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Saturday
Aug292015

Judge Throws Out Ruling Blocking NSA Spying on Americans

A U.S. appeals court on Friday threw out a judge's ruling that would have blocked the National Security Agency from collecting phone metadata under a controversial program that has raised privacy concerns.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said there were not sufficient grounds for the preliminary injunction imposed by the lower court.

The ruling was a setback for privacy advocates but did not reach the bigger question of whether the NSA's actions were lawful. It means the massive program to collect and store phone records, disclosed in 2013 by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, can continue unaffected until it expires at the end of November.

Under the USA Freedom Act, which Congress passed in June, the program was allowed to continue for 180 days until new provisions aimed at addressing the privacy issues go into effect.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the ruling was "consistent with what this administration has said for some time, which is that we did believe that these capabilities were constitutional."

Larry Klayman, the conservative lawyer who challenged the program, said he would appeal to the Supreme Court.

"We are confident of prevailing," he added.

The three-judge panel concluded that the case was not moot despite the change in the law and sent the case back to U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon for further proceedings.

"Although one could reasonably infer from the evidence presented the government collected plaintiffs' own metadata, one could also conclude the opposite," wrote Judge Janice Rogers Brown. As such, the plaintiffs "fall short of meeting the higher burden of proof required for a preliminary injunction," she added.

Spokespeople for both NSA and the Office of Director of National Intelligence declined to comment on the ruling.

Saturday
Aug292015

Tropical Storm Drifts Toward Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Storm Erika continues to lose strength and may weaken to a tropical depression as it shifts to the west to move across Cuba and Hispaniola, forecasters said early Saturday.

The National Weather Service said the storm continues to dump rain on parts of the Caribbean, but may completely break apart as it crosses over mountainous terrain in Hispaniola and faces further wind shear. Forecasters remain uncertain about how the storm will progress once it passes over the Caribbean islands.

The weather service said under typical tropical storm conditions, a tropical storm watch would be posted for portions of South Florida, but forecasters have chosen to wait until later updates to determine if Erika will be downgraded to a tropical depression, saying "there is a significant chance that no watches or warnings for Florida will be required."

Two reliable models show the dismantled storm limping near Pensacola or moving through the Gulf of Mexico to Texas, forecasters said.

"Assuming Erika survives the next 24 hours, some restrengthening is possible over the Gulf of Mexico in a less hostile environment," the weather service said.

As of 5 a.m. Saturday, the storm was about 75 miles south of Guantanamo, Cuba with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph with some higher gusts.

Friday
Aug282015

Report: Vaccination Rates High in U.S.

Most infants and kindergartners in the United States are up to date on their vaccinations, however there are small pockets of concern where disease can still spread, according to two new reports from the Centers for Disease Control.

Despite less than 1 percent of children not receiving vaccinations, CDC researchers found that vaccination rates can vary by state and by individual inoculation. In addition, the small pockets of less-vaccinated children can cause outbreaks, as was found with the measles outbreak in 2014 that started at Disneyland.

"For some vaccines and population subgroups, improvement in coverage is necessary to achieve optimal protection," researchers wrote in the report on general vaccination rates. "For all vaccines, maintaining high coverage is critical to sustain progress in reducing the impact of vaccine-preventable diseases."

Goals of a 90 percent or more vaccination rate were met in 2014 for measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, along with polio, hepatitis B and chicken pox. Vaccinations that did not meet the goal, most of which are multiple-shot vaccines, included diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B (birth dose), rotavirus and the combined vaccine series.

Researchers said vaccination rates varied from state to state and vaccination to vaccination. The highest vaccination rate for MMR on the state level was 97.2 percent in Maine, which researchers found was a 6.2 percent increase over 2013, while the lowest was in Arizona at 84.1 percent. For vaccines that require multiple doses, rates also varied, such as the hepatitis A vaccine which had an inoculation rate of 69 percent in Connecticut, but just a 32.7 percent rate in Wyoming.

