Sen. Feinstein Accuses CIA of Attempting to Block Torture Investigation
Published Mar 11, 2014 - 9:24:07 AM
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today accused the Central Intelligence Agency of attempting to block the committee's investigation of the CIA's torture program. According to Feinstein, the CIA not only tortured and abused persons in its custody, but then destroyed and hid documents, spied on Congress by monitoring computers used by Senate investigators, and then falsely accused Senate staff of wrongdoing. Senator Feinstein argued that the CIA may have violated the Fourth Amendment, a criminal statute, and an executive order that prohibits the CIA from domestic spying.
Reps. Waxman, Pelosi, Eshoo Release New GAO Report on Federal Broadband Deployment Programs and Small Business
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 11:54:02 AM
Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna G. Eshoo today released a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showing that small businesses operating in areas with federally-funded broadband networks experienced higher quality networks at lower costs, faster and more reliable connections, as well as improved efficiency and streamlined operations through the use of bandwidth-intensive services like video-conferencing and teleworking. The report examined broadband programs funded through the Recovery Act and other federal programs such as the Community Connect Grants, the Connect America Fund, and the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee programs.
Despite High Death Toll, Push Is On To Open More Public Roads to ATVs
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 9:22:55 AM
Last Mother’s Day, Jaret Graham, 14, climbed on the back of an all-terrain vehicle driven by his 12-year-old cousin. As they sped down a paved stretch of country road in west Texas, the 12-year-old lost control, went into a ditch and fell off the vehicle, injuring his leg. Jaret was thrown off and hit his head on a cattle guard, a barrier made from steel pipes. He died instantly.
Center for Reproductive Rights Calls on West Virginia Governor to Veto Cruel and Unconstitutional Abortion Ban
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 9:05:14 AM
The West Virginia Legislature passed HB 4588 this weekend, an unconstitutional ban on abortion at 20 weeks—a time when pregnant women are just learning the results of critical tests of the health of their pregnancy. The bill, which contains only an extremely narrow exception for medical emergencies and no exceptions for survivors of rape or incest, would place women's health and lives at risk of great harm, and force some to carry to term pregnancies with severe, dangerous anomalies.
Chemical industry secretly manipulating US-EU trade negotiations (TTIP)
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 9:00:49 AM
A leaked document from the December 2013 round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations exposes the extent of chemical industry influence over secretive ongoing US-EU trade negotiations. Chemicals industry proposals to TTIP would have a chilling effect on the regulatory environment, slowing down the implementation of precautionary decisions on toxic chemicals, undermining democratic decision making and stifling the innovation of safer alternatives.
Senate Climate All-Nighter Shows Resolve in Face of Gridlock
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 8:59:02 AM
At least 28 U.S. senators will speak through the night about climate change, a sign that despite gridlock in Congress, the issue remains salient, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Election 2014: Does climate change stand a chance against the oil boom?
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 8:28:33 AM
Work boots towered above Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott as he moved down rows of shelving at Justin Boots' distribution center in Fort Worth.
The campaign ad promised a "new era of economic opportunity." And the staunchly conservative gubernatorial candidate used the setting to make his message clear: Abbott is the one to protect Texas' record-breaking oil boom that suddenly has the state producing more oil than Iran.
Open Government Scorecard Finds Agencies Still Struggling to Effectively Implement the Freedom of Information Act
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 8:23:59 AM
In a new report published today, the Center for Effective Government grades 15 key agencies on how well they have implemented our most fundamental right-to-know law – the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). While several agencies received top scores in one of the three areas examined, no one agency earned a top overall grade of an A, and seven agencies received failing grades.
Alaska, the last great frontier, threatened by many proposals to mine 5.5 trillion tons of coal
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 8:21:53 AM
Alaska, the last great frontier, is being threatened by many proposals to mine an estimated 5.5 trillion tons of coal. Sam Weis, author of "The Local and Worldwide Impact of Mining Alaska's Coal" in the magazine Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, comments on the struggle to keep Alaska untouched.
