“The U.S. really isn’t even in this game,” said Coast Guard commandant Zukunft. “When Russia put Sputnik in outer space, did we sit with our hands in pocket with great fascination and say, ‘Good for Mother Russia’?” The Obama administration's actions are mostly on paper. Meanwhile, Russia has telescoped its sovereign designs on a vast expanse of the Arctic roughly the size of South Africa. It also made a symbolic move by planting a titanium Russian flag in the seabed beneath the North Pole. read more
Donald Trump’s immigrant-bashing message has raised questions about a backlash among Hispanic voters in response to the candidate’s ugly rhetoric. But while Hispanic turnout in elections has been steadily climbing in recent elections, the fact is most of these Americans still don’t cast ballots on Election Day. A new study shows only 47% of Hispanic voters went to the polls during the 2012 election. That means 53% didn’t vote, even though 20% of those who didn’t were registered. read more
Only 1.5% of Engine 1’s calls in 2014 had to do with fires. The majority of its time was spent going on calls to help homeless people, including those struggling with mental illness or substance abuse. The entire San Francisco Fire Department responded to more than 136,000 incidents in 2014, but only 28,000 of them involved fires and other nonmedical calls. Some of the most dispiriting calls are are to the same homeless person repeatedly—sometimes as much as 20 times—in a single day. read more
Pantex workers perform critical work involving nuclear weapons life extension programs, weapons dismantlement, development, testing, and fabrication of high explosives components. The plant also stores plutonium pits for warheads. “The Department of Energy and CNS Pantex know that these workers risk exposure to cancer-causing chemicals daily, yet the DOE has imposed a ridiculous policy upon its contractors," said MTD president Ron Ault. read more
“The untold story of mass shootings in America is one of domestic violence,” Melissa Jeltsen wrote after reviewing Everytown’s statistics. “It is one of men...targeting and killing their wives or ex-girlfriends or families. The victims are intimately familiar to the shooters, not random strangers. [The violence is] frequently preceded by a flurry of red flags: 911 calls, hospitalizations, broken protective orders, repeat arrests, contentious custody battles, death threats and stalking." read more
The panel ruled unanimously that the plaintiffs, led by conservative activist Larry Klayman, couldn’t prove their calls had been swept up because their calls were handled by Verizon Wireless, not Verizon Business, which had previously been found to have turned over calling data to the National Security Agency (NSA). This ruling came despite government documents released earlier this month that showed the NSA had also swept up Verizon Wireless data.
U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota, whom Bush appointed in 2003, issued an injunction Thursday keeping an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule protecting smaller streams and waterways from pollution from going into effect Friday as scheduled. The rules would force landowners to get a permit if they did something that would pollute or destroy the regulated waters connected to larger bodies of water downstream. read more
The Army Corps of Engineers must foot the entire bill for restoring Louisiana wetlands destroyed by the improper construction of a canal.
The Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal (MR-GO) was completed in 1968 as a shortcut to the New Orleans waterfront from the Gulf of Mexico. But the canal, which had widened to 2,000 feet in some places because of erosion caused by ship traffic, allowed the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina to breach New Orleans’ levees and flood the city.
The class claims Nestlé has tried to hide its involvement with human rights violations from the public. Nestlé reportedly contracts with a Thai company, Thai Union Frozen Products PCL, to import more than 28 million pounds of seafood-based pet food, some of which is obtained through slave labor.
“By hiding this from public view, Nestlé has effectively tricked millions of consumers into supporting and encouraging slave labor on floating prisons,” Steve Berman said in a statement. read more
Paul Paz y Miño told Courthouse News Service, “The impetus behind the investigation was to find out how much U.S. policy was directly responsible for helping human rights violators. They not only killed his lawyers, they killed the 17-year-old son of one of his lawyers, they killed people that worked on his ranches; there were a lot of innocent victims....There was a lot of collateral damage and huge human rights blowback to it.” read more
Exelon is primarily a power-generation company with more nuclear plants than any other U.S. utility. The company has consistently fought renewable energy efforts and the rejection of the merger came as a welcome surprise to clean energy advocates. The commission’s decision in the high-profile pending merger was reported to have taken all parties by surprise, from the power industry to renewable energy advocates. read more
The FBI had published a fake news story, purportedly from the Associated Press, in 2007 in order to entice a suspect to download it so the bureau could put surveillance software on his computer. The fake story, “Bomb threat at high school downplayed by local police department” was released on the Internet with the AP logo. The article, however, originated in the FBI’s Seattle field office. The sting resulted in the arrest of a 15-year-old who had made threats against a high school. read more
Countless studies have demonstrated lead’s effect on the cognitive and emotional states of those exposed to it. Appropriately, landlords who allowed lead paint to remain in their buildings have been forced to pay their victims thousands of dollars to attempt to compensate them for the brain damage caused by peeling lead paint. These payouts are often in the form of “structured settlements” which provide the victims with monthly payments for the rest of their lives. read more
Rent already takes a huge chunk out of Americans’ paychecks, with as many as half of renters paying 30% of their take-home pay for a place to live. High rents affect poorer Americans the most. Not only do they pay more for rent now, but they’re unable to save money to buy a home of their own.
Part of the reason for increased rents is a shortage of available units. Last year’s vacancy rate of 7.6% was the lowest such figure in 20 years.
Each crew member will have his or her own bedroom and there are common spaces. The habitat itself is a geodesic dome with a former shipping container attached. The crew members will have limited access to the Internet and will be able to leave the habitat only if they’re dressed in a spacesuit. read more
Such milestone events as the Revolutionary War and the drafting of the U.S. Constitution could be completely ignored. Cutting out early U.S. history in 11th grade hurts the ability of students to “think historically” when they reach higher education, according to a letter sent to the state Board of Education by university educators.That, of course, might be exactly what the Republican-dominated state government has in mind. “It’s disabling their citizenship,” said DSU's Ben Jones. read more
Data produced by Pew shows tougher sentencing laws for drug offenders, which began in the 1980s, helped balloon the federal prison systems’ population of drug-related criminals from 5,000 to more than 95,000. This pushed the federal budget for this operation to $6.7 billion annually. But these expenditures on longer terms for drug offenders and other anti-drug strategies have not produced a lower level of drug use. In fact, illegal drug use has increased, according to Pew. read more