In the report on vaccination rates among kindergarten children, researchers found that most children in school had been vaccinated -- just 1.7 percent of students nationally were found to have some type of non-medical exemption, although those rates varied from a low 0.5 percent in Washington, D.C., to 6.2 percent in Idaho.

Friday
Aug282015

Tropical Storm Could Bring Rain to Upstate Next Week

Tropical Storm Erika is brewing just off the coast of the Dominican Republic, and it's expected to make it's way closer to the Florida coast by early next week.

Depending on the track of the storm, a few things could happen.

First, if the track stays where it's located now (red line), Florida would feel the brunt of the storm, and remnant rain would eventually make it's way to the Upstate and the mountains. In this case, maybe an inch or two of rain at best could fall here.

Second, if the track pulls a little farther east into the Atlantic, our area would miss a lot of the rain, and may only see an isolated shower.

Third, if the track pulls west, the stronger area of rain would be pulled onshore, giving our area an even greater chance for steady, heavier rainfall.

Regardless of which track it takes, this storm is still several days away. Florida isn't expected to see the storm until Monday, leaving our area out of the equation until almost Wednesday or Thursday.

Friday
Aug282015

Expect Midnight Flight Road Closures Sept. 4

The Peoples Bank Annual Midnight Flight, one of the largest nighttime road races in the Southeast, is scheduled for next Friday, beginning at the Anderson Area YMCA on East Reed Road. 

The Anderson Area YMCA is expecting between 2,000 – 2,500 runners for the three races.  The start times are as follows:  1 MILE  9:15 p.m.; 5K 10 P.M.; 10K 11 PM

Registration is available online at www.active.com, Anderson Area YMCA or any of The Peoples Bank locations. For more information: Julie Usherwood, Anderson Area YMCA, 716-6271 or julieu@andersonareaymca.org or visit  www.andersonareaymca.org.
Sponsors for the event include the Peoples Bank, Anderson Area YMCA, AnMed Health, Anderson County,  City of Anderson, Independent-Mail, Pepsi Beverage Company, Hill Electric and Blue Ridge Orthopedic.

Road Closures During the Races:

7:00 pm- East Reed Rd (Intersection and On YMCA side)

8:15 pm- Greenville Street from Cardinal Park to Marchbanks Avenue

9:30 pm- Greenville Street to Boulevard

10:30 pm- Greenville Street to Main Street to Sharpe Street..

Friday
Aug282015

Barcodes May Soon Be Thing of the Past

Growing demand for more information about the products we buy could mean the end of the simple barcode - the blocks of black and white stripes that adorn most objects for sale and are scanned five billion times a day.

 

First used on a pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit chewing gum in 1974 in a store in Ohio, barcodes have revolutionized the retail world, allowing cashiers to ring up products much faster and more accurately, while also streamlining logistics.

But shoppers are now demanding far greater transparency about products, and store owners need more information to help with stock taking, product recalls and to fight fakes. The basic barcode is just not up to the job.

That could mean a costly upheaval for retailers and brands to change packaging and invest in new systems and scanners. But it should also bring benefits as more data helps them manage the flow of goods better.

"The barcode did a great job, but it is now time for succession," said Capgemini consultant Kees Jacobs, who is working with the world's top retailers and food manufacturers to try to agree new global standards for labels and product data.

"The current barcode is not sufficient to be the carrier of much more granular information that is needed," Jacobs said.

The most ubiquitous barcodes allow an eight to 14 digit number to be read by a laser scanner. For example, barcode 4-003994-111000 identifies a box as being a 375 gram pack of Kellogg's Corn Flakes.

However, that number does not directly capture any other information that might interest a shopper - such as ingredients, allergens or country of origin - nor does it provide a retailer with useful details such as the batch number or sell-by date.

That data is usually printed on the pack, but consumers increasingly want to read it online, or with a smartphone app such as one that measures calories. Retailers want data that can be scanned for tasks such as quickly locating faulty goods for recall or about-to-expire products for mark downs.

