Suit against Kern County schools alleges disproportionate discipline for minorities

By Susan Ferriss

Litigation follows Center pieces highlighting harsh discipline for minorities.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Education":

"… kids in school disputes; the nonprofit Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF; the nonprofit Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc …"

"… o names as defendants the district’s trustees; the Kern County Office of Education, which runs alternative campuses; and the California Department of Educati …"

"… ucation, which runs alternative campuses; and the California Department of Education. Lisa Krch, the district’s public information and communications manage …"

"… on “implicit biases of students of color.” The U.S. Department of Education has urged schools to examine discipline policies and the impact on ch …"

Sunshine state uses fees to prevent sun from shining on judicial records

By Alison Fitzgerald

In Florida, a court is charging massive fees for some public records.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… rest. We are still awaiting records from several other districts. …"

"… added, without including estimates of staffer hours and hourly rates. The Center for Public Integrity refused to pay the amount, arguing that the fees were excessive. Charging …"

"… o has tried to get similar records from other Florida counties.  The Center for Public Integrity on July 15 requested documents related to how judges in the county were di …"

"… er the state implemented a new plan to cut a backlog of pending cases. The Center for Public Integrity's report on Florida foreclosures found that many judges were rushing cases …"

Obamacare helps millions, but falls short in many ways

By Wendell Potter

The Affordable Care Act has reduced the ranks of the uninsured, but cost of care must be addressed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congressional Budget Office":

"… have still been joining the ranks of the insured since then. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the number of newly insured Americans will grow to 12 milli …"

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 "Syria":

"… tapping into the huge pool of armaments fueling the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, supplied not only by the world’s big powers but also by up-and-coming e …"

"… d shipments of military supplies, including small arms, to rebel groups in Syria and to a revived Iraqi Army force. “We faced an enormous [monitoring] c …"

"… this new program” meant to arm Western-allied rebel forces in Syria, Christoff said. The new data were collected by a three-year-old, London- …"

"… 00 cartridges collected last July and August in northern Iraq and northern Syria by investigators working alongside Kurdish forces that had fought the forc …"

Open pits offer cheap disposal for fracking sludge, but health worries mount

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Air emissions from oil and gas waste are among the least regulated, least monitored and least understood components of the fracking boom.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pollution":

"… ity. They formed a grassroots opposition group called Concerned About Pollution, or CAP, and held their first meeting under the gazebo in Nordheim’s Jub …"

Obama takes star turn in state political ads

By Ben Wieder

President and his policies take center stage in political ads, with more than 300,000 mentions, including in lower level state races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ther a candidate supports the Affordable Care Act.” …"

"… l political office so far in the run-up to Nov. 4, according to the latest Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from media tracking service Kantar Media/CMAG. …"

Eyeballs burn in North Carolina, Iowa ahead of U.S. Senate elections

By Michael Beckel

Last week, North Carolina, Iowa residents saw three political ads focused on contentious Senate elections every five minutes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee":

"… beneficiaries of air cover from other non-candidate groups, including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and a super PAC known as the Senate Majority PAC, which is run by allies o …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ryan Shapiro":

"… with current and former employees.) “We invented this business,” said Ryan Shapiro, 37, the company’s founder and CEO, in a phone interview in June. “Eve …"

Time is money: who's making a buck off prisoners' families?

By Eleanor Bell and Daniel Wagner

Video: How a web of prison bankers, private vendors and corrections agencies profit by shifting costs onto inmates' families.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ryan Shapiro":

"… ck Donson: There is plenty of money to be made out of that unfortunately. Ryan Shapiro, JPay CEO: I know who’s making money down to the penny and I can tell yo …"

"… ers. And one company has come to dominate 70 percent of that market. Ryan Shapiro: When I was 23 years old the internet was starting to take its hold on a l …"

"… oved about a billion dollars, generating tens of millions in fee revenue. Ryan Shapiro, the company’s founder, literally invented this business back in 2002 an …"

