Featured Story

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
Latest News

Top Stories

  • 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
  • For First Time in U.S., Electrical Power Produced by Ocean’s Waves Feeds a Power Grid

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016
    The ocean's endless motion packs enough power to meet a quarter of America's energy needs and dramatically reduce the nation's reliance on oil, gas and coal. But wave energy technology lags well behind wind and solar power, with technical hurdles still to be overcome. To that end, the Navy has established a test site in Hawaii, with hopes the technology can someday be used to produce clean, renewable power for coastal communities in fuel-starved places around the world.   read more

Unusual News

  • 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
  • Final Wave of Veto Overrides in Store for Missouri’s Most Overridden Governor Ever

    Sunday, September 18, 2016
    It's unknown where Nixon ranks of most overridden governors in U.S. history, but he appears unusual among contemporaries. His distinction is due partly to the rarity of Missouri's politically divided government. He's the only Missouri Democrat to govern opposite a Republican supermajority at least since Reconstruction. Since Nixon took office in 2009, lawmakers have overridden 83 of his vetoes — four times the combined total of all other governors' overrides dating back to the early 1800s.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • 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
  • As Number of U.S. Homes for Sale Shrinks, Many Homeowners Receive Big Offers to Sell

    Tuesday, September 06, 2016
    It is a growing national problem. The number of homes on the market in the U.S. has fallen for the last 14 months. The inventory of homes for sale is the lowest it has been since modern records started being kept in 1982. Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire Facebook CEO, found a place he liked near San Francisco’s Mission District in 2012 and paid the owner at least twice what it was worth. People of much more modest means are now echoing his tactics, even if they cannot extend his lavish terms.   read more

Controversies

  • 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
  • Law Professor Says Trump Could Be Impeached Over “University” if Elected

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    A University of Utah law professor believes the fraud allegations against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s now-defunct real estate school could constitute impeachable offenses if he is elected Nov. 8. Christopher Peterson released a 23-page academic paper this week outlining how the fraud and racketeering claims in three lawsuits against Trump University, if proven, would rise to the level of impeachable offenses under the Constitution.   read more
  • BP to Settle 25,000 Suits Over Toxic Refinery

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    BP is poised to settle a mass tort lawsuit with more than 25,000 people who were exposed to toxic emissions from its southeast Texas refinery. More than 40,000 residents of Texas City and neighboring La Marque sued BP, claiming that over 40 days in April and May 2010 the company released more than 500,000 pounds of toxic chemicals, including carcinogenic benzene, after diverting the compounds to the flare that was only 33 to 66 percent efficient.   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

Featured Story

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
Latest News

Top Stories

  • 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
  • For First Time in U.S., Electrical Power Produced by Ocean’s Waves Feeds a Power Grid

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016
    The ocean's endless motion packs enough power to meet a quarter of America's energy needs and dramatically reduce the nation's reliance on oil, gas and coal. But wave energy technology lags well behind wind and solar power, with technical hurdles still to be overcome. To that end, the Navy has established a test site in Hawaii, with hopes the technology can someday be used to produce clean, renewable power for coastal communities in fuel-starved places around the world.   read more

Unusual News

  • 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
  • Final Wave of Veto Overrides in Store for Missouri’s Most Overridden Governor Ever

    Sunday, September 18, 2016
    It's unknown where Nixon ranks of most overridden governors in U.S. history, but he appears unusual among contemporaries. His distinction is due partly to the rarity of Missouri's politically divided government. He's the only Missouri Democrat to govern opposite a Republican supermajority at least since Reconstruction. Since Nixon took office in 2009, lawmakers have overridden 83 of his vetoes — four times the combined total of all other governors' overrides dating back to the early 1800s.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • 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
  • As Number of U.S. Homes for Sale Shrinks, Many Homeowners Receive Big Offers to Sell

    Tuesday, September 06, 2016
    It is a growing national problem. The number of homes on the market in the U.S. has fallen for the last 14 months. The inventory of homes for sale is the lowest it has been since modern records started being kept in 1982. Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire Facebook CEO, found a place he liked near San Francisco’s Mission District in 2012 and paid the owner at least twice what it was worth. People of much more modest means are now echoing his tactics, even if they cannot extend his lavish terms.   read more

Controversies

  • 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
  • Law Professor Says Trump Could Be Impeached Over “University” if Elected

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    A University of Utah law professor believes the fraud allegations against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s now-defunct real estate school could constitute impeachable offenses if he is elected Nov. 8. Christopher Peterson released a 23-page academic paper this week outlining how the fraud and racketeering claims in three lawsuits against Trump University, if proven, would rise to the level of impeachable offenses under the Constitution.   read more
  • BP to Settle 25,000 Suits Over Toxic Refinery

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    BP is poised to settle a mass tort lawsuit with more than 25,000 people who were exposed to toxic emissions from its southeast Texas refinery. More than 40,000 residents of Texas City and neighboring La Marque sued BP, claiming that over 40 days in April and May 2010 the company released more than 500,000 pounds of toxic chemicals, including carcinogenic benzene, after diverting the compounds to the flare that was only 33 to 66 percent efficient.   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