$850 Million Settlement Reached for Boy Scout Abuse Victims

After years of litigation, the Boy Scouts of America reached an $850 million settlement with thousands of sexual abuse victims.

This settlement is the largest figure to come from a child sexual abuse case in American history. 

Over 84,000 people were part of a class-action lawsuit against the organization. The claims of abuse date to the 1960s against its leaders and volunteers. The threat of the pending settlement was large enough that the BSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2020. 

Attorneys say that the settlement is a start, but their clients also deserve more. The majority of clients are people in their 60s or 70s who had the abuse happen to them while they were teenagers.

The Settlement Occurred Out of Court

The BSA said that the settlement marked an important step forward for the organization. It’ll help each local council contribute to the Trust without draining additional assets, allowing them to move forward with the organization as it emerges from bankruptcy.

Leaders in the Boy Scouts of America say that their organization and activities are safer now than at any other time. New policies and procedures limit one-on-one adult-to-child contact to virtually zero.

90% of the claims against the BSA happened more than 30 years ago.

Although it will take time to move forward, the BSA is using background checks, youth protection training, and other opportunities to protect youth and adults from harm. Several steps still need to be taken to finalize everything, but the goal is to continue carrying out the mission for many years. 

COVID Vaccination Rate Falls Short of July 4th Goal

In the opening days of President Joe Biden’s administration, he set a goal of having a 70% vaccination rate for eligible people before the Independence Day holiday in the United States. The country ended up falling just short of that goal, reaching 67% by July 4th.

Although the three percentage points aren’t that far off the desired number, they could have been reached or exceeded. The U.S. South has staggering low vaccination statistics, even with the Delta variant surge that happened during the summer.

Alabama had only 34% of its population fully vaccinated by the end of July. Arkansas wasn’t much better at 36%, while Louisiana had its figures at 37%.

The Delta Variant Caused a Surge of Vaccination Requests

When the Delta variant surges through the U.S. South, it became apparent that the most vulnerable people were those who hadn’t been vaccinated.

Over 90% of the registered infections came from those who hadn’t gotten a COVID shot or hadn’t completed their series. The percentage of hospitalizations was even higher.

Getting the word out about how transmissible the Delta variant is compared to the original coronavirus infections helped to push vaccination rates above 100% over the previous month. 

When all Americans are accounted for in every age group, about 50% were fully vaccinated by the end of July. 

Biden’s goal could have been reached if states like Wyoming, Idaho, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama had hit 50% instead of being under 40%. For now, the best option we have is to wear a mask, stay socially distant, and stay healthy.

For some people, products like Neurobiologix and Quicksilver Scientific can work to potentially give their immune systems an extra boost to reach that goal. 

Child Border Separations Identify 3,900 Kids

In 2018, the Trump administration initiated a zero-tolerance policy for families illegally crossing the border. Although this policy was part of Obama’s plan for border control, it was not implemented to the extent that it was from April to June 2018.

The number of kids separated from parents or guardians during those three months was over 4,300. After taking office in 2021, the Biden administration has worked to identify over 3,900 children who were taken away.

In July 2019, another 700 children were reportedly removed from their parents or guardians, with about five kids per day having this experience occur.

Care Problems Abound for Child Separations

A group of attorneys representing clients involved with fighting the Trump Administration’s border policy visited a center in Clint, Texas, in 2019.

The children told the attorneys that their meals were usually instant oatmeal for breakfast, instant noodles for lunch, and a frozen burrito for dinner. They also reported not having a bath or a change of clothing in weeks.

There were no adult caretakers available for the separated children. The attorneys reported that girls as young as ten were taking care of infants and toddlers.

Out of the 3,900 children identified by the Biden administration, about 1,800 were reunified with a parent by July 2021. Another 1,695 kids have had their parents contacted about their current status.

Many of those who have been contacted were released to the care of other family members.

The ACLU wants the reunifications to happen faster, but the organization praises the efforts of the Biden team to get the job done. Reunited families are being allowed to remain in the country temporarily.

What are the Average Costs of Moving?

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Moving can be a lot of things… expensive being one of them. In order to reduce the financial constraints of moving, it is advised that you do proper research and get the average cost of moving so you can properly plan and make your budget when you want to move. You may need to get a moving company to help you, and depending on who you hire, this could increase or decrease your cost of moving.

Average Cost of Moving 

The average moving cost depends on a number of factors. Using a moving calculator could help you greatly; several moving companies have moving calculators (we have one recommended below).

The average cost of moving locally often ranges from $500 to $2000. It depends on a number of factors like the size of your house, the distance of the move, the number of properties you have, total belongings, and the extra services you require from the moving company. This could add up to substantial costs. For example the average cost of moving 1000 miles could be up to $5000 if you have a two or three-bedroom apartment and your property does not weigh more than 7500 pounds.

