Real Estate, Tips & How-To

When trees cross the line


Whether it’s the fear of branches falling onto a house or the perception of blocked views, homeowners are not always appreciative of the value of trees—especially when the tree is in someone else’s yard. Trees are frequently at the root of property disputes between neighbors, and with the confusing patchwork of local laws governing arboriculture, many of these disputes get out of hand. In most cases, however, the legal answers are simpler than the conversations with your neighbor may turn out to be.

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Bizarre, Crime & Lawsuits

5 crimes confessed on Facebook

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Examples abound of scofflaws taking to Facebook and spilling the beans about their bad behavior. Are the admissions of guilt a way of boasting? Or do these lawbreakers find penitent relief in the form of an online confessional? Or are they just idiots? You be the judge.

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Children, Divorce, Family, Marriage

Introducing a new love to children of divorce

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One of the most difficult issues a divorced couple confronts in a custody matter is introducing a new significant other to the children. The party in the new relationship wants to move forward with his or her life and include the children as part of it. Meanwhile, the other party may feel threatened by this new person and want to protect the children. The new person may even be perceived as the reason why the marriage ended. Thus, the party who is not in a relationship may use this issue as a method of control—as a way to keep his or her former spouse from moving forward.

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Divorce, Marriage

Do you need a Catholic annulment? The pope can help.

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Pope Francis announced that he has changed the Catholic Church’s annulment process, making it easier for Catholics to obtain annulments. What does this mean for Catholics getting divorced in the United States?

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Legal pot: The taxman’s two favorite words

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Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have now legalized medical marijuana, and four states (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington) have legalized pot for recreational use. As the laws have changed and social acceptance has grown, so has the ability to make money—lots of it. How much money? A recent Washington Post analysis estimates that legal weed (both medical and recreational), which currently stands at about $700 million in sales, will likely grow into a $1 billion industry by 2016. In fact, marijuana is currently the nation’s fastest growing industry. In fact, according to a recent report by the research firm GreenWave Advisors, if all 50 states and the federal government legalized pot, sales could reach as high as $35 billion a year by 2020. That’s about the size of Bolivia’s current GDP.

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Lisa Bloom, News

It’s time to retire “Stand Your Ground” laws

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The American Bar Association calls for a halt on enacting more Stand Your Ground laws, and a repeal of laws currently on the books. It also calls for clearer jury instructions, which may have helped in the George Zimmerman trial. Its recommendations are based on fact and reason and should be supported by all Americans who value equality, nonviolence and the preciousness of human life.

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The lawless world of synthetic drugs

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Flakka. K2. Spice. Bizarro. Scooby Snax. Molly. Trainwreck. Krokodil. 2C. N-bomb. Smiles. Cloud 9. Mojo. There are so many synthetic recreational drugs on the street right now that the media are having a difficult time deciding which one to sensationalize next. The EU’s drug agency reported in 2015 that there were at least 101 new legal highs, known as new psychoactive substances (NPS) by policymakers, available online or at the local headshop. The report adds to the more than 450 substances already on the watch list. The situation is no different in the United States, where the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has identified between 200 and 300 new designer drugs from eight different structural classes, the vast majority of which are manufactured in China.

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Rights, Safety

5 countries with lots of guns, but less killing

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It may seem obvious: the availability of guns is an important factor in gun violence. If potential perpetrators cannot access firearms, gun violence cannot occur. But how big of a role does firearm availability actually play? After all, several other countries with relatively liberal gun laws and high rates of gun ownership have disproportionately low rates of gun-related homicide, especially compared to the United States.

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Government & Politics, News, Rights

Is Trump right about the Fourteenth Amendment?

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Donald Trump has declared that he will end the nation’s illegal immigration problem by overturning birthright citizenship laws. But an interesting Constitutional argument has emerged on the subject, specifically in the interpretation of language contained in the Fourteenth Amendment. The Donald invokes the amendment in support of his proposals; meanwhile, his opponents use it as refutation. Who’s right?

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Celebrity, Crime & Lawsuits, Entertainment, News

8 movies that killed…literally

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Midnight Rider director Randall Miller is in prison for an on-set fatality. While this may be the first time a filmmaker has been held legally accountable, it is certainly not the first time someone has died while making a movie. Here are 8 other films in which the creative process was interrupted by tragedy.

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