Full Story Here

Friday
Aug282015

Trump Hype, Promises Could Backfire

Manhattan real estate lawyer John Mechanic remembers the summer day a decade ago when Donald Trump gave him a tour of a vacant retail space inside the Trump Tower on a glittering stretch of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Mechanic was representing Gucci, and the luxury retailer was already sold on opening a flagship store in what was unquestionably a prime location. But the salesman in Trump still couldn't resist pumping it up in his sales pitch. "He said it was the best retail space, in the best retail building, on the best corner, in the best city in the world," Mechanic recalled.

Mechanic still has a copy of Trump's book, "The Art of the Deal," which the billionaire inscribed during the visit: "To the greatest real estate lawyer in the world, best wishes, Donald."

Anyone who has witnessed Trump's meteoric surge to the top of the 2016 Republican presidential field is familiar with that style of Trump Talk - a mix of bullish optimism and hyperbole. It may in part explain his rise in the polls. While his competitors gravely list the country’s ills, Trump tells voters how fantastic everything is going to be once he's president.

He has pledged to be "the greatest jobs president God ever created," to be "better on women's health issues" than Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, to seize Iran's oil reserves, to beat up on China while making "them like us," to force Mexico to pay for a new 2,000-mile (3,219 km) wall along its border with the United States, and to round up and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.

But campaigning for the White House is different than hawking commercial real estate. Trump's penchant for exaggeration could backfire - he risks promising voters more than he can deliver.

Trump himself has recognized this risk, calling out in "The Art of the Deal" former presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan for overpromising. More recently, this week on Twitter, Trump referenced former President George H.W. Bush's infamous "Read my lips: no new taxes" pledge.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Trump indicated he understood he would have to tone things down over the long haul of the presidential campaign, saying he would have to be a "little more selective" in the things he says.

Nevertheless, Trump's over-the-top style has its admirers.

For Vincent DeVito, a lawyer who has worked on Republican presidential campaigns, Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," says it all.

DeVito said Trump was trying to address a feeling of malaise in the country. He dismissed the idea that the billionaire was overhyping his abilities.

Those trying to gauge how Trump's hyperbole could help or hurt his chances of winning the White House could look at his business record.

Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen said Trump’s record of success was "proof positive of Mr. Trump’s character and capabilities."

Full Story Here

Thursday
Aug272015

Anderson Museum Names New Hall of Fame Members

The Anderson County Museum (ACM) Advisory Committee announced today Anne Kennedy Hamilton and Joseph John (J.J.) Fretwell were selected as the 2015 Hall of Fame Class. A ceremony and reception will be held in their honor at the Museum Nov. 10 at 6 p.m.  The reception and ceremony are free and open to the public.

Hamilton and Fretwell were chosen by the Hall of Fame committee of the ACM Advisory Committee who are appointed by the Anderson County Council. The committee made their selection from 28 applications. Nominees must be deceased at least 10 years before they are eligible to be nominated. Hamilton was nominated by Julia Barnes and Fretwell by John Tucker, Jr.

 “This year we have the pleasure of inducting a strong Revolutionary War heroine in Anne Kennedy Hamilton and a notable Anderson business man in Joseph John Fretwell. It is so exciting to share their accomplishments with younger generations,” said Executive Director Beverly Childs. “Since 2003 the Museum has inducted 30 deserving individuals into the ACM Hall of Fame in recognition of their contributions to Anderson County and South Carolina.”

Anne Kennedy Hamilton (1761-1836): Revolutionary War heroine Anne Kennedy was hailed for her bravery and patriotism. Born in Browns Creek, Union County, South Carolina, Kennedy lived in her father's household during the war years. Young Anne was said to have informed American Commanders of British plans and troop strength in spite of the eminent threat of raiding Tories.  