Calculating Moving Cost 

It is easy to wonder how much moving would cost. The best way to get the best estimation of the cost of moving is by getting the moving service you want to use and having them visually inspect your properties and give you an estimate of what it would cost to move your belongings to your desired location. Using a moving calculator is also an option, and it could save you the hassle of booking an appointment and getting the movers to visually inspect your property and give you an estimate. Try a moving calculator to get a general idea of what your moving costs might be, though I still recommend getting estimates from moving companies as well.

TL/DR version is as follows:

Factors to consider

  • Cost of labor. 
  • Extra services like climbing a lot of stairs and packing; 
  • Furniture assembling. 

Factors that affect interstate moving costs

  • Packing service, if used 
  • Size of property. 
  • Storage fees where applicable. 
  • Moving date. 
  • Coverage for liability. 

Ways of reducing the cost of moving 

  • Dispose of your excess property. 
  • Get the help of family and friends when packing. 
  • Choose a cheaper moving date. 
  • Do not be in a hurry. 

NFL Settlement of $1 Billion Reached Following Race-Norming Lawsuit

The lead attorney for about 20,000 former NFL players and the league reached an agreement in June 2021 to end the practice of race-norming.

What is race-norming? It is a controversial practice that curves the cognitive test scores of Black and African-American players with data that assumes those individuals have a lower functioning level.

That information served as part of the payout process in the class-action settlement on concussions. The settlement doesn’t require the NFL to admit to discrimination in the payment administration process that began in 2017.

Since the initial settlement, over $800 million has been sent to over 1,000 former players who have been diagnosed with brain-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Race-Norming Is a Practice in Neuropsychology

Although the NFL receives ample criticism for embracing race-norming, it is crucial to point out that neuropsychology considers it a valid, if not disputed, practice.

Doctors use it to determine cognitive impairments or the presence of a brain disease, using race as a proxy for learning and memory tests. Additional factors, including an individual’s education and overall socioeconomic background, contribute to the eventual diagnosis.

Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport brought a lawsuit against the league in 2020, stating that they could not get settlement payouts because of the race-norming structure. Davenport’s doctor diagnosed him with dementia, but the NFL appealed, with the demand that the test scores get curved with this neuropsychology practice.

Since 70% of former NFL players are Black or African-American, the league could save millions by using this technique.

The settlement should stop this practice for good, and attention can now be given to other sports news.

Bruins Coach Gets a $25,000 Fine After Ref Criticism

Referees have a tough job. Everyone knows it, but that doesn’t excuse things when they make the wrong call.

The NHL fined coach Bruce Cassidy $25,000 for his criticism of the refs after Game 5 of Boston’s second-round playoff series against New York. The Islanders beat the Bruins 5-4, partially due to the assistance of three power-play goals from four opportunities.

Cassidy said that the teams were treated differently even though they both have similar playing styles. He said the exact calls that happened to his team were not consistently administered to their opponents that night.

New York coach Barry Trotz noted that the Islanders were one of the least penalized teams during the NHL regular season. In comparison, the Bruins had the most minor penalties called on them throughout the year.

Cassidy Said the Calls Were for Often Ignored Plays

The Bruins coach said that the game involved ref calls for situations that most officials typically ignore during an NHL game.

Although he said he wasn’t going to say that every call sucks or that the referees had a clear bias, the lack of consistency when comparing similar plays bothered him.

Consistency is an essential trait in hockey, other sports, and everyday situations that life throws at everyone. If your mood doesn’t set the correct foundation for logical thinking and mental processing, an emotional decision could cost you more than $25,000.

That’s why having products from brands like Douglas Laboratories and Boiron is helpful. You can keep your mood level and consistent while taking on the challenges that life offers.

The Islanders would go on to beat the Bruins in six, but they lost to Tampa Bay in seven in the conference finals.

25% of Gasoline Tanker Trucks Idle with Driver Shortage

After a 2020 that kept many families stuck at home, the summer of 2021 looks to become a vacation extravaganza. Millions of people are expected to hit the road or fly to see family, visit theme parks, and more.

Although there is plenty of fuel to get people to where they need to go, the number of tanker truck drivers making deliveries is significantly lower this year. About one out of every four trucks that were on the road in 2019 is not functioning today.

Special certifications are necessary to drive a tanker truck. Since that means several weeks of training after getting a commercial driver’s license, it isn’t an attractive option. It is often strenuous and challenging work.

That’s why driver turnover each year averages about 50%. In 2020, approximately 70% of drivers decided that they didn’t want to get behind the wheel.

Rising Pay Rates Aren’t Producing the Expected Results

Holly McCormick is the VP of Driver Recruitment and Retention for Groendyke Transport in Oklahoma. She says that she’s had to double her recruiting budget in 2021 to get the same driver numbers they had in the previous year.

What is causing the driver shortage?

