The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Maryland tax that effectively double-taxes residents for income earned in other states -- a decision that could cost Maryland and other states with similar policies hundreds of millions of dollars.
In a 5-4 ruling, the justices agreed with a lower court that the tax is unconstitutional because it discourages Maryland residents from earning money outside the state.
"Maryland's tax scheme is inherently discriminatory," the justices wrote in the majority opinion. They wrote that the policy effectively discourages "interstate commerce."
The ruling said: "If every State adopted Maryland's tax structure, interstate commerce would be taxed at a higher rate than intrastate commerce."
Updated: Sunday, March 29 2015, 11:31 AM CDT
BASTROP - The United States Army Special Operation Command is planning to train in counties and towns across the Western United States.
"Jade Helm" is a two-month long exercise with a combination of elite military forces designed offer realistic military training.
As Adam Racusin reports despite any fears of militarization officials feel there's no need to worry.
The small and picturesque streets of Bastrop Texas offer an inviting scene to locals and welcome getaway for people trying to escape big city life.
But in a few months there will be another group moving into the area; members of the United States Military.
"I don't think people here are intimidated by military operations in our community although it will raise some eyebrows" says Charlie Amos, a Bastrop resident.
Operation Jade Helm is expected to launch in at least 20 cities across seven states in the South Western US. With more than twelve hundred participants, in Texas alone, ranging from members of the Navy Seals to Army Special Forces, and Marine Special Operations.
"As long as people know what's going on they will be accepting of it" exclaims Joan Armstrong, a Bastrop resident.
"Part of me I get it but at the same time part of me with what goes on in the world today is just a little Leary" says Tracy Stamper.
County Officials report the military pitched them on the idea, with a presentation about what people can expect.
It says there will be an increased military presence, Personnel may be carrying weapons with blank ammo, and some individuals may conduct suspicious activities.
"I wrote them a letter and invited them to come," Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape believes there's nothing to the rumors of covert warfare and martial law coming to cities across the country.
Just a less conventional training exercise to help hone their skills.
"What I see here is an opportunity for a portion of our military to be better prepared and better trained to do work that has to be done to secure America’s interest around the world and here at home," says Bastrop Judge Paul Pape.
Some of the training could entail ground and air operations, and Special ops members learning to work within the community without being noticed.
While the idea might spark skepticism people we spoke with felt mostly at ease.
"Not knowing the purpose it wouldn't bother me if its specific training because they're here to protect us," I'm Adam Racusin reporting.
Source Fox 29
A New Jersey judge ordered the return of $1.5 million to a casino from gamblers who won at a table game after realizing the cards had not been shuffled.
State Superior Court Judge Donna Taylor ruled in favor of the Golden Nugget casino in its dispute with 14 gamblers who say it was not there fault the cards were not shuffled and should be allowed to keep their winnings.
A mini-baccarat game is where the trouble started in April 2012. The casino was using decks of cards that paid a manufacturer to pre-shuffle, but the deck at hand was not shuffled. Once the gamblers realized the cards were not shuffled, they increased their bets from $10 to $5,000 and proceeded to win 41 straight hands.
"The dealer did not pre-shuffle the cards immediately prior to the commencement of play, and the cards were not pre-shuffled in accordance with any regulation," the judge wrote. "Thus, a literal reading of the regulations ... entails that the game violated the (Casino Control) Act, and consequently was not authorized."
The Golden Nugget casino bought what were supposed to be pre-shuffled cards from a Kansas City Manufacturer. The manufacturer did acknowledge it failed to shuffle the cards. The litigation between the manufacturer and the casino was resolved, but a confidentiality agreement prevents details from being revealed.
Source Fox News
Iraq's intelligence operation has uncovered a plot for an attack on subway systems in the United States and Paris, the country's prime minister said Thursday.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he was told of the plot by Baghdad, and that it was the work of foreign fighters of the Islamic State group in Iraq. There was no immediate comment from Washington or Paris, and al-Abadi's assertion could not be independently confirmed.
Asked if the attacks were imminent, he said, "I'm not sure." Asked if the attacks had been thwarted, he said, "No." Al-Abadi said the United States had been alerted, and that the suspects included extremists from the United States and France who were fighting for the Islamic State group in Iraq.
"Today, while I'm here I'm receiving accurate reports from Baghdad that there were arrests of a few elements and there were networks from inside Iraq to have attacks ... on metros of Paris and U.S.," al-Abadi said, speaking in English. "They are not Iraqis. Some of them are French, some of them are Americans. But they are in Iraq."
He made the remarks at a meeting with journalists on the sidelines of a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.
