FRIDAY | MARCH 27, 2015

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New Payday Loan Rules Designed to Stop ‘Debt Trap’

New Payday Loan Rules Designed to Stop ‘Debt Trap’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Each month, more than 200,000 needy U.S. households take out what’s advertised as a brief loan.  Many have run out of money between paychecks. So they obtain a “payday” loan to tide them over. Problem is, such loans can often bury them in fees and debts. Their bank accounts can be closed, [...]
Alabama Voting Districts Need Review, Supreme Court SaysWASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court on Wednesday said a lower court must take another look at whether Alabama’s Republican-led legislature relied too heavily on race when it redrew the state’s voting districts in a way that Black leaders say limited minority voting power.  The justices split 5-4 across ideological lines in ruling that a three-judge [...]
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State of Black America Improves but Lags Behind WhitesWASHINGTON (AP) — Despite high-profile concern over issues underscored by the racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, African Americans and Hispanics are faring well in certain areas, including better health care and reductions in violent crime, the latest State of Black America report from the National Urban League says. The National Urban League derives its numbers [...]
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Ferguson Shows Why Courts Need to Be AccountableMAPLEWOOD, Mo. — Earlier this month, officials in Ferguson left their positions at dizzying speed in the wake of a scathing U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) report documenting corrupt court practices. As the city government collapsed like a house of cards, I stood in line at the municipal court in neighboring Maplewood, 15 minutes south [...]
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Defeat of Tax Relief for Families Criticized by Ark. Group  Arkansas state lawmakers defeated a bill on Tuesday that would have provided tax relief to low-income families, prompting a sharp response from grassroots advocates who say the move “amounts to a war on working people trying to get ahead.”  The Arkansas Citizens First Congress, a coalition of 54 community organizations that supports progressive reforms, [...]
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Consumers Encouraged to Give Feedback on Credit Cards  Aggressive debt collection, confusing or changing terms and bogus “introductory offers” are all ways consumers have been bamboozled by credit card companies. If you’ve had issues with credit card companies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wants to hear about your experiences. The CFPB, a regulatory agency born amid Wall Street reforms, is seeking [...]
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Chicago Police Target Blacks in ‘Stop-and-Frisk,’ ACLU SaysCHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police officers initiated stop, question and frisk encounters at a much higher rate last summer than their New York City counterparts ever did, and just like with New York’s heavily criticized program, Chicago Blacks and other racial minorities were disproportionately targeted, according to a civil liberties group.  The American Civil Liberties Union [...]
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A Taiwanese Immigrant Talks About ‘Leaving the Shadows’My name is Annie Kao. I am undocumented. It took me many years to accept and finally become comfortable with my immigration status. I grew up in Taiwan and came to the United States with my grandmother and brother when I was 12 years old. I was told that I was going to study in [...]
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Low-Income Families Seek Tax Refund Advances, Face FeesWASHINGTON (AP) — Cash-strapped Americans anxious for tax refunds are increasingly turning to payment advances, prepaid cards or other costly services when getting tax preparation help, according to new federal data raising concerns among regulators about whether consumers are fully informed about the fees. Regulators are looking to increase oversight of preparers amid the rise [...]
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Police Body Camera Video Access Limited Under State BillsIOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — State legislators around the country are pushing to make it much harder for the public to obtain police officer body camera videos, undermining their promise as a tool people can use to hold law enforcement accountable. Lawmakers in at least 15 states have introduced bills to exempt video recordings of [...]
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