A bill aiming to protect children online reignites a battle over privacy and free speech
The bill’s revival has reignited a battle over the future of Internet regulation and online speech. Prominent technologists, industry groups, civil rights advocates and LGBT interest groups have aggressively campaigned against it, warning the proposal threatens to erode consumers’ privacy and could have a chilling effect on free expression online.washingtonpost.com
416,000 student-loan borrowers landed $1.85 billion in relief. Elizabeth Warren says that's not enough to compensate those impacted by one of the largest loan company's 'abusive practices.'
In a letter provided exclusively to Insider, three senators asked the Education Department to provide prompt relief to defrauded Navient customers.news.yahoo.com
Senators say they were denied full access to federal prison
Two U.S. senators said Wednesday that they were denied access to parts of a federal prison in Connecticut while trying to examine conditions there in response to correctional officers' complaints about a staffing shortage and lack of coronavirus precautions. Concerns about the spread of COVID-19 itself were behind the denial, the federal Bureau of Prisons said. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, both Connecticut Democrats, visited the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution with labor union leaders and two state lawmakers.news.yahoo.com
New step to curb tech giants' power advanced by Senate panel
Congress has taken a new step toward reining in the market dominance of Big Tech. Bipartisan legislation advanced by a Senate panel would bar the dominant online platforms from favoring their own goods and services over those of rivals on the platforms.
Sikorsky celebrates the delivery of its first Connecticut-made high-tech heavy lift helicopter to the US Marines
Sikorsky Aircraft gave a send-off Friday to its first Connecticut-built CH-53K heavy lift helicopter to the U.S. Marine Corps in a ceremony suitable for the massive high-tech aircraft. Nearly 100 executives and employees of the Lockheed Martin Corp. helicopter manufacturer and others celebrated in an aircraft hangar at Sikorsky’s Stratford headquarters, with the helicopter — 99 feet long and ...news.yahoo.com
Blumenthal ‘furious’ at Biden administration over failing to secure evacuee planes
Sen. Richard Blumenthal took aim at the White House and State Department on Monday, saying he is “furious” over struggles to secure planes to evacuate a group of Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan.news.yahoo.com
Democrats Sick of Waiting for Republicans on Infrastructure Bill
Photos GettyOne day in late June, President Joe Biden and a group of 10 senators from both parties emerged from the Oval Office and declared they’d reached an agreement on a bipartisan, multi-billion dollar infrastructure deal—the foundation of a signature win for a president obsessed with bipartisanship.Despite that group of senators working furiously to finalize a deal, four weeks later, no deal has materialized. There’s no bill, or even concrete details, for colleagues to consider. And thosenews.yahoo.com
Study: Half of US cosmetics contain toxic chemicals
More than half the cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada likely contain high levels of a toxic industrial compound linked to serious health conditions, including cancer and reduced birth weight, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine — an indicator of PFAS, so-called “forever chemicals” that are used in nonstick frying pans, rugs and countless other consumer products. Twenty-nine products with high fluorine concentrations were tested further and found to contain between four and 13 specific PFAS chemicals, the study found.news.yahoo.com
Senators to Biden: Waive vaccine intellectual property rules
Ten liberal senators are urging President Joe Biden to back India and South Africa’s appeal to the World Trade Organization to temporarily relax intellectual property rules so coronavirus vaccines can be manufactured by nations that are struggling to inoculate their populations.
AP survey: ADs fear sharing revenue with college athletes
NCAA basketball administrators apologized to the womens basketball players and coaches after inequities between the mens and womens tournament went viral on social media. “How does that even work?” Boston College athletic director Patrick Kraft said. Permitting college athletes to earn money off their name, image and likeness once seemed like a radical idea, but that will soon be a reality. The NCAA is already looking for help from federal lawmakers to set national standards for NIL compensation for college athletes. ___More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Democrats vow vote on gun bills; Biden says 'we have to act'
They are not even united themselves, as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., told reporters Tuesday that he opposes the House legislation on background checks. The gun debate also highlights a larger difficulty for Senate Democrats as they try to move forward on gun legislation and other policy priorities of the Biden White House. Schumer has not said when he will bring the House legislation up for a vote. Democrats say they feel the environment around gun legislation has evolved, especially since that last major push in 2013. Many in the GOP base are still strongly opposed to gun control of any kind.
