- -01 Affordable Care Act "Obamacare" News (Wasthington Post)
"On Oct. 1, millions of Americans gained access to the new marketplaces mandated by President Obama’s health-care law. Check back regularly for the latest news on the launch of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the ongoing political fight over the law in Congress."
- -01 Affordable Care Act News (CBS News)
Provides news on Obamacare. 11-13
- -01 Average CO2 Level Hits 400 PPM (Time.com)
"April was the first time the monthly average of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere passed 400 parts per million, a threshold that the U.N. says has 'symbolic and scientific significance.' "
Also see: Climate Change: The Delicate Balance 05-14
- -01 Russian Troops Mass at Ukrainian Border (New York Times)
"The announcement of the troop buildup by Russia’s Defense Ministry was met with an unusually sharp rebuke from Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who warned that the Russian government must abandon what she called the politics of the 19th and 20th centuries or face diplomatic and economic retaliation from a united Europe." 03-14
- -01-01-14 New York Limits on Guns for Public Safety Upheld by Court (New York Times)
"A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that New York’s strict new gun laws, including an expanded ban on assault weapons, were constitutional, but struck down a provision forbidding gun owners to load more than seven rounds into a magazine." 01-14
- -01-02-14 Huge Lake Found Under Greenland (Time.com)
"The volume of the aquifer—which is fed by meltwater that flows through the Greenland ice sheet—is immense, an estimated 154 billion tons of water. That would be enough by itself to raise global sea levels by 0.016 in (.04 cm) were the entire underground lake to flow into the oceans. That may not sound like a whole lot—the seas already rise by more than that amount each year, thanks to melting ice sheets and thermal expansion of warming seawater—but the discovery of the aquifer should help scientists better understand how melt water moves through the Greenland ice sheet."
"That’s important because as the climate has warmed, the pace of ice loss in Greenland has accelerated, from 121 billion tons a year from 1993 to 2005 to 229 billion tons a year between 2005 and 2010. Better understanding of the physics governing the way the ice sheet, snow and meltwater interact could help scientists predict how Greenland will respond to warming in the future. And that matters because—never mind the fraction of an inch of sea level rise the newly discovered lake could cause—there’s enough frozen water locked in Greenland’s ice sheet to raise global sea levels by more than 20 ft. (6 m) were it all to melt. Scientists may like surprises when they’re discovering an underground lake, but when it comes to the threat of climate change, a little certainty would be preferable." 01-14
- -01-04-14 Al Qaeda-Linked Militants Control Key Iraqi Region (World.Time.com)
"Iraqi tribes have joined government forces in battling al Qaeda militants, who seized control of much of the western cities Fallujah and Ramadi Friday."
"The sectarian violence between the Shiite-led government and minority Sunnis is the worst Iraq has suffered since American troops left the country in 2011. 'The situation is very bad,' said a former governor of the Anbar region, and also confirmed that al Qaeda had taken control." 01-14
- -01-06-14 United Nations: Wake Up Before It's Too Late (DailyKos.com)
"The report links global security and escalating conflicts with the urgent need to transform agriculture toward what it calls 'ecological intensification.' The report concludes, 'This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers.' ”
"The report is especially harsh in stating that global trade rules should be reformed in order to work toward these ends, which is the opposite of what mega-trade deals like the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S.-EU Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are seeking to accomplish."
"The Institute noted that these pending deals are 'primarily designed to strengthen the hold of multinational corporate and financial firms on the global economy …' rather than reflect the urgent need for a shift in agriculture described in the new report." 01-14
- -01-14-14 Janet Yellen Is the New Chair of the Federal Reserve (Time.com)
"In her first and only interview since being confirmed as Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen speaks in-depth to TIME about her outlook on the U.S. economy, the future of the Fed's controversial Quantitative Easing program, as well as what role she thinks the Fed should take in oversight, inequality and unemployment in America." 01-14
- -01-15-14 House Passes Spending Bill (Time.com)
"The House passed the first comprehensive Appropriations bill in over two years Thursday with broad bipartisan support, despite the overwhelming disapproval of outside conservative groups." 01-14
- -01-16-14 Editorial: Texas Public Schools Are Teaching Creationism (Slate.com)
"In a previous Slate column on the Texas textbook wars, I explained that Texas’ current science standards were designed to compromise the teaching of evolution. The standards require teachers to 'analyze, evaluate, and critique' evolution and teach 'all sides' of evolution to encourage 'critical thinking.' These requirements are a back-door way to enable teachers to attack evolution and inject creationism into the classroom. If teachers are questioned on their materials, they can shift the responsibility for what they’re teaching onto the state." 01-14
- -01-18-14 Judge Strikes Down Ultrasound Requirement for Abortion (CNN News)
"IA North Carolina law that made women who wanted an abortion get an ultrasound, and then have the image described to them, is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Friday."
" 'The Supreme Court has never held that a state has the power to compel a health care provider to speak, in his or her own voice, the state's ideological message in favor of carrying a pregnancy to term and this court declines to do so today,' U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles said in her ruling." 01-14
- -01-20-14 Study: Nearly Half of Males Arrested By the Age of 23 (ABC News)
"Nearly 50 percent of black men and 40 percent of white men are arrested at least once on non-traffic-related crimes by the time they turn 23, according to a new study."
