CEPR: November Job Growth Pushes Unemployment Rate Down to 7.0 Percent
Published Dec 6, 2013 - 8:13:50 AM
The Labor Department reported the economy added 203,000 jobs in November after adding a revised 200,000 in October, the first time the economy has seen consecutive months of 200,000 plus job growth since November and December of last year. The strong job growth led to a drop of 0.3 percentage points in the unemployment rate to 7.0 percent. This drop was due to increased employment as the employment-to-population ratio (EPOP)rose by 0.3 percentage points to 58.6 percent, reversing a fall of the same amount reported for October.
Don’t Fund Evil: 230,000+ Americans Tell Google To Quit ALEC
Published Dec 6, 2013 - 7:33:32 AM
Today, 230,000 members and supporters of the Sierra Club, Forecast the Facts, SumOfUs, RootsAction and the Center for Media and Democracy urged Google to end its alliance with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This week represents the first time ALEC's annual States and Nation Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. has Google as a corporate member. The tech giant is bucking the trend by joining the right-wing think tank as other companies like GE, Kraft, and McDonald's are cutting ties and pulling support from ALEC due to the group's reckless policies.
Miller Stands with Fast Food Workers, Calls for Increasing Minimum Wage
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 12:07:15 PM
Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), senior Democrat on the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee, released the following statement in response to nationwide protests by fast food workers who are calling for fair wages.
Fracking's Hidden Climate Impact: Pollution From Major Industries Fueled by Cheap Shale Gas Equal to 21 Coal-Fired Power Plants
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 9:00:10 AM
Burning shale gas in power plants instead of coal reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but there is a hidden climate change impact to America's fracking boom: the unleashing of a "tidal wave" of construction or expansion of more than 90 chemical, fertilizer, and petroleum plants that will release about as much greenhouse gas pollution as 21 large baseload coal-fired power plants, according to a major new report from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).
CCR Client from Guantanamo Forcibly Repatriated to Algeria
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 8:52:49 AM
Today, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that it has transferred the Center for Constitutional Rights' client Djamel Ameziane from Guantanamo to Algeria against his will despite his well-founded fear of persecution in his home country, and without giving him the opportunity to have the court evaluate his fear of return. Ameziane's forced transfer to Algeria violates international law, including the Convention Against Torture.
Rep. Slaughter, Groups Release New Evidence Federalist Society Dinners Are, Indeed, Fundraisers
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 8:51:45 AM
A Member of Congress and two public interest groups released new evidence Thursday that Justices of the Supreme Court and a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit have flouted judicial ethics by speaking at dinners to raise funds for the Federalist Society.
New report: Unregulated contaminants common in U.S. drinking water
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 8:33:02 AM
Traces of 18 unregulated chemicals were found in drinking water from more than one-third of U.S. water utilities in a nationwide sampling, according to new, unpublished research by federal scientists.
Fast-Food Worker Strikes to Spread to 100 Cities Thursday
Published Dec 5, 2013 - 8:09:58 AM
One year after the first strike hit the $200 billion fast-food industry and months after workers walked out in 60 cities, workers in 100 cities are expected to walk off their jobs Thursday. These strikes are part of a growing fast-food worker movement that started when 200 workers in New York City went on strike last November.
NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show
Full story: Washington Post
ALEC calls for penalties on 'freerider' homeowners who install solar panels
Full story: The Guardian UK
Lawmakers Expose ALEC's Corporate-Owned Agenda After Leaked Documents Reveal New Details
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 11:09:40 AM
Today state and federal lawmakers who have seen firsthand how ALEC's corporate-owned special interest agenda harms their constituents responded to disturbing new revelations about ALEC's upcoming legislative agenda and plans to further sabotage the Affordable Care Act, as well as newly published documents that raise serious issues about the group's status as a so-called charitable organization.
NIST Tornado Reports Urge New Standards for Saving Lives, Property
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 9:06:55 AM
Nationally accepted standards for building design and construction, public shelters and emergency communications can significantly reduce deaths and the steep economic costs of property damage caused by tornadoes. That is the key conclusion of a 2-year technical investigation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) into the impacts of the May 22, 2011, tornado that struck Joplin, Mo.
Libraries fear 'ravenous' NSA
Full story: The Hill
Fed Jobless Aid Keeps Families Out of Poverty, Workers in Job Hunt, Time Short for Congress to Renew
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 8:40:57 AM
Unless Congress reauthorizes federal jobless aid before the House of Representatives breaks for holiday recess on December 13th, millions of unemployed workers and their families will lose a vital connection to the labor market and risk falling into immediate economic hardship, with dire consequences for years to come, warned the National Employment Law Project in an analysis released today.
Vindicated Arctic Scientist Retires With Cash Settlement
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 8:38:54 AM
The federal scientist whose sightings of drowned polar bears galvanized public understanding of climate change in the Arctic has retired as part of a settlement of his whistleblower complaint against the U.S. Department of Interior. The agreement, posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), ends a benighted attempt to officially punish and intimidate scientists for the political implications of their work.
Harvard Report finds Canada, U.S. Failing in Refugee Protection Obligations
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 7:08:20 AM
The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (HIRC) released today a comprehensive report titled Bordering on Failure: Canada-U.S. Border Policy and the Politics of Refugee Exclusion. The result of extensive research and fact-finding investigations led by HIRC affiliates Dr. Efrat Arbel (SJD '12) and Alletta Brenner (JD '14), the report finds that Canada is systematically closing its borders to asylum seekers, and failing in its refugee protection obligations under domestic and international law.