"… ly invented this business back in 2002 and he hasn’t slowed down since. Ryan Shapiro: What does my morning my routine look like? I wake up, I help my kids with …"

Secret politics pervade popular companies

By Dave Levinthal

Some well-known brands keep their political spending secret while others are more forthcoming, new survey shows.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… ertly advocating for or against federal-level candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  Topping the list is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the natio …"

In Kansas, Democratic donors invest in uncertainty

By Michael Beckel

Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman lures left-leaning donors despite uncertainty about whether he'll caucus with Democrats.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Dakota":

"… "too partisan." And he's suggested that Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota or Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska should be considered as the ne …"

The 47-year-old nuclear elephant in the room

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

A growing number of U.S. experts say that feigning ignorance about Israel’s nuclear arsenal creates more trouble than it averts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy Department":

"… ecrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said the clues lie in the Energy Department’s citation — in a document summarizing the facts behind Doyl …"

"… PN-136.” The full, correct title of that bulletin, according to an Energy Department circular, is “WNP-136, Foreign Nuclear Capabilities.” The classificati …"

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 "Energy Department":

"… ctual integrity of employees, especially at the national labs.” …"

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 "Education":

"… said the protest letter, signed by the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and …"

"… litary hardware for school police include the Children’s Law Center, the Education Law Center, the National Center for Youth Law, the Advancement Project — …"

In New Hampshire, quixotic super PAC shaking up Republican primary

By Dave Levinthal

Big-spending Mayday PAC giving Jim Rubens an unexpected boost — and Scott Brown a headache — ahead of GOP primary.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee":

"… n Voters’ election arm has spent almost $400,000 to do the same. And the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee just launched a multimillion-dollar ad blitz blasting Brown’s record dur …"

FEC not 'Ready for Warren'

By Dave Levinthal

The nation's election regulator is telling an upstart super PAC to change its name, saying it violates federal law.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… med that "the goal of our campaign is to draft Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016."  Sagrans noted that candidate draft committees aren't subj …"

"… ates it's a draft committee. Warren has repeatedly said she won't run for president in 2016, and last month, her election attorney, Marc Elias, disavowed the …"

"… ns of dollars to urge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president, doesn't violate federal political committee naming rules because Clinton …"

GOP’s Senate hopes energized by Koch network ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

How many TV ads have groups connected to the billionaire brothers aired in your state?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Colorado":

"… ch group focused on millennials, has argued Democratic Sens. Mark Udall of Colorado and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, are “forcing” young adults to “buy …"

"… 00 ads in Iowa, 4,900 ads in Michigan, 4,700 ads in Arkansas, 4,600 ads in Colorado, 3,600 ads in Alaska and 2,400 ads in Oregon, according to a Center for Pu …"

"… amount raised by her GOP opponent, Thom Tillis. Meanwhile, both Udall of Colorado and Alaska’s Begich had each raised between double and triple the amount …"

Can this 'dark money' group help the Democrats keep the Senate?

By Michael Beckel

Patriot Majority USA raises millions from unknown sources to play attack dog in the South.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Club for Growth":

"… hould be voted upon separately, which won him praise from the conservative Club for Growth, which, at the time, said all lawmakers should vote against the “bloated …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Colorado":

"… n more than a dozen states, with the battlefield stretching from Alaska to Colorado to North Carolina. Democratic candidates and their allies have aired more …"

"… have aired more TV ads to date than their GOP rivals in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina, according to data provided by Kantar Media/ …"

"… least three seats. Meanwhile, Democratic incumbents in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina are bracing themselves against strong Republ …"

"… aised $8.7 million, while Peters' campaign had raised about $7 million. 7) Colorado This race went from quiet to animated when Republican Rep. Cory Gardner a …"

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 "Vladimir Putin":

"… s after one of its largest shareholders, an associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was similarly targeted for sanctions by the United States. …"

Defeat of California initiative would protect insurers' profits

By Wendell Potter

Proposition 45 would allow California's insurance chief to block insurance rate hikes; insurers are spending millions to kill it.

