If the thought of buying a product that might benefit a political party you can't stand makes you recoil in horror, the BuyPartisan app is for you.
The goal of this free app is to let people find out more information about the brands they purchase and the ideologies of their leaders and employees. After downloading the app, a user just has to scan a bar code using their phone's camera, and then wait for the information to pop up: the number in red is for contributions to the Republican Party, blue for the Democratic Party, and green for others.
— Carl Norman (@CarlNorman) August 20, 2014
"For the first time ever, you're able to take that product and bring it to a whole new light," developer Matthew Colbert, a former Capitol Hill staffer, told the Los Angeles Times. "A quarter or tenth of a penny that went to a political contribution might not be something you know."
BuyPartisan looks at campaign finance data from top Fortune 500 companies, and the averages are computed after looking at the donation histories of the CEO, board of directors, employees, and affiliated political action committees. For example, by using that data, BuyPartisan found that Procter & Gamble scores an average of 70.25 percent Republican, while Celestial Seasonings is 91 percent Democratic.
The app has some critics, including Jack Marshall, president of ProEthics. Marshall told the Times that it's best to avoid intense partisanship, which could be fanned by this app. "You don't want every day to be an election," he said. "That's why we have elections periodically, so people can calm down and work together." Catherine Garcia
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, 69, was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a U.S. supporter. Olmert, who was forced to resign in 2009, was convicted in March in a retrial in the Jerusalem District Court.
The eight-month sentence is in addition to a six-year prison sentence Olmert received last year for a separate real estate bribery conviction. Olmert's new sentence also includes a $25,000 fine.
In 2012, Olmert was acquitted on charges including "accepting cash-stuffed envelopes" from Morris Talansky, a U.S. businessman, according to The Associated Press. Talansky apparently gave Olmert about $600,000 while Olmert was mayor of Jerusalem. But later, Olmert's former office manager, Shula Zaken, served as a state's witness, offering recorded conversations between her and Olmert about illicit money deals, which led to a retrial.
Malaysian authorities have discovered more than 139 graves they believe contain the bodies of Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants.
Police found the graves in abandoned human trafficking camps on the country's border with Thailand. Authorities haven't announced how many bodies were recovered, but each grave likely contained between one and four bodies. The find was part of an investigation that began on May 11.
"I am deeply concerned with graves found on Malaysian soil purportedly connected to people smuggling," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak tweeted. "We will find those responsible."
Since May 10, more than 3,600 migrants have landed in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, and thousands more may be trapped at sea. Meghan DeMaria
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Sunday faulted Iraqi troops for allowing the Islamic State to conquer Ramadi, saying the homegrown forces lacked the "will to fight."
"What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight," Carter said in an appearance on CNN. "They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves."
Last weekend, ISIS captured Ramadi as Iraqi troops fled and left behind weapons provided by the U.S. Days later, ISIS overran the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra as well. Jon Terbush
Cleveland police over the weekend arrested 71 people who participated in largely peaceful protests following the acquittal of a police officer in the 2012 killing of two unarmed black people.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said protesters became more "aggressive" throughout the day, adding that officers only intervened when they "became violent and…refused to disperse."
On Saturday a judge acquitted officer Michael Brelo over a 2012 incident in which police, after mistaking the sound of a car backfiring for gunshots, fired 137 rounds into a vehicle, killing both occupants. Brelo climbed onto the car's hood and fired 15 times through the windshield, though the judge ruled prosecutors did not prove those shots killed the couple. Jon Terbush
John Nash, the famed Nobel Prize-winning mathematician who inspired the film A Beautiful Mind, died Saturday in a taxi crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. The 86-year-old Nash and his wife, Alicia, were both killed when the driver of their taxi lost control and slammed into a guardrail. Police said they believe neither Nash nor his wife, who were ejected from the vehicle, were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. Known for his work in game theory, Nash won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1994. Jon Terbush
At least one person died and dozens of states of emergency were declared following widespread flooding across Oklahoma and Texas over the weekend. A firefighter in Claremore, Oklahoma, died while trying to rescue a colleague who became trapped in a storm drain, though the trapped firefighter was able to make it out safely. Flooding in the region forced more than 1,000 evacuations, with officials warning that even more rain on Sunday could trigger potentially "historic" flooding. Jon Terbush
An international coalition of female activists led by feminist Gloria Steinem on Sunday crossed the highly militarized border between North and South Korea in an effort to spotlight the need for reconciliation between the two nations. The group, WomenCrossDMZ, consisted of about 30 participants including Steinem and two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire and Leymah Gbowee. "We feel very celebratory and positive that we have created a voyage across the DMZ in peace and reconciliation that was said to be impossible," Steinem said. Jon Terbush