Portal

  • U.S. Unlikely to Meet 2025 Goal to Cut Carbon Pollution

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    Unless it does more, the United States probably will fall short of goals set under last year’s Paris agreement to dramatically reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases, according to a new study. The U.S. pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels. But taking into account current efforts by state and local governments, the nation will only reach about four-fifths of that goal, according to a study in Monday’s Nature Climate Change.   read more
  • Court Says Ohio Purge of Voter Rolls Is Illegal

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    Ohio cannot remove voters from registration rolls for failing to vote, the Sixth Circuit ruled. A three-judge panel determined that Ohio’s “supplemental process” for purging voters from registration rolls violates the National Voter Registration Act. The two-step process begins when a voter fails to respond to an address confirmation mailer, and ends when the individual fails to vote in consecutive federal elections.   read more
  • Half a Million U.S. Homes Lack Proper Plumbing

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    While that is not a hardship for more affluent communities — about one in five American homes are not on city sewer lines — the legacy of rural poverty has left its imprint here: Many people have failing septic tanks and are too poor to fix them. Others, like Rudolph, have nothing at all. That is not so uncommon. Nearly half a million households in the United States lack the basic dignity of hot and cold running water, a bathtub or shower, or a working flush toilet.   read more
  • More Than a Third of Calls to Vets’ Suicide Hotline Roll Over

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    More than one-third of calls to a suicide hotline for troubled veterans are not being answered by front-line staffers because of poor work habits and other problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to the hotline’s former director. Some hotline workers handle fewer than five calls per day and leave before their shifts end, even as crisis calls have increased sharply in recent years, said Greg Hughes, the former director of the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line.   read more
  • Justice Department Announces $20 Million Grant for Body Cameras

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    The Justice Department announced Monday it’s awarding more than $20 million for law enforcement agencies around the country to establish or enhance their use of body cameras, a move that comes after several fatal shootings of black men by police that have prompted widespread protests. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant at the opening of a Justice Department summit in Little Rock focused on reducing violent crime.   read more

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Top Stories

  • Charlotte No “Queen City” to Low-Income, Minority Residents

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    To much of the world, Charlotte is the Queen City — a gleaming downtown, state-of-the-art stadiums, sparkling new mass transit, the nation’s banking capital. But a very different Charlotte came into the spotlight in the past few days. Move outside the city’s core and there are neighborhoods such as the one where a black police officer shot and killed a black man, Keith Scott, setting off violent protests.   read more
  • Obama Vetoes Bill to Allow 9/11 Suits Against Saudi Arabia

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    President Barack Obama rejected a bill Friday that would have allowed the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, arguing it undermined national security and setting up the possibility Congress may override his veto for the first time in his presidency. The president said the bill, which doesn’t refer specifically to Saudi Arabia, could backfire by opening up the U.S. government and its officials to lawsuits by anyone accusing the U.S. of supporting terrorism.   read more
  • U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate Rises, Bucks Trend of Fewer Such Deaths Worldwide

    Friday, September 23, 2016
    One of the biggest worldwide public health triumphs in recent years has been maternal mortality. Global death rates fell by more than a third from 2000 to 2015. The United States, however, is one of the few countries in the world that has gone against the grain, new data show. Its maternal mortality rate has risen despite improvements in health care and an overwhelming global trend in the other direction.   read more

Unusual News

  • College Republicans Endure Criticism Because of Trump

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    For decades, College Republicans have drawn ridicule from — and defined themselves against — the more liberal masses on college campuses. But this year has been especially nightmarish for CRs, as they call themselves. The nomination of Donald Trump, who has attacked their conservative heroes and esteemed alumni, has prompted widespread mockery from their liberal classmates, dissension from within and something of an identity crisis.   read more
  • Sanders’ Brother Hopes for Better Electoral Luck in British Parliament Run

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    Larry Sanders, the brother of Sen. Bernie Sanders, is running to fill the seat being vacated by David Cameron, the former prime minister, in the British Parliament. Sanders, 82, was chosen on Thursday night by the Green Party as its nominee in an Oct. 20 special election in the constituency of Witney, about 67 miles west of London.   read more
  • Defense Attorney Backs Down, Removes “Black Lives Matter” Button in Courtroom

    Friday, September 23, 2016
    A deputy public defender in Las Vegas gave in to a judge’s request on Thursday to remove a “Black Lives Matter” pin in court, after a free-form discussion about the politics of protest and free speech amid a national debate over police brutality and race relations. In a new show of defiance that wasn’t directly addressed by the judge, Deputy Public Defender Erika Ballou and several attorneys in the audience behind her wore black arm bands.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • U.S. Pays to Maintain Unused Iranian Real Estate, Including Embassy

