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  • Talking-Car Technology Pits Two U.S. Agencies against Each Other

    Sunday, August 28, 2016
    Cars that wirelessly talk to each other are finally ready for the road, creating the potential to dramatically reduce traffic deaths. The government and auto industry have a decade and more than $1 billion researching V2V technology. "We're losing 35,000 people every year (to traffic crashes)," said GM lobbyist Lightsey. "This technology has the power to dramatically reduce that. To me, the ability of somebody to download movies or search the internet or whatever should be secondary to that."   read more
  • State Medical Boards’ Failure to Report Sexually Abusive Doctors Keeps Them on the Job

    Sunday, August 28, 2016
    "Historically, doctors and therapists were held in high regard and protected in general," said Spero. "And so to start bringing them into the criminal system, there's a lot of resistance." Agencies may even pull the plug on their investigation if the doctor agrees to step aside. That means any evidence of violations is hidden from the public. Regulators can also discipline a doctor without ever considering whether his violations could be criminal.   read more
  • People’s Identities Collected and Traded like Baseball Cards in Controversial Twitter App Game

    Sunday, August 28, 2016
    Parker says the app has imported profiles of tens of thousands of people without their consent and exploits their identities for profit. An article reports that the game "commoditizes users without their knowledge" and "crafts a potential opening for harassment" because people who "own" others' profiles can rename them. Parker cites an interview with the app's founder, Chen, in which he "admits the game wouldn't work if he had to obtain consent from each user."   read more
  • U.S. May Add Speed-Capping Device to Trucks and Buses to Forcibly Slow Them Down

    Sunday, August 28, 2016
    Regulators are considering a cap of 60, 65 or 68 mph. Whatever the speed limit, drivers would be physically prevented from exceeding it. The government said capping speeds for new large vehicles will reduce the 1,115 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks that occur each year and save $1 billion in fuel costs. While the news is welcomed by some safety advocates, many truckers said such changes could lead to dangerous scenarios where they are traveling at much lower speeds than everyone else.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon: Who Is Elizabeth Holzhall Richard?

    Sunday, August 28, 2016
    Holzhall Richard was sent to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2006 as director of counter-narcotics, law enforcement and rule of law programs there. After that assignment, she took time to earn an M.S. at the National War College in 2008. She began her ambassadorial career in a bit of limbo. Lebanon had no president when she began her tenure and as such could officially be only chargé d’affaires until she could present her credentials to the head of state.   read more
  • U.S. Tech Startups Could Grow Under New Homeland Security Proposal Welcoming Foreign Entrepreneurs

    Saturday, August 27, 2016
    The move is one of many piecemeal efforts by the Obama administration to expand American immigration policies without action from Congress. Entrepreneurs in any industry would be eligible to apply, but the new rule would be especially significant for the tech field. Creating an immigration route for startup founders has been one of Silicon Valley’s political priorities. “I think it will have major impact on U.S. entrepreneurship, and potentially on the broader economy," said Patrick Collison.   read more
  • First Judicial Ruling to Curb Enforcement of North Carolina’s Restrictive Transgender Bathroom Access Law

    Saturday, August 27, 2016
    The ruling was the first judicial rebuke of a statute that has been condemned as discriminatory and, with lawsuit after lawsuit, has deepened the national debate about transgender rights. His ruling is a milestone victory for critics of the measure, and a setback to many Republican leaders in North Carolina who have championed the statute. “Today is a great day for me, and hopefully this is a start to chipping away at the injustice of H.B. 2,” said Carcaño, a transgender plaintiff in the case.   read more
  • Lawsuit Heats Up against U.S. Agencies that Downplayed Cholesterol Dangers of Eggs

    Saturday, August 27, 2016
    The American Egg Board allegedly increasingly funded pro-egg research on dietary cholesterol over the last 20 years. In 2013, it funded 92% of studies on dietary cholesterol. The Physicians Committee claims that the Egg Nutrition Center nominated seven people to the dietary guidance committee, including one who failed to disclose she received funds from the Egg Board for "the sole purpose of overturning defendants' recommended limits on dietary cholesterol intake."   read more
  • 400% Increase in Price of EpiPen Allergy Drug Triggers Price-Gouging Lawsuit amid the Firestorm

    Saturday, August 27, 2016
    The man perhaps most famous for pharmaceutical price-gouging, Martin Shkreli, called the drug's makers "vultures." Sens. Charles Grassley and Richard Blumenthal demanded answers from Mylan CEO Heather Bresch. Sen. Hillary Clinton blasted the price of EpiPens as "outrageous," and Sen. Amy Klobuchar called for an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. And now, on Tuesday, six consumers from across the country brought the issue to court — filing suit against Mylan in Detroit, Michigan.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Liberia: Who Is Christine Elder?

