Featured Story

FCC Helping Big Media Companies as Rural TV Stations are Weakened

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
The FCC has quietly proposed reshaping a key way rural Americans stay informed – their local TV news – by stripping away most of the remaining regulations protecting local influence over local news broadcasting. Companies like Sinclair can get even bigger, and can centralize the production of what should be local news broadcasts in faraway places, leaving rural residents served by Sinclair to have a harder time finding their own communities represented in broadcast news.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis: Who Is Dave Glawe?

    Friday, June 23, 2017
    No sooner did Glawe take over as DHS acting undersecretary in January than he found himself forced to defend President Trump’s proposed travel ban on Muslims from seven nations. Then came the leak of a report, created under his direction, from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis that disagreed with the premise of Trump’s travel ban that citizens of the seven countries posed a special threat. Trump officials emphasized that the report was a draft and not final.   read more
  • Qatar’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani?

    Thursday, June 22, 2017
    In June, shortly after Al-Thani’s arrival in Washington as Qatar's ambassador, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain moved to sever relations with Qatar, supposedly for financing terrorism. President Trump tweeted his support for the action, leaving Al-Thani, whose country hosts the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East, puzzled. “It’s unfortunate to see these tweets,” Al-Thani said. “We have close coordination with the U.S. They know our efforts to combat...terrorism.”   read more
  • Ambassador of the U.S. to New Zealand and Samoa: Who Is Scott Brown?

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017
    After 10 years as a male model and seven years of law practice, Brown entered politics when he was elected to several city positions in Wrentham, Mass. He later served multiple terms as a Republican in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In 2010, Brown shocked the political world by winning a special election to fill the remainder of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s unfinished term, after Kennedy died. Brown lasted only two years in the Senate before losing his seat to Elizabeth Warren in 2012.   read more

Unusual News

  • Illegal to Talk about Yellow Traffic Lights in Oregon

    Sunday, April 30, 2017
    Jarlstrom sued the Portland suburb, claiming it programmed its yellow lights to be so brief that drivers didn’t have time to make it through an intersection before they turned red, putting drivers in danger. After the judge tossed his suit, a state agency launched a two-year investigation of Jarlstrom, then fined him $500 for publicly critiquing the mathematical formulas behind traffic light cameras without an engineering license. Jarlstrom calls that a prohibition on free speech.   read more
  • In Small Louisiana Town, Hundreds Routinely Jailed with No Evidence of Crime beyond a “Hunch”

    Friday, December 30, 2016
    A "staggering" number of town residents have been arrested based on a “hunch” or “feeling” that they were involved in criminal activity. Police strip-searched individuals suspected of committing crimes, placed them in cells without beds, toilets, or showers, and denied them communication with loved ones for days at a time. Citizens were “commonly detained for 72 hours or more without being provided an opportunity to contest their arrest and detention,” said the Justice Department report.   read more
  • Workplace Deaths in 2015 Hit 6-Year High

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    There were 2,054 transportation-related episodes that resulted in fatalities, accounting for about 42 percent of all workplace deaths. As a result, 745 drivers of heavy and tractor-trailer trucks died because of injuries at work last year, more than any other major civilian occupation. Falls, slips and trips made up the next most common major cause of workplace fatalities, resulting in 800 deaths last year. Men accounted for all but 7 percent of the total workplace deaths in 2015.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • 4 Programs that Both Obama and Trump Want to Eliminate

    Monday, May 01, 2017
    It sometimes seems that the differences between the priorities of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are so great that they can’t agree on anything. Not so. Here are four programs that President Barack Obama’s last budget and President Donald Trump’s first budget proposed for complete elimination.   read more
  • Reducing Aircrafts’ Bathroom Size Increases Airline Profits and Decreases Passenger Safety

    Saturday, December 24, 2016
    AFA-CWA's Sara Nelson said that “doors of these restrooms open into each other, creating safety issues. There are a lot of injuries, with smashed fingers, doors hitting people, bumps and bruises.” She said the rear cabin restroom doors also create a barricade, limiting the ability of crew to help a passenger in trouble. Some parents with small kids say they can't help their kids in the toilet unless the door stays open. Large-size passengers are at a loss.   read more
  • Price of Antidote for Heroin Overdose Skyrockets as Much As 500%

