Coal ash no worse than everyday trash, EPA rules

The EPA announced what it called a "milestone" rule for toxic coal ash, but critics say it doesn't go far enough.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tennessee":

"… on for decades. After a disastrous December 2008 coal-ash spill in eastern Tennessee — among the largest environmental disasters in American history, unleash …"

Who's responsible for the CIA's torture policy?

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Who's who in authorizing the CIA's brutal treatment of detainees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… News Bruce Jessen screengrab from ABC News …"

"… ton believed they were withholding information about future attacks on the United States. As it turned out, some of those who were harshly treated had no such info …"

Obama administration let opponents define the Affordable Care Act

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obama administration let foes define Affordable Care Act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… ch Massachusetts lawmakers enacted in 2006. During remarks he made at the Health Economists Conference at the University of Pennsylvania last year, Gruber …"

"… in: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for M …"

Health insurers win midterm election!

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: midterm results create a friendlier Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… of the Affordable Care Act that the insurance industry would like the next Congress to change. If insurers get what they want — and with the GOP in control …"

"… urers get what they want — and with the GOP in control of both houses of Congress, it’s a decent bet they will — Wall Street will be exuberant indeed. …"

"… e exuberant indeed. Just the anticipation of what a Republican controlled Congress might be able to pull off has put insurance company shareholders in good h …"

"… t we can expect Republican lawmakers to quickly introduce bills in the new Congress that would strip the law’s “root and branch,” to use a favorite McCo …"

Investigators find Islamic State used ammo made in 21 countries, including America

By Julia Harte and R. Jeffrey Smith

A new report from an arms tracking group highlights how easily munitions shipped to the Middle East shift from one owner to another.

Excerpts from this story referencing "officer":

"… measures are still being developed. Joshua M. Paul, a former U.S. embassy officer in Iraq who is now a spokesman for the State Department bureau that overse …"

"… out the front door — and trying to get a receipt from the chief [Iraqi] officer, who was real enthusiastic about it, I can tell you.” Eventually, at th …"

DOE official seeks probe of dissident analyst’s dismissal by nuclear weapons laboratory

By Douglas Birch

The overseer of U.S. nuclear weapons production requests an Inspector General’s review of the firing of Los Alamos analyst James Doyle.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… l that challenged the tenets of nuclear deterrence and supported President Obama’s call for movement towards a nuclear weapons-free future. That message …"

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ave been handed over to school districts large and small, from California, Texas, Nevada and Utah to Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Michigan.   In Cali …"

"… NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and Public Counsel, which is based in Los Ange …"

"… d Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and Public Counsel, which is based in Los Angeles. Controversy over so-c …"

"… pline, as the Center for Public Integrity has reported.    Both Texas Appleseed and Public Counsel have been active in pushing for states and di …"

Russian bank hires two former U.S. senators

By Alexander Cohen

U.S. sanctions against Russia are becoming a boon for Washington's lobbyists.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Qorvis":

"… irm OAO Novatek retained Washington, D.C., public relations firm Qorvis to lobby the administration and Congress after one of its largest sharehol …"

Nuclear weapons lab employee fired after publishing scathing critique of the arms race

By Douglas Birch

Los Alamos lets a 17-year employee go after retroactively classifying his published article.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… Jeffrey Smith contributed to this article. …"

"… exico lab. But he says he believes the sudden firing was instead part of a Washington-inspired campaign of retribution for his refusal to stay on message and su …"

"… ts at the nonprofit National Security Archive, affiliated with George Washington University. “We have a bunch of postings on our site [referring to Israe …"

"… he said, he got a call from the lab’s top government relations office in Washington, Patrick Woehrle, a former congressional staffer who had worked closely wi …"

Afghans don’t like soybeans, despite a big U.S. push

By Alexander Cohen and James Arkin

Washington ignored warnings that Afghans were unlikely to embrace protein-rich soy products.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… t the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonprofit group in Washington. The funds allocated to rebuild the country mostly went to “short-term a …"

"… hain.” The association had, moreover, forged close ties to officials in Washington. Its annual conference in Washington, typically held at a hotel on Capito …"

"… r, forged close ties to officials in Washington. Its annual conference in Washington, typically held at a hotel on Capitol Hill and co-hosted with agriculture …"

