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Tags: NYPD | Fears | Drone | Attacks | Never-Marrieds Hit Record High | New Jersey Worst for Business Wyoming Best | Canadian Savings Plan Could Aid US

NYPD Fears Drone Attacks; Never-Marrieds Hit Record High; New Jersey Worst for Business, Wyoming Best

By    |   Sunday, 02 November 2014 02:37 PM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. NYPD Fears Drone Attacks by Terrorists
2. Never-Married Americans at Record High
3. New Jersey Worst for Business — Wyoming Best
4. Canadian Savings Plan Could Aid U.S.
5. Israeli: Hezbollah Tunnels a 'Working Assumption'
6. Most Americans in 'Poor' or 'Fair' Financial Shape
7. We Heard: Trump Beats Christie in Iowa


1. NYPD Fears Drone Attacks by Terrorists

The New York City Police Department is increasingly concerned that terrorists could use drones to launch devastating attacks on the city.

"We look at it as something that could be a terrorist's tool," Deputy Chief Salvatore DiPace told CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues.

DiPace is worried that drone technology has advanced to the point that someone could carry out an air assault using chemical weapons or firearms.

But the NYPD is most concerned about drones carrying explosives. And one video was a "wakeup call" for the department, CBS reported.

The video from last year shows a drone hovering over a crowd of people as German Chancellor Angela Merkel was delivering an address. The drone flew toward the podium and landed right in front of Merkel.

"If you really think about what could have happened there — the drone hit its target right on the mark and could have taken the chancellor and her people out," DiPace said.

His concern has been increased by a steep rise in the number of drone incidents in New York City — more than 40 in the past year.

In one incident, a police helicopter nearly collided with a drone flying about 800 feet above the ground.

New York officials are not alone in their concern over drones. France has launched a probe into unidentified drones that have been spotted over nuclear plants operated by the state-owned utility. Drones were illegally flown over seven nuclear plants between Oct. 5 and Oct. 20.

And how difficult is it to obtain a drone? One website touts "The 10 Best Drones You Can Buy Right Now."

DiPace said: "We've looked at some people that have jury-rigged these drones to carry guns, to carry different types of explosives if they wanted to. There's just so many possibilities that we're very worried about."

According to CBS, the NYPD has members of its bomb squad, emergency services, and counterterrorism and aviation units working on plans to counter weaponized drones.

Editor's Note:


2. Never-Married Americans at Record High

Marriage rates in the United States have been declining for decades and the share of adults who have never wed is now at a record high.

In 2012, 1 in 5 Americans ages 25 and older, about 42 million people, had never been married, according to a Pew Research Center analysis based on the most recent Census Bureau figures.

In 1960, just 9 percent of Americans in that age range had never been married.

Men are more likely than women to have never been married — 23 percent of men and 17 percent of women hadn't wed in 2012, compared to 10 percent of men and 8 percent of women in 1960.

"The dramatic rise in the share of never-married adults and the emerging gender gap are related to a variety of factors," Pew observed. "Adults are marrying later in life, and the shares of adults cohabiting and raising children outside of marriage have increased significantly."

The median age at first marriage is now 27 for women, up from 20 in 1960, and 29 for men, up from 23.

And about one-quarter of never-married young Americans ages 25 to 34 are living with a partner, according to the March 2013 Current Population Survey.

Recent Pew Research Center survey data show that Americans are divided over the role of marriage. Half of survey respondents believe society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children, while 46 percent say society is better off if people make marriage and children a priority.

But 67 percent of younger Americans, ages 18 to 29, agree with the former assertion, while 55 percent of those ages 50 and older agree with the latter.

Nevertheless, most Americans, 68 percent, still believe it is important for couples to marry if they plan to spend the rest of their lives together.

A new Pew survey disclosed that 53 percent of never-married adults would like to marry eventually. About 32 percent say they are not sure if they would like to wed, and 13 percent say they do not want to marry.

Among survey respondents who have never wed but say they may eventually marry, 30 percent say they have not yet married because they have not found someone who has what they are looking for in a spouse, 27 percent say they are not financially prepared for marriage, and 22 percent feel they are too young or not ready to settle down.

Due to a declining labor force participation among men, there are now only about 65 employed unmarried men per 100 unwed women.

