Controversies

1 to 16 of about 3210 News
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If the Draft Ended 41 Years Ago, Why are Young Men Still Punished for not Registering?

Each year millions of teenage men are required to register for a draft that does not exist. Those who don’t sign up are barred from receiving federal financial aid, student loans, job training, or employment from certain public agencies. In 40 states, getting or renewing a driver’s license is linked to whether a person registered for the draft. Each violator is also at risk for spending five years in prison and being fined up to $250,000, if the Justice Department chooses to prosecute.   read more

Interior Dept. Inspector General Closed 457 Investigations Last Year, but Released only 3 to the Public

Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall said that the lack of disclosure stemmed from a policy requiring the agency to receive three separate Freedom of Information Act requests before releasing a report—an unrealistically high standard. Most of the cases "stayed hidden from public view," according to Greenwire. “Among them were cases exposing nepotism, contracting violations and allegations that BP America underpaid its gas royalties by millions of dollars.”   read more

Hottest September Since Recordkeeping began in 1880

Given this year's record-warm months, it’s not surprising that 2014 will likely go down as the hottest year ever recorded. “This is one of many indicators that climate change...continues to be one of the most important issues facing humanity,” said climate scientist Donald Wuebbles. "Next year could well bring Earth's hottest year on record, accompanied by unprecedented regional heat waves and droughts,” warned meteorology director Jeff Masters.   read more

House Ethics Office Earns Its Keep, but Senate’s Not Interested

With the help of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), the U.S. House has increased the number of investigations into ethics violations. But the Senate has yet to establish its own effort independent of the committee process to probe wrongdoing by members. Since the creation of the OCE in 2009, the House Ethics Committee has handed down 20 disciplinary actions against lawmakers. The Senate doesn’t have an independent ethics board, and it shows.   read more

Facebook Asks DEA to Stop Creating Fake Profiles

The Facebook request comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed against the DEA by a woman claiming agents used her name and photographs to create a phony profile on the site, which the DEA did for an investigation. Sondra Arquiett was arrested on drug charges four years ago, during which her cell phone was confiscated. She claims the DEA lifted her images from her phone and put them up on Facebook to create a fake profile using her pseudonym, Sondra Prince.   read more

NSA’s Chief Technical Officer Cleared to Moonlight for Private Firm Founded by Former NSA Director Keith Alexander

To say that Patrick Dowd has competing loyalties is putting it mildly. The chief technical officer for the National Security Agency (NSA) has taken a second job working for his old boss at a company engaged in the same kind of work as the spy agency. Dowd did get permission from his NSA supervisors to work up to 20 hours a week for IronNet.   read more

Honda Accused of Hiding Death and Injury Claims

Since 2000, automakers have been required to file quarterly Early Warning Reports (EWRs) with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to give the agency a heads-up on trends of deaths and injuries. According to a letter CAS Executive Director Clarence M. Ditlow sent to NHTSA acting administrator David Friedman, Honda has not reported all the incidents of death and injury caused by exploding air bags in its cars.   read more

Alarming Rise in Temperatures in U.S.’s Northernmost Town

Research into weather records by the University of Alaska Fairbanks shows that the average temperature in Barrow rose by 2.7 degrees Celsius (about 5 degrees F) from 1979 to 2012. October average temperatures increased by an amazing 7.2 degrees Celsius (about 13 degrees F) over the same period. November’s averages climbed by nearly as much.   read more

Local Police Team with Charitable Foundations and Wealthy Donors to Keep Controversial Purchases in Shadows

Some police departments around the country have used private foundations to buy controversial technology not subject to public discussion or official review. The Atlanta Police Foundation bought citywide surveillance cameras and the monitoring center that controls them. Elsewhere, foundation money has been used to buy license plate readers, which can gather information on every vehicle, and Sting Ray devices, which track mobile phone usage.   read more

FBI Upgrades Animal Cruelty to Class A Felony

Animal rights advocates have applauded the FBI's decision to upgrade animal cruelty crimes, putting them in the same category as murders. Going forward, anyone caught abusing animals will risk being charged with a Class A felony. That’s the same grouping of felonies for violent crimes, including homicides and assaults. Previously, animal cruelty was in an “other” crimes category, making them less important. The changes are expected to result in more convictions for those harming animals,   read more

Should “Stand Your Ground” Laws Apply to Domestic Abuse Cases?

