Portal

  • Doctors Disciplined for Misconduct Remain on Industry Payroll as Consultants and Speakers

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    The analysis identified at least 2,300 doctors who received industry payments between Aug. 2013 and Dec. 2015 despite histories of misconduct. Hundreds of doctors were disciplined for severe offenses, including providing poor care, inappropriately prescribing medications, bilking insurance programs, even sexual misconduct. At least 40 physicians had their licenses revoked, in most cases permanently. More than 180 had their licenses restricted. Almost 250 were placed on probation.   read more
  • For First Time, EPA Draws Link between Dallas Quakes and Fracking

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    The Texas RR Commission has been reluctant to acknowledge any connection between drilling and earthquakes, despite the conclusions of scientists in other states. But the EPA said: "In light of findings from several researchers, its own analysis of some cases, and the fact that earthquakes in some areas diminished following shut-in or reduced injection volume in targeted wells, EPA believes there is significant possibility that North Texas earthquake activity is associated with disposal wells."   read more
  • NYPD Repeatedly Broke Surveillance Rules While Targeting Muslims after 9/11 Attacks

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    The report said NYPD's Intelligence Bureau regularly let deadlines pass before asking to extend investigations into political activity, and often failed to explain the roles of undercover officers, as required. ACLU's Lieberman said they stood by “allegations that there were often no valid reasons for the NYPD to open or extend investigations of American Muslims." She said the surveillance "was highly irregular [and] operated in a black box..."   read more
  • Federal Judge Denies Texas Professors’ Request to Keep Guns Out of Classrooms

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    Texas college students will carry concealed guns into classes when the fall semester begins Wednesday, as a federal judge refused three professors' request to keep concealed handguns out of their classrooms. The professors claimed the law was unconstitutionally vague, violated their academic freedom and due process, and could endanger people in their classrooms. "We will continue to fight for lethal weapon-free learning environments at U.T. and in the state of Texas," said Prof. Carter.   read more
  • Court Supports Ohio’s Elimination of Early Voting

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    Dismissing the Democratic Party and minority voters' disenfranchisement claims, the court upheld Ohio's elimination of a week of early voting. Critics claimed Republicans placed an undue burden on black voters when they passed Senate Bill 238 and eliminated early voting in 2014. "Both the [evidence and testimony] and the substantial support found in the record stand in opposition to the majority opinion's blithe assertion 'that it's easy to vote in Ohio,'" Judge Stanch wrote in her dissent.   read more

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Top Stories

  • Texas Federal Judge Blocks Protections for Transgender Students

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    A federal judge in Texas has blocked the Obama administration’s order that requires public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity. In a temporary injunction signed Sunday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the federal education law known as Title IX “is not ambiguous” about sex being defined as “the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.”   read more
  • Virginia Governor Again Restores Voting Rights to Felons

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    A defiant Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that he again restored the voting rights of about 13,000 felons who served their time after his previous attempt was thwarted by Republican lawmakers and the state Supreme Court. Virginia's highest court ruled in July that governors cannot restore rights en masse, but must consider each offender on a case-by-case basis.   read more
  • Charter Schools Exacerbate Segregation, Civil Rights Groups Charge

    Monday, August 22, 2016
    The nation’s oldest and newest black civil rights organizations are calling for a moratorium on charter schools. In separate conventions over the past month, the NAACP and the Movement for Black Lives passed resolutions declaring that charter schools have exacerbated segregation. They argue that the closing of traditional schools as students migrate to charters has disproportionately disrupted black communities.   read more

Unusual News

  • Republican Senator Says College Professors Could Be Replaced by Videos

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has an idea for making colleges cheaper — ditch the instructors and start playing online videos for students. "Why do you have to keep paying different lecturers to teach the same course? You get one solid lecturer and put it up online," Johnson said.   read more
  • Increase in Jailing of Women in U.S. Far Exceeds that of Men

    Friday, August 19, 2016
    The study found that a vast majority of the women are poor, African-American or Latino, and have drug or alcohol problems. About 80% have children. Most have been charged with low-level offenses, including drug or property crimes like shoplifting, but many are in jail for violating parole or for failed drug tests “Once a rarity, women are now held in jails in nearly every county — a stark contrast to 1970, when almost three-quarters of counties held not a single woman in jail,” the report said.   read more
  • Rising Funeral Costs Lead to Surge in Body Donations to U.S. Medical Schools

    Friday, August 19, 2016
    The increase has been a boon to medical students and researchers, who dissect cadavers in anatomy class or use them to practice surgical techniques or test new devices and procedures. "Not too long ago, it was taboo. Now we have thousands of registered donors," said Mark Zavoyna. "Funerals are expensive. That certainly has something to do with it. Of course, it almost has this snowball effect, where you get five people to donate, and then their families tell another 25 people."   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • For-Profit Elder Care Could Result in Lower Standards