One more interesting Pew finding: Previously married adults are less interested in marriage than are never-married adults. Just 21 percent of previously married adults say they would like to marry again and 45 percent say they don't want to wed again.

Editor's Note:


3. New Jersey Worst for Business — Wyoming Best

The Tax Foundation has released its 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index, and New Jersey has once again ranked the lowest among the 50 states.

The annual ranking measures the impact of policies in place as of July 1, 2014, primarily regarding five kinds of tax: individual income tax, corporate income tax, sales tax, property tax, and unemployment insurance tax. It also considers the weight of a state's compliance burden.

The index "enables business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states' tax systems compare," the foundation stated.

The absence of one of the five taxes plays a major role in boosting a state's ranking. The state judged to have the best business climate for welcoming commerce is Wyoming, which has no individual or corporate income tax. It ranks high at No. 13 for its sales tax rate.

Wyoming also topped the index in 2014, 2013, and 2012.

South Dakota, which ranks No. 2 overall, also has no individual or corporate income tax. It ranks No. 18 for its unemployment tax rate.

No. 3 Nevada is the third state with no individual or corporate income tax.

No. 4 Alaska lacks an individual income tax and a state-level sales tax, Florida places fifth with no individual income tax, and Montana (No. 6) and New Hampshire (No. 7) have no sales tax.

Indiana, Utah, and Texas round out the top 10.

At the other end of the index, No. 50 New Jersey "suffers from some of the highest property tax burdens in the country, is one of just two states to levy both an inheritance tax and an estate tax, and maintains some of the worst structured individual income taxes in the country," the Tax Foundation observed.

The Garden State also finished last in the previous year's index.

New Jersey saw a real GDP growth of just 1.1 percent last year, compared to Wyoming's 7.6 percent, according to figures cited by The Wall Street Journal.

No. 49 New York ranks at No. 49 for individual income tax, 40th for sales tax, and 46th for property tax.

The next worst ranking goes to California, which is at No. 50 for its individual income tax, 34th for its corporate tax, and 42nd for its sales tax.

Rounding out the worst 10, in order from No. 47 to No. 41, are Minnesota, Vermont, Rhode Island, Ohio, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and Iowa.

The state showing the greatest improvement is North Carolina, which climbed from 44th last year to No. 16 in the new index.

"North Carolina's largest improvement was in the individual income tax component section, where legislation restructured the previously multi-bracketed system with a top rate of 7.75 percent to a single-bracket system with a rate of 5.8 percent and a generous standard deduction of $7,500," the Tax Foundation reported.

Also, the corporate income tax rate fell from 6.9 percent last year to 6 percent this year.

A state's business climate is significant, the foundation noted, because "states' stiffest and most direct competition often comes from other states. The Department of Labor reports that most mass job relocations are from one U.S. state to another rather than to a foreign location."

Editor's Note:


4. Canadian Savings Plan Could Aid U.S.

Canada introduced Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) in 2009, and they have proved so successful that the United States should adopt them as well, according to a report from the Cato Institute.

In June 2009, 3.8 million TFSAs held $13.4 billion. Three years later, 10 million accounts held $73 billion. By the end of last year there were 12.3 million accounts with $109 billion in assets, and in June of this year 13 million accounts held more than $131 billion.

About 47 percent of Canada's 27.7 million adults now own a TFSA.

"We think that such accounts would be a fantastic policy reform for America," the authors of the Cato report state. "They would simplify the taxation of savings, encourage families to save more, and spur stronger economic growth."

In Canada, individuals with a TFSA can deposit up to $5,500 each year. The limits accumulate, so if Canadians deposit just $3,500 one year, they can deposit $7,500 the following year.

All account earnings and withdrawals are tax free, and withdrawals can be made at any time with no penalties.

There are no income limits and no withdrawal requirements. And TFSAs can be opened at any bank branch or online. They can hold bank deposits, bonds, mutual funds, stocks, and other types of assets.

The U.S. savings plan most similar to TFSAs is the Roth Individual Retirement Account, but "Roths are far inferior," the authors assert, and just 16 percent of American households own them.

With a U.S. population about 10 times that of Canada, our northern neighbor's success with TFSAs would translate to 130 million Americans pouring $1.3 trillion into new savings accounts.

