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Biggest Dark Money Spender in 2014 Elections: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The king of shadowy campaign spending this election is the nation’s leading big business lobby, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “When large corporations decide they want to get their own candidates into office but they don’t want to be seen doing it, they call the U.S. Chamber,” said Lisa Gilbert. “These politicians then push for anti-environmental, anti-consumer, and anti-health policies.” As of October 25, the Chamber has spent $31.8 million.   read more

Secret Surveillance of Americans’ Mail Revealed to be Widespread with Lax Oversight

Last year alone, USPS approved nearly 50,000 “mail cover” requests from police and agency inspectors to secretly monitor individuals’ mail for criminal and national security investigations. Law enforcement agencies have stepped up use of mail covers as part of counterterrorism and criminal cases since 9/11. But the scope of the surveillance was not previously known to be so widespread, nor was the absence of oversight from potential abuses.   read more

Rising Global Temperatures from Climate Change Linked to Increase in Violence

As the old saying goes, as temperatures rise, tempers flare. That adage also applies to the effects of global warming on the human condition. Researchers found 55 credible studies linking increases in violence with rising global temperatures. Those increases ranged from personal conflicts (domestic violence, road rage, assault, murder, and rapes) to country or group conflicts, including riots, ethnic violence, invasions, gang violence and civil wars.   read more

Less than 1% of Patriot Act’s “Sneak and Peek” Delayed Notice Warrants are Used against Terrorism

Federal law enforcement has increasingly used a key provision of the Patriot Act to pry into people’s lives without having to tell them. This practice has been justified under the guise of counterterrorism, but government statistics show that less than 1% of all “sneak and peek” actions involve suspected terrorists. Only 51 such requests during 2013 were for terrorism out of 11,129 total requests that year. The biggest reason for the warrants was to investigate drug crimes.   read more

North Dakota to Vote on Making State First to Define Life as Beginning at Conception

Anti-abortionists have tried in several states to up the stakes in the fight to end women’s right to control their bodies by pushing new laws that would define human life as beginning at conception. After several defeats, they might finally succeed next month in North Dakota. However the wording of the amendment doesn’t mention abortion. Instead, it reads: “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”   read more

U.S. Ranks behind 103 Countries in Percentage of Women in National Legislature

The United States looks a little better if you add in the number of senators. Twenty of the 100 senators are women, giving the U.S. 18.6% female representation overall. But adding in upper chambers for all legislatures allows Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Ireland and Bahrain to vault over the United States in the rankings and puts 103 nations ahead of the United States on the list.   read more

USAID Accused of Removing Critical Details from Inspector General Report about Arrests of U.S. Pro-Democracy Groups in Egypt

Acting Inspector General Michael Carroll got into trouble when he censored portions of an investigation involving pro-democracy groups in Egypt. A confidential draft of the report included a $4.6 million payoff to the Egyptian government. But the final version of the report contained nothing about it. Reportedly the State Department had wanted to keep the entire audit from public view. Some auditors claimed that Carroll didn’t want to rock the boat as he awaited Senate confirmation.   read more

Blackwater Employees Convicted of Murder of 14 Iraqis

Private security guards employed by Blackwater Worldwide, in 2007, opened fire in the middle of a busy Baghdad intersection, killing 17 Iraqis. This week four of the security guards were convicted in a U.S. federal court on charges ranging from murder to use of an automatic weapon. “This verdict is a resounding affirmation of the commitment of the American people to the rule of law, even in times of war,” said U.S. attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.   read more

For the Bottom 90% of Americans, Financial Security is Slipping Away

No matter how you look at it, the economic picture for most of America is not good. Saddled with growing amounts of mortgage, consumer credit and student debt, the 90% has had little in the way of extra money to put into savings, says a new study. In fact, the savings rate by those in the lower 90% is about zero. By comparison, the top 1% of families put aside about 35% of their income. The authors say that income inequality will increase as long as the middle-class savings rate remains low.   read more

Ex-Nazis Still Receiving Social Security Benefits

“Among those receiving Social Security benefits were SS troops who guarded the network of Nazi camps where millions of Jews perished, a rocket scientist accused of using slave laborers...and a Nazi collaborator who engineered the...execution of thousands of Jews in Poland,” reported AP. Still getting Social Security payments from the U.S. government are Martin Hartmann, former SS guard at the Sachsenhausen camp; Jakob Denzinger, former guard at Auschwitz; and Wasyl Lytwyn of the Nazi SS.   read more

More Police Departments than Previously Thought Use Portable Surveillance Systems to Spy on almost Everyone

