Home Searched in Aftermath of Shooting at Anti-Muslim Event
Published May 4, 2015 - 9:14:19 AM
FBI agents and a bomb unit continued to search a Phoenix apartment complex early today, just hours after two gunmen were killed in Garland, Texas, when they opened fired outside a provocative contest for the best cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
Clean air and health benefits of clean power plan hinge on key policy decisions
Published May 4, 2015 - 8:31:01 AM
States will gain large, widespread, and nearly immediate health benefits if EPA sets strong standards in the final Clean Power Plan, according to the first independent, peer-reviewed paper of its kind, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby Charges Six Baltimore Police Officers Involved in the Freddie Gray Arrest
Published May 1, 2015 - 12:52:29 PM
Today Marilyn Mosby, State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, announced charges against six Baltimore City Police Officers for their alleged role in the death of Freddie Gray. The State’s Attorney’s Office conducted an independent investigation into this matter upon receiving notice of the incident.
States Struggle to Pay for Police Body Cameras
Published May 1, 2015 - 11:02:22 AM
As the nationwide push intensifies for police to wear body cameras, states and cities have encountered one consistent roadblock to adopting the technology: the cost.
Obama Administration Leaves Explosive Oil Trains on the Rails for Years
Published May 1, 2015 - 10:31:48 AM
Today the Department of Transportation (DOT) released long-awaited new safety standards for rail tank cars used to haul volatile Bakken and tar sands crude oil.
Massive Protest on May 2 to Demand Release of Mothers and Children Incarcerated at Dilley, Karnes, and Berks
Published May 1, 2015 - 10:24:36 AM
On May 2, more than 500 people from across Texas and the nation will converge on the family detention camp in Dilley, Texas to call for an end to the Obama Administration’s inhumane and illegal policy of locking up refugee parents and children. These families are fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries only to face indefinite imprisonment in the U.S.
House approves $279 million renewable energy cut; raises funding for fossil fuel research by $34 million
Published May 1, 2015 - 10:04:34 AM
The bill sets funding levels for important programs within the U.S. Departments of Energy, Interior, and the Army Corps of Engineers. While staying within the limits set by the sequester, the bill manages to raise funding for fossil fuel research by $34 million from 2015 levels while cutting renewable energy and efficiency research by $279 million. Simultaneously, it is packed with policy riders that undermine bedrock environmental laws like the Clean Water Act and limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to study the dangers of hydraulic fracturing.
American Psychological Association Emails Expose Direct Ties to CIA Torture Program
Published May 1, 2015 - 7:17:25 AM
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) again urged the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the American Psychological Association’s (APA) complicity in the CIA torture program, following a new report in today’s New York Times. Internal emails obtained by Times reporter James Risen clearly show that the APA secretly modified its ethics policy to endorse psychologist participation in torture, with the aid of CIA and White House personnel.
Dwindling productivity in Congress linked to vanishing cooperation
Published May 1, 2015 - 6:15:54 AM
As the number of bills passed by Congress declines, fewer and fewer Congressional representatives are voting across party lines, leaving only a few key representatives as collaborative voters, according to researchers.
Drive to Drill: Energy lobbyists behind governors' crusade for Atlantic oil (Part 1)
Full story: Southern Studies
Report: The Economy Can Afford to Raise the Minimum Wage to $12.00 by 2020
Published Apr 30, 2015 - 10:15:32 AM
Raising the minimum wage to $12.00 by 2020 is an achievable and economically sustainable goal, and stands within our historical experience, as shown in a new EPI paper, We Can Afford a $12.00 Federal Minimum Wage in 2020. In the report, EPI president Lawrence Mishel, economic analyst Dave Cooper, and research associate and senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research John Schmitt find that increases in worker productivity and education levels, along with wage increases in regions that paid lower-than-national wages in the past, make returning to the 1968 norm in 2020 an achievable target. An increase to $12 would modestly raise the minimum wage’s purchasing power and roughly restore the relationship between the minimum wage and workers in the middle relative to 1968 levels, when the minimum wage was at its historical peak and the national unemployment rate was less than 4 percent.
Park Service/Budweiser Co-Branding Campaign Raises Questions
Published Apr 30, 2015 - 7:26:13 AM
The National Park Service’s new $2.5 million “co-branding” campaign with Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest beer brewery, is a misguided means of reaching out to youth and broadening public support for parks, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). To consummate the deal, NPS had to waive its long-standing policy against identifying national parks with “alcohol or tobacco products.”
Constitutional Amendment Introduced in Congress Ensuring Rights for People, Not Corporations
Published Apr 29, 2015 - 12:08:13 PM
The movement for constitutional reforms that would end what organizers call “corporate rule” has arrived in the chambers of the 114th Congress.
National Faith Leaders Sign Letter Urging Lawmakers to Reject Anti-LGBT Discrimination Bills
Published Apr 29, 2015 - 11:15:15 AM
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced that 17 national religious leaders, from California to the nation’s capital, added their names to a historic statement calling for an end to “religious refusal” bills that allow discrimination against LGBT people.
'Overwhelming Evidence' Points to Victory for Same-Sex Couples, Says University at Buffalo Expert
Published Apr 29, 2015 - 9:54:07 AM
The overwhelming evidence suggests the Supreme Court will grant same-sex couples the right to marry, according to University at Buffalo associate law professor Michael Boucai.
A minority of women seek health care after military sexual assault; 30- 45 percent of servicewomen experience military sexual trauma
Published Apr 29, 2015 - 9:51:53 AM
Despite growing public awareness of sexual assault of women during their military service and increased efforts by the Department of Defense to deter sexual crimes and encourage reporting and help-seeking, a Veterans Affairs study suggests most female service members who experience sexual assault are still unlikely to seek post-assault health care, at least in the short term.