    Monday, August 22, 2016
    Until recently, only nonprofits were allowed to run programs like these. But a year ago, the government flipped the switch, opening the program to for-profit companies as well, ending one of the last remaining holdouts to commercialism in health care. The hope is that the profit motive will expand the services faster. Hanging over all the promise, though, is the question of whether for-profit companies are well-suited to this line of work, long the province of nonprofit do-gooders.   read more
  • Johnson Controls/Tyco Overseas Tax-Shelter Merger Triggers Lawsuit by Angry Shareholders

    Thursday, August 18, 2016
    The proposed merger drew comment from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who said, "I have a detailed and targeted plan to immediately put a stop to inversions and invest in the U.S., block deals like Johnson Controls and Tyco, and place an 'exit tax' on corporations that leave the country to lower their tax bill." The shareholder class action claims that Johnson's anticipated tax savings are the sole purpose of the merger and come at the expense of minority taxpaying shareholders.   read more
  • Federal Judge Stops Ohio from Withholding Educational Program Funding for Planned Parenthood

    Sunday, August 14, 2016
    Planned Parenthood won an injunction Friday that prevents Ohio from withholding public funds used by the health care provider for educational programs. Judge Michael Barrett ruled that the Ohio code — which prevents the state Dept of Health from distributing funds to any entity that performs nontherapeutic abortions — will cause Planned Parenthood "irreparable injury." Programs include STD Prevention, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Program, and the Sexual Violence Prevention Program.   read more

Controversies

  • Climate Change Will Exacerbate Smog Problem in Southeastern U.S.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    The drier, warmer autumn weather that's becoming more common due to climate change may extend summer smog well into the fall in the Southeastern U.S. in the years ahead, according to a study published on Monday. Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences also suggests a culprit for the smog that many people might not expect: It's the lush woodlands that give much of the South a lovely green canopy.   read more
  • Native American Tribes Protest Pipeline Construction

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    Two weeks ago, members of the Dakota, Lakota and Yankton Sioux set up tipis in camps on a tributary of the Missouri River to fight a crude oil pipeline they fear will poison the Missouri River. For the moment, they have stood off the pipeline company and the Army Corps of Engineers. Two hearings are set in North Dakota Federal Court this week: on Wednesday, the court will consider the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's July 27 lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers.   read more
  • Trump’s “Empire” Includes Massive Debt to China, Goldman Sachs

    Monday, August 22, 2016
    An investigation by The New York Times into the financial maze of Trump’s real estate holdings in the United States reveals that companies he owns have at least $650 million in debt — twice the amount than can be gleaned from public filings he has made as part of his bid for the White House. The Times’ inquiry also found that Trump’s fortunes depend deeply on a wide array of financial backers, including one he has cited in attacks during his campaign.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Olympics: If African-American Women were a Nation, They’d be in 6th Place

    Monday, August 22, 2016
    African-American women earned gold medals in 15 events (including participation in team sports) at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. If they had been a nation, they would have been in sixth place. This despite with a population of about 19.6 million, they would be only the 67th most populous nation in the world.   read more
  • Lawsuit Seeks to Block Energy Dept.’s Huge Nuclear Waste Transport from Canada to U.S.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016
    The Energy Dept's unprecedented proposed transfer of "a toxic liquid stew" containing nuclear waste between Canada and the U.S violates federal law, seven environmental groups claim in court. The proposed $60 million deal would see more than 6,000 gallons of the liquid waste transported more than 1,100 miles. "The radioactive waste byproducts...are acknowledged to be among the most radioactively hazardous materials on Earth," the complaint states.   read more
  • VW Payout to Deceived American VW Owners: $15 Billion; Payout to European Owners: $0

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016
    VW owners in the U.S. will receive about $20,000 per car as compensation for the company’s diesel deception. VW owners in Europe at most get a software update and a short length of plastic tubing. “Why are they getting so much and we’re getting nothing?” Franz said of U.S. owners. The startling gap in treatment is the result of European laws that shield corporations from class action suits brought by unhappy consumers.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay: Who Is Kelly Keiderling?

    Saturday, August 20, 2016
    She served as Deputy Chief of Mission and charge d’affaires in Caracas, Venezuela, beginning in 2011. Her tenure ended in 2013, when she and two other diplomats were kicked out of the country by President Maduro, who accused the three of attempting sabotage. “Yankee go home. Enough abuses already,” Maduro said. Keiderling was later accused by Cuban Raul Capote and by the official Cuban press of being an agent of the CIA. Capote claimed that Keiderling was one of his handlers in Havana.   read more
  • Brunei’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Serbini Ali?