"One of the authors of the study published this month in the journal 'Crime & Delinquency' said the statistics could be useful in shaping policy so that people aren't haunted by arrests when they apply for jobs, schools or public housing." 01-14
- -01-20-14 U.S. Suspends Some Sanctions Against Iran (World.Time.com)
"The United States said Monday that it would suspend some economic sanctions on Iran after it slowed its nuclear program, but officials are still scrambling to block a United Nations invitation for Iran to join upcoming Syria peace talks." 01-14
- -01-23-14 Biggest Internet Failure in History (New York Times)
"The story behind what may have been the biggest Internet failure in history involves an unlikely cast of characters, including a little-known company in a drab building in Wyoming and the world’s most elite army of Internet censors a continent away in China." 01-14
- -01-23-14 California Drought: Long-Term Forecasts Are Bleak (Christian Science Monitor)
"The unseasonal balmy but dry weather is the result of an equally unprecedented high pressure ridge lurking offshore and blocking the typical winter storms needed to drop precipitation all along the West Coast."
"This ridge has persisted for 13 months and the longer it lingers, the less likely it is to leave, points out climatologist Brian Fuchs, from the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. "
"This is just the beginning, says Doug Parker, director of the California Institute for Water Resources. 'We have seen essentially no rain or snowfall this year and short- and long-term forecasts are bleak for California,' says Mr. Parker via e-mail, adding that this means that California will have very low water deliveries to much of its agricultural sector." 01-14
- -01-23-14 California's Drought Will Influence the Nation (CNN News)
"Central California's fields and tree crops -- which provide half of the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables -- are deteriorating. The state holds 80,500 farms and ranches, which together generate more than $100 billion in economic activity, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture." 01-14
- -01-23-14 Historic California Drought May Be a Warning for the Nation (Christian Science Monitor)
"The California drought, the worst in its history, could have far-reaching impacts for the state and for a nation that is only now starting to cope with climate change, experts say."
"Water shortages have widespread impacts. Agriculture and energy generation account for 80 percent of the nation’s clean water use, says David Dzombak, head of Carnegie Mellon University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. And even when cities meet their water demands during a drought, the costs can leave them 'exposed to significant risk of financial failures,' says Patrick Reed, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University, in an e-mail." 01-14
- -01-28-14 Pete Seeger: A Life Lived in the Power of Song (New York Times)
"Pete Seeger, the singer, folk-song collector and songwriter who spearheaded an American folk revival and spent a long career championing folk music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change, died Monday. He was 94 and lived in Beacon, N.Y." 01-14
- -01-29-14 President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address (Washington Post)
"President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address offered both a threat and a promise: To use the federal government's power to tackle the economic challenges the middle class has faced in recent decades. His theme was opportunity, namely, using government to ensure that all Americans have a genuine chance to climb the ladder "of opportunity" to make it into the middle class and become self-sufficient." 01-14
- -01-30-14 Climate Change Leaders Convey Urgency (CNN News)
"Four top environmental scientists raised the stakes Sunday in their fight to reverse climate change and save the planet.Climate and energy scientists James Hansen, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel and Tom Wigley have released an open letter calling on world leaders to support development of safer nuclear power systems."
"Embracing nuclear is the only way, the scientists believe, to reverse the looming threat of climate change which they blame on fossil fuels. Depending who you ask, they're either abandoning -- or leading -- traditional environmentalists who for a half-century have rejected clean-burning nuclear power as too expensive or too dangerous. Opponents cite disasters at Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile island."
