Twenty years of hate: Stormfront hits milestone
Published Mar 27, 2015 - 8:25:25 AM
March 27 marks 20 years that the white supremacist website Stormfront has been serving up all forms of hate to its racist, anti-Semitic and often-violent audience.
TPP Leak Reveals Extraordinary New Powers for Thousands of Foreign Firms to Challenge U.S. Policies, Demand Taxpayer Compensation
Published Mar 27, 2015 - 6:56:35 AM
The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) Investment Chapter, leaked today, reveals how the pact would make it easier for U.S. firms to offshore American jobs to low-wage countries while newly empowering thousands of foreign firms to seek cash compensation from U.S. taxpayers by challenging U.S. government actions, laws and court rulings before unaccountable foreign tribunals. After five years of secretive TPP negotiations, the text – leaked by WikiLeaks –proves that growing concerns about the controversial “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) system that the TPP would extend are well justified, Public Citizen said.
US Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Black Rhino Trophy Import Permit
Published Mar 27, 2015 - 5:51:10 AM
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has indicated that it will issue import permits to two American hunters who each applied to import a trophy of a critically endangered black rhino killed in Namibia.
Official Report: Nuclear Waste Accident Caused By Wrong Cat Litter
Full story: NPR.org
Lawsuit Filed to Protect Rare Colorado, Utah Wildflowers Threatened by Oil Shale Mining
Published Mar 26, 2015 - 12:12:35 PM
Conservation groups filed a lawsuit today in federal court in Denver challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to deny Endangered Species Act protection to two imperiled wildflowers that live only on oil shale formations in Colorado and Utah. Oil shale and tar sands mining and traditional oil and gas drilling threaten 100 percent of known White River beardtongue populations and over 85 percent of the known Graham’s beardtongue populations.
Bill to Deny Americans GE Food Labeling Reintroduced
Published Mar 26, 2015 - 11:17:36 AM
Center for Food Safety today strongly opposed legislation reintroduced this afternoon by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) that would block both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and individual states from requiring labels on genetically engineered (GE) foods. It would also seek to supplant mandatory disclosure with a continued reliance on voluntary labeling standards. Critics of the bill have dubbed it the DARK Act – the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act.
USDA Urged to Shield its Scientists from Harassment
Published Mar 26, 2015 - 8:49:53 AM
Scientists within the U.S. Department of Agriculture are subjected to management pressure and retaliation for research threatening agribusiness interests, according to a rulemaking petition filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) seeking to strengthen the USDA Scientific Integrity Policy. The petition presses USDA to adopt “best practices” from other federal agencies’ scientific integrity policies to prevent political suppression or alteration of studies and to lay out clear procedures for investigating allegations of scientific misconduct and protecting whistleblowers.
U.S. Supreme Court Protects Pregnant Workers' Rights
Published Mar 25, 2015 - 10:27:16 AM
Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Peggy Young, a former employee of the United Parcel Service (UPS), will be able to continue her case against the company for discriminating against her by refusing to accommodate her doctor’s orders that she avoid heavy lifting while pregnant—forcing her to take unpaid leave and lose her health benefits at the time she needed them most.
Coalition Praises Sen. Cantwell's Call for Immediate Ban on Dangerous Railcars Carrying Crude Oil
Published Mar 25, 2015 - 8:34:08 AM
Today Senator Maria Cantwell introduced legislation addressing the growing threat of oil by rail that includes a call for the immediate ban of the most dangerous tank cars used to transport crude oil on America’s railways. Sen. Cantwell’s legislation calls for the immediate ban of DOT-111 and unjacketed CPC-1232 oil tank cars, models that have been involved in a number of accidents in the past two years including a string of four derailments and explosions that occurred in a one month period earlier this year.
Ted Cruz Compares Himself to Galileo, Calls Those Who Believe In Climate Change 'Flat-Earthers'
Full story: Think Progress
Iowa Pastor Max Villatoro Breaks Silence to Share Personal Account of Harrowing Deportation Proceedings
Published Mar 24, 2015 - 10:46:57 AM
In the wake of his tragic deportation, Pastor Max Villatoro, now in Honduras, is speaking out for the first time since he was detained, sharing his personal experience with the U.S. deportation machine and describing what it's like to be on the other side of the border, separated from his family and home.
Report: America's National Wildlife Refuges: Good for Wildlife and for Business
Published Mar 24, 2015 - 7:59:02 AM
National wildlife refuges not only provide a haven for wildlife, they are also where millions of Americans go to enjoy outdoor recreation. A new report by the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement shows that with more than 47 million visitors each year, the National Wildlife Refuge System also provides a boost to local economies providing a 388% return on investment: for every $1 appropriated, $4.87 is returned.
Deferred Maintenance on National Park Properties Reaches $11.49 Billion
Published Mar 23, 2015 - 8:52:04 AM
The National Park Service this week released its fiscal year 2014 deferred maintenance statistics for national parks. The $11.49 billion nationwide total was up from the $11.3 billion reported at the end of FY2013.
International Jurisprudence and Marriage Equality: Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court
Published Mar 20, 2015 - 12:23:57 PM
Human Rights Watch and several partners: The New York City Bar Association; Canadian Civil Liberties Association; The National Council for Civil Liberties (“Liberty”), UK; Legal Resources Centre, South Africa; Center for Legal and Social Studies, Argentina; and La Federación Argentina de Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales y Trans, Argentina submitted an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in the case Obergefell v. Hodges on marriage equality for same-sex couples. Richard Levine and Robert Vlasis III, attorneys for the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, were counsel for the amici curiae.
