Featured Story

64,613 Software Engineers Join Class Action Hiring Conspiracy Lawsuit against Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The class-action lawsuit, with 64,613 plaintiffs, targets Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe for secretly agreeing not to poach each other’s engineers and to share salary information in an effort to control salaries. The collusion reportedly began in 2005, when Apple’s Steve Jobs approached Google’s top executive, Eric Schmidt, about working together to hold down salaries. After getting Google on board, Jobs “strong-armed” Adobe into joining the secret pact, according to court documents.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Obama has Averaged more than One Fundraiser a Week Since he became President

    Monday, April 21, 2014
    According to statistics compiled by Mark Knoller of CBS News, Obama has attended 373 fundraisers during the 1,900+ days since he’s been in office, which averages to almost one every five days. An investigation last year by The Guardian showed that Obama had attended 30 fundraisers in the seven-month period between April and November, even though he is not personally up for reelection.   read more
  • Domestic Violence Rate Plunges

    Sunday, April 20, 2014
    In an average of the two years ending in 1994, there were 13.5 cases of domestic violence per 1,000 persons aged 12 and over. By the two years ending in 2012, the average had been cut to 5.0 cases per 1,000. The steepest drop in domestic violence occurred between 1995 and 2001, when the rate fell from 13.2 per thousand to 6.2 per thousand in just six years. The steepest decline came in the rate of partner violence.   read more
  • States Slowly Move to Ban Microbeads from Soaps and Facial Cleansers

    Saturday, April 19, 2014
    No larger than grains of sand, microbeads have become a popular addition to many facial cleaners, soaps and even toothpaste. But environmentalists found microbeads exacerbate water and soil pollution. The non-biodegradable ingredients can absorb toxins in lakes and waterways, creating deadly concentrations consumed by fish that mistake the beads for food.   read more

Unusual News

  • Portland Dumps Millions of Gallons of Drinking Water after Young Man Urinates in Reservoir…Again

    Friday, April 18, 2014
    Officials in Portland, Oregon, have decided to empty nearly 40 million gallons from the city’s primary reservoir for drinking water because an individual urinated in it. The decision marks the second time in three years that the city has flushed large portions of its water supply because someone peed in it. The latest dump, delivered by 19-year-old Trey McDaniel, was caught on a video surveillance camera.   read more
  • Federal Agency Charges for Reports Available Free Online

    Thursday, April 17, 2014
    Around since 1950, NTIS was set up as a clearinghouse for technical papers produced by the government. It has continued to sell these reports to the public even though many of them can be had for free through other agencies. For instance, anyone interested in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s handy report on chemical hazards can order a free copy here. Or they can pay the NTIS $30.   read more
  • U.S. Security Barriers on Border with Mexico May Disrupt Pumas more than Humans

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    “The suggestion is that the intermittent fencing present in this part of the world does affect some native species, but does not necessarily restrict the movement of humans (including illegal migrants), who may negatively impact native species.” In some study areas, pumas had largely abandoned habitats divided by a border wall. But coatis, which aren’t inclined to relocate like pumas, could be more impacted by the barriers and might experience a collapse in their population.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • IRS Audit Rate Dropping Lower and Lower

    Saturday, April 19, 2014
    In 2013, IRS auditors reviewed only 0.9% of returns filed by individuals earning less than $200,000 a year. That rate was the lowest since 2005. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Associated Press that the audit rate likely will go down even further this year. The chances of getting audited is much higher for the wealthy—about 11% for those making $1 million or more annually.   read more
  • Offshore Tax Havens Cost U.S. $184 Billion in Revenue Every Year

    Friday, April 18, 2014
    U.S. federal and state governments would have more than $180 billion in additional revenue each year if corporations and wealthy individuals didn't hide their earnings in offshore accounts. Without that revenue, each U.S. taxpayer on average would have to pay an additional $1,259 in taxes to cover this loss. "Ordinary taxpayers [are] picking up the tab [in]...higher taxes, cuts to public spending priorities, or increases to the federal debt,” said the U.S. PIRG report.   read more
  • Oklahoma Gov. Fallin Signs Bill Banning Minimum Wage Increases by Cities

