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Danger

E-Cigs Can Poison Kids

Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty

A new CDC study says e-cigarette-related calls to poison control centers has grown substantially since 2010, and 51.1 percent of calls involve young children.

A “healthier” solution to cigarettes may be just the opposite. According to a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control Thursday, the number of monthly calls to poison centers for e-cigarette related incidents went from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014.The jump takes the proportion of e-cigarette related calls to poison centers from just 0.3 percent to 41.7 percent.Published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the study sheds light on the hidden dangers of what many consider to be a promising alternative to regular cigarettes.

Awakening

Irrational Anti-Gay Marriage Laws

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Several courts have found the defenses of such laws are simply implausible. What a way we’ve come.

In a wave of recent decisions, one court after another across the nation has held that laws denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry violate the Constitution. Indeed, we now have reached the point where courts routinely find the arguments in defense of such laws simply implausible.The constitutional provision at issue in these cases is the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Equal Protection Clause provides that “No state shall .

Reeducation

Terrorizing Our Schools

Craig Ruttle/AP

In the rush to protect students from the next Adam Lanza, states required towns to prepare for the worst. Are fake blood and simulated killings necessary though?

Today, Addison High School in Lenawee County, Michigan is holding an emergency preparedness drill involving “a car fire diversion that enables six individuals to launch a shooting spree”. Two victims, played by student volunteers, will be “killed” and eight wounded in the type of full-scale exercise now required by law in several states.School districts across the country are responding to new state regulations implementing mock shooting scenarios varying in scale and intensity, the more realistic drills involving simulated fatalities and victims played by student volunteers.

Failure

How the V.A. Let 1,000 Vets Die

Paul Beaty/AP

Since 9/11 almost 1,000 veterans have died due to negligence in the veterans health-care system. After lengthy legal battles the VA is finally making payments to their families.

An Iraq War veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder and a history of drug dependency is found dead on the floor of his room at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in West Los Angeles after doctors give him a 30-day supply of the anti-anxiety medication alprazolam and a 15-day supply of methadone.In Shreveport, La., a veteran overdoses on morphine while housed in a locked VA psychiatric unit. In a Minnesota VA psych ward, a veteran shoots himself in the head.

NOT AGAIN

‘Clean Record’ for Ft Hood Shooter

Deborah Cannon/Austin American-Statesman/MCT, Landov

While the gunman’s motive is still unclear in Wednesday’s deadly incident at the Texas Army base, military officials say he had "mental-health issues."

This story has been updated. We will continue to add new information as it becomes available. “We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again.”Those were President Obama’s words Wednesday night in a brief address about the mass shooting that killed three people and wounded 16 others at Fort Hood, an Army base in Killeen Texas. According to official reports, all of the victims were military personnel. The injured are being treated at local hospitals and their conditions range from critical to serious.

Activism

Supreme Court's Corruption Problem

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The Supreme Court decision ending aggregate limits on political donations was made possible by a dangerous, narrow definition of "corruption" the Framers themselves wouldn't recognize.

At the core of the disaster that is the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. FEC decision lies a mistake. A strategic mistake, made by the government. In this mistake, we can see all that’s wrong with modern American constitutional law.From the first moment that this case arose, it has been obvious to everyone that the decision would turn on the meaning of the word “corruption.” Congress has the power to regulate campaign contributions only if it is doing so to regulate “corruption.

New Reality Check for U.S. Kids

Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post, via Getty

They may not be as creative as we had assumed, a new study finds. Education expert Amanda Ripley on the lessons for American teachers and parents

Wherever I go, from Santiago to Seoul, I am always comforted to hear one consistently positive thing said about Americans: we may not be the wisest or the thinnest people on the planet, but we can think outside of the box! The world will give us that.Usually, this assertion is accompanied by a passing reference to Steve Jobs or Google, and no one argues the point. In fact, each year, officials in places like South Korea and Singapore leave their higher-performing education systems to come study how we Americans cultivate creativity in our schools and universities.

Afghanistan

How I’ll End Our Longest War

Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

An American military officer leaving on one of the last deployments to Afghanistan before the war ends, writes about his experiences in a new feature for The Daily Beast.

Editor’s Note:Here is an American military officer’s first hand account of war, how it’s fought and how it ends.Nick Willard is the pen name of a service member heading to Afghanistan on one of the final deployments in the closing days of America’s longest war. He will write what he sees in an ongoing feature for The Daily Beast that will appear as regularly as his schedule allows.To speak openly and freely, to tell the American people and the world of readers on the web about the truth as he finds it, he has chosen not to use his real name.

HEY BIG SPENDERS

Bishops Behaving Badly

Boston Globe/Getty

Atlanta’s Archbishop is the latest member of the clergy to come under fire and apologize for extravagant spending.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta is really sorry that he used money donated to his parish by the nephew of Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell to build himself a $2.2 million house.“I am disappointed that, while my advisors and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia,” Gregory wrote in the Georgia Bulletin, a Catholic newspaper.

March Madness

Rip the Money From the NCAA

David E. Klutho /Sports Illustrated, via Getty

The indentured servitude of college sports must end. If the schools don’t want to pay their athletes, take the profits away from the schools.

We’re days away from the Final Four, the conclusion and the giddy, madness-inducing ride that is the NCAA Division I men’s championship. Even if you’re not a college basketball fan, it’s hard to deny how much fun it all is.Sixty-three televised games jam-packed into a scant two weeks. Your cubicle mates pouring over their brackets with all of the serious intent and fevered diligence of Talmudic scholars. Highly touted soon-to-be-professionals and stacked squads from perennial powers going toe-to-toe with upset-minded scrappy seniors from unheralded mid-major or off-brand schools.

Who Is Frazier Glenn Miller?

Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon dissects the story of Miller, a 'nightmare image' of 'hate groups nestled in the heartland' who went on a Kansas killing spree on Sunday.

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THE LATEST

White Folks Can Talk About Race

White Folks Can Talk About Race

Brit Hume is wrong. Of course white people can talk about race without being called racist. They just need to be smarter about it.

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