Born Free USA and The Humane Society of the United States Endorse Refuge From Cruel Trapping Act
Published Dec 4, 2013 - 5:51:55 AM
Born Free USA and The Humane Society of the United States, global leaders in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, applaud U.S. Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) for re-introducing the Refuge From Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 3513), and urge the bill’s swift passage. H.R. 3513 would ban all body-gripping traps — snare, Conibear, and steel-jaw leghold — from being used or possessed on National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs). This humane legislation addresses the inherent cruelty of body-gripping traps and seeks to ensure that all NWRs are safe havens for wildlife.
Albanian mother's deportation on hold as federal officials review case
Full story: Free Press
Petition Seeks to Reform Secretive Federal Agency That Kills Millions of Wild Animals
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 10:11:28 AM
The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned the Obama administration today to reform the federal wildlife-killing agency known as "Wildlife Services," which kills nearly 1.5 million coyotes, bears, otters, foxes, birds and other animals each year without any requirement to disclose its activities to the public. The secretive killing — which includes aerial gunning, traps and exploding poison caps — has gone on for decades with little public oversight or rules requiring the use of the best available science or techniques to reduce the deaths of nontarget animals.
ACLU and Planned Parenthood Challenge Wisconsin Abortion Law in Federal Appeals Court
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 10:00:22 AM
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin appeared before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit today in their challenge to a Wisconsin law that singles out doctors who provide abortions for medically unnecessary restrictions. A lower court blocked the law from taking effect in August and the state appealed.
Taxes on Corporate Profits Not Tied to Job Creation, New Study Finds
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 9:14:19 AM
Washington D.C. is abuzz with the possibility of corporate tax reform. Years of intense lobbying from corporate executives have convinced many in Congress and the White House that a 35 percent tax on corporate profits represents a competitive threat to American businesses and to the economy. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), respective chairs of the two powerful congressional tax writing committees, have joined President Obama in calling for closing corporate tax loopholes and using the proceeds to reduce the tax rate on corporate profits. But a study just released by the Center for Effective Government shows that the taxes corporations pay on profits are historically quite low. Moreover, there is no evidence that lowering taxes on corporate profits will lead to more job creation in the U.S.
New Report Calls for Attention to Abrupt Impacts From Climate Change, Emphasizes Need for Early Warning System
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 8:58:37 AM
Climate change has increased concern over possible large and rapid changes in the physical climate system, which includes the Earth's atmosphere, land surfaces, and oceans. Some of these changes could occur within a few decades or even years, leaving little time for society and ecosystems to adapt. A new report from the National Research Council extends this idea of abrupt climate change, stating that even steady, gradual change in the physical climate system can have abrupt impacts elsewhere -- in human infrastructure and ecosystems for example -- if critical thresholds are crossed. The report calls for the development of an early warning system that could help society better anticipate sudden changes and emerging impacts.
CFPB to Oversee Nonbank Student Loan Servicers
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 8:00:40 AM
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a rule today that allows the Bureau to supervise certain nonbank student loan servicers for the first time. The rule brings new oversight to the nation's second largest consumer debt market – student loans – which have seen a rise in borrower delinquency in recent years.
Forest Service Drones Stuck in Hangar for 7 Years May Take Off
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 7:26:06 AM
The U.S. Forest Service's star-crossed drone program may have found new life, according to agency documents posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). After years of being grounded in a hapless law enforcement program, the drones are being transferred to the Forest Service's fire-fighting wing to be guided by an internal group which will not meet publicly and lacks a mandate to consider privacy concerns or other external issues.
Fast Food CEOs Rake in Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay
Published Dec 3, 2013 - 6:14:46 AM
A new report reveals that fast food companies are pocketing massive taxpayer subsidies for CEO pay while working to keep low-level workers' wages so low that many must rely on public assistance.
ACLU Sues Bishops on Behalf of Pregnant Woman Denied Care at Catholic Hospital
Published Dec 2, 2013 - 10:39:22 AM
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan have filed a lawsuit on behalf of a pregnant woman who miscarried and was denied appropriate medical treatment because the only hospital in her county is required to abide by religious directives. The directives, written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, prohibited that hospital from complying with the applicable standard of care in this case.
Broad Coalition is Building Buzz to Raise Awareness of Pollinator Declines
Published Dec 2, 2013 - 8:01:56 AM
Today, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network, supported by Ceres Trust and joined by more than 60 other organizations, launched a national media campaign to bring attention to the severity of pollinator declines due in part to the use of bee-harming pesticides. The campaign launch was timed to coincide with the beginning of the European Union's two-year moratorium on three of the most potent neonicotinoids, which began yesterday.
ACA Contraception Coverage Cases Have Far-Reaching Implications, IU Law Professors Say
Published Nov 27, 2013 - 9:23:02 AM
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to hear two cases involving the constitutionality of the contraception coverage guarantee provisions of the Affordable Care Act. According to Indiana University Maurer School of Law experts, these cases may have far-reaching implications, including beyond the act known as Obamacare.
Survey Finds Dangerous Toys On Store Shelves
Published Nov 26, 2013 - 10:42:10 AM
Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America's store shelves, according to U.S. Public Interest Research Group's 28th annual Trouble in Toyland report. The survey of hazardous toys found that despite recent progress, consumers must still be wary when shopping this holiday season.
Denali Wolf Population Cratering without State Buffer
Published Nov 26, 2013 - 7:27:31 AM
Fewer than 5% of the tourists in Alaska's Denali National Park who tried to see wolves in the wild were able to do so this year. The current abysmal level of wolf-viewing success sank from 45% in 2010, just before the State of Alaska allowed wolf hunting and trapping in areas adjacent to the park leading to a sharp drop in the wolf population, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) citing the latest soon-to-be-published park statistics.