First Drip (10/28/14): Campaigning, Bananas, and Who's watching your mail


A voting flyer depicting police targeting a black person in the “Hands up, don’t shoot” stance and captioned “This won’t ever stop until we vote” was mailed to households in Charlotte ahead of November's mid-term election. The image was accompanied by text referring to Ferguson, Missouri and saying voting could stop police harassment, brutality and unjustified deadly force against black youth.

If the new owners of Chiquita Brands moves its 300+ headquarters jobs out of Charlotte, they might have to repay the state and local incentives the company has received, the head of the NC Economic Development board said Monday. The city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have paid Chiquita about $510,000 each so far, and issued a joint statement saying it would be “premature” to estimate the local impact.

The Postal Service approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies to secretly track the mail of ordinary Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations. The number of request shows that the surveillance program is more extensive than previously disclosed, and oversight protecting Americans from potential abuses is lax.

Fake clown attacks have put French police on alert, while real clowns are saddened by the trend. Teens dressed as clowns and carrying pistols, knives and baseball bats were arrested outside a school in southern France; a man dressed as a clown beat a man with a metal rod; and a 19-year-old butcher’s apprentice dressed as a clown to terrorize children in northern France. The impostors have told police they were inspired by viral videos from the US.

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