"We have not confirmed such a plot, and would have to review any information from our Iraqi partners before making further determinations," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said. "We take any threat seriously and always work to corroborate information we receive from our partners. We’re obviously very focused on the issue of foreign fighters, as you saw evidenced yesterday at the Security Council session the President chaired."
"We are aware of the Iraqi Prime Minister's statements and we are in close contact with the FBI and other federal partners as we assess this particular threat stream," New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said in a statement Thursday. "New York City normally operates at a heightened level of security and we adjust that posture daily based on our evaluation of information as we receive it."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday his administration is treating the report "with the utmost precaution."
Posted: Jul 10, 2014 10:56 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 10, 2014 10:58 AM EDT
A line cook at Gino’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge saw a divine sight when he cut into an eggplant Monday.
Chef Jermarcus Brady says he found the word “GOD” spelled out in seeds as he was salting and sautéing the vegetables, Fox News affiliate WVUE reports.
“I saw a miraculous image formed by the seeds,” Brady said. “It spelled out the word God!”
Brady, who said his faith has gotten him through many of life’s difficulties, showed the eggplant to Gino Marino, the owner of the restaurant and fellow coworkers.
Marino, has been in business for nearly 50 years, says it is something he will never forget.
“You could cut one million eggplants and you’d probably never see that again, it’s that rare,” said Marino. “God is within us and he has different ways of showing it in our lives, and this is just one way of showing it.”
Source Fox TampaBay
Rockets fired by militants in Gaza reached deeper into Israel Friday, and a strike from Lebanon hit the northern part of the country, leading Israeli officials to suspect Lebanese fighters may be joining the four-day conflict.
The Lebanese military said three rockets were fired toward Israel around 6 a.m. and the Israelis retaliated by firing about 25 artillery shells on the area. Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner confirmed that the Israeli military had responded to the new attack with force.
Lebanese troops and United Nations peacekeepers later began searching the area, and the military said it was trying to find out who was behind the attack.
In Gaza, an Israeli airstrike Friday hit the home of a well-known Islamic Jihad leader. Gaza health officials said strikes overnight killed a total of eight people, raising the death toll to at least 98, including dozens of civilians. A later strike pushed the tally over 100 to go along with some 670 wounded, officials said.
Rocket fire continued in earnest from Gaza toward various locations in southern and central Israel, including towards Israel’s international airport.
In the southern Gaza city of Rafah, residents sifted through the remains of a four-story building that was struck and scattered for cover as another airstrike landed nearby.
The commercial center of Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion airport also heard warning sirens Friday but these rockets were intercepted and there was no disturbance to Israel's air traffic. Hamas says it intends to fire rockets at the airport and warned foreign airlines to stop flying to Israel.
Gaza rocket fire also struck a gas station and set it on fire Friday in southern Israel. The explosion in Ashdod sent plumes of smoke high into the air. Israeli health officials said the blast wounded three people, including one in serious condition.
The blast—which left a trail of charred vehicles in its wake—could be the most serious in the four days of fighting that has yet to kill anyone on the Israeli side.
Lerner said Israel has suspected that Lebanese militants may try to join the fray as Israel exchanges fire with Islamic Hamas militants in Gaza. However, he said it was still unclear whether Friday's attack was "symbolic or something more substantial."
Southern Lebanon is a stronghold of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which has battled Israel numerous times. However, recent fire from Lebanon has been blamed on radical Palestinian factions in the area and Hezbollah has not been involved in the ongoing offensive. It has largely refrained from engaging Israel since a month long war in 2006 when it fired thousands of rockets into Israel and was pummeled by Israeli airstrikes in response.
The Jerusalem Post cited senior Israeli officials who also claimed the rocket was not fired by Hezbollah, but by a small radical organization in Lebanon.
Gaza militants already have fired more than 550 rockets against Israel in the four-day offensive. Israel's "Iron Dome" defense system has intercepted most of those aimed at major cities but some have slipped through.
Frequent air raid sirens sounded across Israel on Friday, including for the first time in the northern city of Haifa. Israel has shot down at least 110 incoming rockets thus far.
Israel launched the Gaza offensive to stop incessant rocket fire against it. The Jerusalem Post, citing a senior Israeli security source reports that the Israeli Defense Forces has so far struck 1,100 targets belonging to Hamas and other groups in the Gaza Strip since the start of the operation launched Monday to end rocket attacks from Gaza , and 210 targets over the past 24 hours.
Lerner said the military was doing its utmost to prevent civilian casualties, calling inhabitants ahead of time to warn of an imminent attack. He said Israeli forces also fire "non-explosive munitions" at roofs as a warning and looks for people to leave before destroying a structure.
