Bob Murray's suit against John Oliver is dismissed
From The Hill:
A West Virginia judge dismissed a coal mogul’s defamation lawsuit this week against cable television host John Oliver and HBO.
In a decision dated Wednesday, West Virginia Judge Jeffrey Cramer accepted HBO’s argument that Bob Murray, CEO of coal mining giant Murray Energy Corp., failed to show that Oliver had defamed him according to the law.
Oliver dedicated an extended segment in June to criticizing the coal industry, with a focus on Murray, including his frequent criticisms of former President Obama’s “evil agenda,” his lawsuits challenging regulations and his closeness with President Trump.
You can watch the John Oliver segment here.
FCC chair gets award from the NRA at CPAC
The FCC chair who pushed the repeal of net neutrality and an end to the "Main Studio Rule" received a rifle from the National Rifle Association. As Politico reports:
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai received the Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire award at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday for his efforts to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules.
National Rifle Association Second Vice President Carolyn Meadows told Pai his award, which is sponsored by the organization, is a “Kentucky handmade long gun” that will be housed at the NRA’s museum with a plaque until he can receive it.
West Virginia and gun violence
24/7 Wall St. recently examined the amount of gun violence in each of the 50 states and then compared them. Here's what they did:
To determine the states with the most gun violence, 24/7 Wall St. examined 2016 firearm-related deaths data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We also considered violent crime rates from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2016 Uniform Crime Report. From the U.S. Census Bureau we reviewed poverty rates by state for 2016. Information on firearm policies for each state are from the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.
Here are their top five states for gun violence:
- 1. Alaska 23.0 firearm deaths per 100,000 people
- 2. Alabama 21.4
- 3. Louisiana 21.2
- 4. Mississippi 19.8
- 5. Oklahoma 19.6
West Virginia at 17.5 was 12th.
Here are the states with the least amount of deaths from guns:
- 46. Connecticut 4.6
- 47. Hawaii 4.5
- 48. New York 4.4
- 49. Rhode Island 4.0
- 50. Massachusetts 3.4
The article had this to say about West Virginia:
- Firearm deaths per 100,000 people: 17.5 per 100,000
- Total firearm deaths 2016: 332 (suicides: 238, homicides: 78)
- Violent crime rate: 358.1 per 100,000 (24th lowest)
- Permit required to carry handgun: No (Permit to carry available, but not required to carry a handgun either openly or concealed for those 21 and over.)
- Poverty rate: 17.9% (5th highest)
The article notes an interesting correlation between gun restrictions and gun deaths:
The similarities of states with the highest firearm-related death rates can also be telling. For example, the states with the highest gun death rates are often the states with relatively loose gun restrictions.