Washington D.C.

GMO SALMON APPROVED-BUT MAJOR RETAILERS REFUSE TO CARRY IT

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 24, 2005 (Washington D.C.)--The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved sale of genetically modified salmon – the first GMO animal to received federal approval.


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NEW REPORT: CAMPUS FIRE FATALITIES IN RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS

 

November 21, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--A new report from the U.S. Fire Administration highlights factors that led to the deaths of 118 college students in 85 fatal fires from 2000 through 2015, The report found many of these tragedies were preventable. Key findings include:


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DRUG PRICES FORUM CONVENED BY WHITE HOUSE

 

East County News Service

November 10, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Amid a public outcry over soaring prescription drug prices, President Barack Obama’s administration has announced it will hold a public forum on drug prices on November 20th.


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REP. BASS INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ADDRESS PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT EDUCATIONAL NEEDS



 

East County News Service

November 11, 2015 (Washington D.C.) -- As the only former Physician Assistant (PA) now serving in Congress, Representative Karen Bass (D-Calif.) this week introduced two pieces of legislation to make sure that people who want to become Physician Assistants have the ability to successfully attend college as well as making sure that Physician Assistant education programs have the resources they need.


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BILL WOULD LET FORMER FOSTER YOUTHS KEEP HEALTH INSURANCE IN OTHER STATES

 

East County News Service

October 11, 2015 (Washington D.C.)—Seeking to help hundreds of thousands of young people who are currently a part of the foster care system and the tens of thousands who leave the system each year, Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.)—Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth,  have introduced H.R. 3641, the “Health Insurance for Former Foster Youth Act of 2015.”  The measure would close a loophole and guarantee that foster youth will still receive health insurance through Medicaid until they turn 26 years old,  regardless of their state of residence.


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ANOTHER GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN? PLANNED PARENTHOOD FUNDING AT ISSUE AS BUDGET DEADLINE LOOMS

 

East County News Service

September 11, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The federal government will run out of money on September 30th if a funding resolution is not passed.  Some Republicans are threatening a shutdown of the government unless Planned Parenthood is defunded completely due to controversy over use of fetal tissue from abortions--even though the law already prohibits use of federal funds for abortions.


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SUPREME COURT ACTION REQUIRES COUNTY CLERKS TO ISSUE MARRIAGE LICENSES TO GAY COUPLES

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 31, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court today denied a request from a county clerk in Kentucky who sought to be excused from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples due to her religious beliefs.


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GOP EFFORT TO STRIP FUNDS FROM PLANNED PARENTHOOD BLOCKED BY SENATE; REPUBLICANS THREATEN TO SHUT DOWN GOVERNMENT

 

East County News Service

August 4, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A Republican-backed bill to stop all funding for Planned Parenthood nationwide has been blocked by Senate Democrats, falling seven votes short of the 50 needed or passage. Next up, the Republican leadership is threatening to shut down the government if funding the budget includes funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides birth control, mammograms, Pap smears and other women’s health services in addition to abortions.


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WHITE HOUSE RACE 2016: THE RUN FOR THE ROSE GARDEN

 

East County News Service

 

Devoreo Bell, Juwan Armstrong and Miriam Raftery contributed to this series.

Part 1:  Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton (most prominent political pedigrees) and Donald Trump (the show horse)

August 3, 2015 (Washington D.C.) -- The 2016 presidential candidates are off and running. It’s a crowded race, with over two dozen contenders vying for the ultimate winner’s circle.  Over the next couple of weeks, East County Magazine will run a “Race for the White House” series profiling the candidates.

Our series opens with frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, two seasoned entries with long political pedigrees, and “show horse” Donald Trump who’s been grabbing media headlines and moving up in the polls. Later we’ll highlight mavericks such as Rand Paul and  Bernie Sanders,  each drawing populist followings for talking about issues like civil liberties and the wealth gap largely ignored by party power-brokers.  Finally, we’ll have coverage of the pack of other prominent contenders, plus some dark horses hoping to pull off an upset win.  For each candidate, we’ll give you  biographical highlights, stances on key issues, controversies, and fascinating facts as these contenders bolt out of the starting gate and run for the roses—the White House rose garden, that is.  Plus, we’ll check with pollsters and odds makers to see how they’re handicapping this important race—so keep an eye out for each installment in our “Race for the Whitehouse” 2016 coverage.

Click "read more" and scroll down to learn more about Bush, Clinton and Trump.


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MEDICARE DEATH RATES DROP - AND SO DO COSTS

 

East County News Service

July 28, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows dramatic improvements in the care and safety of Medicare patients.  Across the nation, the death rate among Medicare patients fell 16% from 1999 to 2013. In addition, hospitalizations dropped sharply – and costs also fell sharply.


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NEW FEDERAL RULE TAKES AIM AT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION, TARGETS LOCAL ZONING

 

East County News Service

July 21, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Last week, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced  finalization of a new rule, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, that requires communities to remove zoning laws and other barriers to integration in neighborhoods at all income levels, or lose federal HUD funds.


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OBAMA PROPOSED RULE TO EXTEND OVERTIME PAY WOULD AID 420,000 WORKERS IN CA

 

East County News Service

July 16, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – President Barack Obama has announced that the U.S. Department of Labor will propose extending overtime pay protections to nearly 5 million American workers, including over 400,000 Californians. This proposal would increase the current overtime protection threshold, guaranteeing overtime pay to most salaried workers earning less than $50,440 per year if they work more than 40 hours a week.