In November 1780, these loyalists invaded the Kennedy home looking for Anne’s father and brothers. Anne’s cousin, who had been severely wounded in the recent battle of the Black Stocks, was the only man they found. The enemy force assumed he would die of his injuries and decided not to kill him. However, they did plunder the house, taking jewelry, tearing up featherbeds, and even stealing the bedclothes. Anne’s mother hoped to save the last blanket by sitting on it, but one of the men seized it anyway.

Anne lost her temper. She grabbed him by the arm and literally kicked him out the door. The soldier turned to shoot but his captain intervened saying she was too brave a woman to kill. Still fuming, the soldier attempted to burn the house down with a flaming stick from the fireplace. Anne expelled him again before he hurled the fiery log at her, horribly breaking and burning her hand. After the conflict, the family moved Cousin William to the woods in fear of another raid. Anne nursed him to health in a makeshift shelter over several weeks, though her hand would be crippled permanently.

Local ladies composed a message to General Morgan in Pacolet Springs which called for protection from such raids. With no men available to deliver it, Anne volunteered to ride horse back some sixty miles allegedly hiding the note in her stocking.

On Christmas Day 1782 Anne Kennedy married Thomas Hamilton, a Revolutionary War veteran with whom she would have twelve children. Among the early settlers, they built a house on land granted by the state in what became the Pendleton District, and later Anderson County. Well-known and active in their new community, the couple helped found Carmel Presbyterian Church where Thomas served as an elder for more than fifty years. Anne Kennedy Hamilton died March 24, 1836, and was buried in a family cemetery near Carmel Church.  Thomas died May 2, 1856, and lies in the Carmel Church cemetery. Their original home was recently disassembled and placed in storage, where it awaits reconstruction.

Joseph John Fretwell (1850-1938): Business, agriculture, education, healthcare, philanthropy -- Joseph John Fretwell was outstanding in nearly every aspect of life.  He began life as a farmer, working on the Anderson County land acquired by his father and grandfather.

At the age of seventeen, during the uncertain time of Reconstruction, Fretwell moved into town to make his own way.  He gained a position with Sylvester Bleckley in his successful Anderson store.  Although his first tasks were to sweep the floors, clean out the storerooms, and generally do whatever job he was assigned, within five years he was made a member of the firm. Three years later, he was made a co-partner. In 1879 he married Bleckley's second daughter, Mary Catherine. Fretwell was actively in charge of the business and the New York buyer for the store for many years.

At the same time, Fretwell developed a business as a livestock dealer, specializing in horses and mules.  It was very successful, with headquarters in both Anderson and Atlanta.  His sons took over this enterprise in 1910 when Fretwell retired.

Real estate was another business in which he excelled. Fretwell acquired extensive farm lands and had homes and barns built on them. He worked with young tenant farmers so they could buy the properties and become homeowners. Fretwell also owned four mica mines.

Mr. Fretwell was the organizer, chairman/president, or director of several other Anderson businesses:  The Peoples Bank of Anderson, Anderson Hardware Company, Peoples Furniture Company, Peoples Oil and Fertilizer Company, Issaqueena Cotton Mill (in Central), and Anderson Cotton Mill.   He was also involved with the Hotel Chiquola and the Anderson Hospital.

In 1910 Fretwell was a member of the committee selected to present the offer of funds and property to the South Carolina Baptist Convention to establish Anderson College (now University). He was elected to its first Board of Trustees and in 1920 contributed funds for twenty scholarships. 

The Fretwells had eight children. Their country home near Anderson, called "Sunset Forest" was a large and lovely place, enjoyed to the fullest by family and friends.

Joseph John Fretwell died on September 25, 1938.  A newspaper tribute praised his "long, useful life with a record for progressive activity that few here have ever matched" and said "later generations" would be "immeasurably indebted" to him.