More U.S. police departments are using electronic surveillance on cell phones and laptop computers belonging not just to criminal suspects but also law abiding citizens. It's not clear which departments are doing this because the federal government has helped to shield police from disclosing their spy hardware. However, now that Washington, D.C. police are using this spy gear, members of the government might also be among those spied upon.   read more

Report Shows Voter ID Laws Cut Participation in 2012 Election in Kansas and Tennessee

“GAO’s analysis suggests that the turnout decreases in Kansas and Tennessee beyond decreases in the comparison states were attributable to changes in those two states’ voter ID requirements,” the report said. The drop was even sharper in Kansas and Tennessee among young voters (18 to 23) and black voters.   read more

Republican Governors Outsource Prisons, Child Support Services, Jobs Agencies

Florida GOP Governor Rick Scott made headlines urging drug testing for state employees and welfare recipients, a program which, it turned out, benefited his drug testing company, according to the report. Scott also privatized state health care services for prison inmates, which reportedly resulted in a substantial increase in inmate deaths. Corizon Health—a prisoner health care provider that had been sued 660 times for malpractice.   read more

Director Comey Admits FBI does Conduct Surveillance without a Warrant

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) top official admitted this week that his agency sometimes bypasses the courts and pries into personal communications without a warrant. Director James Comey’s admission was prompted after he first insisted that the FBI never, ever conducts electronic surveillance without a court order.   read more

U.S. Kept Quiet about ’80s-Era Chemical Weapons it Helped Provide to Iraq ... Especially When American Soldiers Were Later Hurt by Them

It turns out the U.S. did find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. However, these weapons had been there since the 1980s and the U.S. had a hand in their manufacture. Most damning was that the chemical weapons found had been designed for Iraq by the U.S. under the Reagan administration. So the U.S. government clamped a lid of secrecy on the discoveries, even denying proper treatment to American soldiers who were wounded by them. Military officers were ordered to say nothing or lie.   read more

Americans Have Wages Garnished and Assets Seized over Homes They Already Lost

Many of those who lost homes in the housing crisis are finding that their nightmare still is not over. That’s because banks are still pursuing them over the mortgages they defaulted on. Settlements that followed often did not cover the remaining balance on the loan. This has led to “deficiency judgments,” in which debt collectors are now hunting down the former homeowners. In many cases, the judgments result in frozen bank accounts, garnished wages and seized assets.   read more
1 to 16 of about 2127 News
1 2 3 ... 133 Next

Top Stories

1 to 16 of about 2127 News
1 2 3 ... 133 Next

Biggest Dark Money Spender in 2014 Elections: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The king of shadowy campaign spending this election is the nation’s leading big business lobby, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “When large corporations decide they want to get their own candidates into office but they don’t want to be seen doing it, they call the U.S. Chamber,” said Lisa Gilbert. “These politicians then push for anti-environmental, anti-consumer, and anti-health policies.” As of October 25, the Chamber has spent $31.8 million.   read more

Secret Surveillance of Americans’ Mail Revealed to be Widespread with Lax Oversight

Last year alone, USPS approved nearly 50,000 “mail cover” requests from police and agency inspectors to secretly monitor individuals’ mail for criminal and national security investigations. Law enforcement agencies have stepped up use of mail covers as part of counterterrorism and criminal cases since 9/11. But the scope of the surveillance was not previously known to be so widespread, nor was the absence of oversight from potential abuses.   read more

Rising Global Temperatures from Climate Change Linked to Increase in Violence

As the old saying goes, as temperatures rise, tempers flare. That adage also applies to the effects of global warming on the human condition. Researchers found 55 credible studies linking increases in violence with rising global temperatures. Those increases ranged from personal conflicts (domestic violence, road rage, assault, murder, and rapes) to country or group conflicts, including riots, ethnic violence, invasions, gang violence and civil wars.   read more

Less than 1% of Patriot Act’s “Sneak and Peek” Delayed Notice Warrants are Used against Terrorism

Federal law enforcement has increasingly used a key provision of the Patriot Act to pry into people’s lives without having to tell them. This practice has been justified under the guise of counterterrorism, but government statistics show that less than 1% of all “sneak and peek” actions involve suspected terrorists. Only 51 such requests during 2013 were for terrorism out of 11,129 total requests that year. The biggest reason for the warrants was to investigate drug crimes.   read more

North Dakota to Vote on Making State First to Define Life as Beginning at Conception

Anti-abortionists have tried in several states to up the stakes in the fight to end women’s right to control their bodies by pushing new laws that would define human life as beginning at conception. After several defeats, they might finally succeed next month in North Dakota. However the wording of the amendment doesn’t mention abortion. Instead, it reads: “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”   read more