Eric Lee was seen by witnesses pulling Whitlee Jones down the street by her hair before he later blocked her attempt to flee their residence. Jones’ attorney claims she attacked Lee with a knife only as a last resort, and that the state’s stand-your-ground law protects her from prosecution. A judge agreed with Jones. But the state appealed the ruling, insisting the law was never intended to apply to people involved in domestic violence.   read more

Wildlife Put at Risk from Dumping of Pharmaceuticals

Hundreds of millions of pounds of pharmaceuticals are dumped into wastewater systems each year, posing serious threats to many species and ecosystems, researchers say. They are often disposed of by hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and other facilities where people are on medication. There’s currently no rule that forbids this practice and as a result, some facilities dispose of 1,000 or more pills a month in this way. Even trace amount of drugs can have a negative effect on wildlife.   read more

Young Black Men are 21 Times More Likely than White Ones to Be Killed by Police

An analysis of more than 1,200 fatal police shootings over a two-year period "certainly seems to support what has been an article of faith in the African American community for decades: Blacks are being killed at disturbing rates when set against the rest of the American population,” ProPublica reports. Not all law enforcement agencies report their shootings to the FBI, so it’s likely that the numbers actually understate the number of people killed by police.   read more

For the First Time, U.S. Acknowledges Individuals’ Inclusion on No-Fly List

For the first time since the no-fly list was set up after the 9/11 attacks, officials in Washington have publicly acknowledged to some who had been prohibited from getting on a commercial airliner that they were on the list. Seven people were officially identified as being on the list and removed from it, but only after Homeland Security lost a court fight to keep those names a secret. One of those seven, Abe Mashal, declared: “Today, I learned I have my freedoms back.”   read more

TV Nielsen Ratings were wrong for 7 Months, Raising Ire of TV/Ad Industries

For network executives, the news was both shocking and unsettling, given that the ratings system can make or break a show—or a vice president’s career. “This is the equivalent of an earthquake. When you can’t trust the ground you’re standing on, it’s disorienting,” a network insider told CNN. “These ratings are the currency of the business,” said NBC's Alan Wurtzel. “Any time that currency is under suspicion it’s a concern.”   read more

Texas Judge Strikes Down Voter ID Law in 150-Page Ruling That Recounts State’s History of Discrimination

Texas’ latest attempt to restrict minority groups from exercising their right to vote was a law that required certain forms of ID to cast a ballot. That law has now been struck down by a judge who provided a lesson in Texas’ long history of discrimination. Judge Gonzales Ramos ruled that Texas’ voter ID law had the same chilling effect on voting as a poll tax. Literacy tests and gerrymandering have also been employed to depress turnout of black and Hispanic voters, she wrote.   read more
1 to 16 of about 3210 News
1 2 3 ... 201 Next

Controversies

1 to 16 of about 3210 News
1 2 3 ... 201 Next

If the Draft Ended 41 Years Ago, Why are Young Men Still Punished for not Registering?

Each year millions of teenage men are required to register for a draft that does not exist. Those who don’t sign up are barred from receiving federal financial aid, student loans, job training, or employment from certain public agencies. In 40 states, getting or renewing a driver’s license is linked to whether a person registered for the draft. Each violator is also at risk for spending five years in prison and being fined up to $250,000, if the Justice Department chooses to prosecute.   read more

Interior Dept. Inspector General Closed 457 Investigations Last Year, but Released only 3 to the Public

Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall said that the lack of disclosure stemmed from a policy requiring the agency to receive three separate Freedom of Information Act requests before releasing a report—an unrealistically high standard. Most of the cases "stayed hidden from public view," according to Greenwire. “Among them were cases exposing nepotism, contracting violations and allegations that BP America underpaid its gas royalties by millions of dollars.”   read more

Hottest September Since Recordkeeping began in 1880

Given this year's record-warm months, it’s not surprising that 2014 will likely go down as the hottest year ever recorded. “This is one of many indicators that climate change...continues to be one of the most important issues facing humanity,” said climate scientist Donald Wuebbles. "Next year could well bring Earth's hottest year on record, accompanied by unprecedented regional heat waves and droughts,” warned meteorology director Jeff Masters.   read more

House Ethics Office Earns Its Keep, but Senate’s Not Interested

With the help of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), the U.S. House has increased the number of investigations into ethics violations. But the Senate has yet to establish its own effort independent of the committee process to probe wrongdoing by members. Since the creation of the OCE in 2009, the House Ethics Committee has handed down 20 disciplinary actions against lawmakers. The Senate doesn’t have an independent ethics board, and it shows.   read more

Facebook Asks DEA to Stop Creating Fake Profiles

The Facebook request comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed against the DEA by a woman claiming agents used her name and photographs to create a phony profile on the site, which the DEA did for an investigation. Sondra Arquiett was arrested on drug charges four years ago, during which her cell phone was confiscated. She claims the DEA lifted her images from her phone and put them up on Facebook to create a fake profile using her pseudonym, Sondra Prince.   read more

NSA’s Chief Technical Officer Cleared to Moonlight for Private Firm Founded by Former NSA Director Keith Alexander