"The fear is that time is running out. Without nuclear, the scientists believe global energy consumption will overtake the planet's ability to reverse the buildup of carbon dioxide pollution from burning oil, coal and other fossil fuels." 01-14
- -02-01-14 Axe Makes Commercial for World Peace (Time.com)
"Instead of focusing on broad humor, the company’s Super Bowl spot to promote the new Axe Peace fragrance line is a sprawling epic that seemingly spans to span continents and generations." 02-14
- -02-01-14 President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Speech (Slate.com)
Provides the text of President Obama's speech. 02-14
- -02-02-14 California Drought Threatens Water Supplies (New York Times)
"With no sign of rain, 17 rural communities providing water to 40,000 people are in danger of running out within 60 to 120 days. State officials said that the number was likely to rise in the months ahead after the State Water Project, the main municipal water distribution system, announced on Friday that it did not have enough water to supplement the dwindling supplies of local agencies that provide water to an additional 25 million people. It is first time the project has turned off its spigot in its 54-year history." 02-14
- -02-02-14 Status of Obamacare, State by State (MSNBC.com)
"The accompanying chart, based on a new report from the Commonwealth Fund, shows how different parts of the law are faring nationwide. Here are some of mixed-bag approaches states are taking to health care reform...." 02-14
- -02-03-14 Corporations Betting on Climate Change (Time.com)
"In Australia’s climate-stressed bread belt, the Murray-Darling basin, and its analog in the American West, the Colorado River basin, hedge funds have bought up millions of gallons worth of water rights. Other funds, convinced that commodity prices can only keep rising, are part of a new scramble for Africa in which as many as 100,000 square miles of farmland—an area larger than the United Kingdom—have been leased or purchased by foreign investors. Meanwhile, at least two of Manhattan’s most storied investment banks have played farmer in Ukraine, where milder temperatures heighten the appeal of some of the richest soil in the world." 02-14
- -02-05-14 U.S. Department of State's Study Results on Jobs for the Keystone XL Pipeline (KeystonePipeline-xl.state.gov)
The study estimates that around 42,000 jobs will be created during the 2-year construction period and then around 50 workers will be required to maintain the pipeline after construction is completed. 02-14
- -02-11-14 U.S. House Passes Raising the Debt Limit (New York Times)
"Ending three years of brinkmanship in which the threat of a devastating default was used to wring conservative concessions from President Obama, the House on Tuesday voted to raise the government’s borrowing limit until March 2015 – without any conditions." 02-14
- -02-18-14 President Obama Preaches Water Sacrifice, Then Plays Golf (Time.com)
" 'It can’t just be a matter of there’s going to be less and less water so I’m going to grab more and more of a shrinking share of water,' Obama said on Friday in Los Banos. 'Instead what we have to do is all come together and figure out how we all are going to make sure that agricultural needs, urban needs, industrial needs, environmental and conservation concerns are all addressed.' "
"Vacationing with DVDs of his favorite television shows and multiple golf outings with his buddies, the duffer in chief played at two of the most exclusive courses in the Palm Springs area."
"The 124 golf courses in the Coachella Valley consume roughly 17% of all water there, and one-quarter of the water pumped out of the region’s at-risk groundwater aquifer, according to the Coachella Valley Water District. Statewide, roughly 1% of water goes to keep golf courses green. Each of the 124 Coachella Valley courses, on average, uses nearly 1 million gallons (3.8 million L) a day because of the hot and dry climate, three to four times more water per day than the average American golf course." 02-14
- -02-19-14 "Voter's Bill of Rights" Petition Blocked (MSNBC News)
"Ohio remains the single most pivotal state for presidential elections, so its rules for voting could well have major national implications come 2016."
"The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) wants a constitutional amendment that would declare voting 'a fundamental right,' expand early voting, and make it harder to use challenges to disqualify ballots, among other measures. The effort is a response to an aggressive push by state Republican lawmakers to make voting more difficult. Bills that would cut early voting, end same-day registration, and make it harder to get an absentee ballot are likely to pass the GOP-controlled legislature in the coming weeks."
"Earlier this month, the OLBC submitted its proposed amendment to the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, a Republican, along with more than 1,000 preliminary signatures, as required by law. But last week, DeWine announced that he wouldn’t approve the measure, citing what he called 'misrepresentations' in the text of the proposed amendment." 02-14
- -02-19-14 Home Loan Troubles Return (New York Times)
"Shoddy paperwork, erroneous fees and wrongful evictions — the same abuses that dogged the nation’s largest banks and led to a $26 billion settlement with federal authorities in 2012 — are now cropping up among the specialty firms that collect mortgage payments, according to dozens of foreclosure lawsuits and interviews with borrowers, federal and state regulators and housing lawyers."
"These companies are known as servicers, but they do far more than transfer payments from borrowers to lenders. They have great power in deciding whether homeowners can win a mortgage modification or must hand over their home in a foreclosure." 02-14
- -02-21-14 84-Year-Old Nun Gets 3 Years for Anti-Nuclear Protest (MSNBC News)
"Sister Megan Rice, an 84-year-old nun, was sentenced to 35 months in prison for her role in a protest at a Tennessee nuclear facility."
"Rice was found guilty in May, along with fellow anti-nuclear activists Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli, of destroying U.S. government property and causing more than $1,000 in damage to federal property. In the early morning of July 28, 2012, the three activists cut through a chain link fence at the perimeter of the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee."
"While at the nuclear facility, touted as one of the nation’s most secure and tightly monitored, Rice, Boertje-Obed, and Walli cut through three more chain-link fences to reach a nuclear weapons storage bunker, on which they hung banners and painted messages." 02-14
- -02-24-14 Ukrainians Solidify Government (New York Times)
"Ukrainian lawmakers moved swiftly on Sunday to assert control over the government, racing to restore calm after a week of upheaval and bloodshed that ended in President Viktor F. Yanukovych’s flight and ouster on Saturday, and in sudden fears that the country might fall into civil war." 02-14
- -02-26-14 Arizona Governor Vetos Anti-Gays Bill (CBS News)
"In a decision watched across the nation, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Wednesday she has vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse to serve gays on religious grounds." 02-14
- -03-03-14 President Obama Considers U.S. Response to Crisis in the Crimean Peninsula (New York Times)
"...Mr. Obama offered Russia what aides called an 'offramp,' a face-saving way out of the crisis, by proposing that European observers take the place of Russian forces in Crimea to guard against the supposed threats to the Russian-speaking population cited by the Kremlin as justification for its intervention."