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    Ten properites located across the United States, assessed altogether at more than $50 million, still belong to the Islamic Republic of Iran. But for nearly 40 years, the task of maintaining and putting the properties out for rent has fallen to an unlikely management company — the State Department. The State Department’s Office of Foreign Missions acts as a real estate service for the Iranian properties.   read more
  • Income of Same-Sex Married Couples Exceeds that of Straight Couples

    Friday, September 16, 2016
    Gay affluence may be largely a Hollywood myth, with tired cliches of gays and lesbians living handsomely in chic American cities. But men in same-sex marriages tend to make a good deal more money than households with heterosexual spouses, according to data released by the U.S. Treasury Dept. The findings are as much a portrait of the community as they are a look at societal gender norms and biases, experts said, with wrinkles that are both well-understood and still being explored.   read more
  • Albuquerque Police Department Rakes in Huge Profits From Forfeiture Practice

    Wednesday, September 07, 2016
    Albuquerque hauls in more than $1 million a year by seizing cars, sometimes from innocent people, in defiance of state law and public outrage, claims a mother who wants the city’s program declared unconstitutional. The city even writes into its budget ahead of time the money it expects to make from selling seized cars.   read more

Controversies

  • Wells Fargo Employees Sue Bank for Being Pressured to Open Unneeded Accounts

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    Former and present Wells Fargo employees in California filed a $2.6 billion class action against the bank, claiming they are the “biggest victims” of the bank’s policy of opening accounts without customers’ knowledge. The bank’s aggressive and illegal sales tactics pushed employees to “breaking point.” Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf saw Wells Fargo stock soar as a result, while thousands of employees earning $12 per hour were left to shoulder the blame for banks’ conduct, the 26-page lawsuit says.   read more
  • Warming Oceans May Kill Off Baby Lobsters

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    Scientists found that lobster larvae struggled to survive when they were reared in water 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the temperatures that are currently typical of the western Gulf of Maine, a key lobster fishing area off of New England. Five degrees is how much the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expects the Gulf of Maine’s temperature to warm by the year 2100.   read more
  • Addiction Treatment Price Gouging Gets House Scrutiny

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    As the U.S. faces a steadily increasing scourge of opioid addiction, prices for lifesaving drugs to treat overdoses and addiction have skyrocketed. A decade ago, the antidote for opioid overdose – naloxone – cost $1 per dose. Now, the drug costs $40. “It’s beyond dispute that such price increases have had a devastating impact on patients, their families, insurers, first responders and health care providers,” Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) said Thursday.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Combat Lucrative Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Trade

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016
    Coons said he was disturbed by reports that African elephant population has shrunk by 30% since 2007, primarily due to poaching. "Not only are iconic wildlife species in grave danger of disappearing, but wildlife trafficking also fuels well-organized criminal networks," he said. "Imperiled animals are slaughtered for no reason other than money, and innocent human lives are lost in the process. We cannot wait any longer to use every tool at our disposal to curb this global crisis."   read more
  • Former Japanese Leader Heads Fundraising Effort for Ailing U.S. Sailors Who Aided Fukushima Relief

    Saturday, September 10, 2016
    "I felt I had to do something to help those who worked so hard for Japan," said the prime minister. "Maybe this isn't enough, but it will express our gratitude, that Japan is thankful." Sailors became sick with cancers, leukemia, and brain tumors, and they blame radiation. Their ships were in the direction of the radioactive plumes spewed from the Fukushima plant. Aircraft carriers routinely use drinking water from the ocean, which the lawsuit says was contaminated with radiation.   read more
  • U.S. Wildlife Officials Burn $1 Million Worth of Rhino Horns in Symbolic Ceremony against Poaching

    Friday, September 09, 2016
    Federal wildlife officials burned more than $1 million worth of rhino horn items in a ceremony Thursday, as they and onlookers raged over continued poaching and trafficking of the endangered animals. The items--whole horns and ornate objects--had been confiscated by U.S. officials before being used in the symbolic event — the first of its kind in the nation. "Wildlife trafficking through the United States, or into the United States, will not be tolerated," said Wildlife Service's Michelle Gadd.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines: Who Is Sung Y. Kim?

