July 23, 2008 |
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the government may not withhold key data on serious car accidents from the public. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia potentially ends years of litigation over the data, and could soon put crash information collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into the hands of journalists, consumer watchdogs and others.
July 12, 2008 |
In a shift on federal food safety policy, the Bush administration soon will begin telling consumers during recalls whether their local grocery store has been stocking contaminated meat or poultry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which announced the change Friday, currently publicizes food recalls and sources but does not tell consumers where the tainted products have gone. Long-standing anger about this policy flared in February during the largest beef recall in U.S.
July 5, 2008 |
The army under President Pervez Musharraf supervised a shipment of uranium centrifuges to North Korea in 2000, the disgraced architect of Pakistan's atomic weapons program said. The claim is the most controversial leveled by Abdul Qadeer Khan, who has been agitating for an end to house arrest and backing off his 2004 confession that he was solely responsible for spreading nuclear arms technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya. The retired scientist's comments could prove embarrassing for Pakistan, which has repeatedly denied that the army or government knew about Khan's activities before 2003.
July 5, 2008 |
A homemade bomb exploded amid a crowd that included Belarus' authoritarian president, wounding more than 50 people at an all-night holiday concert, officials said. The blast was unusual in the tightly controlled former Soviet republic, where President Alexander Lukashenko suppresses dissent and public violence is rare. Officials blamed unspecified "hooligans" for the bombing. The president was not wounded, and it was unclear whether he was the target of the attack. There were no reported claims of responsibility.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2008 |
Despite lobbying efforts by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, an Assembly committee Tuesday killed a bill that would have cleared the way for the Los Angeles Police Department to make officers' disciplinary hearings and records open to the public. The bill faced stiff opposition from many of the state's powerful police unions, which argued that the measure would compromise officer safety. LAPD Chief William J.
June 18, 2008 |
Last week's column on California legislation that would allow drugstores to share people's prescription-drug records with mass-mailers clearly struck a chord with readers. And I'm glad to say it resonated with lawmakers as well. The bill -- SB 1096, written by state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) -- was approved by the Senate on May 29. But it hit a brick wall Tuesday when it failed to garner a single vote of support in the Assembly Health Committee.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 2008 |
A state senator hopes to revive a controversial bill that would increase media access to disciplinary hearings and records involving Los Angeles Police Department officers. The legislation, according to Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles), was encouraged by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and has already generated sharp criticism from the union that represents LAPD officers.
June 4, 2008 |
The top U.S. commodity regulator said Tuesday that it would require investors and index funds to disclose more information about their holdings in agricultural markets after farmers and lawmakers alleged that speculators had inflated food prices. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in an e-mailed statement, also said it would grant fewer exemptions to speculative-position limits related to agricultural index trading and would provide more detail on trader holdings starting next month.
May 8, 2008 |
The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to share more information with the Federal Reserve about the health of investment banks after a run on Bear Stearns Cos. put the firm on the brink of filing for bankruptcy. The SEC and the Fed are preparing a "memorandum of understanding" for communicating with each other, Erik Sirri, head of the SEC's trading and markets division, said in Senate testimony Wednesday. The effort reflects the fact that the central bank is lending money to investment banks for the first time since the Great Depression, he said.
May 4, 2008 |
Consumer advocates are pressing the Treasury Department to develop labels for alcoholic drink packaging to let people know how much alcohol is in each serving of liquor. The groups want the department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade bureau to expand the information included in proposed drink labels. They want labels that reveal the amount of alcohol per serving, the definition of a standard drink and the U.S. dietary guidelines on drinking. "I think people have no idea how much alcohol is in a standard drink," said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League.