"Mr. Obama’s aides said that they saw no evidence of such threats and considered the claim a bogus pretext, and that they wanted to call Mr. Putin’s bluff. Privately, they said they did not expect Mr. Putin to accept, and they conceded that Mr. Obama probably could not reverse the occupation of Crimea in the short term. They said they were focusing on blocking any further Russian move into eastern Ukraine that would split the country in half." 03-14
- -03-05-14 Pope Francis Signals Openness (MSNBC News)
"Proving yet again that the leader of the western world’s oldest institution is anything but old-fashioned, Pope Francis suggested this week that the Catholic Church could be open to civil unions for people in 'diverse situations of cohabitation' – an ambiguous phrasing that did not exclude same-sex couples." 03-14
- -03-05-14 Two Competing Views on the U.S. - Russian Conflict in Crimea (PBS.org)
"With all eyes now on Russia, administration officials are trying to determine how far Vladimir Putin will or will not go." 03-14
- -03-11-14 Putin's Man in Crimea (Time.com)
"Little is known about Sergei Aksyonov, the pro-Russia Crimean leader who is driving the region toward secession. What is obvious, however, is that he poses a big problem for the Ukrainian government." 03-14
- -03-13-14 Cossacks Flock to Crimea (Time.com)
"Armed groups of Cossacks hope they'll be rewarded by being integrated into Russia's primary security apparatus after the takeover's complete." 03-14
- -03-14-14 Poll: Americans Not Concerned About Climate Change (Grist.org)
"The results of a Gallup survey reveal just how little climate change raises Americans’ anxiety levels. The research firm called 513 Americans last week and asked them how much they worry about 15 problems facing the nation. When it came to climate change, half said 'a little' or 'not at all.' "
"Only a quarter said they worried about climate change “a great deal,” which puts the issue second from the bottom in the list of Americans’ concerns, above only race relations. Even drug use has Americans more worried than climate change."
Editor's Note: Amazing. 03-14
- -03-17-14 Crimean Election Results No Mystery (Time.com)
"Voters in the autonomous and recently contested Crimea region of Ukraine overwhelmingly voted to secede from Kiev to join Russia."
The results of the vote in the predominantly ethnic Russian peninsula were not unexpected, coming several weeks after Kremlin-led forces took control of the region." 03-14
- -03-17-14 Russia Recognizes Crimea as an Independent State (Time.com)
"Russian President Vladimir Putin recognizes the breakaway Crimea region of Ukraine as an independent state, one more step to total annexation of the peninsula by Moscow. The move comes hours after Crimea's parliament made a similar claim." 03-14
- -03-18-14 Poll: Americans Not Worried about the Impacts of Climate Change (Time.com)
"Gallup released the results of a new poll on Americans’ opinions about climate change earlier this month. For those concerned about global warming, the data was not promising. On one hand, about two-thirds of Americans believed that global warming is happening or will happen during their lifetime—which, incidentally, happens to be the correct answer. But only about 36% of Americans said they believe that global warming will pose a “serious threat to their way of life” during their lifetimes."
"It’s possible that we may get lucky and escape the most catastrophic risks posed by climate change—just as it’s possible you can smoke a pack a day and live until 90. It’s just not likely, and every day that passes without any real effort to curb carbon emissions makes disaster more certain. Sooner or later." 03-14
- -03-20-14 Editorial: The Koch Brothers Are Outspending the Democratic Party (Huffington Post)
"The two billionaire industrialists, Charles and David Koch, and their dual networks of undisclosed donors and 'dark money' nonprofits, have emerged as the largest independent political force on the Republican side."
" 'It is clear we will be outspent in Senate races across the board just like we were outspent in Senate races last cycle,' said Justin Barasky, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC)." 03-14
- -03-30-14 Republican Governors Pitch to Billionaire Adelson (Time.com)
"For all the governors, Adelson’s support—and his seemingly unlimited bank account—could be make-or-break should they decide to run for the White House. Worth an estimated $38 billion, Adelson devoted at least $100 million backing Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in 2012." 03-14
- -03-31-14 U.N. Report Warns of Climate Change (Time.com)
"A new report on climate change warns the impact of rising temperatures on crop yields, water supplies and sea levels may push our planet over the edge." 03-14
- -04-08-14 Serious Consequences Expected If Russia Invades Ukraine (Time.com)
"Separatist violence in eastern Ukraine has set the stage for another Russian invasion, but it would bring risks and gains far beyond those involved in Crimea." 03-14
- -04-10-14 Evidence of Accelerated Climate Disruption (Truth-out.org)
"This month's dispatch comes on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) recent report, and the news is not good."