Applications are now available for the 2016 Hall of Fame at the ACM or on the ACM Website www.andersoncountymuseum.org. The Anderson County Museum is at 202 East Greenville Street, in downtown Anderson. The Fred Whitten Gallery and Museum store hours are Tuesday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Roper Research Room is open 1 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and by appointment with the Curator. ACM is handicap accessible and admission is free. Donations are always welcome. For more information, contact the Museum at (864) 260-4737.

Past Inductees

Class of 2014

Moses Holland

Manley McClure

Class of 2013

Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr.

Claude Richard “Red” Canup

Class of 2012

Jane E. Hunter

John C. Taylor, Sr.

Class of 2011

Richard Wright Simpson, Sr.

Class of 2010

William Law Watkins

Robert Emmett Ligon

Class of 2009

General Andrew Pickens             

Samuel Lander Prince

Class of 2008

Albert Mauldin Carpenter

Waller Hunn Nardin, Sr.

Class of 2007

James Lawrence Orr

Caroline “Callie” Stringer Rainey

Class of 2006

Robert Anderson

James Rogers Young

Class of 2005

Thomas Rucker Gaines

Virginia “Jennie” Kramer Gilmer

Class of 2004

Annie Dove Denmark

Wilton Earle Hall

Olin DeWitt Talmadge Johnston

Elliot Crayton McCants

Olga Veleria Pruitt

George Fredrick Tolly

Class of 2003

Pearl Rodgers Cochran Fant

Ellison Adger Smyth

Corporal Freddie Stowers

William Church Whitner

Anne Austin Young

Thursday
Aug272015

Tropical Storm Could Reach S.C. Next Week

Forecasters and emergency agencies prepped for a long weekend Thursday as Tropical Storm Erika wobbled toward Puerto Rico and then the southern Atlantic coast, where it could be a hurricane when it arrives early next week.

A tropical storm warning was in effect Thursday afternoon for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Erika caused mudslides blamed for at least four deaths on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

More than 12 inches of rain poured down on Dominica in less than 12 hours, the National Weather Service said — and it could do close to the same overnight and Friday on Puerto Rico, where forecasters warned that major flooding is possible.

After that, it's anybody's guess.

The center of Erika started "wobbling" Thursday, according to the weather service, making it difficult to project its course.

"At this point, to quote Shakespeare, 'to be or not to be — that is the question,'" said Danielle Banks, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel. "There's still a lot of uncertainty with the track and the intensity."

Late Thursday afternoon, forecasters said Erika looked increasingly likely to reach the U.S. mainland Monday night or Tuesday morning, possibly as a Category 1 hurricane.

"We're still a long ways away from this thing affecting" the mainland, said Ari Sarsalari, another Weather Channel meteorologist. But Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, he said, "might have to start thinking about making preparations."

It already was — like emergency management agencies from the southern tip to the Panhandle of Florida on the Gulf side of the state and up to North Carolina on the Atlantic side.

"It's going to be all hands on deck this weekend," Carl Barnes, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's regional office in North Charleston, South Carolina, told NBC station WCBD of Charleston.

Kim Stenson, director of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, said: "We're watching Tropical Storm Erika very closely. If it looks like this storm is going to affect South Carolina, we want everyone to be ready."

Thursday
Aug272015

Southern Baptists Announce Major Cuts in Missionaries, Staff 

Two months after promoting plans to send out “limitless” numbers of missionaries, the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) faces a financial crisis.

IMB president David Platt announced Thursday that the agency needs to cut at least 600 missionaries and staff in order to balance its budget. Those cuts are needed to make up for a $21 million deficit for 2015.

The first of the cuts will come from voluntary retirements, followed by a restructuring. Overall, the IMB could release as many as 800 employees, according to an FAQ posted on the IMB’s website.

Currently, the IMB has about 450 staff and about 4,700 missionaries overseas, down from 5,600 in 2009. Platt said earlier this year the total number of missionaries would likely drop to about 4,200—a 25 percent decline from 2009.

Platt also announced plans Thursday to change how the IMB does business.

