Controversies

1 to 16 of about 3521 News
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Kansas Passes Restrictive Welfare Law Seen as Mean-Spirited, Punitive

The many provisions of HB 2258 include a long list of ways welfare recipients cannot spend their assistance money. These include such questionable provisions as telling benefit recipients in land-locked Kansas that they can’t take cruises. They’re also forbidden from spending TANF money at movie theaters, swimming pools and massage parlors. That there’s no evidence that any significant number of benefit recipients spend money this way doesn’t appear to matter to Kansas politicians.   read more

Private Prison Industry Spends Millions Lobbying Congress to Maintain Immigrant “Bed Mandate” Quotas

The report found that nine of the 10 largest immigrant detention facilities are operated by for-profit prison corporations, which operate 62% of immigrant detention beds. Some lawmakers have been adamant about keeping the quota in place, and even objected when DHS released some immigrants from the centers. Two years ago, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) informed ICE that it was “in clear violation of statute” for not maintaining all 34,000 bed spaces following the release of 2,000 individuals.   read more

Two North Carolina Judges Resigned rather than Perform Same-Sex Marriages; Now they’re Suing

Two North Carolina judges who resigned rather than perform same-sex marriages want their old jobs back—and still want to be allowed to decline performing weddings they say are at odds with their religious beliefs. Breedlove and Holland filed a suit April 6, asking to be restored to their jobs, for back pay and credit toward retirement. But they also want an unspecified “accommodation” that will keep them from having to marry same-sex couples.   read more

Did You Hear about the Man who Committed Suicide in Front of U.S. Capitol Carrying “Tax the one percent” Sign?

An Illinois man who killed himself in front of the U.S. Capitol on April 11 was holding a sign that read “Tax the one percent,” according to bystanders. Thornton’s death appeared to make no impression on Congressional leaders. On Wednesday the Republican-led House passed a bill that would eliminate the estate tax, a proposal that would, thanks to exemptions already in place, apply only to—you guessed it—the top 1% of estates.   read more

Is it Really a Good Idea to put one Gas Pipeline near an Old Nuclear Power Plant and another Next to a Major Art Museum?

One engineer with years of experience in nuclear safety is concerned about the pipeline’s placement. “I’ve had over 45 years of nuclear experience,” said Paul Blanch. “I have never seen [a situation] that essentially puts 20 million residents at risk, plus the entire economics of the U.S. by making a large area surrounding Indian Point uninhabitable for generations. I’m not an alarmist...but the possibility of a gas line interacting with a plant could easily cause a Fukushima type of release.”   read more

85% of Midwest Facilities Storing 9 Toxic Chemicals have no Public Risk Management Plan

The facilities investigated store more than 632 million pounds of toxic and flammable substances. Nine chemicals in particular—including acetone, calcium hypochlorite, fluosilicic acid, methanol, phenol, and xylenes—are considered particularly hazardous. “These chemicals pose serious risks to any communities near facilities that use large amounts,” the report states. Phenol, “one of the most dangerous chemicals” examined by the authors, is on EPA’s List of Extremely Hazardous Substances.   read more

With Domestic Oil Production at 27-Year High and Increased Rail Shipments, Rail Accidents are Actually Declining in Frequency

Nightly news broadcasts of oil-laden train cars going up in flames in Lac-Mégantic, Canada, two years ago when 47 people were killed, left a stark impression in the minds of many. Anecdotal evidence in the form of exploding railcars may give Americans the impression that the nation’s railways have become dangerous. But statistical information shows that even with increased oil production and rail shipments, railroad accidents have actually decreased.   read more

Tennessee Groups Sue TVA over Dumping of Toxic Waste in Unlined Ash Ponds

The 2.5 billion gallons of ash, which contains heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead, is endangering nearby aquifers in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. “TVA has allowed the very pollutants that the coal ash ponds were supposed to treat and remove to enter the groundwater and nearby surface waters, including the Cumberland River, directly and through hydrologic connections in the groundwater, all in violation of the Permit and/or the Clean Water Act,” the complaint states.   read more

FDA So Slow to Respond to GAO Recommendations about Secret Food Additives that It’s like not Responding at all

“It’s really clear that we have no basis to make almost any conclusions about the safety of the current food supply,” said Public Interest attorney Laura MacCleery. “We don’t know what people are eating.” The GAO report even stated that the FDA’s oversight process does not help ensure the safety of all new food ingredients, and it criticized companies’ ability to use new added ingredients deemed generally recognized as safe without informing federal food regulators.   read more

Koch Industries Buys into Sports Sponsorship for Missouri Valley Conference and 15 Midwestern Colleges

Koch Industries, the fossil fuel giant owned by ultra-conservative brothers Charles and David Koch, is trying to increase its visibility on college campuses, both to improve the company’s image and to recruit employees. The strategy is being implemented through a media buy and sports sponsorships that include 15 colleges or universities located from Texas to Minnesota. “Koch is looking for a way to connect on campus,” said Roy Seinfeld, rights holder for 10 of the schools and the conference.   read more