Natural gas pipeline rupture and fire caused by corrosion and lack of recent inspections, NTSB determines
Published Mar 10, 2014 - 8:19:30 AM
The 2012 rupture of a Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation natural gas pipeline in West Virginia was caused by external corrosion that could have been discovered by the pipeline operator, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report released today.
Lesbian couple murdered and left near dumpster in Texas
Full story: Raw Story
U.S. Nuclear Agency Hid Concerns, Hailed Safety Record as Fukushima Melted
Full story: NBC News
AFGE: New GAO Report Proves Congress Must End Sequestration
Published Mar 7, 2014 - 10:30:57 AM
A new report by the Government Accountability Office documenting the harmful and long-term effects of sequestration on the American public is clear proof that Congress must repeal the Budget Control Act, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said today.
Earthjustice Files Appeal for Clean Water in Florida
Published Mar 7, 2014 - 9:29:30 AM
Earthjustice filed an appeal in federal court today challenging the notion that Florida's polluter-friendly regulations on sewage, manure and fertilizer pollution meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act.
2011 Oklahoma Human-Induced Earthquake May Have Triggered Larger Quake
Published Mar 7, 2014 - 9:16:58 AM
In a new study involving researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, scientists observed that a human-induced magnitude 5.0 earthquake near Prague, Oklahoma in November 2011 may have triggered the larger M5.7 earthquake less than a day later. This research suggests that the M5.7 quake was the largest human-caused earthquake associated with wastewater injection.
Economy Adds 175,000 Jobs in February, Despite Bad Weather
Published Mar 7, 2014 - 8:35:04 AM
The establishment survey showed the economy added 175,000 jobs in February, in spite of the unusually harsh weather on much of the country. With modest upward revisions to the prior two months' data, this brings the 3-month average to 129,000. While this is considerably weaker than the fall months, weather has undoubtedly played a role in slowing job creation. (In contrast to the prior two months, February’s weather was unusually harsh.)
Agenda of Fear: The trashing of a growth plan over extremist theories about Agenda 21
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 1:13:28 PM
Supporters of smart-growth and anti-sprawl initiatives should study the Battle of Baldwin County.
It was a rout – for the other side.
The battle was fought over several hours on Aug. 7, 2012, in a meeting room here, the small-town seat of the sprawling county, Alabama's largest and one of its fastest-growing. The hostilities began that morning and by the time the verbal bullets had finally stopped flying that afternoon, the county's award-winning, $285,000 comprehensive development plan, known as Horizon 2025, was dead.
Over 200,000 Petitions Delivered Asking USDA to Kill "Filthy Chicken Rule"
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 9:32:01 AM
In a letter delivered today to the White House, over 100 farm, consumer, environmental and multi-issue advocacy groups and businesses across the country denounced the U.S. Department of Agriculture's plan to deregulate poultry inspections and increase maximum slaughter line speeds from 140 to 175 birds per minute. The groups also delivered 219,785 petitions against the proposal.
Climate Change a Growing "Threat Multiplier," Says Pentagon
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 8:43:47 AM
Climate change is a "threat multiplier" and a critical component of future defense strategy, according to the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review 2014 released yesterday. The 2014 QDR review states:
Two More Texas Health Centers Forced to Close in Wake of Unconstitutional Abortion Restrictions Passed Last Summer
Published Mar 6, 2014 - 8:23:20 AM
Whole Woman's Health announced the closure of its McAllen and Beaumont health centers today, leaving East Texas and the Rio Grande Valley without a single reproductive health care clinic providing abortion care. These closures are a direct result of the disingenuous and unconstitutional abortion restrictions in HB2, an omnibus law packed with measures aimed at regulating reproductive health care providers out of practice.
House passes bill formally withdrawing federally-owned portion of the Flathead watershed from future oil and gas leasing
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 2:49:14 PM
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that formally withdraws the federally-owned portion of the Flathead watershed from future oil and gas leasing. The bill mirrors B.C.'s 2011 legislated ban on oil and gas development in B.C.'s adjacent Flathead River Valley.
