Featured Story

U.S. Sending More Than 600 Additional Troops to Iraq

Thursday, September 29, 2016
The U.S. is sending 615 more troops to Iraq as the stage is set for an Iraqi-led battle to reclaim Mosul, the northern city that has been the Islamic State group’s main stronghold for more than two years. The offensive, starting as soon as October, looms as a decisive moment for Iraq and for President Barack Obama’s much-criticized strategy to defeat IS.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • California Doctors Will Have to Check Online Database Before Writing Opioid Prescriptions

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016
    California doctors will be required to check a database of prescription narcotics before writing scripts for addictive drugs under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed Tuesday that aims to address the scourge of opioid abuse. The measure attempts to crack down on a practice known as “doctor-shopping,” in which addicts visit multiple providers to obtain prescriptions for addictive drugs.   read more
  • U.S. Unlikely to Meet 2025 Goal to Cut Carbon Pollution

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    Unless it does more, the United States probably will fall short of goals set under last year’s Paris agreement to dramatically reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases, according to a new study. The U.S. pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels. But taking into account current efforts by state and local governments, the nation will only reach about four-fifths of that goal, according to a study in Monday’s Nature Climate Change.   read more
  • Charlotte No “Queen City” to Low-Income, Minority Residents

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    To much of the world, Charlotte is the Queen City — a gleaming downtown, state-of-the-art stadiums, sparkling new mass transit, the nation’s banking capital. But a very different Charlotte came into the spotlight in the past few days. Move outside the city’s core and there are neighborhoods such as the one where a black police officer shot and killed a black man, Keith Scott, setting off violent protests.   read more

Unusual News

  • College Republicans Endure Criticism Because of Trump

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    For decades, College Republicans have drawn ridicule from — and defined themselves against — the more liberal masses on college campuses. But this year has been especially nightmarish for CRs, as they call themselves. The nomination of Donald Trump, who has attacked their conservative heroes and esteemed alumni, has prompted widespread mockery from their liberal classmates, dissension from within and something of an identity crisis.   read more
  • Sanders’ Brother Hopes for Better Electoral Luck in British Parliament Run

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    Larry Sanders, the brother of Sen. Bernie Sanders, is running to fill the seat being vacated by David Cameron, the former prime minister, in the British Parliament. Sanders, 82, was chosen on Thursday night by the Green Party as its nominee in an Oct. 20 special election in the constituency of Witney, about 67 miles west of London.   read more
  • Defense Attorney Backs Down, Removes “Black Lives Matter” Button in Courtroom

    Friday, September 23, 2016
    A deputy public defender in Las Vegas gave in to a judge’s request on Thursday to remove a “Black Lives Matter” pin in court, after a free-form discussion about the politics of protest and free speech amid a national debate over police brutality and race relations. In a new show of defiance that wasn’t directly addressed by the judge, Deputy Public Defender Erika Ballou and several attorneys in the audience behind her wore black arm bands.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Controllers Will Begin Texting Pilots With Flight Information

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016
    Airline pilots and air traffic controllers are on schedule to switch to text communications at most of the nation’s busiest airports by the end of the year, a milestone that holds the potential to reduce delays, prevent errors and save billions of dollars in fuel cost, says the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA estimates Data Comm will save airlines more than $10 billion over the next 30 years and the government another $1 billion.   read more
  • Justice Department Announces $20 Million Grant for Body Cameras

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    The Justice Department announced Monday it’s awarding more than $20 million for law enforcement agencies around the country to establish or enhance their use of body cameras, a move that comes after several fatal shootings of black men by police that have prompted widespread protests. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant at the opening of a Justice Department summit in Little Rock focused on reducing violent crime.   read more
  • U.S. Pays to Maintain Unused Iranian Real Estate, Including Embassy

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    Ten properites located across the United States, assessed altogether at more than $50 million, still belong to the Islamic Republic of Iran. But for nearly 40 years, the task of maintaining and putting the properties out for rent has fallen to an unlikely management company — the State Department. The State Department’s Office of Foreign Missions acts as a real estate service for the Iranian properties.   read more