Department of the Interior Releases Final Rules for Fracking on Public Lands
Published Mar 20, 2015 - 10:15:08 AM
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized a new set of rules today governing hydraulic fracturing on public lands nationwide. The controversial oil and gas development technique more commonly known as “fracking” blasts millions of gallons of chemically treated water into the earth to force oil and gas from underground deposits. It is a central part of unconventional drilling operations that have been linked to public health issues as well as air and water pollution.
Diverse Coalition Urges Congress to Pass the Democracy Restoration Act to Restore Voting Rights to 4.4 Million Americans
Published Mar 20, 2015 - 7:38:12 AM
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) today introduced the Democracy Restoration Act, which would restore voting rights in federal elections to nearly 4.4 million American citizens with past criminal convictions upon release from incarceration.
Suite of bills would close fracking loopholes
Published Mar 20, 2015 - 6:56:20 AM
Members of Congress have just introduced a set of bills (called the Frack Pack) that would end exemptions that the oil and gas industry currently receive from some of the country’s bedrock environmental laws -- the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. These bills and their sponsors include:
Study: Strong Regulations on Gun Sales Prevent High-Risk Individuals From Accessing Firearms and Can Reduce Violent Crime
Published Mar 19, 2015 - 10:46:19 AM
A review of 28 published studies examining U.S. gun policy found that laws and regulations designed to keep firearms from people at risk of committing violence, such as felons and those under restraining orders, are effective and, in some instances, reduce lethal violence. The researchers also found that certain laws, including rigorous permit-to-purchase laws which require a permit to be issued before completing a handgun sale and comprehensive background checks, are associated with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
Robin Hood Tax legislation introduced, could generate billions of dollars to fight climate change
Published Mar 19, 2015 - 10:45:02 AM
Today Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) re-introduced the Inclusive Prosperity Act, legislation that would establish a Robin Hood Tax -- also known as a Wall Street Tax -- by placing a miniscule fee on financial transactions. The tax would generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue annually for critical needs such as healthcare, education, job creation and the international fight against HIV/AIDS and climate change.
Jewell's Fossil Fuel Plans Undermine Climate Goals
Published Mar 19, 2015 - 10:42:41 AM
A speech by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday highlighted deep contradictions between the Obama administration’s climate goals and its “all of the above” energy policy, which continues an aggressive program of fossil fuel development on public lands and oceans.
Insuring undocumented residents could help solve multiple US health care challenges
Published Mar 19, 2015 - 9:15:36 AM
Latinos are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, and it's expected that by 2050 they will comprise almost 30 percent of the U.S. population. Yet they are also the most underserved by health care and health insurance providers.
National Women's Political Caucus Calls Upon Senate Leadership to Confirm Loretta Lynch Nomination
Published Mar 18, 2015 - 12:14:25 PM
The National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) urges Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call a vote to confirm Loretta Lynch’s nomination as U.S. Attorney General. Lynch is well-qualified for the position and has previously been unanimously confirmed by the Senate to serve as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. She would be the first African-American woman to hold the position of Attorney General.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Would Put U.S. Economy on the Path to Durable Full Employment
Published Mar 18, 2015 - 10:34:33 AM
Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released The People’s Budget: A Raise for America, a budget alternative for fiscal year 2016. If adopted, the budget would spur job creation, boost public investment, strengthen the middle and working classes, restore fairness to the tax code, protect social insurance programs, and ensure fiscal sustainability.
New Report Ranks All Fifty States on Government Spending Transparency
Published Mar 18, 2015 - 9:04:36 AM
Government spending transparency is improving, but many states still lag far behind, according to “Following the Money 2015: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” the sixth annual report of its kind by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. Some states have improved their spending transparency web portals significantly, and even introduced entirely new state-of-the-art transparency sites with innovative features, while others are still barely achieving the minimum standards.
The uncounted: why the US can't keep track of people killed by police
Full story: The Guardian UK
Senate Blocks Federal Bill That Would Have Denied Survivors of Human Trafficking Safe and Legal Abortion
Published Mar 17, 2015 - 7:30:56 PM
Today 43 Senators stood up for women’s reproductive rights and blocked passage of legislation intended to help survivors of human trafficking that would have denied women access to safe and legal abortion.
Iowa Pastor Max Villatoro a Test Case for ICE Director Saldaña, New Immigration Policies
Published Mar 17, 2015 - 7:29:05 PM
The following is the latest update about Pastor Max Villatoro, who was detained last week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Yesterday, ICE denied Pastor Max’s request for a stay of removal, despite the unprecedented public outcry and support for his case. Max's attorneys filed a request for reconsideration. In the evening, ICE moved Max to yet another detention facility in Louisiana, the LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena. The reason for Max’s transfer is unclear, and he faces significant risk of imminent deportation to Honduras. Attorneys have yet to receive an official response to their request for reconsideration of the stay.
More than 500,000 Call on EPA to Strengthen Smog Protections
Published Mar 17, 2015 - 9:04:22 AM
More than 500,00 people—including members of community, environmental and health advocacy groups—have submitted comments calling on the U.S. EPA to finalize a more protective ozone or smog standard to properly protect public health.
African-American Leaders Call for Senate Vote on Loretta Lynch Nomination
Published Mar 17, 2015 - 8:38:43 AM
Earlier today, African-American leaders hosted a press call to urge the Senate to move ahead with the long overdue confirmation vote on Loretta Lynch’s nomination for Attorney General.
Southern Poverty Law Center sues private probation company, Alabama city over racketeering scheme
Published Mar 16, 2015 - 9:47:15 AM
When Roxanne Reynolds couldn’t pay the fines from traffic tickets in Clanton, Alabama, the city court put her on “pay-only” probation – a form of probation with the sole purpose of collecting fines, fees and related court costs.