Violent crime down
Violent crime in the U.S. reversed an alarming two-year increase in 2007, the FBI reported. According to the latest bureau data, violent crime last year fell 1.4 percent from 2006 levels; the largest drop came in the Northeast, where crime was down 5.4 percent. In cities with more than 1 million residents, the murder rate fell a startling 9.8 percent, but it climbed 3.7 percent in smaller cities. Reported rapes fell 4.3 percent.
New federal debit card
The U.S. Treasury this week rolled out a debit card that people without traditional bank accounts can use to access federal benefits such as Social Security and disability payments. The cards offer “an important entry point to the financial mainstream” for people who don’t use banks, said Treasury Department official Judith Tillman. Federal payments will be credited to the cards every month, enabling users to make free withdrawals from ATMs in the government’s Direct Express network. Officials note that the card is more secure than traditional government checks.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- How a drafting error could doom Obama's carbon regulations
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How the battle for religious freedom became a nonsensical free-for-all
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- This simple hack for slicing cherry tomatoes will astound you
- Pay yourself first: The habit that can help you build wealth
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- 10 things you need to know today: July 30, 2014
Subscribe to the Week