Controversies

  • Checkpoint That Turned Up Eight Kilos of Cocaine Is Ruled Unconstitutional

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016
    Texas police who found 8 kilos of cocaine during a random search of a Greyhound bus “created a checkpoint that trespassed on the Constitution” so the drugs cannot be used as evidence, a federal judge ruled. “Brief stops at checkpoints are reasonable if they are for a narrow particular law enforcement purpose directly connected to the use of the roads,” Hughes wrote, citing Supreme Court precedent.   read more
  • Labor Department Investigating Wells Fargo Worker Abuse

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016
    The U.S. Labor Department is investigating possible abuses of employees by Wells Fargo in connection with the bank’s alleged efforts to open millions of unauthorized accounts to meet sales goals. The scandal over millions of deposit and credit card accounts allegedly opened without customers’ permission has widened. The Labor Department review comes atop investigations by congressional committees and federal prosecutors.   read more
  • Environmental Groups Criticize Changes to Endangered Species Act

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016
    The two federal agencies tasked with listing endangered species have finalized revisions to the petition process, but environmentalists see the changes as limiting and burdensome. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service claim the latest changes are part of the Obama administration’s efforts since 2011 to make the Endangered Species Act listing process more transparent, easier to implement and more effective.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Combat Lucrative Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Trade

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016
    Coons said he was disturbed by reports that African elephant population has shrunk by 30% since 2007, primarily due to poaching. "Not only are iconic wildlife species in grave danger of disappearing, but wildlife trafficking also fuels well-organized criminal networks," he said. "Imperiled animals are slaughtered for no reason other than money, and innocent human lives are lost in the process. We cannot wait any longer to use every tool at our disposal to curb this global crisis."   read more
  • Former Japanese Leader Heads Fundraising Effort for Ailing U.S. Sailors Who Aided Fukushima Relief

    Saturday, September 10, 2016
    "I felt I had to do something to help those who worked so hard for Japan," said the prime minister. "Maybe this isn't enough, but it will express our gratitude, that Japan is thankful." Sailors became sick with cancers, leukemia, and brain tumors, and they blame radiation. Their ships were in the direction of the radioactive plumes spewed from the Fukushima plant. Aircraft carriers routinely use drinking water from the ocean, which the lawsuit says was contaminated with radiation.   read more
  • U.S. Wildlife Officials Burn $1 Million Worth of Rhino Horns in Symbolic Ceremony against Poaching

    Friday, September 09, 2016
    Federal wildlife officials burned more than $1 million worth of rhino horn items in a ceremony Thursday, as they and onlookers raged over continued poaching and trafficking of the endangered animals. The items--whole horns and ornate objects--had been confiscated by U.S. officials before being used in the symbolic event — the first of its kind in the nation. "Wildlife trafficking through the United States, or into the United States, will not be tolerated," said Wildlife Service's Michelle Gadd.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines: Who Is Sung Y. Kim?

    Saturday, September 24, 2016
    Kim’s father, Kim Ki-wan was a member of the Korean CIA and was posted as a diplomat to Japan. He was implicated in the 1973 kidnapping of dissident (and future president) Kim Dae-jung. Kim himself had been kidnapped, by North Korea, and held for 20 days in 1958. Born in 1960, Kim was 13 years old when his father, following the kidnapping, moved his family to Los Angeles. In 2011, Kim became the first American of Korean descent to serve as ambassador to South Korea. He served there until 2014.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Burundi: Who Is Anne S. Casper?

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016
    Casper moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2012 as the consul general there. She returned to Washington in 2014 as the deputy assistant secretary for international media and the following year was named senior adviser in the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications. In 2016, she was named acting director of partnerships in the Global Engagement Center. Casper is known in the State Dept for intensely studying the language and customs of every country in which she serves.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Greece: Who Is Geoffrey Pyatt?

