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Submission + - Drug-test the Rich - Not the Poor - to Qualify for Tax Benefits (

Press2ToContinue writes: "The (tax) benefits we give to poor people are so limited compared to what we give to the top 1%” of taxpayers, Congresswoman Gwen Moore says, “It’s a drop in the bucket.” Many states implement drug-testing programs to qualify for benefit programs so that states feel they are not wasting the value they dole out.

However, seven states who implemented drug testing for tax benefit program recipients spent $1m on drug testing from the inception of their programs through 2014. But the average rate of drug use among those recipients has been far below the national average – around 1% overall, compared with 9.4% in the general population – meaning there’s been little cost savings from the drug testing program. Why? “Probably because they can’t afford it,” say Moore.

“We might really save some money by drug-testing folks on Wall Street, who might have a little cocaine before they get their deal done,” she said, and proposes a bill requiring tests for returns with itemized deductions of more than $150,000.

“We spend $81bn on everything – everything – that you could consider a poverty program,” she explained. But just by taxing capital gains at a lower rate than other income, a bit of the tax code far more likely to benefit the rich than the poor, “that’s a $93bn expenditure. Just capital gains,” she added. Why not drug-test the rich to ensure they won't waste their tax benefits?

She is “sick and tired of the criminalization of poverty”. And, she added: “We’re not going to get rid of the federal deficit by cutting poor people off Snap. But if we are going to drug-test people to reduce the deficit, let’s start on the other end of the income spectrum.”

Submission + - One of our solar system's five dwarf planets--Makemake--has a moon (

sciencehabit writes: Astronomers have spotted a small, faint moon orbiting the dwarf planet Makemake. One of our solar system’s five dwarf planets, Makemake—an icy, 1400-kilometer-wide orb that circles the sun far beyond Pluto—was discovered in 2005. The first images of its newly described companion, a moon nicknamed MK 2, were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in April 2015, researchers reported today. If the satellite’s path is circular, the moon takes at least 12 days to loop around the dwarf planet, data suggest. Future analyses of the orbit will help astronomers determine the mass of the Makemake/MK 2 system, thus adding insight into the materials of which the objects are made, the researchers say. They might also provide better understanding into the history of the pair: If the orbit is dramatically elongated, that might suggest MK 2 was gravitationally captured by Makemake long after the two formed in separate regions of space, whereas a circular orbit could bolster the notion that the pair formed together.

Submission + - Safety checks faked at German nuclear power stations (

mdsolar writes: German energy giants EnBW and RWE have admitted that employees did not carry out routine safety readings on equipment measuring radioactivity at their nuclear power stations, but pretended they had. Both workers were immediately barred from the premises and then dismissed.

Regional public broadcaster SWR, which broke the story, reported on Thursday that EnBW's power station in Philippsburg, Baden-Württemberg (pictured above), had been shut down by the state Environment Ministry until a mandatory inquiry was completed. RWE's nuclear power station in Biblis, Hesse, has been shut down since 2011, but radioactivity levels are still being monitored there.

In a statement released on Wednesday, EnBW said that it had informed the state Environment Ministry of the neglected readings — which occurred in December — on April 5, immediately after discovering them during another routine check. In the ensuing investigation, the energy company found that "the same employee had apparently faked seven further routine checks on similar installations. Legal options against the worker are being examined."

Submission + - CosmoQuest is having a Google+ Telethon for STEM education (

phrostie writes: Shamelessly stolen from Universe Today "On June 15-16, Pamela Gay and Nicole Gugliucci are hosting a 32-hour Google Hangout on Air – a Hangout-a-thon – to raise money to support public engagement in science. It starts at Noon EDT, 16:00 UTC on June 15, 2013 and will feature guests like Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer), NASA scientists and educators, the cast of Beyond the Wall, Mat Kaplan from Planetary Radio, and our very own Fraser Cain. Yours truly might make an appearance as well, beaming in from the middle of nowhere in Minnesota. A complete schedule of guests and events can be found here. Facebook Event Page"

Submission + - Draft NASA funding bill cancels asteroid mission for return to the moon (

MarkWhittington writes: A draft version of the 2013 NASA Authorization Bill nixes any funding for President Obama’s asteroid retrieval mission and instead directs NASA to return astronauts to the lunar surface as soon as possible, funding of course permitted.

The NASA bill is currently working its way through the House Science Committee. Thus far the Senate has not taken up NASA authorization. However the cancellation of the asteroid retrieval mission and an insistence on returning to the moon, which both President Obama and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden have opposed, would place Congress on a collision course with the White House should that version of the bill be passed by both houses of Congress.


Wine 1.2 Released 427

David Gerard writes "Stuck with that one Windows app you can't get rid of? Rejoice — Wine 1.2 is officially released! Apart from running pretty much any Windows application on Unix better than 1.0 (from 2008), major new features include 64-bit support, bi-directional text, and translation into thirty languages. And, of course, DirectX 9 is well-supported and DirectX 10 is getting better. Packages should hit the distros over the weekend, or you can get the source now."

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