    Saturday, August 27, 2016
    She joined the State Department in 1992 after serving as a trade policy assistant in the International Trade Administration in the Department of Commerce. Early assignments included postings in Bonn and Berlin, Germany. From 2002 to 2004, Elder was cultural affairs officer in the embassy in Budapest, Hungary. She began a stint in Washington in 2005 as senior watch officer in the State Department operations center.   read more
  • Top Private Prison Firm Tries to Prevent Public Disclosure of Documents Exposing Prison Operations

    Friday, August 26, 2016
    The attorneys accuse the private prison firm of sealing documents where no genuine security concern exists in order to protect itself from embarrassment, violating the public's right to access court proceedings. "The reason for it is probably to keep it out of the public press," said Yarbrough. "That can sometimes be legitimate and can sometimes be because the company doesn't want their dirty laundry aired." Said Friedman: "They disclose as little information as they can get away with."   read more
  • U.S. Justice Dept. Sues Georgia for Widespread Discrimination of Disabled Students

    Friday, August 26, 2016
    The DOJ asserts that in practice, the program allows students with disabilities to be taught in the basement of a school building with its own separate entrance. The students are also educated in "often old, poorly maintained buildings, some of which formerly served as schools for black students under Jim Crow laws," the complaint states. Moreover, the program denies students with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from educational services available to students throughout the state.   read more
  • At 8 Deaths a Day, Accidental Overdose Fatalities Hit Record High in Ohio

    Friday, August 26, 2016
    Authorities who had been targeting prescription painkiller abuse say the problem has changed quickly in recent years as users turned to heroin, fentanyl and even stronger drugs. Ohio has been among the states hardest hit by the overdose epidemic. Fentanyl overdose deaths spiked so quickly last year that scientists with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention visited the state to study the problem.   read more
  • Study Finds Most Teens Vape Non-Nicotine Fruit Flavors, But CDC Skeptical

    Friday, August 26, 2016
    Health officials warn that e-cigarettes and other vaping devices are poisoning kids with nicotine. But the market has evolved, and a lot of vaping these days is done with devices that can be loaded with flavored "e-juice" that comes in both nicotine and nicotine-free versions. "Strawberry. Watermelon. Passion fruit. There's a churros — you know, like cinnamon toast?" said Brooklyn Vape's Hosam Essa. CDC officials question whether many teens know the exact content of what they're vaping.   read more
  • Court Rules against Michigan for Cutting Food Stamps for People it Misidentified as Fleeing Felons

    Friday, August 26, 2016
    Michigan developed an automated program that compares the list of public-assistance recipients with a list of outstanding felony warrants maintained by the law enforcement information network. However, the system repeatedly wrongly identifies SNAP recipients as felons and cuts off their food stamps. A federal judge found the state's use of the database deprived plaintiffs of their right to food assistance because they were neither actively fleeing nor avoiding prosecution for a felony.   read more
  • Use of Force by Police Officers Decreased by 8% When Wearing Body Cameras

    Thursday, August 25, 2016
    The reduction among the 60 officers who wore cameras amounts to about 20 fewer incidents of physical force per year. The authors speculate that if the cameras were worn by the entire department, the same reduction would translate to about 250 fewer incidents per year. The study cautions that cameras alone are just one piece of the puzzle. It notes that community policing strategies and better officer training are also essential to preventing such encounters.   read more
  • First Soda Tax Law in U.S. Leads to 21% Drop in Soda Drinking

    Thursday, August 25, 2016
    The study is the first to assess soda drinking since the tax went into effect. And its results are consistent with research from Mexico, which passed a nationwide soda tax in 2014. When Berkeley passed its soda tax, it stood alone among cities in the U.S. for embracing the policy. But that has changed: Philadelphia passed a soda tax this year, and several other cities are putting similar taxes on the ballot this fall. Among them are two of Berkeley’s neighbors, Oakland and San Francisco.   read more
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