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Technology poses major rights questions

Authorities say they connected Joseph James DeAngelo to the 12 killings and more than 50 rapes committed by the Golden State Killer by comparing crime-scene evidence with genetic information posted by his relative to an online ancestry website.

DNA isn't the only evidence used against the suspect, of course, but it was the final piece of the puzzle in bringing him to justice.

Few will object to law enforcement officials using every tool at their disposal to solve crime, but the same technology can be used by authorities or others to violate the rights of innocent citizens or employees. Technology doesn't care whom it serves — online navigation records can help you keep track of your business miles or provide information for a suspicious spouse.

Little can be done to slow the advance of intrusive technology, but it's up to responsible private citizens to stay involved in the political and legal process to ensure that technology is not used to rob us of our freedom.

— McCook Daily Gazette

Be vigilant to stop child abuse

We would rather not know that there are more than 3 million reports of violence and maltreatment of children each year in the United States, five deaths of children per day because of abuse and that, as widespread as child abuse is, two-thirds of the incidents in our country go unreported.

But knowing these statistics and knowing how big a problem mistreatment of children is can be the key to getting people to file reports with the proper authorities before a child becomes the next statistic.

We don't want to know about it, but it's important that we do know about it. Stopping child abuse begins with intervention to help parents and guardians think before they act and realize the impact of emotional and physical abuse on children.

But it's also important that each of us know enough about this scourge to be able to recognize the signs that a child may be suffering abuse.

— Grand Island Independent

Japan boosts ethanol industry

The ethanol industry just got some very good news: Japan has opened its huge marketplace to ethanol manufactured from corn. Until the recent change by the Japanese government, most of the ethanol sold there was produced from sugarcane.

This is a major boost for the Hawkeye State — and the Midwest as a whole — because Japan has an enormous economy. Its GDP ranks third in the world behind only the United States and China.

Iowa leads the U.S. in ethanol production, with Nebraska in second place. The ability of ethanol producers to sell in Japan should strengthen an already robust industry that currently contributes about $4.6 billion to Iowa’s economy each year.

The Messenger welcomes this exciting economic news. International sales are important to the prosperity of our state. The addition of a major marketplace for our ethanol producers is exceptionally positive.

— Fort Dodge Messenger


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