    Friday, December 16, 2016
    The price of Narcan -- the lifesaving heroin-overdose antidote that revives the dying -- has skyrocketed, with one formulation rising more than 500% in two years. Although Narcan first hit the market in 1971, demand has skyrocketed as the opioid epidemic worsens. And with more potent opioids on the street -- such as fentanyl -- first responders, the largest consumers of the drug, are finding they need multiple doses to revive overdose victims.   read more

Controversies

  • Bears Under Fire in Florida

    Friday, April 21, 2017
    “2015 was a deadly year for the Florida black bear. Collisions with vehicles killed at least 169 ... wildlife managers killed at least 108...that were considered nuisances or threats to human safety, at least 9 were killed illegally, and in October hunters killed at least 304 Florida black bears in the first Florida black bear hunt in 20 years,” the petition stated. The 2016 hunt was “voted down due to overwhelming public outcry against the barbaric and unnecessary hunt,” said an advocacy group.   read more
  • 97 Corporations and 16 State Attorneys General Join Court Fight against Trump Travel Ban

    Tuesday, February 07, 2017
    “President Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American...[and] undermines our states’ families, economies, and institutions," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. High-ranking U.S. security officials, including Madeleine Albright, Leon Panetta and John Kerry signed a declaration arguing the ban endangers U.S. citizens. “We view the order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States...” the officials said.   read more
  • Texas Judge Halts Federal Transgender Health Protections

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    "Judge O'Connor's conclusion that transgender people and persons who have had abortions are somehow excepted from protection is deeply troubling, legally specious, and morally repugnant," said TLDEF's Ezra Young. Many transgender people expect Trump as president to abandon or weaken the transgender protection efforts pursued by the Obama administration. He has declined to repudiate a divisive North Carolina law that restricts transgender people's bathroom access.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Which Countries have been Killing Americans? The Trump 7 vs. the Rest of the World

    Sunday, January 29, 2017
    These are the seven countries from which President Donald Trump halted entry to the United States: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Including all terrorist acts committed by terrorists who were foreign-born or whose parents were born abroad, the total number of Americans killed by terrorists from the Trump 7 is…zero. On the other hand, terrorists from other countries have killed 2, 689 Americans. Here are some examples.   read more
  • Trump Proceeds with Development of Luxury Resorts Tied to Powerful Indonesian Political Figures

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    Even as Trump says he'll end foreign business deals, he's taking on projects involving powerful political figures. They include a politician accused of trying to extort billions of dollars from a U.S. mining company, a top shareholder in that company, and a billionaire running for national office. “You could have two world leaders that are business partners,” said a Bush lawyer. “It makes it almost impossible to conduct diplomacy in an evenhanded manner." Said Trump: "It's not a big deal."   read more
  • U.S. Program to seize Assets Stolen by Corrupt Foreign Leaders May be undermined by Trump’s Global Business Interests

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    It's been a 6-year U.S. effort to seize $3 billion in assets of foreign officials who use their countries’ wealth to enrich themselves. If Trump doesn't separate his business from politics, it will be tougher for the Justice Dept to criticize foreign leaders who have gained wealth based on their government ties. "It reduces U.S. leverage because of the perceived hypocrisy. The moral case is drastically undermined,” said prof. Stephenson.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration: Who Is Rich Ashooh?

    Friday, June 16, 2017
    At defense contractor Sanders, maker of military electronics, Ashooh became VP of government relations—a lobbyist. Lockheed spun off Sanders to BAE Systems, with Ashooh on board. He was later director of public affairs in BAE’s Electronic Warfare Systems division. Ashooh was a member of the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign and, as a congressional candidate, called for repeal of Obamacare and balancing the budget by eliminating funding for any federal entity that competed with private industry.   read more
  • Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): Who Is Mark A. Green?

    Thursday, June 15, 2017
    Green supported the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and co-founded the Faith-Based Caucus, which backed relaxing church-state separation so church-affiliated social programs could get federal money. Green supported several bills involving international health that President Trump now wants to cut or eliminate. He has also been president of the USAID-funded IRI, staffed and run mostly by Republicans, and criticized for promoting conservative political goals rather than democracy around the world.   read more
  • Director of the Office of English Language Acquisition: Who Is José Viana?