Where Wall Street is Most Likely to Be Your Landlord: Interactive Heat Map
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 8:01:33 AM
In 2011 institutional investors — purchasing at least 10 residential properties in a calendar year — purchased 219,000 residential properties nationwide, representing 5.12 percent of all residential sales. That increased to 259,000, representing 5.82 percent of all residential sales in 2012, and 354,000, representing 7.40 percent of all sales in 2013. That's a 44 percent increase in the institutional investor share of the residential sales market from 2011 to 2013.
Third Circuit Appeals Court Rules That Immigration Detainers Are Non-Binding Requests In Ground-Breaking Case
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 7:25:17 AM
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today ruled that states and localities are not required to imprison people based on "detainer" requests from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, ICE, recognizing that states and localities may share liability when they participate in wrongful immigration detentions. The ruling in Galarza v. Szalczyk, et al., stems from Lehigh County Prison's wrongful detention of Ernesto Galarza, a U.S. citizen, who despite posting bail and telling his jailers that he was born in New Jersey was held in jail for three days because of an ICE detainer that stated only that ICE was investigating his immigration status.
Predator "Control" Consequences: Lost Creek Wolf Pack Eliminated
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 7:17:36 AM
National Park Service (NPS) wildlife biologists lost the ability to research radio-collared wolves from the Lost Creek pack, which has historically used Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) eliminated all 11 members of the pack outside of the preserve last week as part of ADF&G’s ongoing aerial predator control program in the upper Yukon and Fortymile Rivers region.
Idaho's war on wolves escalates
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 5:49:53 AM
On Friday, February 28, Idaho Department of Fish and Game announced that, working together with Wildlife Services, they succeeded in gunning down 23 gray wolves from a helicopter in northern Idaho's Lolo elk zone near the Idaho/Montana border. The state agency said this killing was necessary to boost elk harvest levels in the area, despite independent scientific peer reviewers' observations that habitat loss, not predator influence, was the major factor in this localized elk herd decline.
President's Budget Leaves Endangered Species Treading Water
Published Mar 5, 2014 - 5:34:08 AM
In the midst of what top scientists agree is an unprecedented human-caused extinction crisis, the Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal from the Obama administration would result in cuts in funding in real dollars for the protection and recovery of endangered species.
AFJ report: Lots at stake when Halliburton case goes before Supreme Court tomorrow
Published Mar 4, 2014 - 10:56:58 AM
A challenge to the Halliburton corporation by one of its own shareholders – an investment fund that helps the charitable work of a Catholic archdiocese – could have enormous implications for shareholders' rights, and for all Americans seeking to stand up for their rights in court, according to a report released today by Alliance for Justice.
Religious Leaders Send Letter to Mississippi Legislators Asking Them to Reject Discriminatory Bill
Published Mar 4, 2014 - 10:06:18 AM
Today a group of Mississippi Baptist and Methodist leaders sent an open letter to state legislators condemning SB 2681 that would allow businesses to refuse services to the LGBT community on the basis of religious freedom. In the letter the signatories stand firm in their support of religious freedom, saying they hold the right sacred, but note the difference between religious space and commercial space.
Secretary Jewell, NPS Director Release New Report Showing National Parks Remain Strong Economic Engines, Support 243,000 Jobs Nationwide
Published Mar 3, 2014 - 10:09:16 AM
Boosted by an additional 4 million visitors in 2012, national parks across the country continued to be important economic engines, generating $26.75 billion in economic activity and supporting 243,000 jobs, according to a peer-reviewed report released today by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
British man prepares for 10,000th day in US prison despite compelling evidence of innocence
Published Mar 3, 2014 - 9:15:17 AM
Krishna 'Kris' Maharaj, a British businessman sentenced to death in 1987, will tomorrow (March 4th) spend his 10,000th day in a US prison, despite compelling evidence of his innocence.