    Sunday, September 18, 2016
    When WikiLeaks published State Dept cables, Pyatt became embroiled in controversy because of a 2007 cable he sent recommending that a secretary in India’s Ministry of External Affairs visit Washington D.C. in order to help “feed” U.S. government views on Iran into the Indian system. Pyatt became U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in July, 2013. In March, 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. Since then Pyatt has helped coordinate the U.S. response to the action.   read more

Featured Story

U.S. Sending More Than 600 Additional Troops to Iraq

Thursday, September 29, 2016
The U.S. is sending 615 more troops to Iraq as the stage is set for an Iraqi-led battle to reclaim Mosul, the northern city that has been the Islamic State group’s main stronghold for more than two years. The offensive, starting as soon as October, looms as a decisive moment for Iraq and for President Barack Obama’s much-criticized strategy to defeat IS.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • California Doctors Will Have to Check Online Database Before Writing Opioid Prescriptions

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016
    California doctors will be required to check a database of prescription narcotics before writing scripts for addictive drugs under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed Tuesday that aims to address the scourge of opioid abuse. The measure attempts to crack down on a practice known as “doctor-shopping,” in which addicts visit multiple providers to obtain prescriptions for addictive drugs.   read more
  • U.S. Unlikely to Meet 2025 Goal to Cut Carbon Pollution

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    Unless it does more, the United States probably will fall short of goals set under last year’s Paris agreement to dramatically reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases, according to a new study. The U.S. pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels. But taking into account current efforts by state and local governments, the nation will only reach about four-fifths of that goal, according to a study in Monday’s Nature Climate Change.   read more
  • Charlotte No “Queen City” to Low-Income, Minority Residents

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    To much of the world, Charlotte is the Queen City — a gleaming downtown, state-of-the-art stadiums, sparkling new mass transit, the nation’s banking capital. But a very different Charlotte came into the spotlight in the past few days. Move outside the city’s core and there are neighborhoods such as the one where a black police officer shot and killed a black man, Keith Scott, setting off violent protests.   read more

Unusual News

  • College Republicans Endure Criticism Because of Trump

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    For decades, College Republicans have drawn ridicule from — and defined themselves against — the more liberal masses on college campuses. But this year has been especially nightmarish for CRs, as they call themselves. The nomination of Donald Trump, who has attacked their conservative heroes and esteemed alumni, has prompted widespread mockery from their liberal classmates, dissension from within and something of an identity crisis.   read more
  • Sanders’ Brother Hopes for Better Electoral Luck in British Parliament Run

    Sunday, September 25, 2016
    Larry Sanders, the brother of Sen. Bernie Sanders, is running to fill the seat being vacated by David Cameron, the former prime minister, in the British Parliament. Sanders, 82, was chosen on Thursday night by the Green Party as its nominee in an Oct. 20 special election in the constituency of Witney, about 67 miles west of London.   read more
  • Defense Attorney Backs Down, Removes “Black Lives Matter” Button in Courtroom

    Friday, September 23, 2016
    A deputy public defender in Las Vegas gave in to a judge’s request on Thursday to remove a “Black Lives Matter” pin in court, after a free-form discussion about the politics of protest and free speech amid a national debate over police brutality and race relations. In a new show of defiance that wasn’t directly addressed by the judge, Deputy Public Defender Erika Ballou and several attorneys in the audience behind her wore black arm bands.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Controllers Will Begin Texting Pilots With Flight Information

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016
    Airline pilots and air traffic controllers are on schedule to switch to text communications at most of the nation’s busiest airports by the end of the year, a milestone that holds the potential to reduce delays, prevent errors and save billions of dollars in fuel cost, says the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA estimates Data Comm will save airlines more than $10 billion over the next 30 years and the government another $1 billion.   read more
  • Justice Department Announces $20 Million Grant for Body Cameras

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016
    The Justice Department announced Monday it’s awarding more than $20 million for law enforcement agencies around the country to establish or enhance their use of body cameras, a move that comes after several fatal shootings of black men by police that have prompted widespread protests. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant at the opening of a Justice Department summit in Little Rock focused on reducing violent crime.   read more
  • U.S. Pays to Maintain Unused Iranian Real Estate, Including Embassy

    Monday, September 26, 2016
    Ten properites located across the United States, assessed altogether at more than $50 million, still belong to the Islamic Republic of Iran. But for nearly 40 years, the task of maintaining and putting the properties out for rent has fallen to an unlikely management company — the State Department. The State Department’s Office of Foreign Missions acts as a real estate service for the Iranian properties.   read more