    Saturday, September 24, 2016
    Kim’s father, Kim Ki-wan was a member of the Korean CIA and was posted as a diplomat to Japan. He was implicated in the 1973 kidnapping of dissident (and future president) Kim Dae-jung. Kim himself had been kidnapped, by North Korea, and held for 20 days in 1958. Born in 1960, Kim was 13 years old when his father, following the kidnapping, moved his family to Los Angeles. In 2011, Kim became the first American of Korean descent to serve as ambassador to South Korea. He served there until 2014.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Burundi: Who Is Anne S. Casper?

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016
    Casper moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2012 as the consul general there. She returned to Washington in 2014 as the deputy assistant secretary for international media and the following year was named senior adviser in the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications. In 2016, she was named acting director of partnerships in the Global Engagement Center. Casper is known in the State Dept for intensely studying the language and customs of every country in which she serves.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Greece: Who Is Geoffrey Pyatt?

    Sunday, September 18, 2016
    When WikiLeaks published State Dept cables, Pyatt became embroiled in controversy because of a 2007 cable he sent recommending that a secretary in India’s Ministry of External Affairs visit Washington D.C. in order to help “feed” U.S. government views on Iran into the Indian system. Pyatt became U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in July, 2013. In March, 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. Since then Pyatt has helped coordinate the U.S. response to the action.   read more

Domestic Policy/Agency of the Day

  • U.S. Marshals Service

    As part of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. Federal marshals have been serving the country since 1789, and today direct 94 individual federal judicial districts. Amon...   more

Domestic Policy Divisions

Go to Department

Foreign Policy/Nation of the Day

  • Afghanistan

    Long a crossroads of disparate cultures, trade and migration routes, Afghanistan is a mosaic of historical influences and civilizations. With an ethnically diverse population speaking at least 47 languages, the country is largely united by Isla...   more

Nations

Meet Your Government

  • Turner, James

    Dr. James M. Turner became the agency’s Acting Director on September 3, 2007. A native of Washington, D.C., Turner received his B.A. and PhD in physics from Johns Hopkins and M.I.T., respectively. He taught for five years as an Associate Profes...   more

Blog

  • Irving Wallace: 100th Birthday

    On March 19, 2016, the popular novelist Irving Wallace—my father—would have turned 100 years old. Instead of honoring my father by presenting a review of his achievements and recalling what a generous, warm-hearted person he was and how much enjoy...   more
  • U.S. Unlikely to Meet 2025 Goal to Cut Carbon Pollution

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    Unless it does more, the United States probably will fall short of goals set under last year’s Paris agreement to dramatically reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases, according to a new study. The U.S. pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels. But taking into account current efforts by state and local governments, the nation will only reach about four-fifths of that goal, according to a study in Monday’s Nature Climate Change.   read more
  • Court Says Ohio Purge of Voter Rolls Is Illegal

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    Ohio cannot remove voters from registration rolls for failing to vote, the Sixth Circuit ruled. A three-judge panel determined that Ohio’s “supplemental process” for purging voters from registration rolls violates the National Voter Registration Act. The two-step process begins when a voter fails to respond to an address confirmation mailer, and ends when the individual fails to vote in consecutive federal elections.   read more
  • Half a Million U.S. Homes Lack Proper Plumbing

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    While that is not a hardship for more affluent communities — about one in five American homes are not on city sewer lines — the legacy of rural poverty has left its imprint here: Many people have failing septic tanks and are too poor to fix them. Others, like Rudolph, have nothing at all. That is not so uncommon. Nearly half a million households in the United States lack the basic dignity of hot and cold running water, a bathtub or shower, or a working flush toilet.   read more
  • More Than a Third of Calls to Vets’ Suicide Hotline Roll Over

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    More than one-third of calls to a suicide hotline for troubled veterans are not being answered by front-line staffers because of poor work habits and other problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to the hotline’s former director. Some hotline workers handle fewer than five calls per day and leave before their shifts end, even as crisis calls have increased sharply in recent years, said Greg Hughes, the former director of the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line.   read more
  • Justice Department Announces $20 Million Grant for Body Cameras

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    The Justice Department announced Monday it’s awarding more than $20 million for law enforcement agencies around the country to establish or enhance their use of body cameras, a move that comes after several fatal shootings of black men by police that have prompted widespread protests. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant at the opening of a Justice Department summit in Little Rock focused on reducing violent crime.   read more

Top Stories

  • Charlotte No “Queen City” to Low-Income, Minority Residents

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    To much of the world, Charlotte is the Queen City — a gleaming downtown, state-of-the-art stadiums, sparkling new mass transit, the nation’s banking capital. But a very different Charlotte came into the spotlight in the past few days. Move outside the city’s core and there are neighborhoods such as the one where a black police officer shot and killed a black man, Keith Scott, setting off violent protests.   read more
  • Obama Vetoes Bill to Allow 9/11 Suits Against Saudi Arabia