    Thursday, April 17, 2014
    The governor added that increasing the minimum wage would only hurt businesses and lead to employees being laid off. She insisted most workers would not benefit from a minimum wage hike. Critics said the bill was intended to circumvent an effort in Oklahoma City, where signatures are being gathered to put an initiative on the city ballot raising the minimum wage to $10.10. That is the level to which President Barack Obama seeks to raise the federal minimum wage.   read more

Controversies

  • Philadelphia Mayor Nutter Orders Police and Prisons to Limit Cooperation with Federal Immigration Agents

    Monday, April 21, 2014
    About 17 local governments, including Miami, San Francisco, New Orleans, and New York City, have backed off on cooperating with ICE in recent years. This month nine counties in Oregon added themselves to the list. But Philadelphia's move was different in that it also applies to prison departments, so the city will not inform ICE of a prisoner’s release unless the person was convicted of a violent felony.   read more
  • In first Challenge to Consumer Complaint Database, Court Orders Release of Company’s Name

    Monday, April 21, 2014
    A company whose product reportedly caused an infant’s death may soon have its identity revealed following a long-running legal battle involving the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). A complaint was filed in 2011 by an unidentified local government agency. The company responded by filing suit in federal court, claiming it had done nothing wrong, while demanding its name and details of the case be sealed and kept off a publicly accessible database.   read more
  • First Trial of a Non-Native American in a Tribal Court

    Monday, April 21, 2014
    Congress had been reluctant to grant tribes the right to try non-Indians, but the Yaquis and two other tribes showed evidence that they could hold proper trials and safeguard the rights of the accused. In February, the Justice Department initiated a pilot program with the three tribes to try non-Indians accused of domestic violence against Native American women on reservations. A few weeks ago, Yaqui tribal police arrested Eloy Figueroa Lopez, charging him with trying to choke his wife.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Federal Judge Approves Class Action Case against Ford and IBM for Helping South African Apartheid

    Sunday, April 20, 2014
    A federal District Court judge has ruled that those injured by the apartheid policies of the white-ruled South African government may sue Ford and IBM for providing assistance to that government in the form of military vehicles and computers. The racist policies of apartheid were in force between 1948 and 1994.   read more
  • Contrary to Obama Claims, 88% of Deportees Committed Minor Infractions or No Crime at All

    Thursday, April 17, 2014
    Only 12% of deportations in 2013 committed a serious or “Level 1” offense (defined by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as someone convicted of an “aggravated felony,” or two or more felonies). About half of all deportees were charged with violating traffic or immigration laws. Those guilty of entering the country illegally comprised 22.7% of deportations. Such an offense is classified as a petty misdemeanor under the federal criminal code, TRAC noted.   read more
  • Blackwater Guards Finally to be Tried for Killing 14 Iraqi Civilians

    Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Following the incident, DSS officials forced the Blackwater specialists to provide written statements of the shootings in exchange for full immunity from criminal prosecution. That decision by the State Department derailed the U.S. Department of Justice’s first attempt to prosecute the guards once they returned to the U.S. A federal appeals court then reinstated the charges, saying the lower court had erred in dismissing the case.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Who Is Leon Rodriguez?

    Monday, April 21, 2014
    In 2011, President Obama nominated Rodriguez to lead the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. However, his nomination was withdrawn because of Republican opposition to his work in the Civil Rights Division. In September 2011, Rodriguez moved over to the Department of Health and Human Services to lead its Office of Civil Rights. Much of his work there involved bringing cases against medical and insurance organizations for breaches of patient information.   read more
  • Director of the Bureau of Land Management: Who Is Neil Kornze?

    Sunday, April 20, 2014
    Kornze’s age, 34 when he was nominated for the post, would make him one of the youngest agency heads in history. Despite his family ties to the mining industry, and his close association with mining champion Reid, Kornze’s nomination to lead the BLM drew praise from many environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.   read more
  • Director of the U.S. Geological Survey: Who Is Suzette Kimball?