The authors conclude: "Everyone agrees that Americans don't save enough, so why don't we kick-start a homegrown savings revolution with a U.S. version of TFSAs?"

Editor's Note:


5. Israeli: Hezbollah Tunnels a 'Working Assumption'

Israel believes the militant group Hezbollah has dug tunnels leading from Lebanon into Israel in preparation for any future war, an Israeli military official disclosed.

Israel's vulnerability to tunnels was exposed during its recent war against Hamas in Gaza when Palestinian militants used dozens of secret tunnels to enter Israel and launch surprise attacks.

Residents of northern Israel close to the Lebanese border have reported underground noises suggesting that Hezbollah militants could be burrowing under the border, the Jewish Daily Forward reported.

"We have no positive information meaning that there are tunnels," Major General Yair Golan, commander of Israeli forces on the Lebanese and Syrian fronts, told Army Radio.

"That said, this idea of going below ground is not foreign to Lebanon and is not foreign to Hezbollah, and so we have to suppose as a working assumption that there are tunnels. These have to be looked for and prepared for."

Northern Israel was attacked by thousands of Hezbollah rockets during a month-long war in 2006. The group's rocket arsenal is now thought to be 10 times more potent than the arsenal Hamas used against Israel in the recent conflict.

Hezbollah is presently supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad's fight against a rebellion, which Hezbollah calls a Zionist plot.

The European Union and the United States, as well as several other countries, classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

The Daily Forward noted that following its Gaza experience, the Israelis say they hope to develop effective technologies for finding tunnels within two years.

Editor's Note:


6. Most Americans in 'Poor' or 'Fair' Financial Shape

The mood in America is decidedly pessimistic when it comes to personal finances, a new survey reveals.

Just 7 percent of Americans report that they are in "excellent" financial shape, according to the 2014 American Values Survey from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).

In addition to those in excellent shape, 34 percent report that they are in "good" shape financially, while the majority report that they are in "poor" (20 percent) or "fair" (37 percent) condition financially.

The most commonly cited economic hardship Americans face in their daily lives is food insecurity — 36 percent of survey respondents say they or someone in their household had to reduce meals or cut back on food to save money over the past year.

Only 42 percent of Americans believe that the American Dream — if you work hard, you'll get ahead — still holds true today, while 48 percent say it once held true but does not anymore, and 7 percent say the American Dream never held true.

And nearly half of Americans, 49 percent, believe their generation is better off financially than their children's generation will be, the PRRI found.

Founded in 2009, the PRRI is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education "at the intersection of religion, values, and public life," according to its website.

The organization's poll found that just 21 percent of Americans believe the economic recession is over, while the overwhelming majority, 72 percent, say the economy is still in recession today.

About half of Democrats surveyed say the economy has gotten better over the last two years, while 17 percent believe it has gotten worse and 33 percent say it has stayed about the same.

Only 15 percent of Republicans say the economy has gotten better, and 54 percent say it has gotten worse.

On economic issues likely to play a part in state and federal elections, 57 percent of Americans favor raising the tax rate on those earning more than $250,000 a year, 69 percent favor increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and 78 percent say companies should be required to provide full-time employees with paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child.

Editor's Note:


7. We Heard: Trump Beats Christie in Iowa Fundraising

Iowa Republican sources say that if fundraising is any barometer of 2016 presidential muscle, billionaire Donald Trump clobbers New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Both showed up in October to stump for popular Congressman Steve King. We heard that more than 400 Iowans showed up for the Trump event — raising a staggering $125,000 for King. Christie came to town shortly after to headline another King event. Results weren’t as good. Fewer than two dozen people showed up to see Christie, with the King campaign netting just $15,000.

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Editor's Note:


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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. NYPD Fears Drone Attacks by Terrorists 2. Never-Married Americans at Record High 3. New Jersey Worst for Business - Wyoming Best 4. Canadian Savings Plan Could Aid U.S. 5. Israeli: Hezbollah Tunnels a 'Working...
NYPD, Fears, Drone, Attacks, Never-Marrieds Hit Record High, New Jersey Worst for Business Wyoming Best, Canadian Savings Plan Could Aid US, Most Americans in Poor or Fair Financial Shape, Trump Beats Christie in Iowa
Sunday, 02 November 2014 02:37 PM
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