Featured Story

Lawsuits Accuse Major Employers of Squeezing Extra Dollars out of Low-Wage Workers

Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Schneider, a national trucking company, was sued by hundreds of its employees for labor violations, including not paying overtime even after some workers clocked 70 hours in a week. The business has agreed to pay $21 million to settle the matter. Fedex was sued in California because its drivers are classified as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime. The company lost its case, but is now appealing the ruling.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Immigration Court Gives First Approval of Asylum for Domestic Abuse

    Monday, September 01, 2014
    Aminta Cifuentes fled Guatemala in 2005 with her two children after enduring abuse from her husband including weekly beatings, rape and being doused with burning paint thinner. She sought help from Guatemalan police, but was told they wouldn’t intervene in a domestic dispute. For now, the ruling applies only to women from Guatemala and those applying for asylum will have to meet strict requirements to get it.   read more
  • More than 1 Million U.S. Children Live in Households with Income of Less than $2 a Day per Person…Including Public Assistance

    Saturday, August 30, 2014
    The number of households surviving on $2 per person a day went from 636,000 in 1996 (the year Congress and President Bill Clinton reformed federal welfare programs) to 1.65 million by 2011, an increase of 159%. Those households contain more than 3.5 million children. The authors then factored in those receiving food stamps, tax credits and housing subsidies, and calculated that this assistance still wasn’t enough to keep almost 1.2 million children out of extreme poverty.   read more
  • Judge Clashes with Defense Dept. over Release of Abu Ghraib Photos

    Friday, August 29, 2014
    Congress gave the secretary of defense authority to conceal the photos for three years if their publication was deemed a threat to American soldiers’ lives. Robert Gates did just that in 2009. In 2012, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asked for another three-year authorization to withhold the photos. Hellerstein ruled this week that circumstances have changed and the photos can now be released without endangering U.S. military personnel.   read more

Unusual News

  • Can You be Charged with Murdering Someone You Didn’t Kill?

    Sunday, August 31, 2014
    After Roach failed to comply with an order to lie down on the ground, Sanguino fired nine times at Roach, who had allegedly discharged his handgun inside the bar. Roach’s gun, however, was not loaded, police later determined. Five of Sanguino’s shots hit Roach, who was hospitalized and is expected to survive. But one of the officer’s bullets struck bystander Maria Fernanda Godinez Castillo, killing the 22-year-old university student.   read more
  • Appeals Court Rules Native American Skeletons Unearthed 38 Years Ago must be Returned to Tribes

    Friday, August 29, 2014
    The remains were discovered in 1976 at the Chancellor’s House at the University of California, San Diego by a university excavation team. UC San Diego had dragged its feet on giving up the remains, questioning which Native American group was the rightful owner. However, the university in 2012 agreed to return the remains to the Kumeyaay. But a lawsuit filed against the university by three scientists who wished to study the skeletons halted the repatriation.   read more
  • Federal Court Overturns Amish Hair and Beard Cutting Convictions

    Friday, August 29, 2014
    Samuel Mullet, leader of an Amish group in Berholz, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for violating federal anti-hate crimes law when he ordered the forced cutting of men’s beards and a woman’s long hair. Hair and beard cuttings are considered degrading and insulting in the Amish world, where being unshorn is a sign of holiness. But the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the hate crime convictions, saying the trial judge erred when instructing the jury on the definition of a hate crime.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Black Unemployment Rate is Twice that of White and Asian Unemployment Rates

    Friday, August 29, 2014
    For blacks, the jobless rate in 2013 was twice that of whites, and even greater compared to that of Asian-Americans, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The unemployment rate for African-Americans was 13.1%; for whites, it was 6.5%. American Indians and Alaska Natives also had a high jobless rate of 12.8%, while the unemployment rate among Hispanics was 9.1%. Asians had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.2%.   read more
  • Troubles in the Blood Industry

    Thursday, August 28, 2014
    Transfusions are down about 30% since 2009, going from 15 million units to 11 million. Blood banks’ revenue is falling as well, down about $1.5 billion a year from a peak of $5 billion. The Red Cross told Wald that up to 12,000 blood bank jobs may be eliminated over the next three to five years, representing about 25% of the industry total.   read more
  • 156,000 Seniors Have Social Security Checks Reduced…to Pay Off Student Loans

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014
    At a time when thousands of Americans are trying to enjoy, if not just survive, their golden years, the federal government has been garnishing their Social Security checks to pay off old student loans. About 156,000 individuals have found themselves in this situation, losing on average $180 out of a typical monthly check of $1,200.   read more