    Sunday, April 20, 2014
    Suzette Kimball, who has been acting director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since February 2013, was nominated by President Barack Obama on January 9, 2014, to fill the job permanently. In 2010, Kimball was named deputy director of the USGS. In that post, she led USGS's international activities and represented all North American geological surveys on international mapping endeavors. She has written more than 75 publications on coastal ecosystem science and coastal zone policy.   read more

Featured Story

64,613 Software Engineers Join Class Action Hiring Conspiracy Lawsuit against Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The class-action lawsuit, with 64,613 plaintiffs, targets Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe for secretly agreeing not to poach each other’s engineers and to share salary information in an effort to control salaries. The collusion reportedly began in 2005, when Apple’s Steve Jobs approached Google’s top executive, Eric Schmidt, about working together to hold down salaries. After getting Google on board, Jobs “strong-armed” Adobe into joining the secret pact, according to court documents.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Obama has Averaged more than One Fundraiser a Week Since he became President

    Monday, April 21, 2014
    According to statistics compiled by Mark Knoller of CBS News, Obama has attended 373 fundraisers during the 1,900+ days since he’s been in office, which averages to almost one every five days. An investigation last year by The Guardian showed that Obama had attended 30 fundraisers in the seven-month period between April and November, even though he is not personally up for reelection.   read more
  • Domestic Violence Rate Plunges

    Sunday, April 20, 2014
    In an average of the two years ending in 1994, there were 13.5 cases of domestic violence per 1,000 persons aged 12 and over. By the two years ending in 2012, the average had been cut to 5.0 cases per 1,000. The steepest drop in domestic violence occurred between 1995 and 2001, when the rate fell from 13.2 per thousand to 6.2 per thousand in just six years. The steepest decline came in the rate of partner violence.   read more
  • States Slowly Move to Ban Microbeads from Soaps and Facial Cleansers

    Saturday, April 19, 2014
    No larger than grains of sand, microbeads have become a popular addition to many facial cleaners, soaps and even toothpaste. But environmentalists found microbeads exacerbate water and soil pollution. The non-biodegradable ingredients can absorb toxins in lakes and waterways, creating deadly concentrations consumed by fish that mistake the beads for food.   read more

Unusual News

  • Portland Dumps Millions of Gallons of Drinking Water after Young Man Urinates in Reservoir…Again

    Friday, April 18, 2014
    Officials in Portland, Oregon, have decided to empty nearly 40 million gallons from the city’s primary reservoir for drinking water because an individual urinated in it. The decision marks the second time in three years that the city has flushed large portions of its water supply because someone peed in it. The latest dump, delivered by 19-year-old Trey McDaniel, was caught on a video surveillance camera.   read more
  • Federal Agency Charges for Reports Available Free Online

    Thursday, April 17, 2014
    Around since 1950, NTIS was set up as a clearinghouse for technical papers produced by the government. It has continued to sell these reports to the public even though many of them can be had for free through other agencies. For instance, anyone interested in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s handy report on chemical hazards can order a free copy here. Or they can pay the NTIS $30.   read more
  • U.S. Security Barriers on Border with Mexico May Disrupt Pumas more than Humans

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    “The suggestion is that the intermittent fencing present in this part of the world does affect some native species, but does not necessarily restrict the movement of humans (including illegal migrants), who may negatively impact native species.” In some study areas, pumas had largely abandoned habitats divided by a border wall. But coatis, which aren’t inclined to relocate like pumas, could be more impacted by the barriers and might experience a collapse in their population.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • IRS Audit Rate Dropping Lower and Lower

    Saturday, April 19, 2014
    In 2013, IRS auditors reviewed only 0.9% of returns filed by individuals earning less than $200,000 a year. That rate was the lowest since 2005. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Associated Press that the audit rate likely will go down even further this year. The chances of getting audited is much higher for the wealthy—about 11% for those making $1 million or more annually.   read more
  • Offshore Tax Havens Cost U.S. $184 Billion in Revenue Every Year

    Friday, April 18, 2014
    U.S. federal and state governments would have more than $180 billion in additional revenue each year if corporations and wealthy individuals didn't hide their earnings in offshore accounts. Without that revenue, each U.S. taxpayer on average would have to pay an additional $1,259 in taxes to cover this loss. "Ordinary taxpayers [are] picking up the tab [in]...higher taxes, cuts to public spending priorities, or increases to the federal debt,” said the U.S. PIRG report.   read more
  • Oklahoma Gov. Fallin Signs Bill Banning Minimum Wage Increases by Cities