    Friday, June 09, 2017
    In 2006, Viana became an administrator at Eno Valley Elementary School in Durham, North Carolina, where he established a district-wide parent advisement committee to help ensure that low-income Latino children met academic standards. After two years in Durham, Viana moved on to the North Carolina Dept of Public Instruction, serving eight years as an administrator of the state’s Migrant Education Program, which helps migrant students learn despite the huge obstacles that migratory labor entails.   read more

Featured Story

FCC Helping Big Media Companies as Rural TV Stations are Weakened

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
The FCC has quietly proposed reshaping a key way rural Americans stay informed – their local TV news – by stripping away most of the remaining regulations protecting local influence over local news broadcasting. Companies like Sinclair can get even bigger, and can centralize the production of what should be local news broadcasts in faraway places, leaving rural residents served by Sinclair to have a harder time finding their own communities represented in broadcast news.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis: Who Is Dave Glawe?

    Friday, June 23, 2017
    No sooner did Glawe take over as DHS acting undersecretary in January than he found himself forced to defend President Trump’s proposed travel ban on Muslims from seven nations. Then came the leak of a report, created under his direction, from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis that disagreed with the premise of Trump’s travel ban that citizens of the seven countries posed a special threat. Trump officials emphasized that the report was a draft and not final.   read more
  • Qatar’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani?

    Thursday, June 22, 2017
    In June, shortly after Al-Thani’s arrival in Washington as Qatar's ambassador, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain moved to sever relations with Qatar, supposedly for financing terrorism. President Trump tweeted his support for the action, leaving Al-Thani, whose country hosts the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East, puzzled. “It’s unfortunate to see these tweets,” Al-Thani said. “We have close coordination with the U.S. They know our efforts to combat...terrorism.”   read more
  • Ambassador of the U.S. to New Zealand and Samoa: Who Is Scott Brown?

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017
    After 10 years as a male model and seven years of law practice, Brown entered politics when he was elected to several city positions in Wrentham, Mass. He later served multiple terms as a Republican in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In 2010, Brown shocked the political world by winning a special election to fill the remainder of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s unfinished term, after Kennedy died. Brown lasted only two years in the Senate before losing his seat to Elizabeth Warren in 2012.   read more

Unusual News

  • Illegal to Talk about Yellow Traffic Lights in Oregon

    Sunday, April 30, 2017
    Jarlstrom sued the Portland suburb, claiming it programmed its yellow lights to be so brief that drivers didn’t have time to make it through an intersection before they turned red, putting drivers in danger. After the judge tossed his suit, a state agency launched a two-year investigation of Jarlstrom, then fined him $500 for publicly critiquing the mathematical formulas behind traffic light cameras without an engineering license. Jarlstrom calls that a prohibition on free speech.   read more
  • In Small Louisiana Town, Hundreds Routinely Jailed with No Evidence of Crime beyond a “Hunch”

    Friday, December 30, 2016
    A "staggering" number of town residents have been arrested based on a “hunch” or “feeling” that they were involved in criminal activity. Police strip-searched individuals suspected of committing crimes, placed them in cells without beds, toilets, or showers, and denied them communication with loved ones for days at a time. Citizens were “commonly detained for 72 hours or more without being provided an opportunity to contest their arrest and detention,” said the Justice Department report.   read more
  • Workplace Deaths in 2015 Hit 6-Year High

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    There were 2,054 transportation-related episodes that resulted in fatalities, accounting for about 42 percent of all workplace deaths. As a result, 745 drivers of heavy and tractor-trailer trucks died because of injuries at work last year, more than any other major civilian occupation. Falls, slips and trips made up the next most common major cause of workplace fatalities, resulting in 800 deaths last year. Men accounted for all but 7 percent of the total workplace deaths in 2015.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • 4 Programs that Both Obama and Trump Want to Eliminate

    Monday, May 01, 2017
    It sometimes seems that the differences between the priorities of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are so great that they can’t agree on anything. Not so. Here are four programs that President Barack Obama’s last budget and President Donald Trump’s first budget proposed for complete elimination.   read more
  • Reducing Aircrafts’ Bathroom Size Increases Airline Profits and Decreases Passenger Safety

    Saturday, December 24, 2016
    AFA-CWA's Sara Nelson said that “doors of these restrooms open into each other, creating safety issues. There are a lot of injuries, with smashed fingers, doors hitting people, bumps and bruises.” She said the rear cabin restroom doors also create a barricade, limiting the ability of crew to help a passenger in trouble. Some parents with small kids say they can't help their kids in the toilet unless the door stays open. Large-size passengers are at a loss.   read more
  • Price of Antidote for Heroin Overdose Skyrockets as Much As 500%