Controversies

U.S. and the World

  • Border Patrol Sued for Killing a Picnicker in Mexico

    Sunday, August 31, 2014
    Witnesses say the agents were harassing a swimmer who had apparently tried to cross to the United States and then went back toward the Mexican side of the river. When Mexican families shouted at the agents to leave the swimmer alone, the agents fired into Mexico, according to the complaint.   read more
  • More than 800,000 Foreign Students in U.S.; Most Study Business, Science and Engineering

    Sunday, August 31, 2014
    China was the single greatest source of students holding F-1 visas; representing one-quarter of all foreign students. Next is India at 15%, followed by South Korea at 10%. These students don’t all go home at the conclusion of their studies. Many take part in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. Under OPT, F-1 visa holders may apply to work in their fields in the United States after graduation.   read more
  • Equatorial Guinea Ambassador Accused of Beating Daughter with Chair Leg

    Friday, August 29, 2014
    The ambassador to the United States from Equatorial Guinea has been accused of beating his 16-year-old daughter with a chair leg, but no charges will be filed against him. Officers had been called to the residence on another domestic case in December 2013. The ambassador was not arrested either time because he has diplomatic immunity.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing: Who Is Lourdes Castro Ramírez?

    Monday, September 01, 2014
    Castro Ramírez was recruited in 2009 to become the chief executive officer of the San Antonio Housing Authority, which gives housing assistance to 25,000 households. There has been some controversy during her tenure. In 2011, local news reports detailed high travel expenses for Castro Ramírez and other employees of the authority. She was found to have spent five nights in a Washington, D.C., Ritz-Carlton hotel at taxpayer expense. The total bill for that trip was $7,400.   read more
  • Belgium’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Johan Verbeke?

    Sunday, August 31, 2014
    . He was named the secretary general’s special coordinator in Lebanon, but left after a few months because of concerns for his safety. He was then sent to Georgia in a similar role and was head of the UN Observer Mission until 2009. He returned to Belgium’s foreign service in 2010 as its ambassador to the United Kingdom, serving there until being tapped for the Washington post.   read more
  • Qatar’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari?

    Sunday, August 31, 2014
    Al Kuwari was born May 20, 1958, one of 13 children of parents who could not read or write. Gaining a scholarship, he attended college in the United States, at the University of Portland in Oregon, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1980. He joined Qatar’s foreign service the following year, with his first posting coming in Washington, D.C.   read more

Featured Story

Lawsuits Accuse Major Employers of Squeezing Extra Dollars out of Low-Wage Workers

Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Schneider, a national trucking company, was sued by hundreds of its employees for labor violations, including not paying overtime even after some workers clocked 70 hours in a week. The business has agreed to pay $21 million to settle the matter. Fedex was sued in California because its drivers are classified as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime. The company lost its case, but is now appealing the ruling.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Immigration Court Gives First Approval of Asylum for Domestic Abuse

    Monday, September 01, 2014
    Aminta Cifuentes fled Guatemala in 2005 with her two children after enduring abuse from her husband including weekly beatings, rape and being doused with burning paint thinner. She sought help from Guatemalan police, but was told they wouldn’t intervene in a domestic dispute. For now, the ruling applies only to women from Guatemala and those applying for asylum will have to meet strict requirements to get it.   read more
  • More than 1 Million U.S. Children Live in Households with Income of Less than $2 a Day per Person…Including Public Assistance

    Saturday, August 30, 2014
    The number of households surviving on $2 per person a day went from 636,000 in 1996 (the year Congress and President Bill Clinton reformed federal welfare programs) to 1.65 million by 2011, an increase of 159%. Those households contain more than 3.5 million children. The authors then factored in those receiving food stamps, tax credits and housing subsidies, and calculated that this assistance still wasn’t enough to keep almost 1.2 million children out of extreme poverty.   read more
  • Judge Clashes with Defense Dept. over Release of Abu Ghraib Photos

    Friday, August 29, 2014
    Congress gave the secretary of defense authority to conceal the photos for three years if their publication was deemed a threat to American soldiers’ lives. Robert Gates did just that in 2009. In 2012, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asked for another three-year authorization to withhold the photos. Hellerstein ruled this week that circumstances have changed and the photos can now be released without endangering U.S. military personnel.   read more

Unusual News

  • Can You be Charged with Murdering Someone You Didn’t Kill?