    Sunday, August 14, 2016
    Serbini joined Brunei’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980 and his first overseas posting came two years later, when he was named second secretary in the High Commission in Singapore. He moved to the Bangkok embassy in 1984 as first secretary and returned to Brunei the following year as assistant director in the Protocol and Consular Affairs Department. He was promoted to deputy director the following year. In 1989, Serbini was made first secretary in Tokyo.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Somalia: Who Is Stephen Schwartz?

    Saturday, August 13, 2016
    It was at Williamsville High where he took a class in Afro-Asian cultures that he later credited as spurring an interest in that part of the world. Schwartz quickly got a look at Africa after college, joining the Peace Corps in 1981 as a volunteer in Cameroon. In 1985 he returned to the Peace Corps, this time as a staffer.He also helped establish the Peace Corps’ program in Chad in 1987. Schwartz joined the U.S. State Dept in 1992. His first posting was as a consular officer in Ethiopia.   read more

Domestic Policy/Agency of the Day

  • Office of Legal Counsel

    Located within the Department of Justice, the Office of Legal Counsel functions as one of the most powerful legal bodies in the federal government. Although few have heard of it, the office is responsible for putting forth legal opinions that s...   more

Domestic Policy Divisions

Go to Department

Foreign Policy/Nation of the Day

  • Ecuador

    Over the last decade, Ecuador has been Latin America’s “basket case,” going through economic meltdowns and seven different presidents, three of whom were ousted by coups. The country tied its currency to the US dollar in 2000 to control runaway in...   more

Nations

Meet Your Government

  • Slutz, Pamela

    For Pamela J. H. Slutz, who was sworn in as the U.S. ambassador to Burundi on November 2, 2009, the Foreign Service has quite literally been a lifetime experience.   Slutz grew up in the Foreign Service as a “diplobrat,” thanks to her f...   more

Blog

  • Irving Wallace: 100th Birthday

    On March 19, 2016, the popular novelist Irving Wallace—my father—would have turned 100 years old. Instead of honoring my father by presenting a review of his achievements and recalling what a generous, warm-hearted person he was and how much enjoy...   more
  • Doctors Disciplined for Misconduct Remain on Industry Payroll as Consultants and Speakers

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    The analysis identified at least 2,300 doctors who received industry payments between Aug. 2013 and Dec. 2015 despite histories of misconduct. Hundreds of doctors were disciplined for severe offenses, including providing poor care, inappropriately prescribing medications, bilking insurance programs, even sexual misconduct. At least 40 physicians had their licenses revoked, in most cases permanently. More than 180 had their licenses restricted. Almost 250 were placed on probation.   read more
  • For First Time, EPA Draws Link between Dallas Quakes and Fracking

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    The Texas RR Commission has been reluctant to acknowledge any connection between drilling and earthquakes, despite the conclusions of scientists in other states. But the EPA said: "In light of findings from several researchers, its own analysis of some cases, and the fact that earthquakes in some areas diminished following shut-in or reduced injection volume in targeted wells, EPA believes there is significant possibility that North Texas earthquake activity is associated with disposal wells."   read more
  • NYPD Repeatedly Broke Surveillance Rules While Targeting Muslims after 9/11 Attacks

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    The report said NYPD's Intelligence Bureau regularly let deadlines pass before asking to extend investigations into political activity, and often failed to explain the roles of undercover officers, as required. ACLU's Lieberman said they stood by “allegations that there were often no valid reasons for the NYPD to open or extend investigations of American Muslims." She said the surveillance "was highly irregular [and] operated in a black box..."   read more
  • Federal Judge Denies Texas Professors’ Request to Keep Guns Out of Classrooms

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    Texas college students will carry concealed guns into classes when the fall semester begins Wednesday, as a federal judge refused three professors' request to keep concealed handguns out of their classrooms. The professors claimed the law was unconstitutionally vague, violated their academic freedom and due process, and could endanger people in their classrooms. "We will continue to fight for lethal weapon-free learning environments at U.T. and in the state of Texas," said Prof. Carter.   read more
  • Court Supports Ohio’s Elimination of Early Voting

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016
    Dismissing the Democratic Party and minority voters' disenfranchisement claims, the court upheld Ohio's elimination of a week of early voting. Critics claimed Republicans placed an undue burden on black voters when they passed Senate Bill 238 and eliminated early voting in 2014. "Both the [evidence and testimony] and the substantial support found in the record stand in opposition to the majority opinion's blithe assertion 'that it's easy to vote in Ohio,'" Judge Stanch wrote in her dissent.   read more

