Controversies

1 to 16 of about 3215 News
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TV Attack Ads Average One Per Minute…in North Carolina Alone

In the fight for control of the U.S. Senate, the battle between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis, Republican Speaker of the North Carolina House, has become ground zero for an onslaught of negative commercials. In one week, North Carolinians were subjected to an average of one attack ad for every minute of TV time. “Congratulations, North Carolina: You’ve become the year’s great state of political hate,” wrote Dave Levinthal.   read more

50% Increase in U.S. Cities Advancing Laws to Restrict the Sharing of Food with Homeless People

Every year, feeding the homeless is getting a little bit harder to do in the U.S. Since 2010 there has been close to a 50% increase in the number of American cities that have passed or introduced laws restricting the sharing of food with homeless people. Fort Lauderdale has become the latest to do so--the 22nd city since January 2013 to restrict such practices through community pressures. Another 10 U.S. cities are in the process of passing such legislation.   read more

Judge Gives Obama Administration until December to Justify Withholding 2,100 Photos of U.S. Use of Torture in Iraq and Afghanistan

Judge Hellerstein found the government’s declaration to be overreaching. “I have reviewed some of these photographs and I know that many…are relatively innocuous while others need more serious consideration,” he wrote. The judge rejected the Obama administration’s sweeping suppression of the 2,100 images and ordered the government to provide a written explanation for each photograph that justifies it being withheld from public disclosure.   read more

More Evidence that TV Ads in Judicial Elections Lead to Less Sympathy for Defendants back in the Courtroom

It's getting harder for criminal defendants to win their cases due to judges looking over their shoulders and worrying about political accusations of being soft on crime. This development stems from increases in campaign spending on races for judicial seats. “[State] justices, already the targets of sensationalist ads labeling them ‘soft on crime,’ are under increasing pressure to allow electoral politics to influence their decisions, even when fundamental rights are at stake.”   read more

Senators Coburn and Lee Fight to Halt Creation of a Women’s History Museum

Republican senators Tom Coburn and Mike Lee are blocking the measure from moving forward in the Senate. They say the plan could result in the federal government paying for a large portion of the museum at a time of trillion-dollar debts. Bill co-sponsor Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) says the holdup is “just outrageous.” She noted that other groups have established museums in Washington through the creation of a commission, which is what the bill calls for.   read more

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
1 to 16 of about 3215 News
1 2 3 ... 201 Next

Controversies

1 to 16 of about 3215 News
1 2 3 ... 201 Next

TV Attack Ads Average One Per Minute…in North Carolina Alone

In the fight for control of the U.S. Senate, the battle between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis, Republican Speaker of the North Carolina House, has become ground zero for an onslaught of negative commercials. In one week, North Carolinians were subjected to an average of one attack ad for every minute of TV time. “Congratulations, North Carolina: You’ve become the year’s great state of political hate,” wrote Dave Levinthal.   read more

50% Increase in U.S. Cities Advancing Laws to Restrict the Sharing of Food with Homeless People

Every year, feeding the homeless is getting a little bit harder to do in the U.S. Since 2010 there has been close to a 50% increase in the number of American cities that have passed or introduced laws restricting the sharing of food with homeless people. Fort Lauderdale has become the latest to do so--the 22nd city since January 2013 to restrict such practices through community pressures. Another 10 U.S. cities are in the process of passing such legislation.   read more

Judge Gives Obama Administration until December to Justify Withholding 2,100 Photos of U.S. Use of Torture in Iraq and Afghanistan

Judge Hellerstein found the government’s declaration to be overreaching. “I have reviewed some of these photographs and I know that many…are relatively innocuous while others need more serious consideration,” he wrote. The judge rejected the Obama administration’s sweeping suppression of the 2,100 images and ordered the government to provide a written explanation for each photograph that justifies it being withheld from public disclosure.   read more

More Evidence that TV Ads in Judicial Elections Lead to Less Sympathy for Defendants back in the Courtroom

It's getting harder for criminal defendants to win their cases due to judges looking over their shoulders and worrying about political accusations of being soft on crime. This development stems from increases in campaign spending on races for judicial seats. “[State] justices, already the targets of sensationalist ads labeling them ‘soft on crime,’ are under increasing pressure to allow electoral politics to influence their decisions, even when fundamental rights are at stake.”   read more

Senators Coburn and Lee Fight to Halt Creation of a Women’s History Museum

Republican senators Tom Coburn and Mike Lee are blocking the measure from moving forward in the Senate. They say the plan could result in the federal government paying for a large portion of the museum at a time of trillion-dollar debts. Bill co-sponsor Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) says the holdup is “just outrageous.” She noted that other groups have established museums in Washington through the creation of a commission, which is what the bill calls for.   read more

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
1 to 16 of about 3215 News
1 2 3 ... 201 Next