CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- California's top campaign finance watchdog announced Thursday a collaboration among multiple states to share information on enforcing disclosure rules. The 10-state effort, which also includes New York City officials, was a goal of Ann Ravel, the chair of California's Fair Political Practices Commission who is soon leaving for a spot on the Federal Election Commission. Ravel has repeatedly expressed her concern the federal government isn't doing enough to force disclosure of campaign donations, requiring states to step into the vacuum . “For the first time, states and cities are banding together to share innovative ideas, strategies and legislation related to campaign finance,” she said in a statement Thursday. The collaboration is called States' Unified Network Center, or the SUN Center.
October 3, 2013 |
Securities regulators filed a series of letters on Thursday in which they raised questions about disclosures by Apple Inc. of its Irish tax strategies. Ultimately, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission took no action against Apple, which agreed to change some of the language in its securities filings to provide more information for investors. Still, the review revealed in Apple's SEC filing is the latest round of scrutiny the company has faced for its controversial overseas tax strategies.
September 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Syrian government submitted an "initial disclosure" of its chemical weapons to international inspectors, officials said Friday, the first step under an ambitious deal that aims to eliminate President Bashar Assad's illicit poison gas arsenal. Experts at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague began translating the document from Arabic and reviewing its contents, but organization officials released few details. It thus wasn't clear whether Syria's disclosure met the terms of last week's U.S.-Russian agreement, which called for Assad to submit by Saturday "a comprehensive listing, including names, types and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of munitions and location and form of storage, production and research and development facilities.
September 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said Thursday that Edward Snowden 's disclosures of secret surveillance programs at home and abroad have generated a useful public debate on the trade-offs between privacy and national security. "I think it's clear that some of the conversations this has generated, some of the debate, actually needed to happen," Clapper told a defense and intelligence contractor trade group. "If there's a good side to this, maybe that's it. " Clapper defended the work of the National Security Agency, where Snowden worked on contract as a systems analyst, and took no responsibility for the glaring security lapse that allowed Snowden to download and remove at least 50,000 classified documents from an NSA listening post in Hawaii.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- The state's ethics agency on Thursday revised gift rules involving travel by elected officials, drawing mixed reactions from good-government advocates. The state Fair Political Practices Commission adopted the new rules to clarify that the agency “can only require disclosure or impose restrictions if there is a personal benefit to the individual,” said Ann Ravel, the panel's chairwoman. The panel tightened the rules for travel paid by third parties for officials to participate in educational panels, requiring the travel to be directly related to the official's public duties to be exempt from the $440 gift limit.
July 31, 2013 |
FT. MEADE, Md. - A former top Army officer who oversaw the Pentagon's secret intelligence gathering testified Wednesday that Pfc. Bradley Manning's disclosures to WikiLeaks "affected our ability to do our mission" and endangered U.S. ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Retired Army Brig. Gen. Robert A. Carr, formerly at the Defense Intelligence Agency and now an executive at Northrop Grumman, was the government's first witness in the sentencing phase of Manning's court-martial.
July 12, 2013 |
SEOUL -- As a team of U.S. and South Korean investigators wrap up the initial stage of their probe into the crash landing of an Asiana Airlines jetliner in San Francisco, a cultural chasm is growing concerning disclosures about the pilots and analysis of their actions in the cockpit. National Transportation Safety Board chief Deborah Hersman has cautioned against jumping to conclusions, saying the investigation will take months to complete. But an NTSB briefing on Thursday seemed to offer more clues that the South Korean pilots may have made some misjudgments in the moments before the Boeing 777 slammed into a sea wall and runway at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, killing two people and injuring 182 others.
July 2, 2013 |
The energy industry scored a big win Tuesday when a federal judge tossed out a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that required oil and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments. Deeming the regulation arbitrary and capricious, U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington noted that the SEC failed to include exemptions in cases in which foreign governments explicitly ban public disclosures, according to Fuel Fix, a website reporting the industry. The regulation was issued under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, intended to bring financial reforms following the Great Recession.
June 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Defiant and apparently unbowed by threats of prosecution, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden vowed Monday to release more secrets about U.S. intelligence surveillance systems that he described as "nakedly, aggressively criminal. " Snowden, who has been hiding in Hong Kong, said NSA analysts routinely obtain emails and other Internet communications of Americans as part of the cyber-spying agency's surveillance of global telecommunications and Web traffic.