The agency currently has two major sources of ongoing funding: donations to the annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, and funds from the SBC’s Cooperative Program. That income has been supplemented in recent years with reserve funds, as well as proceeds from the sales of missionary housing and other property overseas.

Overall, the agency spent about $210 million more than it brought in over the past 6 years, IMB leaders said.

Platt, who became the IMB's president a year ago, told reporters that he didn’t want to question the decisions made by past IMB leaders. The property sales have helped IMB missionaries spread the gospel, he said.

But the agency was running out of properties to sell. And relying on sales, along with drawing down reserves, was not a sustainable strategy.

“We cannot continue to overspend,” he said in a statement. “For the sake of short-term financial responsibility and long-term organizational stability, we must act.”

The IMB had $168 million in reserves as of June 2015, according to its report to the SBC’s annual meeting. The agency’s total budget for 2015 was about $301 million. That report also shows about a $3 million deficit for 2014 and 2015.

Scott Moreau, editor of Evangelical Missions Quarterly, said the IMB staff cuts could be a sign of things to come. Since the 1700s, he said, evangelicals have used the “William Carey” model of missions funding.

In that model, churches and individual Christians donate to a mission society, which then sends out missionaries.

It’s a model that could falter in the future, Moreau said. “This might be a step toward the demise of the centrally funded mission agency.”

Mission agencies are also struggling to replace missionaries who retire, he said.

That’s been the case for the IMB. Earlier this week, the agency appointed 42 new missionaries, and plans to continue to send new missionaries out—including an estimated 300 this year. But it won’t be replacing every missionary who retires.

Sebastian Traeger, the IMB’s executive vice president, said that agency leaders considered other options to make up the budget deficit, including reducing the number of new missionaries or selling more property.

“But none of them bring about a balanced budget fast enough, or they are not feasible to implement in the short term,” he said in a statement. “Our goal is to align our cost structure with the amount of money given to us each year.”

Thursday
Aug272015

Black Pastors Protest Racist Sanger Smithsonian Portrait

Prominent black pastors and pro-life activists gathered in front of the National Portrait Gallery on Thursday to demand that the taxpayer-funded museum remove a bust of Planned Parenthood's white supremacist founder, Margaret Sanger, from the institution's "Struggle for Justice" exhibit.

After the National Portrait Gallery, which is run by the Smithsonian Institution, refused last week to take action on a letter sent by a coalition of 10 black pastors requesting the removal of Sanger's bust from the gallery, Bishop E.W. Jackson and the conservative group ForAmerica organized a rally Thursday morning to voice displeasure with the Gallery's decision to keep the bust.

Nearly 20 African-American pastors and pro-life advocates spoke at the rally and explained that Sanger, who established abortion organizations that eventually became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, did not advocate for abortion and birth control because she wanted to help "disadvantaged women," but because it was her goal to use eugenics to eliminate what she considered people of "inferior races."

Jackson quoted a letter that Sanger sent to birth control advocate Dr. Clarence Gamble in 1939 about her Negro Project, which was Sanger's eugenics plan for black America. Jackson explained that Sanger told Gamble that three or four "colored ministers" should be hired to make sure that black people don't catch onto the fact they aimed to wipe out the African-American population.

"'We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members,'" Jackson quoted Sanger as writing in the letter. "No wonder the KKK loved her. She began her career by trying to reduce the population for black and other minorities through eugenics. The sterilizations that later happened in this country were largely inspired by Margaret Sanger's movement. One of her most favorite slogans was, 'More children from the fit, less from the unfit.' She said that was the chief aim of birth control. Another was 'Birth control to create a race of thoroughbreds.'"

"She referred to black people and others whom should be banned from having children as 'human weeds' and 'human waste,'" Jackson continued. "She said this, 'We are paying for, even submitting to, the dictates of an ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all."

As Sanger's bust currently sits in the same exhibit that honors civil rights champions such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, the black pastors were adamant that Sanger's inclusion in the gallery's "Struggle for Justice" exhibit is a "slap in the face" to African-Americans and the Civil Rights Movement.