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SUPREME COURT APPROVES CONTROVERSIAL LETHAL INJECTION DRUG

 

By Susan Potter, Public News Service

Photo credit: Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile.

June 30, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday the lethal-injection drug midazolam does not violate the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment – clearing the way for states like Florida to resume using the drug in capital cases.


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CONSUMER GROUPS WANT CONGRESS TO STOP NET NEUTRALITY SNEAK ATTACK

 

By Dan Herman, Public News Service

PHOTO: More than 60 organizations have sent a letter calling on Congress to remove a rider in its budget bill they claim would block the FCC from implementing net neutrality rules. Photo credit: Sean MacEntee/Flickr Commons.

June 29, 2015 (Washington D.C.) --- More than 60 civil-rights and public-interest groups have sent a letter urging Congress to protect the Federal Communications Commission's decision to keep the Internet open.


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HIGH COURT: REDISTRICING BY VOTER-APPROVED COMMISSION IS LEGAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: U.S. Congressional Districts, by Matte, Creative Commons license

June 29, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the right of voters to approve an independent redistricting commission. In a case that has implications in California, Justice Anthony Kennedy sided with four liberal justices to uphold Arizona’s redistricting plan approved by the state’s voters.


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SUPREME COURT RULING IMPACTS PRIVACY OF HOTEL AND MOTEL GUESTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2015 (Washington D.C.) -- Guests at hotels or motels can now rest a little easier. The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a Los Angeles law that allowed police to demand access to guest information at lodging establishments. It’s now up to each hotel or motel owner to decide whether to challenge such requests from law enforcement.


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HOUSE TO CONSIDER FUNDING FOR 21ST CENTURY CURES ACT

 

East County News Service

June 15, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--The House of Representatives will soon be considering the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6), important legislation that will accelerate the process of translating scientific advancements into new treatments and therapies. The bill would support efforts to develop potential treatments and interventions for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, childhood leukemia, Down’s syndrome, congenital heart disease, autism spectrum disorders, sleep apnea and epilepsy, to name a few.


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WOMEN VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE SIX TIMES MORE THAN WOMEN WITHOUT MILITARY SERVICE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 8, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A new study by the Veterans’ Administration reveals that women veterans are killing themselves nearly six times more often than women who never served in the military.  The carnage is even higher among young veterans: women ages 18-29 have a suicide rate 12 times higher than nonveterans.


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FDA: ANTI-WRINKLE INJECTIONS CAN CAUSE STROKES, BLINDNESS OR DEATH

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – There’s a new wrinkle to consider before signing up for those wrinkle-plumping injections of soft tissue fillers, also called derma fillers or injectible face implants. The substances that have gained popularity with cosmetic surgeons and other healthcare providers to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the face or to augment lips and cheeks.


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TAX RETURNS HACKED, MONEY STOLEN

 

East County News Service

May 2015 (Washington DC.) -Organized crime rings are being blamed for the theft of over 100,000 tax returns and theft of tax refunds.


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VOTER'S WATCHDOG: SUPREME COURT TO HEAR REDISTRICTING CASES

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 27, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear two cases on redistricting of Congressional districts. Both could have broad impacts on California.


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PRODUCTS RECALLED: VIKING RANGES AND OXO NEST BOOSTER SEATS

 

May 23, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced recalls of the following products:


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CA SENATORS SPLIT ON FAST-TRACK OF TRADE PACT IN SENATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Senator Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership

May 19, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Senate has voted 65 to 33 to take up HR 1314, a measure that would allow fast-tracking of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership with no amendments or filibuster allowed.


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HOUSE VOTES TO CURB GOVERNMENT SPYING ON AMERICANS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 18, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The House of Representatives has voted to end a controversial provision of the Patriot Act. On May 13th, by a vote of 338 to 88, House members passed HR 2048 that would end the National Security Agency’s collection and storage of bulk data from Americans’ phone calls and other telecommunications.


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HOUSE PASSES ABORTION BAN AFTER 20 WEEKS

 

East County News Service

Photo: 20-week fetus (public domain image)

May 16, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The House of Representatives has passed a bill to ban virtually all abortions after 20 weeks.  The bill has an exception only for rape victims, after a 48 hour waiting period.


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AMTRAK CRASH IN PHILADELPHIA RAISES TROUBLING QUESTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: National Transportation Safety Board, public domain

May 16, 2015 (Philadelphia)—What caused an Amtrak passenger train bound for New York from Washington D.C. to derail in Philadelphia’s Port Richmond neighborhood, killed eight passengers and injuring 200 people?


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TOO MUCH FLUORIDE IN WATER, FEDS SAY

 

April 27, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Americans are getting too much fluoride from multiple sources including toothpaste, mouthwash, some juices and sodas, and water.  So the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is recommending cutting in half the amount of fluoride that’s added to drinking water to prevent tooth decay.


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SUPREME COURT WEIGHS LEGALITY OF LETHAL INJECTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 29, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – One year after a botched execution in Oklahoma left an inmate, Clayton Lockett, writing in pain for 43 minutes before dying of a heart attack after the execution was halted, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionality of lethal injection procedures.


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SUPREME COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS IN CASE THAT COULD LEGALIZE GAY MARRIAGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2015 (Washington D.C.)  - The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a landmark case this week, Obergefell v. Hodges, that is expected to decide whether same-sex couples should have a constitutional right to marriage in all 50 states.


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SUPREME COURT HEARS CA RAISIN GROWER'S CASE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Pawen Kuznier, creative commons

April 25, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--Should a government-backed board be able to seize part of farmers’ crops in order to keep supplies down and prices up?


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