Big Bad Pharma

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According to the New York Times, Trump administration officials are seeking ways to lower drug costs but target pharmaceutical companies that refuse to provide samples of their products to generic drug companies, making it impossible to create inexpensive generic copies of a brand-name medicine. Questions: 1. Argue both sides of this issue as a good… Read more »

They’re back!

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According to CNN, shares of BlackBerry (BB) were up in early trading Wednesday after the company reported earnings and sales that topped forecasts, led by growth in its software and services business. Questions: 1. Why is this such big news? 2. How is the company making a big bunch of their money? 3. What has… Read more »

Enough to eat?

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According to the Washington Post, researchers at Temple University and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab found that 36 percent of students at 66 surveyed colleges and universities do not get enough to eat, and a similar number lack a secure place to live. Questions: 1. What do the researchers blame the problem on? 2. What does… Read more »

DMX’s attorney cannot persuade the judge to go light on the tax fraud

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Rapper DMX’s attorney played the rapper’s song “Slippin’” during his sentencing on Wednesday to help the musician express his struggles, but it was not enough to convince a judge to let the rapper off the hook. Instead DMX got 1 year in prison for tax fraud. Questions: 1. According to court records, how long did… Read more »

The Top Frauds of 2017

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Monica Vaca, the Associate Director of the Division of Consumer Response and Operations at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just released the results from last year regarding the top frauds of 2017. Topping the list of reported frauds are the imposter scams, with nearly 350,000 reported. Questions: 1. How many people fell for someone pretending… Read more »

Big Time Food Stamp Fraud

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Sheriff Mike Williams of Jacksonville, Florida, announced Tuesday the results of a multi-agency, undercover investigation into the exchange of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for cash and, in at least one case, cocaine. Questions: 1. From 2012 to 2017, how many food stamp transactions were fraudulent in Jacksonville and what was the dollar amount?… Read more »

Bitcoin Investment Fads

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According to Bloomberg.com, Bitcoin began the week on a down note, declining as much as 8.7 percent and pushing the biggest cryptocurrency’s decline for March to about 25 percent. Questions: 1. Who has confirmed that it will ban Bitcoin offering advertisements? 2. How is the SEC involved with Bitcoin in recent weeks? 3. Why have… Read more »

Facebook Woes

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According to Bloomberg, Facebook Inc. is heading toward its worst month since May 2013 after an analyst report warned of a temporary pullback in advertising and the FTC confirmed it’s investigating the social network’s privacy practices. Questions: How much market value for Facebook stock has been erased in the last 10 days? What is the… Read more »

Rise up and REBEL!

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According to the New York Times, after many employee complaints, United Airlines said it was “pressing the pause button” on a plan to replace its modest monthly bonuses with a lottery system that would have offered large rewards to a few workers at random. Questions: Why were the employees furious and what did they do… Read more »

Hidden Blacklist

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According to Politico, the new tax law includes a little-noticed blacklist barring people working in certain fields, and earning more than $157,500, from claiming a new 20 percent deduction for unincorporated businesses called pass-throughs. Questions: Why did the Congressmen decide that pass-throughs should be limited? Who ultimately gets to make the decision? According to Acting IRS… Read more »