26 States Still Punish Children for Non-Violent Offenses that would not be Violations if they were Adults

Melissa Sickmund, director of the National Center for Juvenile Justice, said that putting juveniles behind bars is a mistake. “If you’re detaining the kid — unless they are really a threat to the community — it may be causing more harm than good, it may be putting them in the presence of other bad actors who are worse than them and they just learn bad stuff,” she told the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. “We could be traumatizing them, and it doesn’t help and it’s expensive.”   read more

The Shady Practice of “Investigatory” Police Stops

The police killing of a South Carolina man has brought attention to the use of traffic stops, particularly of black men, as an excuse to investigate drivers and vehicles. Unlike routine safety-related traffic stops, such as those for speeding or driving erratically, investigatory stops are often for minor equipment-related matters, but can lead to vehicle searches, interrogations of motorists and sometimes arrests. Research has shown that black men are overwhelmingly the targets of such stops.   read more

Republicans Push Bill to Grant Asylum to Foreign Homeschooling Families

The bill would grant asylum to up to 500 families a year who come to the United States because they can’t homeschool their children in their home countries. Many of these families come from Germany and Sweden, where children must attend regular schools. “The Republicans have put homeschooling as a priority for asylum in the United States ahead of murder, rape, child abuse,” Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Illinois) told McClatchy.   read more

Video Game Publishers want to Stop Museums and Collectors from Making Defunct Games Playable Again

When you buy something, you’d like to keep it as long as it’s useful to you. With videogames, however, you get to keep them only as long as the manufacturer lets you. Game manufacturers often cut off server access for games they no longer want to support. stuck in legal limbo by server shutdowns are groups such as the Internet Archive, museums like Oakland, California’s Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment, and researchers who study video games as a cultural and historical medium.   read more

U.S. Forest Service Tries again to Allow Coal Mining in Roadless Areas

Give the Forest Service credit—they’re persistent. The agency in 2012 allowed Arch Coal—the nation’s second largest oil company—to exploit an exemption in the Colorado Roadless Rule designed to protect wilderness areas in the state from mining. Environmental groups sued. A judge last year blocked Arch’s plans. Now, the Forest Service is trying again to allow Arch to put six miles of road, along with 48 vent pads, in 19,000 acres in the southwestern part of the state. .   read more

Study Suggests Connection between Fracking and Indoor Exposure to Lung Cancer-Causing Radon Gas

The research showed that buildings hooked up to well water had a 21% higher radon concentration than those connected to municipal supplies. In addition, buildings in townships, where there is more fracking, had 39% higher concentrations of the gas than those in cities.   read more
1 to 16 of about 3521 News
1 2 3 ... 221 Next

Controversies

1 to 16 of about 3521 News
1 2 3 ... 221 Next

Kansas Passes Restrictive Welfare Law Seen as Mean-Spirited, Punitive

The many provisions of HB 2258 include a long list of ways welfare recipients cannot spend their assistance money. These include such questionable provisions as telling benefit recipients in land-locked Kansas that they can’t take cruises. They’re also forbidden from spending TANF money at movie theaters, swimming pools and massage parlors. That there’s no evidence that any significant number of benefit recipients spend money this way doesn’t appear to matter to Kansas politicians.   read more

Private Prison Industry Spends Millions Lobbying Congress to Maintain Immigrant “Bed Mandate” Quotas

The report found that nine of the 10 largest immigrant detention facilities are operated by for-profit prison corporations, which operate 62% of immigrant detention beds. Some lawmakers have been adamant about keeping the quota in place, and even objected when DHS released some immigrants from the centers. Two years ago, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) informed ICE that it was “in clear violation of statute” for not maintaining all 34,000 bed spaces following the release of 2,000 individuals.   read more

Two North Carolina Judges Resigned rather than Perform Same-Sex Marriages; Now they’re Suing

Two North Carolina judges who resigned rather than perform same-sex marriages want their old jobs back—and still want to be allowed to decline performing weddings they say are at odds with their religious beliefs. Breedlove and Holland filed a suit April 6, asking to be restored to their jobs, for back pay and credit toward retirement. But they also want an unspecified “accommodation” that will keep them from having to marry same-sex couples.   read more

Did You Hear about the Man who Committed Suicide in Front of U.S. Capitol Carrying “Tax the one percent” Sign?

An Illinois man who killed himself in front of the U.S. Capitol on April 11 was holding a sign that read “Tax the one percent,” according to bystanders. Thornton’s death appeared to make no impression on Congressional leaders. On Wednesday the Republican-led House passed a bill that would eliminate the estate tax, a proposal that would, thanks to exemptions already in place, apply only to—you guessed it—the top 1% of estates.   read more

Is it Really a Good Idea to put one Gas Pipeline near an Old Nuclear Power Plant and another Next to a Major Art Museum?