"The last thing we need is a white supremacist sitting between the bust of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks," The Rev. Johnny Hunter, chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, said. "That is a slap in the face of black folks and I hope the curator can understand that."

Full Story Here

Thursday
Aug272015

Trump Defends Hair at Sold Out Greenville Event

Donald Trump forcefully defended his hair and attacked the New York Times for a front-page report on his adversarial relationship with Spanish-language media during a rally in South Carolina on Thursday.

The GOP presidential frontrunner took umbrage to the opening paragraph of the Times story that details how Hispanic radio host Ricardo Sánchez has nicknamed Trump "El hombre del peluquín," or "the man of the toupee."

"I don't wear a toupee. It's my hair. I swear," he said before inviting a woman in attendance to inspect his head.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump supporter Mary Margaret Bannister checks to see if his hair is real during his speech at the TD Convention Center on Thursday in Greenville, S.C. Trump says his trademark hairdo is for real. He told 1,800 people in South Carolina Thursday: "It's my hair ... I swear."  RICHARD SHIRO / AP

Trump's relationship with Hispanics again dominated media coverage of his campaign this week after his showdown with Univision's Jorge Ramos in Iowa on Tuesday. Ramos was forced from Trump's news conference while asking how the Republican would institute his immigration plan, which calls for deporting the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. Trump maintained that Ramos was being disorderly for not waiting to be called on and the reporter was eventually allowed back to ask his question.

 Watch the Best of Trump During S.C. Campaign Stop 3:15

"They didn't cover this speech, it was the best speech I ever made. That's my opinion. It's true," Trump said. "They kept covering the maniac in Iowa."

Some of Sánchez's listeners have come to simply refer to Trump as "Hitler" for calling undocumented immigrants "rapists" and "drug dealers," the Times reports.

"The Hitler one I've never heard of until this morning when I woke up," Trump said Thursday in the early primary voting state. "I'm not a fan of Hitler."

Trump continues to hold a sizeable lead in Republican presidential primary polls, including in the Palmetto State. In his speech, Trump again blasted rival Republican Jeb Bush, as well as homegrown South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has recently focused his campaign on attacking Trump.

"The people of South Carolina are watching this farce, and I think they're very upset about it," Trump told reporters after his speech.

Thursday
Aug272015

U.S. Averaging More than One Mass Shooting Per Day in 2015

Aug. 26 is the 238th day of the year. And with the fatal shooting in Virginia today — in which a gunman shot himself after killing two reporters and wounding one more person — plus the shooting of four during a Minneapolis home invasion, the number of mass shooting incidents has risen to 247 for the year.

These numbers are compiled by the moderators of the GunsAreCool subreddit, a sarcastically named community that tracks gun violence in America. They define "mass shooting" as any single incident in which at least four people are shot, including the gunman. The tracker comes in for some criticism because its definition is broader than the FBI's definition, which requires three or more people to be killed by gunfire. But the broader definition is nonetheless a useful one, because it captures many high-profile instances of violence — like the recent Lafayette theater shootings — that don't meet the FBI's criteria.

Some gun rights advocates — like John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center — object that the broader definition includes a lot of gang killings and domestic disputes that the average person wouldn't necessarily consider a "mass shooting." But there's an uncomfortable assumption here that some crime victims' lives should be valued differently — or are less worthy of  attention — than others.

A more expansive definition of "mass shooting" underscores the extent to which firearms make it relatively easy to hurt large numbers of people in a very short time. With a gun, you're able to inflict bodily harm on a person once they're in your line of sight. With something like a knife or your hands, you need to get right up close to a person.

There's no easy fix to gun violence in this country. As gun rights proponents are quick to point out, municipalities with strict gun laws, like Chicago and D.C., see more than their fair share of gun crime. But it's nevertheless a fact that the level of gun violence we see in the U.S. is like nothing seen in other wealthy Western nations.