Enforcement of gun laws hinges on local sheriffs' interpretation of Second Amendment

Rural sheriffs across the country are by protesting gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "Colorado":

"… efusing to enforce the laws altogether. Sheriffs in states like New York, Colorado and Maryland argue that some gun control laws defy the Second Amendment an …"

"… the U.S. Constitution, it is listed in state constitutions: Article XIV of Colorado’s, Article XV of Delaware’s, Part VII of Maryland’s and ARTICLE XIII …"

"… ing a firearm for target shooting, we’re not bothering those people.” Colorado made national headlines when 55 of the state’s 62 sheriffs attempted to …"

"… thick stack of praise and thank-you notes in his office. He’ll run for a Colorado Senate seat in November and is endorsed by the state’s major gun lobby, …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "high-speed Internet":

"… t it only made sense that the city of Tullahoma be able to offer its local high-speed Internet service to areas beyond the city limits. After all, many of her rural con …"

"… ives any legal challenges, municipalities nationwide will be free to offer high-speed Internet to residents when they aren’t satisfied with the service provided by pri …"

"… nt, officials say, but “if the city of Tullahoma can offer to businesses high-speed Internet at a reasonable price as part of the city’s overall infrastructure, we t …"

Firearms more likely to be used in suicides than in homicides

By Carmen Forman and Jacob Byk

At least 50 people died per day from firearm suicide; 26 died from firearm homicides.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… the firearms available, Berman said. “The problem of course is the NRA (National Rifle Association) and their interpretation that any attempt even to talk about safe storage …"

Lobbying disclosures leave public in the dark

By Marcelo Rochabrun and Dave Levinthal

Despite efforts to beef up laws regulating lobbyists, public is in the dark when it comes to what firms are up to in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… efforts has also slipped each year since 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The drop, some have theorized, may be due to more lobbyists terminating …"

Women become increasingly involved in gun groups

By Lauren Loftus and Natalie Krebs

Thanks in part to targeted marketing, more women are buying guns for protection and sport

Excerpts from this story referencing "San Antonio":

"… ure Shots now has about 300 members between two Austin chapters and one in San Antonio. “They feel a lot more safe and confident and kind of have a whole new …"

Gun rights debate enters a new arena: the campus

By Wade Millward and Carmen Forman

The right to carry a firearm onto college campuses has become another issue in the gun control debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Colorado":

"… led guns on campus if their college grants permission. Attempts to start a Colorado referendum to end campus carry there ended in failure. Groups like SCC, m …"

"… ols and some public buildings from concealed carry of guns. Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi and Wisconsin — and now Idaho — have laws on the …"

"… ents store guns in their cars to leaving policy decisions to the schools. Colorado courts sided with SCC in 2010 and 2012, ruling the state’s public univer …"

"… ated a 2003 state law giving the legislature sole gun regulation control. Colorado colleges still regulate guns in dorms, dining halls and event centers. Uni …"

Fired Los Alamos nuclear expert files appeal

By Douglas Birch

Former Los Alamos lab employee argues that DOE abused its powers, retaliated against him for expressing views.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Secretary":

"… lamos nuclear policy expert has filed an appeal in a whistleblower case to Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, arguing that the Energy Department had abused its …"

White House faces Democratic Senate revolt over nuclear security cuts

By James Arkin

Members of the Senate are asking Obama to increase spending to secure global nuclear weapons stocks

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Energy":

"… ’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget cut nonproliferation programs in the Department of Energy by nearly $400 million. In their letter, the senators praised Obama‘s le …"

State lawmakers take aim at federal gun control

By Justine McDaniel, Robby Korth and Jessica Boehm

A growing collection of state legislatures seeks to disqualify federal gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… ifying federal gun laws because that could undo NRA legislative success in Washington. “I think that is a misguided distraction,” said Todd Rathner, an NRA …"

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