" 'No one on this planet will be untouched by climate change,' IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri announced. The report warned that climate impacts are already 'severe, pervasive, and irreversible.' "
"The IPCC report was one of many released in recent weeks, and all of them bring dire predictions of what is coming. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued a report warning that "the rate of climate change now may be as fast as any extended warming period over the past 65 million years, and it is projected to accelerate in the coming decades' "
"The report went on to warn of the risk 'of abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes in the Earth's climate system with massively disruptive impacts' including the possible 'large scale collapse of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, collapse of part of the Gulf Stream, loss of the Amazon rain forest, die-off of coral reefs, and mass extinctions.' " 04-14
- -04-10-14 Putin Warns Europe to Expect Gas Shortages (Time.com)
"Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a letter to European leaders asking them to help Ukraine pay its gas debts, which he claims amounts to over $35 billion, or they'll face the prospect of gas shortages." 04-14
- -04-15-14 White House Backs Ukraine's Offensive (Time.com)
"The White House says it supports Ukraine’s offensive against separatists in the country's eastern provinces. The military operation began Tuesday near Slovyansk and could be extended to as many as 10 cities in the country's eastern regions." 04-14
- -04-20-14 Ukrainisn Prime Minister: Putin Wants to Restore USSR (Time.com)
"Russian President Vladimir Putin 'has a dream to restore the Soviet Union and every day he goes further and further' interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told NBC’s David Gregory on Meet the Press Sunday. 'God knows where is the final destination.' "
- -04-24-14 Republican Politicians Distance Themselves from Racist Remarks (CNN News)
"Racist comments from Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy – who earlier this month appeared to win a highly publicized standoff against federal authorities over his two-decade long illegal grazing of cattle on public land – are giving Democrats a new weapon to attack some top Republicans who earlier came to Bundy's defense." 04-14
- -04-26-14 Two Catholic Popes Are Cannonized as Saints (Time.com)
"More than one million Catholics were expected to flock to Rome Saturday for the historic double canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII on Sunday." 04-14
- -04-29-14 Donald Sterling Banned from NBA for Life (Huffington Post)
"NBA Commissioner Adam Silver handed down the unprecedented punishment of banning Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from his team, the latest fallout in an incident that sparked national outrage after audio emerged of Sterling making racist comments." 04-14
- -04-29-14 Supreme Court Backs Limits on Cross-State Pollution (Washington Post)
"The Supreme Court on Tuesday resurrected Environmental Protection Agency rules targeting air pollution that drifts across state borders, handing a victory to the Obama administration on one of its major environmental efforts." 04-14
- -05-03-14 Fearlessness Lessons from Navy SEALS (Time.com)
"You don’t need to be preparing for war to make all this useful. Keep in mind:."
"Feeling in control."
- -06-05-14 Editorial: Hillary Clinton's 2016 Campaign (Time.com)
"If Hillary Clinton hopes to succeed, she’s going to have to drop the veil–spontaneously, quite possibly in a crucial moment, like a debate–and trust the public to accept who she really is. Absent that, there is no such thing as inevitability." 06-14
- -06-18-14 Sunnis Attack Iraq's Biggest Oil Refinery (New York Times)
"Refinery workers, eyewitnesses and an Iraqi Army officer reported the seizure of Iraq’s biggest oil refinery by Sunni extremists on Wednesday after army helicopter gunships failed to repel their attack."
"But other Iraqi officials, including the commander of the garrison defending the refinery in Baiji, asserted that fighting was still going on inside the huge grounds of the facility, which had been shut down by the violence." 06-14
- -06-19-14 House Republicans Replace Majority Leader (HuffingtonPost.com)
"House Republicans chose Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as their new majority leader on Thursday, a week after Rep. Eric Cantor said he would resign from the post following his primary defeat in Virginia's 7th district." 06-14
- -06-19-14 President Obama to Send Advisors to Iraq (Time.com)
"President Barack Obama announced Thursday that he’s prepared to deploy up to 300 special forces to Iraq, as militants who have plunged the country into chaos consolidate their gains." 06-14
- -06-20-14 New Hope for the Climate (Al Gore, Rolling Stone)
"In the struggle to solve the climate crisis, a powerful, largely unnoticed shift is taking place. The forward journey for human civilization will be difficult and dangerous, but it is now clear that we will ultimately prevail. The only question is how quickly we can accelerate and complete the transition to a low-carbon civilization. There will be many times in the decades ahead when we will have to take care to guard against despair, lest it become another form of denial, paralyzing action. It is true that we have waited too long to avoid some serious damage to the planetary ecosystem – some of it, unfortunately, irreversible. Yet the truly catastrophic damages that have the potential for ending civilization as we know it can still – almost certainly – be avoided. Moreover, the pace of the changes already set in motion can still be moderated significantly." 06-14
- -06-24-14 Why Illinois Banned Microbeads (Time.com)
"Exfoliating microbeads, which are tiny bits of plastic, in your face wash are causing some serious damage to your skin and environment, and states are starting to crack down."
"This month, Illinois banned the sale of cosmetics containing plastic microbeads, becoming the first state to legally take a strong stance against what researchers are calling a serious environmental problem. The plastic waste caused by the microbeads, which are not filtered out during sewage treatment, are damaging water ecosystems. A report recent published by the U.N. Environment Programme says plastic waste causes $13 billion in damage every year to marine life."