Lerner blamed Hamas for the death of innocent bystanders by firing from heavily populated areas.
Israel's military "uses its weapons to defend its civilians. Hamas uses its civilians to defend its weapons," he said.
With Hamas on its heels, Israeli leaders were still mulling whether to launch a ground assault in Gaza to deliver what they hope could be a decisive blow. Such a move, though, would likely involve a rise in Palestinian civilian casualties and put Israeli troops at risk as well.
Israel has mobilized more than 30,000 reservists to supplement the potential ground operation.
Amos Yadlin, a retired general and former head of military intelligence, said Israel already re-established a deterrent factor against Hamas and should offer a cease-fire and aim to wrap up its campaign in the coming days.
"If the Israeli offer is turned down, Israel will refill its stock of legitimacy in such a way that will enable a significant expansion of the objectives and scale of the operation," he wrote in a column published Friday in the Yediot Ahronot daily newspaper. "Hamas has taken severe blows since the start of the round of violence and has failed in almost every step it took. ... However, one rocket that hits an Israeli population center will be enough to change the picture completely."
Published July 11, 2014
No, the United States isn't trying to build a military force of centenarians.
It just seems that way after the Selective Service System mistakenly sent notices to more than 14,000 Pennsylvania men born between 1893 and 1897, ordering them to register for the nation's military draft and warning that failure to do so is "punishable by a fine and imprisonment."
The agency realized the error when it began receiving calls from bewildered relatives last week.
Chuck Huey, 73, of Kingston, said he got a notice addressed to his late grandfather Bert Huey, a World War I veteran who was born in 1894 and died in 1995 at age 100.
"I said, `Geez, what the hell is this about?' It said he was subject to heavy fines and imprisonment if he didn't sign up for the draft board," he said. "We were just totally dumbfounded."
Huey said he tried calling the Selective Service but couldn't get a live person on the line. That frustrated him even more because he wanted to make sure the agency knew there had been a mistake.
"You just never know. You don't want to mess around with the federal government," he said.
The glitch, it turns out, originated with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation during a transfer of nearly 400,000 records to the Selective Service. A clerk working with the state's database failed to select the century, producing records for males born between 1993 and 1997 - and for those born a century earlier, PennDOT spokeswoman Jan McKnight said Thursday.
"We made a mistake, a quite serious selection error," McNight said.
The Selective Service didn't initially catch it because the state used a two-digit code to indicate year of birth, spokesman Pat Schuback said. The federal agency identified 27,218 records of men born in the 1800s, began mailing notices to them on June 30, and began receiving calls from family members on July 3. By that time, it had sent 14,250 notices in error.
"It's never happened before," Schuback said.
The men are almost certainly all dead, given that the youngest would be turning 117 this year. Families of those men who received the notices can simply ignore them, he said. Their files will be deactivated and they shouldn't receive additional communications from the Selective Service. The agency also posted a notice and an apology on its website Thursday.
The state Transportation Department, meanwhile, said it had taken steps to ensure its mistake won't be repeated.
"We're really sorry," McNight said. "We apologize."
Source: Fox News
TAMPA (FOX 13) -
Here's something you don't see every day – let alone in our backyard.
Tampa Bay area resident Justin Arnold said he was walking his dog along the Hillsborough River in Seminole Heights when he spotted an unusual sight.
There was a two-headed alligator resting on the river bank.
He reported it to local wildlife officials, who told him that several others have reported the same thing.
Fox News Tampa Bay
By Kenric Ward
A plan to ban "frequent and large gatherings at neighborhood homes" is a lawsuit waiting to happen, a Fairfax County supervisor predicts.
Officials will get an idea Wednesday when public-comment hearings begin in Virginia's most populous county.
"I believe the county is risking a lawsuit and/or a Constitution challenge by interfering with peoples' right to assemble," Supervisor Pat Herrity said in a statement.
The proposed zoning ordinance limits "group assembly" at residences to 49 people a day. Such gatherings "shall not occur more frequently than three times in any 40-day period."
County officials say they have received complaints about group meetings at homes. But Herrity said "they haven't even reached 1 percent of the thousands of complaints our Department of Code Compliance investigates a year."
"This is yet another instance where we appear to be punishing the many for the actions of the few," said Herrity, who reported a total of six complaints were received last year.
Church groups, scouting organizations or even sports fans drawn to a home's big-screen TV during playoffs could be potential targets of the proposed county law. Realtors worry that even open houses would invite civil penalties.
John Whitehead, an attorney and president of the civil-libertarian Rutherford Institute, calls the Fairfax plan "nefarious."
Click for more from Watchdog.org.
What do you stand for?