Biden says 'we have to act' after Colorado mass shooting
WASHINGTON – Democrats say they are pushing toward a vote on expanded gun control measures as the nation reels from its second mass shooting in a week. They are not even united themselves, as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., told reporters Tuesday that he opposes the House legislation on background checks. It is unclear whether any of the bills up for consideration — most of them involving more restrictive background checks — would have made a difference in that case. Republicans have argued that background checks would not stop most mass shootings and would prevent some lawful gun owners from purchasing firearms. A second bill would extend a review period for background checks from three to 10 days.
Biden eyes $3T package for infrastructure, schools, families
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)WASHINGTON – Fresh off passage of the COVID-19 relief bill, President Joe Biden is assembling the next big White House priority, a sweeping $3 trillion package of investments on infrastructure and domestic needs. Biden's outreach to Senate Democrats comes as the White House is under fire for its handling of the U.S.-Mexico border. An infrastructure package would include roughly $1 trillion for roads, bridges, rail lines, electrical vehicle charging stations and the cellular network, among other items. With the House and Senate under Democratic control, the proposals are expected to draw support from all corners of Congress. A White House official said the president has been very clear about his agenda, even though the details are only just starting to surface.
Minorities underrepresented in service academy nominations
Minority students are significantly underrepresented when it comes to getting nominations from members of Congress to attend the nation's military service academies, according to an analysis released Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)Minority students are significantly underrepresented when it comes to getting nominations from members of Congress to attend the nation's military service academies, according to an analysis released Wednesday. The study by the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center and the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School included nearly 25 years of admissions nomination data from the Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy involving members of the current Congress. Members of Congress have awarded 6% of their total nominations to Black students and 8% to Hispanic students, according to the report. To be considered for admission, all service academy applicants must receive a nomination from a member of Congress, the president, the vice president, a secretary of a military service, or an academy superintendent.
Advocates seek Biden push on gun bills, but prospects iffy
The House recently passed legislation that would require background checks for gun purchases, a signature Democratic issue for decades. The two bills that passed the House last week would expand background checks on gun purchases, the first significant movement on gun control since Democrats took control of both chambers of Congress and the White House. That leaves gun-control advocates hoping that the politics of gun control have shifted enough that more Republicans may be open to legislation that advocates argue is widely popular with the American public. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a moderate, have worked together for years to find compromise on background checks. John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, pointed in particular to Democratic wins in the 2018 midterms while running openly for gun control as evidence the politics are changing.
House passes bill to expand background checks for gun sales
The House passed two bills Thursday to require background checks on all firearms sales and transfers and to allow an expanded 10-day review for gun purchases. While enhanced background checks are generally popular with the American public, even with some conservatives, Congress has so far not been able to find compromise on the issue. “These solutions will save lives.”President Joe Biden has called for Congress to strengthen gun laws, including requiring the background checks on all gun sales and banning assault weapons. AdThe second bill, which passed 219-210, would extend the review period for background checks from three to 10 days. While the House bills have Republican cosponsors and won a handful of GOP votes, most Republicans voted against them.
Biden urges Senate Dems to rally behind $1.9T virus bill
“He said we need to pass this bill and pass it soon. The Senate bill was expected to largely mirror the House-approved package, with the most glaring divergence the Senate's dropping of language boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 hourly. Schumer said Senate debate would commence as soon as Wednesday and predicted, “We'll have the votes we need to pass the bill." Progressives, though, were still smarting over the virtual certainty that the Senate bill will lack the minimum wage boost, up from $7.25 hourly locked in since 2009. The funding was removed after some Republican lawmakers had criticized it as an example of a wasteful spending item that should not be part of the COVID relief bill.