Many workers move into construction jobs because the hours are better, the pay is similar, and there is less time away from home. Others are transitioning into new forms of remote work.

The result of this transition is that the higher recruiting costs cause the rates charged to customers to rise by the same amount. It’s a ripple effect already impacting the prices at the grocery stores.

If there is no fuel, there isn’t any business. If stations run out of gas, drivers keep stopping to top off their tanks. That action places even more pressure on the industry.

That’s why gas prices could see a surge in the summer of 2021.

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$15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Now Available for Government Contractors

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on April 27, 2021, to require some federal contractors to pay workers at least $15 per hour. This EO applies to those on government contracts, and the higher minimum wage goes into effect beginning January 30, 2022.

Biden also tied the minimum wage to be adjusted each year for inflation as part of the executive order. It will be at a rate set by the Labor Secretary.

The Biden administration hopes to enhance worker productivity, reduce absenteeism, and lower training and supervisory costs by taking these steps.

Agencies are “strongly encouraged” to make the pay raise active immediately as of the order date. New government contracts now include a clause mandating that covered contractors and subcontractors take the requirement into the lower-tier documents.

What Is the Impact on Tipped Minimum Wage?

Biden’s executive order makes changes to the tipped minimum wage for some federal contractors. Starting on the January 30, 2022, date, workers who get tips must receive a base pay of $10.50 per hour.

There are also provisions for the following years (2023 and 2024) that contractors must pay tipped workers 85% and the higher minimum wage, respectively.

If a tipped workers’ hourly wages don’t reach the higher amount, the contractor must increase salaries to make up the difference.

This EO replaces the one signed by Barack Obama in 2014. That order required federal contract workers to earn $10.10 per hour, indexed to inflation. Under that structure, the current hourly wage was $10.95 in 2021.

Although the wage difference is notable, the orders from Obama and Biden appear pretty similar in how they operate. Both focus on concessions and services without applying to tribal agreements.

Biden’s EO also revoked one of Trump’s orders that provided an exemption for recreational services on federal lands.

hermit crab walking on sand

After 32 Years, Island Hermit Is Leaving

Mauro Morandi has been living the good life on an Italian Island. After 32 years of being by himself, he has decided it is time to leave.

Morandi started living on the Isle of Budelli in a tiny hut in 1989. Now that he is 81 years old, he hopes that someone else takes over the caretaking role. The pink atoll offers stunning views, which led the former teacher to stay after landing there while trying to sail to Polynesia.

He took over for the previous caretaker not long after he landed there. Now that the island is part of La Maddalena’s National Park, the role has become defunct. Officials say that he has no legal right to live on the island, and has spent six years fighting the plans to turn his home into an observatory.

Tourists Are Already Trespassing on the Island

Morandi says that he has already had to chase people away from the off-limits pink-sand beach on the island. It is an unfortunate part of his duties, but he also enjoys it when people come to stay and learn from his experiences.

Before leaving, his duties included picking up the trash that came ashore. He stops intruders from creating mayhem on the island at night. His fear is that no one else will take up the surveillance work that keeps everything safe.

Over 70,000 people signed an online petition calling for Morandi to stay, but the national park’s president said that all illegal constructions in the park had to be managed. Since it is public land, there is no longer an ownership title available.

Romans used the island in the past, which sits just to the north of Sardinia. Today, the 1.6 square kilometers will continue to be used for conservation purposes. Construction is banned on the island, and access requires a permit.

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15 Million COVID-19 Vaccines Ruined After Ingredient Mix-up

Although the United States exceeded its vaccination goals since February 2021, the outcome hasn’t been flawless. A factory mix-up ruined up to 15 million doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine when a subcontractor mixed the ingredients from it with the AstraZeneca product.

Since the AstraZeneca vaccine is not available for distribution in the United States, the product was not usable.

The plant is run by Emergent BioSolutions, which partners with both single-shot producers. Regulators attributed the issue to human error, causing Johnson & Johnson to step up quality control procedures at the facility.

One Shot Speeds Up the Immunity Process in the United States

Although the two-shot vaccines for COVID-19 came out first, the Johnson & Johnson product receives a lot of credit for speeding along the immunity-building process in the United States. Once someone gets this shot, they’re considered immune after two weeks.

The setback was a major embarrassment for both companies involved in vaccine production. It would soon be followed by revelations that a rare side effect of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine involves blood clots that can appear three weeks after it gets administered.

To make up for the gap in vaccination opportunities, Pfizer started shipping its doses early. Moderna requested approval to send vials with 15 shots instead of ten to bolster the stock even further.

None of the tainted doses ever left the production facility. The mishap was reported to regulators immediately, and steps are in place to prevent future lapses.

The error has not affected any of the already delivered Johnson & Johnson doses. Additional deliveries from the Baltimore facility continue to remain in question.