"Since the beads are so small, fish and other marine life easily swallow them, causing DNA damage and even death." 06-14
- -06-28-14 Supreme Court Rejects Buffer Zone for Abortion Clinics (CBS News)
"The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Thursday that a Massachusetts law setting a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics violates the First Amendment." 06-14
- -06-29-14 Study: Military Hospitals Found Deficient (New York Times)
"More than 50,000 babies are born at military hospitals each year, and they are twice as likely to be injured during delivery as newborns nationwide, the most recent statistics show. And their mothers were more likely to hemorrhage after childbirth than mothers at civilian hospitals, according to a 2012 analysis conducted for the Pentagon."
"In surgery, half of the system’s 16 largest hospitals had higher than expected rates of complications over a recent 12-month period, the American College of Surgeons found last year. Four of the busiest hospitals have performed poorly on that metric year after year." 06-14
- -06-30-14 Ginsburg Writes Scathing Dissent in Birth Control Case (Huffington Post)
"The Supreme Court delivered a blow to universal birth control coverage on Monday, ruling that closely-held corporations can refuse to cover contraception in their health plans for religious reasons. But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sharply disagreed with the five conservatives on the court, delivering a scathing, 35-page dissent and defense of mandatory contraception coverage." 06-14
- -06-30-14 Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby (CBS News)
" The Supreme Court today upheld a challenge to a key provision of Obamacare -- the one that requires coverage for birth control. Many religiously affiliated employers were already exempt from the requirement. On Monday, the court said some for-profit companies don't have to pay for contraceptives either, if they object on religious grounds."
"The Supreme Court case was a political firestorm, pitting women's rights against religious freedom." 06-14
- -06-30-14 Supreme Court Rules on Union Dues (Christian Science Monitor)
"A Supreme Court decision Monday dealt labor unions a fresh blow at a time when their clout is decreasing. It's a narrow ruling, but unions will have to scramble to cope." 06-14
- -07-02-14 Target Requests Customers Not to Carry Guns in Stores (MSNBC News)
"Target management on Wednesday changed its firearms policy to prevent armed customers from entering the retail store’s locations." 07-14
- -07-09-14 Democrats Seek Asylum Process for Children Fleeing to U.S. (Reuters.com)
"The thousands of children fleeing drug violence and poverty in Central America could qualify for asylum in the United States and should have the right to make that case, Democratic lawmakers said on Thursday." 07-14
- -07-09-14 Editorial: Explaining the Supreme Court's Birth Control Ruling (Christian Science Monitor)
"The Hobby Lobby case decided by the Supreme Court last month sent ripples through the national conversation on women's rights and religion in public life. Here, we explain the basics of what the Supreme Court did." 07-14
- -07-09-14 Editorial: Why the Economy Isn't Doing Better (CBS News)
"There's plenty of debate over precisely what factors have kept a lid on wages for so long -- failure to raise the minimum wage jumps to mind, along with a tax code that encourages U.S. companies to move jobs abroad and the weakening of collective bargaining. Where there's consensus is that wages must rise for the economy to start humming again. Workers, after all, are also consumers, whose spending drives growth." 07-14
- -07-22-14 Israel Strikes Civilian Targets in the Palestinian Territory (New York Times)
"Israeli warplanes struck more than 70 targets in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Tuesday morning, including a stadium, five mosques and the home of a late Hamas military chief, reports the Associated Press."
"Some 584 Palestinians and 29 Israelis have been killed during the conflict. The U.N. estimates that 75% of Palestinian deaths are of civilians, with scores of women and children among them." 07-14
- -07-22-14 Rebels Return Black Box and Bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (CBS News)
"The train carrying the remains of most of the victims of downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 reached the Ukrainian government-controlled city of Kharkiv on Tuesday, a final stop before they were to be flown back to the Netherlands where their ill-fated journey began." 07-14
- -08-06-14 Criminals Steal 1.2 Billion Web Credentials (PBS.org)
"After criminals steal 1.2 billion web credentials, how to protect personal info from data breaches." 08-14
- -08-15-14 Texas Governor Indicted for Abuse of Power (Time.com)
"Gov. Rick Perry was indicted on two counts of abuse of power Friday by a Texas grand jury, in the latest chapter of a long-running politically-charged dispute between the Republican and his Democratic opponents."
"McCrum told reporters he will be working with Perry’s attorney to set up a time for Perry to be arraigned and booked." 08-14
- -08-22-14 NATO: Russians Firing at Ukrainians (Time.com)
"Artillery units being operated by Russian soldiers have crossed into Ukraine and are firing on Ukrainian forces, Western officials said Friday, in an apparent escalation of the ongoing conflict along the border." 08-14
- -08-29-14 Diane Sawyer Signs off as Anchor for ABC News (ABC News)
Sawyer signs off. 08-14
- -08-29-14 Hate Crime Laws and Amish Beards (Time.com)
"In the fall of 2011, 16 members (10 men and six women) of a breakaway Amish community in eastern Ohio executed five beard-cutting attacks on Amish people in other communities at night and by ambush over an eight-week period. The 16 defendants were convicted of federal hate crimes as well as lying to the FBI and obstructing justice."
"This week the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati overturned the hate crime convictions in a 2-1 sharply divided decision. The court upended the hate crime convictions for what it considered an error in the district court’s instructions to the jury."