    Friday, December 16, 2016
    The price of Narcan -- the lifesaving heroin-overdose antidote that revives the dying -- has skyrocketed, with one formulation rising more than 500% in two years. Although Narcan first hit the market in 1971, demand has skyrocketed as the opioid epidemic worsens. And with more potent opioids on the street -- such as fentanyl -- first responders, the largest consumers of the drug, are finding they need multiple doses to revive overdose victims.   read more

Controversies

  • Bears Under Fire in Florida

    Friday, April 21, 2017
    “2015 was a deadly year for the Florida black bear. Collisions with vehicles killed at least 169 ... wildlife managers killed at least 108...that were considered nuisances or threats to human safety, at least 9 were killed illegally, and in October hunters killed at least 304 Florida black bears in the first Florida black bear hunt in 20 years,” the petition stated. The 2016 hunt was “voted down due to overwhelming public outcry against the barbaric and unnecessary hunt,” said an advocacy group.   read more
  • 97 Corporations and 16 State Attorneys General Join Court Fight against Trump Travel Ban

    Tuesday, February 07, 2017
    “President Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American...[and] undermines our states’ families, economies, and institutions," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. High-ranking U.S. security officials, including Madeleine Albright, Leon Panetta and John Kerry signed a declaration arguing the ban endangers U.S. citizens. “We view the order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States...” the officials said.   read more
  • Texas Judge Halts Federal Transgender Health Protections

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    "Judge O'Connor's conclusion that transgender people and persons who have had abortions are somehow excepted from protection is deeply troubling, legally specious, and morally repugnant," said TLDEF's Ezra Young. Many transgender people expect Trump as president to abandon or weaken the transgender protection efforts pursued by the Obama administration. He has declined to repudiate a divisive North Carolina law that restricts transgender people's bathroom access.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • Which Countries have been Killing Americans? The Trump 7 vs. the Rest of the World

    Sunday, January 29, 2017
    These are the seven countries from which President Donald Trump halted entry to the United States: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Including all terrorist acts committed by terrorists who were foreign-born or whose parents were born abroad, the total number of Americans killed by terrorists from the Trump 7 is…zero. On the other hand, terrorists from other countries have killed 2, 689 Americans. Here are some examples.   read more
  • Trump Proceeds with Development of Luxury Resorts Tied to Powerful Indonesian Political Figures

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    Even as Trump says he'll end foreign business deals, he's taking on projects involving powerful political figures. They include a politician accused of trying to extort billions of dollars from a U.S. mining company, a top shareholder in that company, and a billionaire running for national office. “You could have two world leaders that are business partners,” said a Bush lawyer. “It makes it almost impossible to conduct diplomacy in an evenhanded manner." Said Trump: "It's not a big deal."   read more
  • U.S. Program to seize Assets Stolen by Corrupt Foreign Leaders May be undermined by Trump’s Global Business Interests

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    It's been a 6-year U.S. effort to seize $3 billion in assets of foreign officials who use their countries’ wealth to enrich themselves. If Trump doesn't separate his business from politics, it will be tougher for the Justice Dept to criticize foreign leaders who have gained wealth based on their government ties. "It reduces U.S. leverage because of the perceived hypocrisy. The moral case is drastically undermined,” said prof. Stephenson.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration: Who Is Rich Ashooh?

    Friday, June 16, 2017
    At defense contractor Sanders, maker of military electronics, Ashooh became VP of government relations—a lobbyist. Lockheed spun off Sanders to BAE Systems, with Ashooh on board. He was later director of public affairs in BAE’s Electronic Warfare Systems division. Ashooh was a member of the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign and, as a congressional candidate, called for repeal of Obamacare and balancing the budget by eliminating funding for any federal entity that competed with private industry.   read more
  • Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): Who Is Mark A. Green?

    Thursday, June 15, 2017
    Green supported the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, and co-founded the Faith-Based Caucus, which backed relaxing church-state separation so church-affiliated social programs could get federal money. Green supported several bills involving international health that President Trump now wants to cut or eliminate. He has also been president of the USAID-funded IRI, staffed and run mostly by Republicans, and criticized for promoting conservative political goals rather than democracy around the world.   read more
  • Director of the Office of English Language Acquisition: Who Is José Viana?

    Friday, June 09, 2017
    In 2006, Viana became an administrator at Eno Valley Elementary School in Durham, North Carolina, where he established a district-wide parent advisement committee to help ensure that low-income Latino children met academic standards. After two years in Durham, Viana moved on to the North Carolina Dept of Public Instruction, serving eight years as an administrator of the state’s Migrant Education Program, which helps migrant students learn despite the huge obstacles that migratory labor entails.   read more