U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Delhi this week as Washington tries to reset ties with India.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected in May, the U.S. found it had to do business with a leader to whom it had denied a visa in 2005 over anti-Muslim riots.
So the U.S. finds itself in an awkward position. This is unfortunate since both countries are natural allies: both are democracies, targets of Islamic terrorism, and worried about China’s rise.
After weeks of media coverage about the influx of unaccompanied children into the U.S., a strong majority of Americans say the young immigrants should be treated as refugees, and not like undocumented adults.
A survey revealed 69% of respondents felt that the children should remain as refugees “if authorities determine it is not safe for them to return to their home country.” Eighty-three percent of Democrats, 66% of independents and even 52% of Republicans agreed.
The EPA has been faulted by a federal watchdog agency for failing to properly oversee hundreds of thousands of underground wells involving hydraulic fracturing. A new report by the GAO said the EPA has inconsistently performed safety inspections of fracking wells.
EPA has also failed to maintain proper records for the wells and has not updated its guidelines for dealing with the fracking boom in the oil and gas industry. read more
For the majority, Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote: “The Act simply informs physicians that inquiring about a private matter irrelevant to medical care isn’t part of the practice of good medicine and that...a physician may face discipline for [doing that].”
Judge Charles Wilson dissented, saying “a gag order that prevents doctors from even asking... about firearms” is unacceptable.
Doctors must have the discretion to decide when gun conversations are relevant, he added. read more
If you can fight fire with fire, then why not fight big money with big money in the world of elections?
That’s what a coalition of liberals, Republicans and wealthy donors have decided in creating a super PAC called Mayday, which plans to spend millions of dollars to reduce the influence of big donors in campaigns.
Two of the super PAC’s founders are Lawrence Lessig, co-founder of Creative Commons, and Mark McKinnon, former adviser to President George W. Bush.
For the second consecutive month, a major social media website has admitted to manipulating its users, all in the name of Internet experimentation.
In June, it was Facebook, which said it had deliberately changed its news feed to 700,000 people to gauge their emotional response. Users did not respond well to the news.
Now, it’s the popular dating site OKCupid, which revealed that it had conducted experiments on its members.
Spending by outside political groups has grown so large this election that politicians running for office find these shadowy organizations already defining them and dictating the messages that bombard voters.
“They have become a shadow party that’s effectively impossible to dislodge, and they will shape, if not control, the [national] dialog,” said Sheila Krumholz.
Money pouring into TV ads is expected to eclipse $2 billion this year. read more
Tens of thousands of federal workers with security clearances owe millions in back taxes, putting the information at their disposal or the facilities in which they work at risk.
That raised new concerns about what kind of job is being done to vet workers with security clearances in the wake of the NSA disclosures and the Navy Yard shooting affair.
"Federal tax cheats with security clearances could unnecessarily put our nation’s classified information at risk," said Sen. Tom Coburn. read more
The U.S.’ decade-plus of fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan may have been hampered by allowing hundreds, perhaps thousands, of weapons to go missing and possibly fall into enemy hands.
A new report said many of the 747,000 weapons given to the Afghan National Security Forces can’t be accounted for.
“Weapons paid for by U.S. taxpayers could wind up in the hands of insurgents and be used to kill Americans and Afghan troops and civilians,” said SIGAR's John Sopko. read more
The U.S. Department of Justice has drawn attention to itself for helping an organization opposed to Iran maintain secrecy of its records.
United Against Nuclear Iran is operated by a who’s who list of American and foreign politicos, including former intelligence chiefs from Israel, Germany and Britain.
A Greek shipping magnate accused by UANI of violating sanctions by doing business with Iran. But the Justice Department stepped in to block the request in court. read more
There has been a decline in the number of women in the U.S. workforce, and a new study suggests it might be a result of this country’s backward maternity leave policies.
The White House Council of Economic Advisers recently reported a small reduction in women who are working or who want to work, while pointing out that the U.S. is the only developed nation not to adopt laws such as paid family leave and subsidized child care. read more
Expansion of healthcare access under Obamacare and the release of expensive drugs have state officials breaking into a sweat over how to pay for high-priced treatments for those who need them.
The arrival of Sovaldi, Gilead Sciences’ new treatment for hepatitis C, is one perfect example. The drug costs $84,000 per patient for a 12-week regimen.
In Oregon, the $360 million cost could mean that state Medicaid officials may have to deny the drug to some who qualify for coverage.
One retailer has been aggressively going after members of the U.S. military who have fallen prey to its collection tactics. USA Discounters has been described as “ruthless” in suing those who fall behind on payments on overpriced goods.
Military personnel are supposed to be shielded from such litigation. But nothing prevents a company like USA Discounters from choosing where to file lawsuits. Often, that means traveling across country or the world to appear in court.
Americans have been threatened by private security at hospitals for simply trying to take a family photo and police have been thwarted in investigations of alleged sexual assaults in nursing homes, all in the name of the HIPPA patient privacy law.
People complain that HIPPA was cited as the reason they were denied access to their medical records.
Even the VA has tried to hide behind HIPPA while going after whistleblowers who exposed violations within the agency.
The children’s ordeal once inside the U.S. can involve being loaded onto planes and flown back and forth across the states while federal officials struggle to manage the enormous influx from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
“Frequently, children are being apprehended in the border states where their families live and flown thousands of miles to shelters and detention facilities, only to be flown back to the border states where their U.S. journeys started,” wrote Manuel Roig-Franzia. read more
A new kind of high is being enjoyed on wedding day in Colorado and Washington, the two states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. Pot is popping up in all different ways at marriage ceremonies in these two states, from bridal bouquets to gift bags to celebratory toasts.
Advocates say serving marijuana is better than alcohol. It just mellows out the crowd, they insist, making it a good time for all. read more
The U.S. has again demonstrated its steadfast loyalty to Israel, this time casting the lone “no” vote on a U.N. resolution authorizing an investigation into alleged human rights abuses in Gaza.
The recent military invasion of the Palestinian territory has seen hundreds of civilians killed, including many children.
The measure condemned the “violations of ...human rights” caused by the Israeli military and "all violence against civilians...including the killing of two Israeli civilians.” read more