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    President Barack Obama rejected a bill Friday that would have allowed the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, arguing it undermined national security and setting up the possibility Congress may override his veto for the first time in his presidency. The president said the bill, which doesn’t refer specifically to Saudi Arabia, could backfire by opening up the U.S. government and its officials to lawsuits by anyone accusing the U.S. of supporting terrorism.   read more
  • U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate Rises, Bucks Trend of Fewer Such Deaths Worldwide

    Friday, September 23, 2016
    One of the biggest worldwide public health triumphs in recent years has been maternal mortality. Global death rates fell by more than a third from 2000 to 2015. The United States, however, is one of the few countries in the world that has gone against the grain, new data show. Its maternal mortality rate has risen despite improvements in health care and an overwhelming global trend in the other direction.   read more

Unusual News

  • College Republicans Endure Criticism Because of Trump

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    For decades, College Republicans have drawn ridicule from — and defined themselves against — the more liberal masses on college campuses. But this year has been especially nightmarish for CRs, as they call themselves. The nomination of Donald Trump, who has attacked their conservative heroes and esteemed alumni, has prompted widespread mockery from their liberal classmates, dissension from within and something of an identity crisis.   read more
  • Sanders’ Brother Hopes for Better Electoral Luck in British Parliament Run

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    Larry Sanders, the brother of Sen. Bernie Sanders, is running to fill the seat being vacated by David Cameron, the former prime minister, in the British Parliament. Sanders, 82, was chosen on Thursday night by the Green Party as its nominee in an Oct. 20 special election in the constituency of Witney, about 67 miles west of London.   read more
  • Defense Attorney Backs Down, Removes “Black Lives Matter” Button in Courtroom

    Friday, September 23, 2016
    A deputy public defender in Las Vegas gave in to a judge’s request on Thursday to remove a “Black Lives Matter” pin in court, after a free-form discussion about the politics of protest and free speech amid a national debate over police brutality and race relations. In a new show of defiance that wasn’t directly addressed by the judge, Deputy Public Defender Erika Ballou and several attorneys in the audience behind her wore black arm bands.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • U.S. Pays to Maintain Unused Iranian Real Estate, Including Embassy

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    Ten properites located across the United States, assessed altogether at more than $50 million, still belong to the Islamic Republic of Iran. But for nearly 40 years, the task of maintaining and putting the properties out for rent has fallen to an unlikely management company — the State Department. The State Department’s Office of Foreign Missions acts as a real estate service for the Iranian properties.   read more
  • Income of Same-Sex Married Couples Exceeds that of Straight Couples

    Friday, September 16, 2016
    Gay affluence may be largely a Hollywood myth, with tired cliches of gays and lesbians living handsomely in chic American cities. But men in same-sex marriages tend to make a good deal more money than households with heterosexual spouses, according to data released by the U.S. Treasury Dept. The findings are as much a portrait of the community as they are a look at societal gender norms and biases, experts said, with wrinkles that are both well-understood and still being explored.   read more
  • Albuquerque Police Department Rakes in Huge Profits From Forfeiture Practice

    Wednesday, September 07, 2016
    Albuquerque hauls in more than $1 million a year by seizing cars, sometimes from innocent people, in defiance of state law and public outrage, claims a mother who wants the city’s program declared unconstitutional. The city even writes into its budget ahead of time the money it expects to make from selling seized cars.   read more

Controversies

  • Wells Fargo Employees Sue Bank for Being Pressured to Open Unneeded Accounts

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    Former and present Wells Fargo employees in California filed a $2.6 billion class action against the bank, claiming they are the “biggest victims” of the bank’s policy of opening accounts without customers’ knowledge. The bank’s aggressive and illegal sales tactics pushed employees to “breaking point.” Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf saw Wells Fargo stock soar as a result, while thousands of employees earning $12 per hour were left to shoulder the blame for banks’ conduct, the 26-page lawsuit says.   read more
  • Warming Oceans May Kill Off Baby Lobsters

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    Scientists found that lobster larvae struggled to survive when they were reared in water 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the temperatures that are currently typical of the western Gulf of Maine, a key lobster fishing area off of New England. Five degrees is how much the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expects the Gulf of Maine’s temperature to warm by the year 2100.   read more
  • Addiction Treatment Price Gouging Gets House Scrutiny

