Washington D.C.

TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP TRADE PACT SPARKS RIFT BETWEEN LABOR AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS VS. BUSINESS ADVOCATES

 

Photo: Senator Elizabeth Warren, critic of the trade deal.

By Miriam Raftery

April 22, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--There’s a battle brewing between the Democratic Party’s labor and business wings over the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, that the Obama administration hopes to reach with 11 Asian-Pacific nations.

HIGH COURT: TRAFFIC STOPS CAN'T BE DELAYED FOR DRUG DOG SEARCH

 

East County News Service

Photo by Michael Pereckas

April 22, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A divided Supreme Court has ruled that police cannot detain a motorist pulled over for a traffic stop any longer than required to issue a ticket or warning for the driving infraction.  An officer cannot delay a motorist to allow for inspection of the vehicle, such as by a drug-sniffing dog when the cause for the stop was a traffic violation.

SUPREME COURT WEIGHS IN ON FRAUD AND GAS PRICE-FIXING IN CALIFORNIA

 

East County News Service

April 22, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Remember Enron?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that energy companies accused of illegal manipulation of natural gas prices during California’s energy crisis 10 years ago can be sued under the state’s anti-trust laws.

MCDONALD'S IS LATEST TO PLEDGE TO ELIMINATE DEFORESTATION FROM SUPPLY CHAIN

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Greg Hume

April 22, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast-food chain, is the latest company that has pledged to eliminate deforestation from its global supply chains. Palm oil deforestation leads to destruction of habitat for endangered and threatened species such as orangutans, elephants, rhinoceros and tigers.

BEECH-NUT RECALLS BABY FOOD DUE TO BROKEN GLASS IN JARS

 

East County News Service

April 14, 2015 (Washington D.C.) -- Beech-Nut Nutrition is recalling nearly 2,000 pounds of baby food products that may be contaminated with small pieces of glass, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

HUMMUS RECALLED DUE TO LISTERIA CONTAMINATION

 

East County News Service

April 11, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A nationwide recall of hummus products has been issued by Sabra Dipping Company due to possible contamination with Listeria. The recall includes 30,000 cases which were distributed to retail outlets nationally including supermarkets and food service outlets.

IN EVERY STATE, WOMEN ARE MORE LIKELY THAN MEN TO LIVE IN POVERTY

 

Equal Pay Would Cut Poverty Rate for Working Women by More than Half

April 8, 2015 (Washington, DC)—In advance of Equal Pay Day on April 14, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) released a new report showing that women have higher rates of poverty, and much lower rates of business ownership than men in all 50 states despite having made significant progress over the last 25 years in attaining a college education. This trend is especially pronounced among the youngest workers.

FEDERAL REPORT: MARIJUANA KILLS CANCER CELLS, SHRINKS BRAIN TUMORS

 

Yet Justice Dept. pursues prosecutions against California dispensaries in defiance of Congress

By Miriam Raftery

April 5, 2015 (Washington D.C.) -- The National Institute on Drug Abuse issued a report this month titled, “Is Marijuana Medicine?”  It concludes that “recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others. Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors.”

HOUSE APPROVES MEDICARE CHANGES

 

East County News Service

March 28, 2015 (Washington D.C.) - The House of Representatives has passed broad changes to our nation’s Medicare system. The bill would raise premium costs for higher income earners and extend a health insurance program for children, also setting a new formula for paying doctors.

The bill passed by a 392 to 37 vote and now advances to the Senate.

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET PLANS WOULD SLASH SPENDING ON SOCIAL PROGRAMS, ELIMINATE AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – The Republican-controlled House and Senate budget proposals call for $5.5 trillion in spending cuts including deep  cuts in Medicare,  food stamps and other social programs. It also includes tax cuts for the wealthy and $40 million in increasing “emergency” war funding for the military.  It would also repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

BILL TO DECRIMINALIZE MEDICAL CANNABIS

 

By Leon Thompson

March 17th, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--Senators Cory Booker, Kristen Gillibrand, and Rand Paul introduced SB.683, the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act.

BIPARTISAN SENATE BILL WOULD REFORM MARIJUANA LAWS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2015 (Washington D.C.) –Legislation introduced this week in the Senate would protect patients, doctors and clinics from federal prosecution in states where medical marijuana is legal.  The bill would also allow Veterans Affairs physicians to recommend medical cannabis in those states.

SENATOR FEINSTEIN ASKS FDA TO INVESTIGATE DOG FOOD ILLNESS CLAIMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 12, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – California Senator Dianne Feinstein wants to know why the FDA has not taken action to halt the sale of Purina Beneful dog food. The products remain on the market despite numerous complaints and now a lawsuit claiming that thousands of dogs were sickened or died after eating the dry kibble food.

PRESIDENT ISSUES STUDENT AID BILL OF RIGHTS

 

East County News Service

March 10, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed the Student Aid Bill of Rights, a presidential memorandum aimed at making it easier for graduates to pay off student loans.

CONTROVERSY OVER CLINTON'S E-MAILS THROUGH PRIVATE ACCOUNT

 

Photo: Hillary Rodham Clinton at 2007 California Democratic Convention

By Miriam Raftery

March 2, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A controversy has arisen involving Hillary Rodham Clinton over revelations that while serving as Secretary of State, she did not have an official government e-mail address and used only a personal e-mail address for all of her official government business.

HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDED FOR ONE WEEK ONLY

 

By Miriam Raftery                                                                 

February 28, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A shut-down of Homeland Security due to take effect Saturday has been postponed, but only short-term. On Friday, the House and Senate passed a one-week funding bill which the President signed shortly before midnight.

OBAMA VETOES KEYSTONE PIPELINE

 

East County News Service

February 28, 2015 (Washington D.C.)—President Barack Obama has vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline bill passed by the Republican-controlled Congress. In his veto message, he criticized the Congressional attempt to bypass his administration’s environmental review of the project and ““circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.”

MEDIA WATCH: FCC VOTES FOR NET NEUTRALITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 26, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Advocates of free and open internet access won a major victory Thursday when the Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 to adopt net neutrality.

READER'S EDITORIAL: H.R.493 - IS MORE THAN AMNESTY FOR THE INDUSTRY'S EAGLE SLAUGHTER

"When you can no longer hide and you have not obeyed the law, just ask your friends in Congress to bail you out. This is what this Bill represents."


By Jim Wiegand

February 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --For those that do not believe America has lost its way, all one has to do is look at the relationship between the wind industry and Washington D.C. Unbiased observers will see a shell game democracy funneling out untold billions for a highly destructive and inefficient "energy strategy". One of the primary benefactors of this arrangement is a Washington based group of panhandlers know as the wind industry. But this industry's windfall set up with Washington is threatened because word of this industry's undisclosed impacts is reaching the public.

FAA PROPOSES RULES FOR DRONES

 

East County News Service

February 15, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released draft rules for regulation of drones on February 15th, though it will likely take two or three years before they can take effect.  The next step is approval by the Obama administration, followed by a public comments period.

REPUBLICANS THREATEN SHUT DOWN OF HOMELAND SECURITY OVER IMMIGRATION FIGHT

 

East County News Service

February 15, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Conservatives in Congress are threatening to let the Department of Homeland Security shut down on February 27th, refusing to fund a measure authorizing funding of Homeland Security unless they can secure approval of language to repeal President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. The agency was formed to protect national security after the 9/11 terrorism attacks in 2001.

OBAMA SEEKS WAR DECLARATION AGAINST ISIS

 

East County News Service

February 10, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – President Barack Obama is asking Congress to approve military force against the Islamic State terrorists, also known as ISIL or ISIS, over the next three years.

THREATS MADE TO FIRST FAMILY AND MILITARY SPOUSES

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--A group calling itself the Cyber Caliphate hacked into Twitter accounts in the U.S. on Tuesday, issuing threats against first lady Michelle Obama, the President’s children, and American military spouses.

IRS WILL REQUIRE SMALL WIND TURBINES TO BE CERTIFIED

 

Distributed wind industry views performance and quality assurances at the Federal level as a positive step for successful deployment of distributed wind projects in U.S.

January 20, 2015 (Washington D.C.)--The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued Notice 2015-4 providing new performance and quality standards that require certification of small wind turbines – defined as having a nameplate capacity of up to 100 kW – in order to qualify for the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER BANS POLICE FROM SEIZING ASSETS WITHOUT WARRANTS OR CHARGES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 17, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Last September, East County Magazine reported on alleged abuses of a federal policy that allowed local law enforcement agencies to keep 80% of cash and other assets seized – even when no criminal charges were filed.  Critics contended the system led to corruption.

OBAMA PROPOSES SICK PAY FOR WORKERS

 

By Hayden Parsley

Photo by White House photographer Pete Souza: President talks with workers at a café in Maryland about paid sick leave

January 16, 2015 (Washington D.C.) -- President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, which would require businesses to provide up to seven paid sick leave days each year for their employees. He also encourages state and local governments to do the same if Congress fails to act.

BILL TO BAN MOST ABORTIONS AFTER 20 WEEKS SET FOR VOTE IN HOUSE JAN. 22

 

By Hayden Parsley and Miriam Raftery

January 17, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A bill pushed forward by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives seeks to ban abortions after 20 weeks—five months-- except in cases of rape, incest, or a serious danger to the mother.

HOUSE PASSES VETERANS' SUICIDE PREVENTION BILL

 

East County News Service

January 15, 2015 (Washington D.C.)—The House of Representatives has unanimously passed HR 203, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act. This bipartisan legislation – originally passed by the House in the 113th Congress, but blocked by a single U.S. Senator – addresses the epidemic of suicide among our nation’s veterans.

JUSTICE DEPT. TO TRIBES: MARIJUANA GROWING ON RESERVATIONS ACCEPTABLE, WITH LIMITS

 

East County News Service

January 11, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – At the request of Native American tribes, the U.S. Department of Justice has issued a policy statement offering guidance to U.S. Attorneys on priorities for enforcing marijuana laws on tribal lands. Given that many states have legalized marijuana for medical, agricultural or recreational use, the statement lists eight priorities for enforcement on Indian lands—and makes clear that any enforcement must require consultation with tribal partners.

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