Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Congress passed a $1.5 trillion tax bill on December 19, 2017, cementing what is considered “the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code” in recent history. The bill impacts the most contentious points of taxation, such as greater tax cuts for corporations and business owners. It also significantly affects individual taxpayers who now face the loss or limitation of several tax breaks.
Under the bill, for example, taxpayers can:
● only claim lower deductions on mortgage interest
● only claim casualty losses if these are incurred in a disaster declared by the president
● no longer deduct the interest on home equity loans
● no longer deduct alimony payments, if they are paying them
● no longer list alimony as income, if they are receiving it
The last two should raise red flags for any family law attorney and their clients. Read more from this article: http://bit.ly/2EpKIx5
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
The law has elicited polarizing reactions both in and out of the state. Advocates of road safety, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), supported the measure, and still hope for further deterrents against impaired driving. Read more from this article: http://bit.ly/2EqyuEu
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
North Carolina already suffers from one of the worst opioid epidemics in the United States. Now, a deadly new mix of drugs is making a lethal substance even more dangerous.
Carfentanil – a type of fentanyl used to tranquilize large animals – has been identified as a key ingredient in drug mixes that contain heroin or other opioids. Ten thousand times more powerful than morphine, and a hundred times more potent than deadly fentanyl, carfentanil is only legal for veterinary use. Its nickname – “the elephant tranquilizer” – suggests how unfit it is for human consumption.
This substance has been linked to at least 33 drug-related deaths around the state this past year.
If it runs rampant, carfentanil might aggravate already grim projections about the opioid crisis in North Carolina. Heroin, fentanyl, and their related analogs caused more than half of local opioid deaths in 2016 (58.4%). This number is expected to shoot to 90% by 2021 if the epidemic is not properly addressed. Read more from this article: http://bit.ly/2FiV1El
Friday, December 15, 2017
A study led by Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department shows that body cameras on police officers have not had “any statistically significant effect” on law enforcement officials use of force or citizen complaints.
The results are bound to reopen debates about the policy, which was believed could help improve police procedures around the country and possibly curb abuse. Calling for further research, some parties have said that the D.C. police force is among the best-trained in the nation – and could have been simply doing the right things all along.
Points of contention
The use of police body cameras has always come with questions. When cities nationwide began deploying them as the problem of police brutality exploded in 2015, many were quick to point out concerns like costs, rules on who will wear them and when, as well as who will have access to the videos. Read more from this article: http://bit.ly/2Ennjwn