    Sunday, August 31, 2014
    After Roach failed to comply with an order to lie down on the ground, Sanguino fired nine times at Roach, who had allegedly discharged his handgun inside the bar. Roach’s gun, however, was not loaded, police later determined. Five of Sanguino’s shots hit Roach, who was hospitalized and is expected to survive. But one of the officer’s bullets struck bystander Maria Fernanda Godinez Castillo, killing the 22-year-old university student.   read more
  • Appeals Court Rules Native American Skeletons Unearthed 38 Years Ago must be Returned to Tribes

    Friday, August 29, 2014
    The remains were discovered in 1976 at the Chancellor’s House at the University of California, San Diego by a university excavation team. UC San Diego had dragged its feet on giving up the remains, questioning which Native American group was the rightful owner. However, the university in 2012 agreed to return the remains to the Kumeyaay. But a lawsuit filed against the university by three scientists who wished to study the skeletons halted the repatriation.   read more
  • Federal Court Overturns Amish Hair and Beard Cutting Convictions

    Friday, August 29, 2014
    Samuel Mullet, leader of an Amish group in Berholz, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for violating federal anti-hate crimes law when he ordered the forced cutting of men’s beards and a woman’s long hair. Hair and beard cuttings are considered degrading and insulting in the Amish world, where being unshorn is a sign of holiness. But the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the hate crime convictions, saying the trial judge erred when instructing the jury on the definition of a hate crime.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Black Unemployment Rate is Twice that of White and Asian Unemployment Rates

    Friday, August 29, 2014
    For blacks, the jobless rate in 2013 was twice that of whites, and even greater compared to that of Asian-Americans, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The unemployment rate for African-Americans was 13.1%; for whites, it was 6.5%. American Indians and Alaska Natives also had a high jobless rate of 12.8%, while the unemployment rate among Hispanics was 9.1%. Asians had the lowest unemployment rate at 5.2%.   read more
  • Troubles in the Blood Industry

    Thursday, August 28, 2014
    Transfusions are down about 30% since 2009, going from 15 million units to 11 million. Blood banks’ revenue is falling as well, down about $1.5 billion a year from a peak of $5 billion. The Red Cross told Wald that up to 12,000 blood bank jobs may be eliminated over the next three to five years, representing about 25% of the industry total.   read more
  • 156,000 Seniors Have Social Security Checks Reduced…to Pay Off Student Loans

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014
    At a time when thousands of Americans are trying to enjoy, if not just survive, their golden years, the federal government has been garnishing their Social Security checks to pay off old student loans. About 156,000 individuals have found themselves in this situation, losing on average $180 out of a typical monthly check of $1,200.   read more

Controversies

U.S. and the World

  • Border Patrol Sued for Killing a Picnicker in Mexico

    Sunday, August 31, 2014
    Witnesses say the agents were harassing a swimmer who had apparently tried to cross to the United States and then went back toward the Mexican side of the river. When Mexican families shouted at the agents to leave the swimmer alone, the agents fired into Mexico, according to the complaint.   read more
  • More than 800,000 Foreign Students in U.S.; Most Study Business, Science and Engineering

    Sunday, August 31, 2014
    China was the single greatest source of students holding F-1 visas; representing one-quarter of all foreign students. Next is India at 15%, followed by South Korea at 10%. These students don’t all go home at the conclusion of their studies. Many take part in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. Under OPT, F-1 visa holders may apply to work in their fields in the United States after graduation.   read more
  • Equatorial Guinea Ambassador Accused of Beating Daughter with Chair Leg

    Friday, August 29, 2014
    The ambassador to the United States from Equatorial Guinea has been accused of beating his 16-year-old daughter with a chair leg, but no charges will be filed against him. Officers had been called to the residence on another domestic case in December 2013. The ambassador was not arrested either time because he has diplomatic immunity.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing: Who Is Lourdes Castro Ramírez?

    Monday, September 01, 2014
    Castro Ramírez was recruited in 2009 to become the chief executive officer of the San Antonio Housing Authority, which gives housing assistance to 25,000 households. There has been some controversy during her tenure. In 2011, local news reports detailed high travel expenses for Castro Ramírez and other employees of the authority. She was found to have spent five nights in a Washington, D.C., Ritz-Carlton hotel at taxpayer expense. The total bill for that trip was $7,400.   read more
  • Belgium’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Johan Verbeke?

    Sunday, August 31, 2014
    . He was named the secretary general’s special coordinator in Lebanon, but left after a few months because of concerns for his safety. He was then sent to Georgia in a similar role and was head of the UN Observer Mission until 2009. He returned to Belgium’s foreign service in 2010 as its ambassador to the United Kingdom, serving there until being tapped for the Washington post.   read more
  • Qatar’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari?

    Sunday, August 31, 2014
    Al Kuwari was born May 20, 1958, one of 13 children of parents who could not read or write. Gaining a scholarship, he attended college in the United States, at the University of Portland in Oregon, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1980. He joined Qatar’s foreign service the following year, with his first posting coming in Washington, D.C.   read more