Federal watchdog blasts FAA over certification of Boeing jet
The inspector general issued 14 recommendations to “restore confidence in FAA’s certification process and ensure the highest level of safety” in future passenger planes. While FAA test pilots knew about changes to the flight system, called MCAS, some key FAA personnel, including engineers, did not. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said the report indicated concealment by Boeing and negligence by the FAA. AdThe same inspector general’s office reported last year that Boeing failed to disclose to the FAA changes it made to MCAS. In January, Boeing agreed to a $2.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department to avoid prosecution for defrauding the FAA.
Trump acquitted, denounced in historic impeachment trial
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks about the motion to call witnesses during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Coming amid the searing COVID-19 crisis, the Biden White House is trying to rush pandemic relief through Congress. Most of them ultimately voted to acquit, doubting whether Trump was fully responsible or if impeachment is the appropriate response. Within a week Biden was inaugurated, Trump was gone and Pelosi sent the article of impeachment to the Senate days later, launching the proceedings. At the same time, this year's trial carried similar warnings from the prosecutors that Trump must be held accountable because he has shown repeatedly he has no bounds.
Trump impeachment trial confronts memories of Capitol siege
(Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool photo via AP)WASHINGTON – The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is more than an effort to convict the former president of inciting an insurrection. It's a chance for a public accounting and remembrance of the worst attack on the U.S. Capitol in 200 years. Trump is long gone, ensconced at his Mar-a-Lago club, and Democrat Joe Biden is the new president in the White House. "A public trial serves a vital purpose," he said. Pelosi led Democrats in impeaching Trump, the only president twice impeached, and the first in history to face trial after leaving office.
Trump rejects Dems' request to testify at impeachment trial
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)WASHINGTON – House Democrats asked Donald Trump to testify under oath for his Senate impeachment trial, challenging him to respond to their charge that he incited a violent mob to storm the Capitol. Hours after the Democrats' Thursday request was revealed, Trump adviser Jason Miller dismissed the trial as “an unconstitutional proceeding” and said the former president would not testify. Separately, Trump’s lawyers denounced the request as a “public relations stunt.”AdThe impeachment trial starts Feb. 9. He asked that Trump provide testimony about his conduct “either before or during the Senate impeachment trial,” and under cross-examination, as early as Monday, Feb. 8, and not later than Thursday, Feb. 11. The Senate could vote to subpoena Trump, or any other witnesses, on a simple majority vote during the trial.
Latest bill would bar NCAA limits on athlete NIL rights
The College Athlete Economic Freedom Act is the third piece of legislation related to name, image and likeness compensation for college athletes introduced in Congress since December and second sponsored by Democrats. Iowa became the latest state to get in the game, with lawmakers introducing a bill Wednesday they hope will go into effect July 1. The bill would give college athletes unfettered access to the free market, allow them to organize and make group licensing deals, and hand oversight to the Federal Trade Commission. ), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, put forth an NIL bill that is narrowly focused like Murphy's, but with numerous restrictions that critics consider too NCAA-friendly. Wicker's bill would provide antitrust protections to the NCAA, shielding the association from legal challenges to its NIL rules, and allow the association to limit the types of financial agreements for athletes.
Russian hack brings changes, uncertainty to US court system
The new rules for filing sensitive documents are one of the clearest ways the hack has affected the court system. AdThe Administrative Office of U.S. Courts confirmed the court system breach on Jan. 6, joining a victims' list that includes the State Department, the National Institutes of Health, tech companies and an unknown number of Fortune 500 companies. Targets could include not just court staff, but also “soft targets” such as law firms that upload files to the case management system, known as CM/ECF. Criminal, civil and bankruptcy filings are believed to have been compromised, but not the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court system, which handles national security surveillance warrants, according to the court employees. Senators are pressing court officials and the Justice Department for a clear assessment of the damage to the legal system.
Democrats ask ethics panel to investigate Sens. Cruz, Hawley
Thousands had gathered that day as Congress voted to formally certify President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in November. Hawley and Cruz led objections in the Senate to Biden’s victory, despite the widespread recognition that the effort would fail. And both senators used their objections for political fundraising,” the Democratic senators said in their letter. Cruz helped force a vote on Biden's victory in Arizona, while Hawley helped force one on Biden's victory in Pennsylvania. “This latest effort is a flagrant abuse of the Senate ethics process and a flagrant attempt to exact partisan revenge."