Top Stories

  • Texas Federal Judge Blocks Protections for Transgender Students

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    A federal judge in Texas has blocked the Obama administration’s order that requires public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity. In a temporary injunction signed Sunday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the federal education law known as Title IX “is not ambiguous” about sex being defined as “the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.”   read more
  • Virginia Governor Again Restores Voting Rights to Felons

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    A defiant Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that he again restored the voting rights of about 13,000 felons who served their time after his previous attempt was thwarted by Republican lawmakers and the state Supreme Court. Virginia's highest court ruled in July that governors cannot restore rights en masse, but must consider each offender on a case-by-case basis.   read more
  • Charter Schools Exacerbate Segregation, Civil Rights Groups Charge

    Monday, August 22, 2016
    The nation’s oldest and newest black civil rights organizations are calling for a moratorium on charter schools. In separate conventions over the past month, the NAACP and the Movement for Black Lives passed resolutions declaring that charter schools have exacerbated segregation. They argue that the closing of traditional schools as students migrate to charters has disproportionately disrupted black communities.   read more

Unusual News

  • Republican Senator Says College Professors Could Be Replaced by Videos

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has an idea for making colleges cheaper — ditch the instructors and start playing online videos for students. "Why do you have to keep paying different lecturers to teach the same course? You get one solid lecturer and put it up online," Johnson said.   read more
  • Increase in Jailing of Women in U.S. Far Exceeds that of Men

    Friday, August 19, 2016
    The study found that a vast majority of the women are poor, African-American or Latino, and have drug or alcohol problems. About 80% have children. Most have been charged with low-level offenses, including drug or property crimes like shoplifting, but many are in jail for violating parole or for failed drug tests “Once a rarity, women are now held in jails in nearly every county — a stark contrast to 1970, when almost three-quarters of counties held not a single woman in jail,” the report said.   read more
  • Rising Funeral Costs Lead to Surge in Body Donations to U.S. Medical Schools

    Friday, August 19, 2016
    The increase has been a boon to medical students and researchers, who dissect cadavers in anatomy class or use them to practice surgical techniques or test new devices and procedures. "Not too long ago, it was taboo. Now we have thousands of registered donors," said Mark Zavoyna. "Funerals are expensive. That certainly has something to do with it. Of course, it almost has this snowball effect, where you get five people to donate, and then their families tell another 25 people."   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • For-Profit Elder Care Could Result in Lower Standards

    Monday, August 22, 2016
    Until recently, only nonprofits were allowed to run programs like these. But a year ago, the government flipped the switch, opening the program to for-profit companies as well, ending one of the last remaining holdouts to commercialism in health care. The hope is that the profit motive will expand the services faster. Hanging over all the promise, though, is the question of whether for-profit companies are well-suited to this line of work, long the province of nonprofit do-gooders.   read more
  • Johnson Controls/Tyco Overseas Tax-Shelter Merger Triggers Lawsuit by Angry Shareholders

    Thursday, August 18, 2016
    The proposed merger drew comment from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who said, "I have a detailed and targeted plan to immediately put a stop to inversions and invest in the U.S., block deals like Johnson Controls and Tyco, and place an 'exit tax' on corporations that leave the country to lower their tax bill." The shareholder class action claims that Johnson's anticipated tax savings are the sole purpose of the merger and come at the expense of minority taxpaying shareholders.   read more
  • Federal Judge Stops Ohio from Withholding Educational Program Funding for Planned Parenthood

    Sunday, August 14, 2016
    Planned Parenthood won an injunction Friday that prevents Ohio from withholding public funds used by the health care provider for educational programs. Judge Michael Barrett ruled that the Ohio code — which prevents the state Dept of Health from distributing funds to any entity that performs nontherapeutic abortions — will cause Planned Parenthood "irreparable injury." Programs include STD Prevention, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Program, and the Sexual Violence Prevention Program.   read more

Controversies

  • Climate Change Will Exacerbate Smog Problem in Southeastern U.S.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    The drier, warmer autumn weather that's becoming more common due to climate change may extend summer smog well into the fall in the Southeastern U.S. in the years ahead, according to a study published on Monday. Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences also suggests a culprit for the smog that many people might not expect: It's the lush woodlands that give much of the South a lovely green canopy.   read more
  • Native American Tribes Protest Pipeline Construction