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    As the U.S. faces a steadily increasing scourge of opioid addiction, prices for lifesaving drugs to treat overdoses and addiction have skyrocketed. A decade ago, the antidote for opioid overdose – naloxone – cost $1 per dose. Now, the drug costs $40. “It’s beyond dispute that such price increases have had a devastating impact on patients, their families, insurers, first responders and health care providers,” Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) said Thursday.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Combat Lucrative Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Trade

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016
    Coons said he was disturbed by reports that African elephant population has shrunk by 30% since 2007, primarily due to poaching. "Not only are iconic wildlife species in grave danger of disappearing, but wildlife trafficking also fuels well-organized criminal networks," he said. "Imperiled animals are slaughtered for no reason other than money, and innocent human lives are lost in the process. We cannot wait any longer to use every tool at our disposal to curb this global crisis."   read more
  • Former Japanese Leader Heads Fundraising Effort for Ailing U.S. Sailors Who Aided Fukushima Relief

    Saturday, September 10, 2016
    "I felt I had to do something to help those who worked so hard for Japan," said the prime minister. "Maybe this isn't enough, but it will express our gratitude, that Japan is thankful." Sailors became sick with cancers, leukemia, and brain tumors, and they blame radiation. Their ships were in the direction of the radioactive plumes spewed from the Fukushima plant. Aircraft carriers routinely use drinking water from the ocean, which the lawsuit says was contaminated with radiation.   read more
  • U.S. Wildlife Officials Burn $1 Million Worth of Rhino Horns in Symbolic Ceremony against Poaching

    Friday, September 09, 2016
    Federal wildlife officials burned more than $1 million worth of rhino horn items in a ceremony Thursday, as they and onlookers raged over continued poaching and trafficking of the endangered animals. The items--whole horns and ornate objects--had been confiscated by U.S. officials before being used in the symbolic event — the first of its kind in the nation. "Wildlife trafficking through the United States, or into the United States, will not be tolerated," said Wildlife Service's Michelle Gadd.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines: Who Is Sung Y. Kim?

    Saturday, September 24, 2016
    Kim’s father, Kim Ki-wan was a member of the Korean CIA and was posted as a diplomat to Japan. He was implicated in the 1973 kidnapping of dissident (and future president) Kim Dae-jung. Kim himself had been kidnapped, by North Korea, and held for 20 days in 1958. Born in 1960, Kim was 13 years old when his father, following the kidnapping, moved his family to Los Angeles. In 2011, Kim became the first American of Korean descent to serve as ambassador to South Korea. He served there until 2014.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Burundi: Who Is Anne S. Casper?

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016
    Casper moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2012 as the consul general there. She returned to Washington in 2014 as the deputy assistant secretary for international media and the following year was named senior adviser in the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications. In 2016, she was named acting director of partnerships in the Global Engagement Center. Casper is known in the State Dept for intensely studying the language and customs of every country in which she serves.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Greece: Who Is Geoffrey Pyatt?

    Sunday, September 18, 2016
    When WikiLeaks published State Dept cables, Pyatt became embroiled in controversy because of a 2007 cable he sent recommending that a secretary in India’s Ministry of External Affairs visit Washington D.C. in order to help “feed” U.S. government views on Iran into the Indian system. Pyatt became U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in July, 2013. In March, 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. Since then Pyatt has helped coordinate the U.S. response to the action.   read more

Domestic Policy/Agency of the Day

  • Farm Service Agency

    The Farm Service Agency (FSA) was formed to support farmers in times of need by offering loans, payments, and disaster relief programs. Because the risks that can come with growing food depend on the economy, food preferences and acts of nature...   more

Domestic Policy Divisions

Go to Department

Foreign Policy/Nation of the Day

  • Colombia

    The fifth largest US trading partner and the largest recipient of US aid in the Western Hemisphere, Colombia has a unique and close relationship with the United States. Its highest monetary value exports to the US are oil and coal, coffee and c...   more

Nations

Meet Your Government

  • Pearce, David

    A native of Portland, Maine, David D. Pearce serves as the US Ambassador to Algeria. He was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the US Senate on May 27, 2008 and sworn in on August 11, 2008.    Born in Portland, Maine...   more

Blog

  • Irving Wallace: 100th Birthday

    On March 19, 2016, the popular novelist Irving Wallace—my father—would have turned 100 years old. Instead of honoring my father by presenting a review of his achievements and recalling what a generous, warm-hearted person he was and how much enjoy...   more

PHOTO GALLERY

Get Smart Phone Meets Smartphone Click the photo for larger view Get Smart Phone Meets Smartphone