Controversies

  • Checkpoint That Turned Up Eight Kilos of Cocaine Is Ruled Unconstitutional

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016
    Texas police who found 8 kilos of cocaine during a random search of a Greyhound bus “created a checkpoint that trespassed on the Constitution” so the drugs cannot be used as evidence, a federal judge ruled. “Brief stops at checkpoints are reasonable if they are for a narrow particular law enforcement purpose directly connected to the use of the roads,” Hughes wrote, citing Supreme Court precedent.   read more
  • Labor Department Investigating Wells Fargo Worker Abuse

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016
    The U.S. Labor Department is investigating possible abuses of employees by Wells Fargo in connection with the bank’s alleged efforts to open millions of unauthorized accounts to meet sales goals. The scandal over millions of deposit and credit card accounts allegedly opened without customers’ permission has widened. The Labor Department review comes atop investigations by congressional committees and federal prosecutors.   read more
  • Environmental Groups Criticize Changes to Endangered Species Act

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016
    The two federal agencies tasked with listing endangered species have finalized revisions to the petition process, but environmentalists see the changes as limiting and burdensome. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service claim the latest changes are part of the Obama administration’s efforts since 2011 to make the Endangered Species Act listing process more transparent, easier to implement and more effective.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Combat Lucrative Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Trade

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016
    Coons said he was disturbed by reports that African elephant population has shrunk by 30% since 2007, primarily due to poaching. "Not only are iconic wildlife species in grave danger of disappearing, but wildlife trafficking also fuels well-organized criminal networks," he said. "Imperiled animals are slaughtered for no reason other than money, and innocent human lives are lost in the process. We cannot wait any longer to use every tool at our disposal to curb this global crisis."   read more
  • Former Japanese Leader Heads Fundraising Effort for Ailing U.S. Sailors Who Aided Fukushima Relief

    Saturday, September 10, 2016
    "I felt I had to do something to help those who worked so hard for Japan," said the prime minister. "Maybe this isn't enough, but it will express our gratitude, that Japan is thankful." Sailors became sick with cancers, leukemia, and brain tumors, and they blame radiation. Their ships were in the direction of the radioactive plumes spewed from the Fukushima plant. Aircraft carriers routinely use drinking water from the ocean, which the lawsuit says was contaminated with radiation.   read more
  • U.S. Wildlife Officials Burn $1 Million Worth of Rhino Horns in Symbolic Ceremony against Poaching

    Friday, September 09, 2016
    Federal wildlife officials burned more than $1 million worth of rhino horn items in a ceremony Thursday, as they and onlookers raged over continued poaching and trafficking of the endangered animals. The items--whole horns and ornate objects--had been confiscated by U.S. officials before being used in the symbolic event — the first of its kind in the nation. "Wildlife trafficking through the United States, or into the United States, will not be tolerated," said Wildlife Service's Michelle Gadd.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines: Who Is Sung Y. Kim?

    Saturday, September 24, 2016
    Kim’s father, Kim Ki-wan was a member of the Korean CIA and was posted as a diplomat to Japan. He was implicated in the 1973 kidnapping of dissident (and future president) Kim Dae-jung. Kim himself had been kidnapped, by North Korea, and held for 20 days in 1958. Born in 1960, Kim was 13 years old when his father, following the kidnapping, moved his family to Los Angeles. In 2011, Kim became the first American of Korean descent to serve as ambassador to South Korea. He served there until 2014.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Burundi: Who Is Anne S. Casper?

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016
    Casper moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2012 as the consul general there. She returned to Washington in 2014 as the deputy assistant secretary for international media and the following year was named senior adviser in the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications. In 2016, she was named acting director of partnerships in the Global Engagement Center. Casper is known in the State Dept for intensely studying the language and customs of every country in which she serves.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Greece: Who Is Geoffrey Pyatt?

    Sunday, September 18, 2016
    When WikiLeaks published State Dept cables, Pyatt became embroiled in controversy because of a 2007 cable he sent recommending that a secretary in India’s Ministry of External Affairs visit Washington D.C. in order to help “feed” U.S. government views on Iran into the Indian system. Pyatt became U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in July, 2013. In March, 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. Since then Pyatt has helped coordinate the U.S. response to the action.   read more