To say that Patrick Dowd has competing loyalties is putting it mildly. The chief technical officer for the National Security Agency (NSA) has taken a second job working for his old boss at a company engaged in the same kind of work as the spy agency. Dowd did get permission from his NSA supervisors to work up to 20 hours a week for IronNet.   read more

Honda Accused of Hiding Death and Injury Claims

Since 2000, automakers have been required to file quarterly Early Warning Reports (EWRs) with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to give the agency a heads-up on trends of deaths and injuries. According to a letter CAS Executive Director Clarence M. Ditlow sent to NHTSA acting administrator David Friedman, Honda has not reported all the incidents of death and injury caused by exploding air bags in its cars.   read more

Alarming Rise in Temperatures in U.S.’s Northernmost Town

Research into weather records by the University of Alaska Fairbanks shows that the average temperature in Barrow rose by 2.7 degrees Celsius (about 5 degrees F) from 1979 to 2012. October average temperatures increased by an amazing 7.2 degrees Celsius (about 13 degrees F) over the same period. November’s averages climbed by nearly as much.   read more

Local Police Team with Charitable Foundations and Wealthy Donors to Keep Controversial Purchases in Shadows

Some police departments around the country have used private foundations to buy controversial technology not subject to public discussion or official review. The Atlanta Police Foundation bought citywide surveillance cameras and the monitoring center that controls them. Elsewhere, foundation money has been used to buy license plate readers, which can gather information on every vehicle, and Sting Ray devices, which track mobile phone usage.   read more

FBI Upgrades Animal Cruelty to Class A Felony

Animal rights advocates have applauded the FBI's decision to upgrade animal cruelty crimes, putting them in the same category as murders. Going forward, anyone caught abusing animals will risk being charged with a Class A felony. That’s the same grouping of felonies for violent crimes, including homicides and assaults. Previously, animal cruelty was in an “other” crimes category, making them less important. The changes are expected to result in more convictions for those harming animals,   read more

Should “Stand Your Ground” Laws Apply to Domestic Abuse Cases?

Eric Lee was seen by witnesses pulling Whitlee Jones down the street by her hair before he later blocked her attempt to flee their residence. Jones’ attorney claims she attacked Lee with a knife only as a last resort, and that the state’s stand-your-ground law protects her from prosecution. A judge agreed with Jones. But the state appealed the ruling, insisting the law was never intended to apply to people involved in domestic violence.   read more

Wildlife Put at Risk from Dumping of Pharmaceuticals

Hundreds of millions of pounds of pharmaceuticals are dumped into wastewater systems each year, posing serious threats to many species and ecosystems, researchers say. They are often disposed of by hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and other facilities where people are on medication. There’s currently no rule that forbids this practice and as a result, some facilities dispose of 1,000 or more pills a month in this way. Even trace amount of drugs can have a negative effect on wildlife.   read more

Young Black Men are 21 Times More Likely than White Ones to Be Killed by Police

An analysis of more than 1,200 fatal police shootings over a two-year period "certainly seems to support what has been an article of faith in the African American community for decades: Blacks are being killed at disturbing rates when set against the rest of the American population,” ProPublica reports. Not all law enforcement agencies report their shootings to the FBI, so it’s likely that the numbers actually understate the number of people killed by police.   read more

For the First Time, U.S. Acknowledges Individuals’ Inclusion on No-Fly List

For the first time since the no-fly list was set up after the 9/11 attacks, officials in Washington have publicly acknowledged to some who had been prohibited from getting on a commercial airliner that they were on the list. Seven people were officially identified as being on the list and removed from it, but only after Homeland Security lost a court fight to keep those names a secret. One of those seven, Abe Mashal, declared: “Today, I learned I have my freedoms back.”   read more

TV Nielsen Ratings were wrong for 7 Months, Raising Ire of TV/Ad Industries

For network executives, the news was both shocking and unsettling, given that the ratings system can make or break a show—or a vice president’s career. “This is the equivalent of an earthquake. When you can’t trust the ground you’re standing on, it’s disorienting,” a network insider told CNN. “These ratings are the currency of the business,” said NBC's Alan Wurtzel. “Any time that currency is under suspicion it’s a concern.”   read more

Texas Judge Strikes Down Voter ID Law in 150-Page Ruling That Recounts State’s History of Discrimination

Texas’ latest attempt to restrict minority groups from exercising their right to vote was a law that required certain forms of ID to cast a ballot. That law has now been struck down by a judge who provided a lesson in Texas’ long history of discrimination. Judge Gonzales Ramos ruled that Texas’ voter ID law had the same chilling effect on voting as a poll tax. Literacy tests and gerrymandering have also been employed to depress turnout of black and Hispanic voters, she wrote.   read more
1 to 16 of about 3210 News
1 2 3 ... 201 Next