U.S. Ranks behind 103 Countries in Percentage of Women in National Legislature

The United States looks a little better if you add in the number of senators. Twenty of the 100 senators are women, giving the U.S. 18.6% female representation overall. But adding in upper chambers for all legislatures allows Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Ireland and Bahrain to vault over the United States in the rankings and puts 103 nations ahead of the United States on the list.   read more

USAID Accused of Removing Critical Details from Inspector General Report about Arrests of U.S. Pro-Democracy Groups in Egypt

Acting Inspector General Michael Carroll got into trouble when he censored portions of an investigation involving pro-democracy groups in Egypt. A confidential draft of the report included a $4.6 million payoff to the Egyptian government. But the final version of the report contained nothing about it. Reportedly the State Department had wanted to keep the entire audit from public view. Some auditors claimed that Carroll didn’t want to rock the boat as he awaited Senate confirmation.   read more

Blackwater Employees Convicted of Murder of 14 Iraqis

Private security guards employed by Blackwater Worldwide, in 2007, opened fire in the middle of a busy Baghdad intersection, killing 17 Iraqis. This week four of the security guards were convicted in a U.S. federal court on charges ranging from murder to use of an automatic weapon. “This verdict is a resounding affirmation of the commitment of the American people to the rule of law, even in times of war,” said U.S. attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.   read more

For the Bottom 90% of Americans, Financial Security is Slipping Away

No matter how you look at it, the economic picture for most of America is not good. Saddled with growing amounts of mortgage, consumer credit and student debt, the 90% has had little in the way of extra money to put into savings, says a new study. In fact, the savings rate by those in the lower 90% is about zero. By comparison, the top 1% of families put aside about 35% of their income. The authors say that income inequality will increase as long as the middle-class savings rate remains low.   read more

Ex-Nazis Still Receiving Social Security Benefits

“Among those receiving Social Security benefits were SS troops who guarded the network of Nazi camps where millions of Jews perished, a rocket scientist accused of using slave laborers...and a Nazi collaborator who engineered the...execution of thousands of Jews in Poland,” reported AP. Still getting Social Security payments from the U.S. government are Martin Hartmann, former SS guard at the Sachsenhausen camp; Jakob Denzinger, former guard at Auschwitz; and Wasyl Lytwyn of the Nazi SS.   read more

More Police Departments than Previously Thought Use Portable Surveillance Systems to Spy on almost Everyone

More U.S. police departments are using electronic surveillance on cell phones and laptop computers belonging not just to criminal suspects but also law abiding citizens. It's not clear which departments are doing this because the federal government has helped to shield police from disclosing their spy hardware. However, now that Washington, D.C. police are using this spy gear, members of the government might also be among those spied upon.   read more

Report Shows Voter ID Laws Cut Participation in 2012 Election in Kansas and Tennessee

“GAO’s analysis suggests that the turnout decreases in Kansas and Tennessee beyond decreases in the comparison states were attributable to changes in those two states’ voter ID requirements,” the report said. The drop was even sharper in Kansas and Tennessee among young voters (18 to 23) and black voters.   read more

Republican Governors Outsource Prisons, Child Support Services, Jobs Agencies

Florida GOP Governor Rick Scott made headlines urging drug testing for state employees and welfare recipients, a program which, it turned out, benefited his drug testing company, according to the report. Scott also privatized state health care services for prison inmates, which reportedly resulted in a substantial increase in inmate deaths. Corizon Health—a prisoner health care provider that had been sued 660 times for malpractice.   read more

Director Comey Admits FBI does Conduct Surveillance without a Warrant

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) top official admitted this week that his agency sometimes bypasses the courts and pries into personal communications without a warrant. Director James Comey’s admission was prompted after he first insisted that the FBI never, ever conducts electronic surveillance without a court order.   read more

U.S. Kept Quiet about ’80s-Era Chemical Weapons it Helped Provide to Iraq ... Especially When American Soldiers Were Later Hurt by Them

It turns out the U.S. did find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. However, these weapons had been there since the 1980s and the U.S. had a hand in their manufacture. Most damning was that the chemical weapons found had been designed for Iraq by the U.S. under the Reagan administration. So the U.S. government clamped a lid of secrecy on the discoveries, even denying proper treatment to American soldiers who were wounded by them. Military officers were ordered to say nothing or lie.   read more

Americans Have Wages Garnished and Assets Seized over Homes They Already Lost

Many of those who lost homes in the housing crisis are finding that their nightmare still is not over. That’s because banks are still pursuing them over the mortgages they defaulted on. Settlements that followed often did not cover the remaining balance on the loan. This has led to “deficiency judgments,” in which debt collectors are now hunting down the former homeowners. In many cases, the judgments result in frozen bank accounts, garnished wages and seized assets.   read more
1 to 16 of about 2127 News
1 2 3 ... 133 Next