November 22, 2010
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State to State Comparison
November 13, 2010
By RiShawn Biddle on 11.12.10 @ 6:07AM
California taxpayers have almost become immune to stories about the high cost of generous defined-benefit pensions, employer-subsidized healthcare plans, job protections and degree- and seniority-based pay scales struck by the state, school districts, and affiliates of the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers. Not even the fact that 3,090 of its retired teachers are earning more than $100,000 a year in annuity payments causes a stir.
June 3, 2010
Mexican and U.S. authorities were “secretly scrambling” last month to thwart a Mexican drug cartel’s plot to blow up a Texas dam that would have flooded an area with about 4 million inhabitants, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Dane Schiller and James Pinkerton.
Law enforcement officials were reportedly tipped off to a plot when they found one of the handbills that the drug cartel Los Zetas was distributing on the Mexican side of the river, warning residents to clear out ahead of the explosion. Authorities found “small amounts of dynamite near the dam,” the Chronicle said.
Los Zetas wanted to blow up the Falcon dam not to hurt civilians, but to exact revenge on a rival gang called the Gulf Cartel, which smuggles drugs in the area, local authorities said. The gang has also been implicated in armed robberies of Texan fishermen in Lake Falcon, the reservoir behind the dam.
U.S. officials said they had “serious and reliable sources” informing them of the plot, the Chronicle reported. Officers placed hidden cameras on the dam and hid in the brush to watch.
Police Capt. Francisco Garcia of Roma, Texas, told the Chronicle that the traffickers would have needed a tractor-trailer full of dynamite to pull off the explosion.
— Liz Goodwin is a national affairs writer for Yahoo! News.