Thursday the Federal Reserve granted financial institutions extra time to divest themselves of private equity and hedge fund investment they’d been required to sell as part of the Volcker Rule, which prohibits banks from investing their own capital.
The postponement is seen as the work of Fed general counsel Scott Alvarez, a holdover from Alan Greenspan’s tenure as Fed chair who has been trying to water down Dodd-Frank since it was passed. read more
The attorneys general for Nebraska and Oklahoma want Colorado’s marijuana legalization program stopped in order to stem the flow of pot into counties that border the state.
A challenge to Colorado’s law on this basis could set an interesting precedent. If the suit is successful, could states with tougher gun laws sue neighboring states with relaxed firearm regulation because they allow guns to flow into their state? read more
A panel appointed by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan to assess blame for the CIA’s intrusion into Senate Intelligence Committee computers has—no surprise—found that those who broke into the computers shouldn’t be punished. Those investigated by the CIA panel claimed they’d been given the go-ahead to break into the Senate computers by Brennan himself. read more
Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, there have been 1,394 executions in the United States, 518 of them in Texas. There are currently more than 3,000 people on Death Row. In 2014, 80% of the executions were carried out by three states: Texas, the perennial leader; Missouri; and Florida. Only seven states executed anyone. read more
Pangrazio is no stranger to the U.S. He attended high school in Mission Viejo, California, competing on that school’s nationally recognized swim team. He was a high school All-American in 1985. He then attended Kansas University, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science in 1990.
In 2009 he came home to become director general in the energy resources unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a post he held until he was chosen to be ambassador to the United States. read more
The decision came as a disappointment to those who had hoped the substance would be classified as hazardous waste.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the rules, which will cover 1,425 coal ash ponds and landfills in 37 states, will treat coal ash the same as common household waste. That designation comes even though coal ash contains chemicals such as arsenic, chromium, mercury, and lead.
For the first time since the 1970s, female Peace Corps volunteers will receive federal assistance for abortions, granting them the same coverage as those in other federal programs.
As part of the omnibus spending bill adopted by Congress, medical coverage for Peace Corps volunteers will include abortion in cases of rape, incest and life endangerment. read more
George Stinney Jr., who was black, was charged with murder for the death of 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and 7-year-old Mary Emma Thames, who were white. Judge Carmen T. Mullen of Circuit Court didn’t rule on the merits of the prosecution’s case because of the lack of transcripts and case files. However, she noted the violations of Stinney’s rights read more
He joined his family business in 2002, managing Agroquimica Industrial RIMAC, an agricultural chemical firm. In 2009, Macaya campaigned for the presidential nomination of the Citizens Action Party. He came in third in the party’s primary with 9% of the vote. He continued managing Agroquimica Industrial RIMAC until his appointment as ambassador. At that time, he also had to renounce his U.S. citizenship. read more
González-Revilla was founder and director of BellSouth Panama and BellSouth Guatemala wireless services. From 2000 to 2004, González-Revilla also served as a director of the Panama Canal Commission.
In 2005, González-Revilla became president of Panama Power Holdings, which develops and operates hydro-electric power facilities in his home country. He remained with that company until being named ambassador.
“Suicide is far more common than homicide and its rate is increasing,” Garen Wintemute of U.C. Davis wrote in his new study. “The homicide rate is decreasing.” He also noted that firearm violence is a “large and costly public health problem in the United States for which the mortality rate has remained unchanged for more than a decade.” Even when the homicide rate was far higher than now, it was outpaced by the suicide rate, according to the study. read more
All three are also considered political, rather than career Foreign Service, appointments. John Estrada, President Barack Obama’s choice for Trinidad and Tobago, has waited the longest of anyone: 504 days. He is a former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, the highest-ranking enlisted Marine, and a native Trinidadian. After leaving the service, he worked at Lockheed Martin as a senior manager. read more
When the Satanists wanted to put up an angel being consumed by flames, the state Department of Management Services rejected the display, saying it was too offensive. The unholy rollers claim Florida is denying them their constitutional rights under the First Amendment, citing the 1994 Supreme Court decision in Rosenberger v. University of Virginia, the upshot of which was the government cannot selectively choose from among religious-based efforts. read more
In March 2009, for the first time, an FMLN candidate, Mauricio Funes, was elected president of El Salvador. Four months later, Altschul was appointed chargé d’affaires at the embassy of El Salvador in Washington, D.C., and eight months after that, he moved up to ambassador. He served until 2013, when he was replaced by Ruben Zamora. In August 2014, Zamora was moved to the United Nations in New York and Altschul was brought back as ambassador in Washington. read more
In 1950, a special commission convened by California Governor Earl Warren completed publication of four groundbreaking reports on the growing threat of organized crime in the state. When researchers recently sought access to the material, they were told the documents were sealed and unavailable until 2028 because of confidentiality concerns. read more
State health officials said that until more studies can be performed, it was necessary to stop fracking because of the risks it poses to residents’ water supplies. The decision comes in the wake of state environmental and health reports that concluded New York citizens would be placed at risk by continued fracking operations.
“We cannot afford to make a mistake,” said acting state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. “The potential risks are too great. In fact, they are not fully known.” read more
Obama’s executive move protects a region that provides 40% of the nation’s wild-caught seafood and which supports up to $2 billion in commercial fishing every year. Bristol Bay is the natural habitat for numerous endangered species, including walruses, seals, sea otters, seals, and several species of whales.
“It’s something that’s too precious for us just to be putting out to the highest bidder,” Obama said in announcing his decision.
Environmental groups lauded the move. read more