One engineer with years of experience in nuclear safety is concerned about the pipeline’s placement. “I’ve had over 45 years of nuclear experience,” said Paul Blanch. “I have never seen [a situation] that essentially puts 20 million residents at risk, plus the entire economics of the U.S. by making a large area surrounding Indian Point uninhabitable for generations. I’m not an alarmist...but the possibility of a gas line interacting with a plant could easily cause a Fukushima type of release.”   read more

85% of Midwest Facilities Storing 9 Toxic Chemicals have no Public Risk Management Plan

The facilities investigated store more than 632 million pounds of toxic and flammable substances. Nine chemicals in particular—including acetone, calcium hypochlorite, fluosilicic acid, methanol, phenol, and xylenes—are considered particularly hazardous. “These chemicals pose serious risks to any communities near facilities that use large amounts,” the report states. Phenol, “one of the most dangerous chemicals” examined by the authors, is on EPA’s List of Extremely Hazardous Substances.   read more

With Domestic Oil Production at 27-Year High and Increased Rail Shipments, Rail Accidents are Actually Declining in Frequency

Nightly news broadcasts of oil-laden train cars going up in flames in Lac-Mégantic, Canada, two years ago when 47 people were killed, left a stark impression in the minds of many. Anecdotal evidence in the form of exploding railcars may give Americans the impression that the nation’s railways have become dangerous. But statistical information shows that even with increased oil production and rail shipments, railroad accidents have actually decreased.   read more

Tennessee Groups Sue TVA over Dumping of Toxic Waste in Unlined Ash Ponds

The 2.5 billion gallons of ash, which contains heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead, is endangering nearby aquifers in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. “TVA has allowed the very pollutants that the coal ash ponds were supposed to treat and remove to enter the groundwater and nearby surface waters, including the Cumberland River, directly and through hydrologic connections in the groundwater, all in violation of the Permit and/or the Clean Water Act,” the complaint states.   read more

FDA So Slow to Respond to GAO Recommendations about Secret Food Additives that It’s like not Responding at all

“It’s really clear that we have no basis to make almost any conclusions about the safety of the current food supply,” said Public Interest attorney Laura MacCleery. “We don’t know what people are eating.” The GAO report even stated that the FDA’s oversight process does not help ensure the safety of all new food ingredients, and it criticized companies’ ability to use new added ingredients deemed generally recognized as safe without informing federal food regulators.   read more

Koch Industries Buys into Sports Sponsorship for Missouri Valley Conference and 15 Midwestern Colleges

Koch Industries, the fossil fuel giant owned by ultra-conservative brothers Charles and David Koch, is trying to increase its visibility on college campuses, both to improve the company’s image and to recruit employees. The strategy is being implemented through a media buy and sports sponsorships that include 15 colleges or universities located from Texas to Minnesota. “Koch is looking for a way to connect on campus,” said Roy Seinfeld, rights holder for 10 of the schools and the conference.   read more

26 States Still Punish Children for Non-Violent Offenses that would not be Violations if they were Adults

Melissa Sickmund, director of the National Center for Juvenile Justice, said that putting juveniles behind bars is a mistake. “If you’re detaining the kid — unless they are really a threat to the community — it may be causing more harm than good, it may be putting them in the presence of other bad actors who are worse than them and they just learn bad stuff,” she told the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. “We could be traumatizing them, and it doesn’t help and it’s expensive.”   read more

The Shady Practice of “Investigatory” Police Stops

The police killing of a South Carolina man has brought attention to the use of traffic stops, particularly of black men, as an excuse to investigate drivers and vehicles. Unlike routine safety-related traffic stops, such as those for speeding or driving erratically, investigatory stops are often for minor equipment-related matters, but can lead to vehicle searches, interrogations of motorists and sometimes arrests. Research has shown that black men are overwhelmingly the targets of such stops.   read more

Republicans Push Bill to Grant Asylum to Foreign Homeschooling Families

The bill would grant asylum to up to 500 families a year who come to the United States because they can’t homeschool their children in their home countries. Many of these families come from Germany and Sweden, where children must attend regular schools. “The Republicans have put homeschooling as a priority for asylum in the United States ahead of murder, rape, child abuse,” Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Illinois) told McClatchy.   read more

Video Game Publishers want to Stop Museums and Collectors from Making Defunct Games Playable Again

When you buy something, you’d like to keep it as long as it’s useful to you. With videogames, however, you get to keep them only as long as the manufacturer lets you. Game manufacturers often cut off server access for games they no longer want to support. stuck in legal limbo by server shutdowns are groups such as the Internet Archive, museums like Oakland, California’s Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment, and researchers who study video games as a cultural and historical medium.   read more

U.S. Forest Service Tries again to Allow Coal Mining in Roadless Areas

Give the Forest Service credit—they’re persistent. The agency in 2012 allowed Arch Coal—the nation’s second largest oil company—to exploit an exemption in the Colorado Roadless Rule designed to protect wilderness areas in the state from mining. Environmental groups sued. A judge last year blocked Arch’s plans. Now, the Forest Service is trying again to allow Arch to put six miles of road, along with 48 vent pads, in 19,000 acres in the southwestern part of the state. .   read more

Study Suggests Connection between Fracking and Indoor Exposure to Lung Cancer-Causing Radon Gas

The research showed that buildings hooked up to well water had a 21% higher radon concentration than those connected to municipal supplies. In addition, buildings in townships, where there is more fracking, had 39% higher concentrations of the gas than those in cities.   read more
1 to 16 of about 3521 News
1 2 3 ... 221 Next