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  • President Trump Apologizes for Coronavirus Deaths

    Monday, May 11, 2020
    In a series of tweets, Trump said, “I’m sorry I didn’t act sooner and I’m sorry that I’ve pushed to open up the country before the pandemic is under control. As you know, I’ve added my name to the stimulus checks that Americans have received. Now I’ve asked to add my name to the death certificates of all Americans who die of the coronavirus from now on.”   read more
  • School District Allows Scholarships from Scientology but not from Atheists

    Sunday, April 17, 2016
    A California school district refused to include scholarship offers from two atheist groups in the lists they distribute to students, the groups claim in court. Both say the district and Palmdale High refused to make their scholarship offers available to students. The high school does, however, announce a scholarship named after L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology. The refusal suppresses speech and denies equal access to the school's scholarship distribution system, said the complaint.   read more
  • New Arms Race Focuses on Smaller Nuclear Weapons More Likely to Be Used

    Sunday, April 17, 2016
    The U.S., Russia and China are aggressively pursuing a new generation of smaller, less destructive nuclear weapons. The buildups threaten to revive a Cold War-era arms race and unsettle the balance of destructive force among nations that has kept the nuclear peace for more than a half-century. The concern is that the precision and less-destructive nature of these new weapons raises the temptation to use them. “We are witnessing the opening salvos of an arms race,” said analyst James Acton.   read more
  • Georgetown University Grapples with Massive 1838 Slave Sale that Secured Its Survival

    Sunday, April 17, 2016
    With racial protests roiling U.S. cities, an unusual collection of Georgetown professors, students and alumni is trying to find out what happened to those 272 enslaved men, women and children. And they are confronting a particularly wrenching question: What, if anything, is owed to the descendants of slaves who were sold to help ensure the college’s survival? The 1838 slave sale organized by the Jesuits, who founded and ran Georgetown, stands out among others for its sheer size, historians say.   read more
  • Ted Cruz’s 2007 Legal Fight against Use of Sex Toys in Texas Returns to Haunt Him

    Sunday, April 17, 2016
    Defending a Texas law banning the sale of sex toys, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz argued in a 2007 court brief that people have no legal right to use them, even in the privacy of their own bedrooms. But these days he makes no mention of that decade-old case he lost. Cruz defended the Texas ban as "protecting public morals — discouraging prurient interests in sexual gratification" and argued that in doing so the state had a vested moral interest in discouraging "autonomous sex."   read more
  • 78% of Americans, Including Most Republicans, Say Rudeness Characterizes GOP Presidential Contest

    Sunday, April 17, 2016
    Manners matter to Americans. "He's a bully," says independent voter Kellie Zangrillo of Donald Trump. Trump not only may have set the tone in the campaign, she suggested, but his nasty words could have real consequences if uttered as president. "I think he'd get us into World War III." Eight in 10 people say remarks about race or gender and sexuality are unacceptable in public places, and that political leaders should be held to a higher standard of behavior than other people.   read more
  • Michigan Couple Faces 93 Days in Jail and $500 Fine for Lost Dr. Seuss Library Book

    Sunday, April 17, 2016
    Cathy and Melvin Duren appeared in court on Thursday to each face a misdemeanor charge of failure to return rental property. They lost a Dr. Seuss book their teenage son borrowed for their granddaughter in 2014. In December, the Durens received a letter informing them they could be charged with a crime. "I can't image going to jail over it, but I certainly will fight these charges because I'm not guilty," Cathy Duren said. The couple said they probably will never check out a library book again.   read more
  • Angry 9/11 Families See Obama Capitulation to Saudi Threat Over Congressional Bill on 9/11 Lawsuits

    Saturday, April 16, 2016
    Saudi Arabia has told the U.S. that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets it holds if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in U.S. courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage. “It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens,” said Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the 9/11 attacks.   read more
  • U.S. Presidents from the South More Likely to Use Force in Military Disputes

    Saturday, April 16, 2016
    The authors analyzed the behavior of U.S. presidents during international conflicts from 1816 to 2010 that involved either the threat of force, a show of force, or the use of force. Their analysis shows that when militarized disputes occurred under Southern presidents, they were twice as likely to result in the use of force, lasted on average twice as long, and were three times as likely to result in an American victory.   read more
  • Legislation Seeks to Bring National Security Council Back Under FOIA Purview