EPA: No comment on fracking air pollution

By Jim Morris and Lisa Song

No one at the Environmental Protection Agency has been willing to talk on the record about air pollution associated with fracking in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… If a state regulatory agency — in this case the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — isn’t doing much to curb the industry's air pollution, why …"

"… ’t doing much to curb the industry's air pollution, why isn’t the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stepping in? The EPA, after all, is ultimately respons …"

"… ation in federal agencies.” The letter came shortly after the Society of Environmental Journalists protested the EPA's refusal to release the names of the tech …"

Four years after passage, House keeps trying to kill Dodd-Frank

By Jared Bennett

On the fourth anniversary of the passage of landmark financial reform law, opponents still trying to kill it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… 2010 to “halftime.” Even now, on the fourth anniversary of President Obama’s signing of Dodd-Frank into law, bank lobbyists and a core group of law …"

Class-action suit: Wrong to put kids into immigration court with no lawyers to help

By Susan Ferriss

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Excerpts from this story referencing "White House":

"… nment lawyers to more swiftly get minors into court to test their claims. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said not all children are going to qualify for refu …"

Will migrant kids lose access to child-welfare and legal specialists in rush to deport?

By Susan Ferriss

Child advocates are worried possible legal changes could cut off migrant kids' access to social workers, asylum lawyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maryland":

"… discovered after police broke up a sex-trafficking ring in North Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey in 2007. Some of the girls were caught at the border p …"

Saving the penny makes cents for zinc-backed front group

By Erin Quinn

'Broad-based' group created to save the penny from extinction turns out to be backed by a company that supplies metal to make the coins.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ethics":

"… d Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog group. Sloan also believes the number …"

"… e deception easier, said George Johnson, chairman of the PRSA’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards. “As a new form of communication, a new set …"

"… new opportunities and new problems,” Johnson said. The PRSA’s Code of Ethics includes an entire section dedicated to disclosure of information. The cod …"

How politics derailed EPA science on arsenic, endangering public health

By David Heath

A ban on arsenic-containing pesticides was lifted after a lawmaker disrupted a scientific assessment by the EPA.

Excerpts from this story referencing "toxic chemical":

"… arsenal used by industry to virtually paralyze EPA scientists who evaluate toxic chemicals. In 2009, President Obama signed an executive memorandum to try …"

"… d 2013, the EPA has managed to complete only six scientific evaluations of toxic chemicals, creating a backlog of 47 ongoing assessments. It’s a track record no b …"

"… Chemical reviews lag It’s the job of the EPA to protect the public from toxic chemicals. To do that, the agency must first review the scientific literature to de …"

"… not the first time Congress has pressured the EPA to hand over science on toxic chemicals to the National Academy. In 2009, Sen. David Vitter, a Republican from Lo …"

Leadership at Chemical Safety Board questioned amid investigation backlog

By Rosalind Adams

Evidence of ongoing management failures and a toxic work environment at the Chemical Safety Board was presented at a hearing Thursday.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… to several new safety regulations, Moure-Eraso said. A report by the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general last year, however, found that the …"

EPA plan would slash climate-damaging carbon emissions from 1,000 existing power plants

The EPA on Monday proposed the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… Holmstead, who headed the EPA’s air and radiation office under President George W. Bush. “This is the rule that’s going to address all these risks,” yet now …"

Shameful coverage of Obamacare's real impacts

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obamacare coverage that doesn't inform.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… sp; …"

"… d son had pre-existing conditions, the only policies available to them pre-Obamacare would not cover any medical care pertaining to those maladies. And eve …"

"… and GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin about whether the color of President Obama’s skin might explain why some people are opposed to the law.  Rock …"

U.S. military describes its mistakes in Afghanistan

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff says that both military and civilian officials failed to tackle corrosive corruption.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… co-published with Slate, Business Insider, and Globalpost. …"

"… no oversight or alignment with other … [U.S. government] efforts.” Obama heard some of this bad news directly in an exit briefing a year ago from t …"

"… o Afghanistan.” Allen’s assessment was in some ways unsurprising: The Obama administration is considering an accelerated drawdown of forces there — …"

"… Western authority assuming overarching responsibility for the problem. As Obama administration officials flirted with taking a more aggressive stance, Afg …"

Casinos and offshore companies battle for billions in online gambling push

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Congress, states and a rich mix of characters argue over regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Governors Association":