"While this all might seem like splitting legal hairs over Amish beards, the decision is very important not only for the Amish, or for religious hate crimes, but for all hate crimes that are directed toward victims because of their gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, or religion. The legal decisions ensuing from this reversal will establish a judicial standard for how the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act is interpreted in the future." 08-14
- -09-26-13 New Discovery: Water "Everywhere" on Mars (Time.com)
"What jumps out of the analysis right away is that the soil—mostly sandy grains dug from a mound in a spot known as Rocknest, inside of Gale Crater —is the presence of water, which adds up to about two percent of the soil, by weight. 'If you took a cubic foot of this material and heated it,” says Leshin, 'You’d about get two pints of water. I think that’s pretty amazing.' "
"The amazing part isn’t so much that there’s water on Mars: scientists have known for years that the life-giving liquid flowed freely and abundantly across the Martian surface billions of years ago, and that water in the form of ice still exists in reasonable quantities at the planet’s poles. But these sandy particles were blown here from all over Mars before settling to the ground. This one sample, therefore, tells us that the water Leshin’s team found is spread pretty much everywhere on the planet. No matter where astronauts eventually land, they’ll be able to cook their water supplies right out of the dirt."
- -10-08-14 Why the U.S. Cannot Save Kobani (Time.com)
"Limits of air power and lack of allies on the ground doom Kobani."
"The Pentagon made clear that "there is little the U.S. military can do to save the more than 200,000 people fighting for their lives in the Syrian town of Kobani, just south of the Turkish border." 10-14
- -10-18-14 Supreme Court Allows Texas ID Law to Stand (Time.com)
"The Supreme Court decided Saturday that Texas can enforce its controversial voter identification law in November’s midterm elections, despite recently blocking several similar laws in other states." 10-14
- -10-22-14 Contract Guards Found Guilty in Iraq Shooting (Time.com)
"Four former Blackwater security guards were found guilty Wednesday in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis in Baghdad, and a federal judge ordered them immediately to jail." 10-14
- -10-22-14 Former Editor of The Washington Post Dies (CBS News)
Ben Bradlee, "who counted U.S. presidents among those friends and enemies, died Tuesday at age 93."
"Among Bradlee's most powerful enemies: President Richard Nixon, who resigned his presidency in 1974 when the Post, under Bradlee's leadership, revealed the Watergate coverup." 10-14
- -10-22-14 Former Editor of The Washington Post Remembered (Time.com)
Ben Bradlee: "A former Washington Post reporter remembers a legendary newspaperman who lived off gossip, palled around with the Kennedys and was the most celebrated editor of his time" 10-14
- -10-27-14 What the Battle over the Town of Kobani in Syria Means (Time.com)
"Pentagon officials were predicting earlier this month that ISIS fighters would overrun the town, near the Turkish border, by mid-October, followed by widespread slaughters among the conquered population."
"That hasn’t happened. And while that’s obviously good news in the short term for the city’s 200,000 largely-Kurdish residents, it’s tougher to handicap what it means for the long-term U.S.-led effort to 'degrade and destroy' ISIS." 10-14
- -11-02-13 Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence (WhiteHouse.gov)
"When the President unveiled his plan to reduce gun violence on January 16th, it included 23 executive actions to make sure the Administration was taking essential and rapid steps to reduce gun violence and to save lives. As this report demonstrates, the Administration has completed or made significant progress on all 23 executive actions."
Also see Gun Control Debate. 12-13
- -11-04-13 Nuclear Waste Stolen in Mexico (CBS News)
"Mexico's nuclear safety agency has appealed to the public for help locating a truck stolen near the capital while transporting potentially dangerous radioactive medical waste." 12-13
- -11-04-14 What's Next Now that Republicans Control the House and Senate (Time.com)
"Republicans scored a decisive victory Tuesday night, winning at least 52 seats to gain control of the Senate for the first time since 2006." 10-14
- -11-09-14 Obama Nominates a New Attorney General (MSNBC News)
"President Obama on Saturday nominated New York federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general, making her the first African-American woman chosen to be the top law enforcement official in the county." 11-14
- -11-13-14 Supreme Court to Rule on Affordable Care Act (NewRepublic.com)
The Supreme Court has decided to decide whether consumers in states without state-organized insurance exchanges are eligible for tax credits. If the Court decides they are not eligible, the number of people with health insurance will drop and the Affordable Care Act will be destabilized. "The average increase in monthly premiums, across all states, would be from $82 to $346. That's a 422 percent hike. And, remember, projections show that most people now getting subsidies will not be able to pay the higher prices." 11-14
- -11-24-14 Ferguson Timeline (ABC News)
"A timeline of key events following the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson." Editor's Note: The police officer was not indicted by a Grand Jury. 11-14
- -11-29-14 Egyptian Judges Drop All Charges Against Former President Mubarak (New York Times)
"An Egyptian court dropped all remaining criminal charges against former President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday in a sweeping repudiation of the Arab Spring uprising that forced him from power." 11-14
- -12-03-14 Editorial: Elizabeth Warren Blasts Federal Housing Program (Truth-out.org)
"Warren: The Treasury Department has found that principal reductions could save Fannie and Freddie nearly $4 billion and help half a million homeowners stay in their home. It has been six years since Congress created FHFA and in all that time your agency has never, not once permitted a family to reduce its principal mortgage through Fannie or Freddie." 11-14
- -12-09-14 Torture Report: Timeline on Interrogation (Time.com)
"The CIA’s controversial interrogation and detention programs lasted from 2002 to 2007, but the full timeline of how it developed and how it ended goes longer than that."