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016
    Two weeks ago, members of the Dakota, Lakota and Yankton Sioux set up tipis in camps on a tributary of the Missouri River to fight a crude oil pipeline they fear will poison the Missouri River. For the moment, they have stood off the pipeline company and the Army Corps of Engineers. Two hearings are set in North Dakota Federal Court this week: on Wednesday, the court will consider the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's July 27 lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers.   read more
  • Trump’s “Empire” Includes Massive Debt to China, Goldman Sachs

    Monday, August 22, 2016
    An investigation by The New York Times into the financial maze of Trump’s real estate holdings in the United States reveals that companies he owns have at least $650 million in debt — twice the amount than can be gleaned from public filings he has made as part of his bid for the White House. The Times’ inquiry also found that Trump’s fortunes depend deeply on a wide array of financial backers, including one he has cited in attacks during his campaign.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Olympics: If African-American Women were a Nation, They’d be in 6th Place

    Monday, August 22, 2016
    African-American women earned gold medals in 15 events (including participation in team sports) at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. If they had been a nation, they would have been in sixth place. This despite with a population of about 19.6 million, they would be only the 67th most populous nation in the world.   read more
  • Lawsuit Seeks to Block Energy Dept.’s Huge Nuclear Waste Transport from Canada to U.S.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016
    The Energy Dept's unprecedented proposed transfer of "a toxic liquid stew" containing nuclear waste between Canada and the U.S violates federal law, seven environmental groups claim in court. The proposed $60 million deal would see more than 6,000 gallons of the liquid waste transported more than 1,100 miles. "The radioactive waste byproducts...are acknowledged to be among the most radioactively hazardous materials on Earth," the complaint states.   read more
  • VW Payout to Deceived American VW Owners: $15 Billion; Payout to European Owners: $0

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016
    VW owners in the U.S. will receive about $20,000 per car as compensation for the company’s diesel deception. VW owners in Europe at most get a software update and a short length of plastic tubing. “Why are they getting so much and we’re getting nothing?” Franz said of U.S. owners. The startling gap in treatment is the result of European laws that shield corporations from class action suits brought by unhappy consumers.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay: Who Is Kelly Keiderling?

    Saturday, August 20, 2016
    She served as Deputy Chief of Mission and charge d’affaires in Caracas, Venezuela, beginning in 2011. Her tenure ended in 2013, when she and two other diplomats were kicked out of the country by President Maduro, who accused the three of attempting sabotage. “Yankee go home. Enough abuses already,” Maduro said. Keiderling was later accused by Cuban Raul Capote and by the official Cuban press of being an agent of the CIA. Capote claimed that Keiderling was one of his handlers in Havana.   read more
  • Brunei’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Serbini Ali?

    Sunday, August 14, 2016
    Serbini joined Brunei’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980 and his first overseas posting came two years later, when he was named second secretary in the High Commission in Singapore. He moved to the Bangkok embassy in 1984 as first secretary and returned to Brunei the following year as assistant director in the Protocol and Consular Affairs Department. He was promoted to deputy director the following year. In 1989, Serbini was made first secretary in Tokyo.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Somalia: Who Is Stephen Schwartz?

    Saturday, August 13, 2016
    It was at Williamsville High where he took a class in Afro-Asian cultures that he later credited as spurring an interest in that part of the world. Schwartz quickly got a look at Africa after college, joining the Peace Corps in 1981 as a volunteer in Cameroon. In 1985 he returned to the Peace Corps, this time as a staffer.He also helped establish the Peace Corps’ program in Chad in 1987. Schwartz joined the U.S. State Dept in 1992. His first posting was as a consular officer in Ethiopia.   read more

Domestic Policy/Agency of the Day

  • Office of Environmental Management

    Located within the Department of Energy (DOE), the Office of Environmental Management (EM) is responsible for overseeing the cleanup of the nation’s nuclear weapons complex. Representing a leftover from the Cold War, vast amounts of radioactive...   more

Domestic Policy Divisions

Go to Department

Foreign Policy/Nation of the Day

  • Nation

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Nations

Meet Your Government

  • Gauto Vielman, Rigoberto

    Rigoberto Gauto Vielman presented his credentials on February 24, 2010.   Gauto was born in Asunción, Paraguay in 1952. He graduated from Cristo Rey High School.   Between 1977 and 1990, he became a specialist in Foreign Trade a...   more

Blog

  • Irving Wallace: 100th Birthday

    On March 19, 2016, the popular novelist Irving Wallace—my father—would have turned 100 years old. Instead of honoring my father by presenting a review of his achievements and recalling what a generous, warm-hearted person he was and how much enjoy...   more

PHOTO GALLERY

Get Smart Phone Meets Smartphone Click the photo for larger view Get Smart Phone Meets Smartphone