    Thursday, April 17, 2014
    The governor added that increasing the minimum wage would only hurt businesses and lead to employees being laid off. She insisted most workers would not benefit from a minimum wage hike. Critics said the bill was intended to circumvent an effort in Oklahoma City, where signatures are being gathered to put an initiative on the city ballot raising the minimum wage to $10.10. That is the level to which President Barack Obama seeks to raise the federal minimum wage.   read more

Controversies

  • Philadelphia Mayor Nutter Orders Police and Prisons to Limit Cooperation with Federal Immigration Agents

    Monday, April 21, 2014
    About 17 local governments, including Miami, San Francisco, New Orleans, and New York City, have backed off on cooperating with ICE in recent years. This month nine counties in Oregon added themselves to the list. But Philadelphia's move was different in that it also applies to prison departments, so the city will not inform ICE of a prisoner’s release unless the person was convicted of a violent felony.   read more
  • In first Challenge to Consumer Complaint Database, Court Orders Release of Company’s Name

    Monday, April 21, 2014
    A company whose product reportedly caused an infant’s death may soon have its identity revealed following a long-running legal battle involving the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). A complaint was filed in 2011 by an unidentified local government agency. The company responded by filing suit in federal court, claiming it had done nothing wrong, while demanding its name and details of the case be sealed and kept off a publicly accessible database.   read more
  • First Trial of a Non-Native American in a Tribal Court

    Monday, April 21, 2014
    Congress had been reluctant to grant tribes the right to try non-Indians, but the Yaquis and two other tribes showed evidence that they could hold proper trials and safeguard the rights of the accused. In February, the Justice Department initiated a pilot program with the three tribes to try non-Indians accused of domestic violence against Native American women on reservations. A few weeks ago, Yaqui tribal police arrested Eloy Figueroa Lopez, charging him with trying to choke his wife.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Federal Judge Approves Class Action Case against Ford and IBM for Helping South African Apartheid

    Sunday, April 20, 2014
    A federal District Court judge has ruled that those injured by the apartheid policies of the white-ruled South African government may sue Ford and IBM for providing assistance to that government in the form of military vehicles and computers. The racist policies of apartheid were in force between 1948 and 1994.   read more
  • Contrary to Obama Claims, 88% of Deportees Committed Minor Infractions or No Crime at All

    Thursday, April 17, 2014
    Only 12% of deportations in 2013 committed a serious or “Level 1” offense (defined by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as someone convicted of an “aggravated felony,” or two or more felonies). About half of all deportees were charged with violating traffic or immigration laws. Those guilty of entering the country illegally comprised 22.7% of deportations. Such an offense is classified as a petty misdemeanor under the federal criminal code, TRAC noted.   read more
  • Blackwater Guards Finally to be Tried for Killing 14 Iraqi Civilians

    Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Following the incident, DSS officials forced the Blackwater specialists to provide written statements of the shootings in exchange for full immunity from criminal prosecution. That decision by the State Department derailed the U.S. Department of Justice’s first attempt to prosecute the guards once they returned to the U.S. A federal appeals court then reinstated the charges, saying the lower court had erred in dismissing the case.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Who Is Leon Rodriguez?

    Monday, April 21, 2014
    In 2011, President Obama nominated Rodriguez to lead the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. However, his nomination was withdrawn because of Republican opposition to his work in the Civil Rights Division. In September 2011, Rodriguez moved over to the Department of Health and Human Services to lead its Office of Civil Rights. Much of his work there involved bringing cases against medical and insurance organizations for breaches of patient information.   read more
  • Director of the Bureau of Land Management: Who Is Neil Kornze?

    Sunday, April 20, 2014
    Kornze’s age, 34 when he was nominated for the post, would make him one of the youngest agency heads in history. Despite his family ties to the mining industry, and his close association with mining champion Reid, Kornze’s nomination to lead the BLM drew praise from many environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.   read more
  • Director of the U.S. Geological Survey: Who Is Suzette Kimball?

    Sunday, April 20, 2014
    Suzette Kimball, who has been acting director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since February 2013, was nominated by President Barack Obama on January 9, 2014, to fill the job permanently. In 2010, Kimball was named deputy director of the USGS. In that post, she led USGS's international activities and represented all North American geological surveys on international mapping endeavors. She has written more than 75 publications on coastal ecosystem science and coastal zone policy.   read more