"Here’s a look at the key dates in the report." 12-14
- -12-13-14 Senate Passes Short-Term Budget Bill (Time.com)
"Their power ebbing, Senate Democrats launched a last-minute drive Saturday to confirm roughly 20 of President Barack Obama’s nominees, and several Republicans blamed Tea Party-backed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for creating an opening for the outgoing majority party to exploit." 12-14
- -12-13-14 Thousands in New York March Against Deaths by Police (New York Times)
"They came to the nation’s capital on buses and planes and minivans and trains, from Florida, Detroit and Staten Island, led as much by the families, friends and supporters of African-American men and boys killed at the hands of the police as by civil rights leaders." 12-14
- -12-14-14 Editorial: U.S. Needs to Explain Decision Not to Prosecute on Torture (Huffington Post)
"The Senate torture report released on Tuesday has led to the inevitable calls for prosecution of the government officials who may have committed crimes. Although the Justice Department this week reaffirmed its earlier position that it would not be prosecuting anyone, that leaves a burning question open: why not?." 12-14
- -12-14-14 Report on Cleveland Police Excessive Use of Force (CNN News)
"A report released Thursday details a nearly two-year Justice Department investigation which found that Cleveland police use guns, Tasers, pepper spray and their fists excessively, unnecessarily or in retaliation. Officers also have used excessive force on those 'who are mentally ill or in crisis,' the Justice Department said." 07-14
- -12-22 U.S. Supreme Court Denies Stay of Florida Same-Sex Marriages (DailyKos.com)
"The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday declined to extend a stay sought by Florida officials defending the state’s ban on same-sex marriages, allowing gay marriages to proceed in Florida next month."
"Weddings would be allowed to start on Jan. 6 under an order by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta earlier this month." 07-14
- -Ukrainian Elections (Time.com)
"Between avoiding a Russian invasion, dealing with Western creditors and appeasing an electorate still high on revolution, the new President of Ukraine will have a lot to manage after the elections set for this Sunday." 05-14
- 01-31-14 State Department Eases Path for Keystone XL Pipeline (Time.com)
"Environmental groups have lobbied the White House to kill the proposed pipeline—which would carry oil from Canadian tar sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries—arguing that it would contribute to climate change and warning of the risk of spills. But the State Department assessment said the tar sands oil would be extracted regardless of the pipeline’s approval, and found it to be a safer and more environmentally friendly way to transport the crude oil, compared to rail or tanker transport" 01-14
- 02-02-15 Study: We Need to Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground (Grist.org)
"To keep the climate somewhat safe and relatively stable, 82 percent of the world’s coal reserves, half of all natural gas, and every drop of Arctic oil must be left in the ground, according to a new study from researchers at University College London. And that’s just considering the energy resources already counted as assets-to-be-burned by fossil fuel companies, meaning they can be extracted for a profit at current commodity prices. We must also stop exploring for new carbon-based fuels altogether to avoid complete climate chaos." 02-15
- 03-01-14 Crisis Deepens in the Crimean Peninsula (World.Time.com)
"The Russian parliament’s upper house unanimously approved Saturday a request by President Vladimir Putin to send military troops into Ukraine, shortly after the Crimean peninsula’s pro-Kremlin prime minister appealed to the Kremlin for military muscle."
"The Obama administration criticized the mooted Russian intervention in strong terms on Friday afternoon." 03-14
- 03-01-14 Oil Interests in the United States (Businessweek.com)
"For nearly a century now, broad swaths of the populace and powerful individuals in government, finance, and other key sectors have seen oil as indivisible from national interest. That presumption has arguably deepened with the current shale oil and gas boom that the International Energy Agency forecasts will turn the U.S. into the world’s biggest oil producer by 2015—and may have already by some estimates." 03-14
- Hillary Clinton Calls Supreme Court Finding a "Slippery Slope" (Time.com)
"Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the Supreme Court’s decision on Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the Obamacare contraceptive-coverage mandate. The ruling that closely held corporations can deny birth control coverage to their employees on religious grounds, she said, is 'a really bad slippery slope.' " 06-14
- Senator Alleges CIA Spied on Committee Overseeing It (Time.com)
"Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused the Central Intelligence Agency of illegally spying on computers the agency gave to Senate staff for an investigation of Bush-era interrogation practices, taking public a war that once raged behind the scenes."
"Generally friendly with the intelligence community, Feinstein asserted that the CIA may have engaged in unconstitutional and criminal activity by interfering in an investigation of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — the body tasked with oversight of the intelligence community. The CIA, Feinstein alleged, appeared to have illegally snooped on Senate staff computers, stonewalled when it came to handing over documents and sought to have staff investigated." 03-14