"… idates and state ballot initiative efforts and the rest to groups like the Republican Governors Association, which can send the money to states where casinos are barred by law from m …"

"… several of which operate in New Jersey, gave at least $1.5 million to the Republican Governors Association, with $1 million coming from Adelson, the casino mogul. The RGA, in turn, …"

"… xecutives and executives’ families have given at least $6 million to the Republican Governors Association. That cash cannot be traced to particular expenditures by the RGA, but the …"

Japan reaffirms its plan to produce plutonium

By Douglas Birch and Jake Adelstein

The Abe government’s new energy plan calls for completing the Rokkasho plutonium fuel factory despite U.S. concern it poses terrorism risks

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama administration":

"… te…the completion of Rokkasho,” the energy plan states. Publicly, the Obama administration has said little about Rokkasho, located on the Pacific Coast about 1,000 m …"

What's the point, WellPoint?

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: insurer's talk of rate increases may boomerang.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… least bit interested in making predictions. Humana declined to comment. An Aetna spokeswoman was quoted as saying only that, “It’s too early to say.” …"

Japan confirms it will return some nuclear explosive materials to U.S.

By Douglas Birch

The amount of plutonium is a small fraction of what the country could soon begin making annually.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… uclear programs. The joint U.S.-Japanese statement, released by President Obama and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, said: “This effort involves the …"

Improving security for nuclear explosives remains a diplomatic struggle

By Douglas Birch

A two-day international summit attended by President Obama next week is unlikely to move beyond stopgap measures and vague promises.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… theory to fuel tens of thousands of weapons. Jonathan Wolfsthal, a former Department of Energy official and as a special advisor to Vice President Joe Biden for nuclear …"

Japan could be building an irresistible terrorist target, experts say

Japan has balked at U.S. security advice for its nuclear plants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… grew by 60 percent, to about 9,000 officers, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. Washington also pressed others, including France, Britain, Russ …"

"… ch. But in Japan, at least, there was resistance. Paul Dickman, a former Energy Department official and chief of staff to the chairman of the Nuclear Regu …"

"… Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a delegation from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008 the government worried that “if, for example, the information sh …"

"… equipment is replaced. That’s why experts say the International Atomic Energy Agency will be able to track only 99 percent of the plutonium as it moves …"

Exposing tragic myths of the world's 'greatest' health care system

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: world's 'best' health care system is failing many right here.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Knoxville, Tennessee":

"… e lie that the “best in the world” claim really is, Mandvi traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, home of the University of Tennessee, my alma mater, and the headquarters …"

"… Tennessee. When told by a RAM volunteer after they land that, “This is Knoxville, Tennessee, this is America,” Mandvi asks, in mock astonishment: “If this is Amer …"

"… here.” When Mandvi tells him that, “The place I’m talking about is Knoxville, Tennessee,” Wilemon has one of those moments you never, ever want to have on TV. H …"

White House seeks to chip away at severe Labor Department judge shortage, case backlog

By Jim Morris

The White House is requesting an additional $2 million from Congress for its overworked, understaffed Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… rcing some sick and injured workers to wait years for benefits. President Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget would add 10 people to the OALJ, though it’s uncl …"

"… ministration's request to Congress, and already some are saying the entire Obama Administration budget is ‘dead on arrival.’ Still, it's a step in …"

Obama announces foundation-funded project to help black, Latino youth

By Susan Ferriss

'My Brother's Keeper' is a $200 million program aimed at keeping minority youth out of the criminal justice system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Annie E. Casey Foundation":

"… pies; the Knight Foundation; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation;  the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies and the California Endowment. The Casey Foundati …"

Natural gas boom advances with little study of public health effects, report finds

By Lisa Song and Jim Morris

As a drilling boom continues in Texas and beyond, a new study spotlights a missing ingredient: A full assessment of public health impact.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… exist," concluded the report published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology. Last week, The Center for Public Integrity, I …"

"… g to fund independent research." Goldstein said the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences — part of the National Institutes of Health — has st …"

"… nization that studies vehicular air pollution. It is jointly funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the auto industry. Goldstein, a doctor and toxico …"

"… unterproductive," he said in 2012 in testimony before the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee. "This is not a one-time event in a single location whose hea …"

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