Udall-Vitter Toxics Bill Would Make a Bad Situation Worse, Says Breast Cancer Fund
Published Apr 28, 2015 - 4:33:35 PM
The Breast Cancer Fund opposes the newly revised Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, or S.697, which undermines what few health protections from toxic chemicals now exist. The bill, introduced by Senators Tom Udall, D-N.M., and David Vitter, R-La., advances the interests of the chemical industry and disregards concerns of health care professionals, scientists, public health advocates and state legislators.
U.S. Supreme Court Hears Landmark Marriage Equality Cases
Published Apr 28, 2015 - 10:22:28 AM
The United States Supreme Court heard oral argument today in the landmark Tennessee marriage equality cases and cases from three other states that could bring the freedom to marry to every state across the country when the Court rules by the end of June.
Report: America's Real Spending Problem Has Nothing to Do with the Deficit
Published Apr 28, 2015 - 9:29:36 AM
The U.S. economy is projected to continue its half-century trend of growth in income and wealth, contradicting the common narrative that we as nation are “broke.” According to Let’s Face It—We’re Far from Broke: America’s Real Spending Problem and How to Fix It, a new report from EPI Director of Budget and Tax Policy Thomas L. Hungerford, the real fiscal challenges facing the United States are reduced spending on public investments and the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top of the income distribution. Hungerford proposes a strategy for increasing tax revenues and redistributing income that includes increasing both public investment spending and taxes on capital income.
Percentage of the federal budget devoted to scientific research and development has fallen from 10 percent in 1968 to less than 4 percent in 2015
Published Apr 27, 2015 - 10:25:42 AM
Last year was a notable one for scientific achievements: In 2014, European researchers discovered a fundamental new particle that sheds light on the origins of the universe, and the European Space Agency successfully landed the first spacecraft on a comet. Chinese researchers, meanwhile, developed the world’s fastest supercomputer, and uncovered new ways to meet global food demand.
Fossil fuel well drilling has deep impact on Great Plains' health
Published Apr 27, 2015 - 10:18:04 AM
Oil wells and natural gas may have made individual Americans rich, but they have impoverished the great plains of North America, according to new research.
One in six married same-sex couples live in states that don't recognize their marriage
Published Apr 24, 2015 - 11:42:11 AM
The number of legally married same-sex couples in the United States has tripled in the last year, according to a new poll released today by Gallup that was co-authored by Gary J. Gates, Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, and Frank Newport, editor in chief of Gallup.
Born Free USA Applauds Representative Peter DeFazio for Introducing Legislation to Curb Illegal Wildlife Trafficking
Published Apr 24, 2015 - 11:40:44 AM
This week, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced legislation to save African elephants and rhinoceroses from poachers. The bill would impose trade sanctions on countries that facilitate ivory and rhino horn trafficking. Ivory from elephant tusks and horn from rhinos contributes billions of dollars to the global illegal wildlife trade and funds organized crime and terrorist organizations. Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, applauds Representative DeFazio's legislation, the Targeted Use of Sanctions for Killing Elephants and Rhinoceros (TUSKER) Act.
Raising the Minimum Wage to $12 by 2020 Would Benefit 37.7 Million Workers
Published Apr 24, 2015 - 11:17:54 AM
Today the Economic Policy Institute and the National Employment Law Project released a fact sheet, It’s Time to Raise the Minimum Wage, with detailed tables on the impact of raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2020 and indexing it to median wages thereafter. The fact sheet draws on data from a forthcoming paper by economic analyst David Cooper, Raising the Minimum Wage to $12 by 2020 Would Lift Wages for 38 Million American Workers.
Oath Keepers Descend Upon Oregon with Dreams of Armed Confrontation over Mining Dispute
Published Apr 24, 2015 - 10:56:33 AM
What began as a paper dispute over the language in a claim for an old gold mine in the hills of southwestern Oregon has lurched into what the antigovernment “Patriots” arriving on scene seemingly hope will be an armed confrontation with federal authorities.
American Outcasts: U.S. Prisons and Modern Day Banishment
Full story: First Look
New Paper Finds Gains from Multilateral Trade Liberalization to Be 'Extremely Small'
Published Apr 23, 2015 - 3:11:57 PM
A new paper from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) examines recent IMF research on gains from multilateral trade liberalization, as under the WTO. This research shows that gains would be equal only to about 0.014 percent of consumption, or about 43 cents per person, per month, in the United States. The CEPR paper, “The Gains from Trade in a New Model from the IMF: Still Very Small” by David Rosnick, examines modeling by the IMF, which claims to find that WTO agreements to liberalize trade are worth more than previously thought. CEPR’s paper shows that in fact the gains are relatively small.
Letter from 21 imprisoned mothers and families to ICE Director Sarah Saldana
Published Apr 23, 2015 - 3:09:38 PM
The following is a letter by the mothers imprisoned with their children at Karnes written to ICE Director Sarah Saldaña, who recently visited the Karnes concentration camp after news of a fast by the mothers widespread media attention.
Loretta Lynch Confirmed by U.S. Senate as Attorney General
Published Apr 23, 2015 - 11:16:49 AM
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization congratulated Loretta Lynch on her historic confirmation as the Attorney General of the United States. After months of delay due to partisan politics, today the U.S. Senate finally confirmed her appointment.
Secret negotiations on trade treaties, a threat to human rights – UN expert
Published Apr 23, 2015 - 9:50:51 AM
The Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, expressed Thursday his deep concern over the general lack of awareness on the adverse effects that existing, or under negotiations, bilateral and multilateral free trade and investment agreements have on the enjoyment of human rights in many countries, particularly in the developing world.