    Saturday, April 16, 2016
    Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, both former secretaries of defense under Obama, criticized the NSC and the growth of its influence. Panetta said NSC advisors shade their views in order to please the president and "try to influence the direction of policy through the back door." "[This] undermines the very process that a president needs in order to get the best discussion and information possible to be able to make the right decision," Panetta said.   read more
  • In a Twist, Activists Try to Stop Industrial Firm from Dropping Lawsuit against Them

    Saturday, April 16, 2016
    Now the tables have turned--ChemRisk is trying to drop the lawsuit. But the writers are saying, not so fast, arguing that ChemRisk should not be allowed simply to withdraw its lawsuit. Instead, they say the company should pay their lawyers, who have represented them on a pro bono basis, and issue an apology for dragging them through years of litigation. “ChemRisk knows that Karen and Cherri will not be intimidated and will prevail if ChemRisk continues the action,” said one of their lawyers.   read more
  • Hit Broadway Musical May Keep Hamilton on $10 Bill, Dashing Hopes for Female Replacement

    Saturday, April 16, 2016
    Alexander Hamilton has achieved unlikely heights in the lights on Broadway more than 200 years after his untimely death. The first Treasury secretary, in the 18th century, Hamilton has become a 21st-century rap-musical phenomenon, with adults shelling out up to thousands of dollars a ticket and teenagers rapping Hamilton’s life story at the dinner table. Now the fed is leaning toward keeping Hamilton on the $10 note and relegating a vignette of female historical figures on the bill's back side.   read more
  • Drug Industry’s Pricey Meds Behind 8.5% Increase in Americans’ Prescription Spending

    Friday, April 15, 2016
    The report comes amid growing criticism of unaffordable drug prices from patients, doctors, insurers, Congress and presidential candidates, who have pledged to rein in drug prices. Drug spending keeps growing due to factors including rising prices, fewer blockbuster drugs getting new generic competition and a 10% jump last year in the number of prescriptions filled, to nearly 4.4 billion. Total drug spending rose by $24.3 billion last year.   read more
  • “Made in USA” Label No Match for Lower Sticker Price for Most Americans

    Friday, April 15, 2016
    Presidential candidates like Trump and Sanders may vow to bring back millions of American jobs lost to foreign competitors. But a mere 9% say they only buy American. Asked about a real world example of choosing between $50 pants made in another country or an $85 pair made in the U.S., 67% say they'd buy the cheaper pair. Only 30% would pony up for the more expensive American-made one. People in higher earning households earning more than $100,000 a year would also go for the lower priced item.   read more
  • Microsoft Sues Justice Dept. Over Its Secret Demands for Customer Data

    Friday, April 15, 2016
    As more people store data, Microsoft said the government exploits that trend "as a means of expanding its power to conduct secret investigations." Microsoft chief Brad Smith said: "We appreciate there are times when secrecy around a government warrant is needed. But based on the many secrecy orders we have received, we question whether these orders are grounded in specific facts that truly demand secrecy. To the contrary, it appears that the issuance of secrecy orders has become too routine."   read more
  • Judge Blocks Release of CIA Files on Agency’s “Torture Report” Senate Fight

    Friday, April 15, 2016
    Leopold sought the agency's investigative files, its correspondence and the CIA talking points to uncover how spies spun the squabble to the public. Boasberg rebuffed the request in a scathing, 24-page opinion. The reporter filed four complaints alone related to the CIA's entanglement with Senate investigators, seeking access to the declassified torture report summary, the Panetta review, and the case discussed in this opinion. Boasberg so far has dismissed three of them.   read more
  • Idaho Army Vet Claims Her Questioning of Officials’ Oil Interests Landed Her in Jail

    Friday, April 15, 2016
    Her criminal case was transferred to three different prosecuting attorneys. It was dropped after several months of litigation, on the condition that Plucinski sign a letter to "apologize for speaking out of turn during a public meeting." Plucinski says her jailing has made her hesitant to stand up against big oil, which has backing of government officials who have chilled her right to "engage in free speech and public discourse."   read more
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