it with a declaration of war against ISIS—letting U.S. warplanes attack U.S.-built-and-paid-for Humvees inside Iraq may be the best, if unsatisfying, option.

TIME weather

Hurricane, Tropical Storm Bring Huge Waves to Both Coasts

A surfer rides a wave at the wedge in Newport Beach, Calif. on Aug. 27, 2014. Southern California beachgoers experienced much higher than normal surf, brought on by Hurricane Marie spinning off the coast of Mexico.
A surfer rides a wave at the wedge in Newport Beach, Calif. on Aug. 27, 2014. Southern California beachgoers experienced much higher than normal surf, brought on by Hurricane Marie spinning off the coast of Mexico. Chris Carlson—AP

Two storms may be on opposite coasts on Thursday, but Hurricane Cristobal and Tropical Storm Marie were delivering similar conditions to both sides of the country. Neither storm is expected to make landfall, but both were bringing strong rip currents and massive surf, which have already proved to be deadly on the East Coast. Spectators and thrill-seekers flocked to Southern California beaches to view, or ride, the waves — some of which reached 20 feet — due to Marie, according to NBC Southern California

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

TIME Travel

See Images of Airplanes at Night Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

This is what your Labor Day vacation flight looks like shot as a long exposure

While Labor Day is first and foremost a tribute to the nation’s workers, it is also billed as one of the worst travel days of the year. For many, it’s the final opportunity to take a three day weekend before the chill of fall, and eventually winter, sets in. Nearly 35 million people will be traveling this weekend, with nearly eighty percent traveling by air.

This summer, photographer Kevin Kunstadt began making long exposures of airplanes as they flew over the New York City area at night, creating these surreal and eerily beautiful images that chart the flight paths travelers will take this weekend. “A bit of guesswork and luck was involved due to the variability of the flight paths and the time it takes to set up each shot — you can only kind of estimate where the planes might go based on prior flight paths that you might see while framing the shot, ” Kunstadt told TIME. “The website Flightaware.com was tremendously helpful as far as gauging the timing of potential planes, and figuring out when to start an exposure. The exposures themselves were between 3 and 30 minutes.” His images capture light trails usually invisible to the human eye, and a view you are unlikely to see during this weekend’s travel.

TIME States

Woman Dies at Burning Man After Being Hit by Bus

This is a DigitalGlobe satellite image "overview" of the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock City Nevada.
This is a DigitalGlobe satellite image "overview" of the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock City Nevada. DigitalGlobe/ScapeWare3d—DigitalGlobe/Getty Images

Some 60,000 people are in the Nevada desert for the festival.

A woman died at Nevada’s Burning Man Festival after she was run over by a bus early Thursday, event organizers said.

According to a statement posted to a website affiliated with the festival, local officials say the woman is believed to have died after falling under a bus carrying festival participants. The woman has not been identified, and the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

“This is a terrible accident,” Burning Man co-founder Marian Goodell said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and campmates. Black Rock Rangers and Emergency Services Department staff are providing support to those affected.”

Some 60,000 people are converging on the Nevada desert this week for the annual arts and culture festival.

TIME Utah

Final Ruling Issued Against Part of Polygamy Ban

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal judge in Utah has issued a final ruling that strikes down parts of the state’s anti-polygamy law in a lawsuit filed by the family that appears on the TV show “Sister Wives.”

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled in favor of the stars of the TLC reality show in December, but he held back on a final ruling as he weighed whether Kody Brown and his four wives could collect attorneys’ fees.

Waddoups ruled in their favor on that issue Wednesday, capping a landmark decision for the family that sued Utah in 2011 after a county prosecutor threatened to charge them following the premiere of the TV show. It wasn’t immediately clear how much the Browns could collect in attorneys’ fees.

Waddoups had ruled that a provision of Utah’s law forbidding cohabitation violated the Browns’ freedom of religion.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in February he intended to appeal the ruling once it was made final. On Wednesday, his office said in a written statement that it was reviewing the ruling and “will make final determination of whether or not to appeal one or more of the issues in the decision within the coming weeks.”

The Brown family was overwhelmed and thankful for the ruling, said their attorney, Jonathan Turley.

“This was a historic ruling that I believe will stand the test of time,” Turley said. He said the family would continue the legal battle to an appeals court or even the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

The Browns said they were forced to leave Utah for Las Vegas in 2011 in fear of prosecution. Turley said Wednesday he didn’t know if the Brown family would return in the wake of the ruling.

“The important thing is that they now can move back to Utah,” Turley said, adding that the family has missed the state. “They now have the choice.”

Fundamentalist Mormon polygamists believe polygamy brings exaltation in heaven. The mainstream Mormon church strictly prohibits the practice.

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