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July 31, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed legislation that for the first time would subject the tobacco industry to regulation by federal health authorities charged with promoting public well-being. Its backers call the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act "landmark" legislation. Though it appears to have enough support to pass this year, it's unclear whether the Senate will have time to act, and the Bush administration is strongly opposed.
July 29, 2008 | Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writer
The nation's largest trucking association filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday alleging that portions of a landmark program to upgrade a fleet of 17,000 old trucks servicing the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach place an "unreasonable burden on interstate commerce" and could harm the U.S. economy. Port authorities said they intended to proceed with the air quality initiative. "Truck pollution is a serious threat to public health, including the health of truck drivers," said Richard D.
July 15, 2008 | Maura Reynolds and Walter Hamilton, Times Staff Writers
The Federal Reserve clamped down hard on mortgage lenders Monday, issuing rules designed to curb the sorts of risky and deceptive lending practices that helped trigger the subprime mortgage crisis. The Fed's action, although criticized by some for not going far enough, was widely seen as a crucial step in reasserting control over a financial market that had been allowed to run wild. "There's lots more to come," said Thomas Lawler, a former Fed official who is now a housing market consultant.
July 5, 2008
Re "Trading in politics? Don't sell it short," Opinion, June 27 Joel Stein's foray into prediction markets is a smart exploration of the benefits of betting. But there's a reason he found "so few people" in one online marketplace and "lots of action" in another: government regulation. Prediction markets in the United States are subject to nebulous gambling laws and strict financial rules. In fact, the Iowa Electronic Markets is only allowed to operate thanks to a special "no action" letter from the federal government.
June 28, 2008 | From Bloomberg News
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox were warned by two top senators not to proceed with a plan to take on more oversight of Wall Street until they consult with Congress. "We ask that no action" be taken before legislators can decide whether it's in the economy's "best interests," Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), the Senate Banking Committee's ranking members, said in a letter to Bernanke, Cox and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. Congress is asserting its authority over how financial markets should be regulated.
June 25, 2008 | Andrew Blankstein and Ari B. Bloomekatz, Times Staff Writers
Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday proposed a radical shift in the way the county monitors children who have been reported neglected or abused, saying "opportunities were missed to intervene earlier" in the recent case of a 5-year-old boy who allegedly endured ritualistic torture at the hands of his mother and two other women.
June 20, 2008 | Janet Wilson, Times Staff Writer
Dangerous levels of toxic lead were emitted by a Southern California battery recycling facility for months, until regulators ordered the facility to cut production by almost half, officials said. An Exide Technologies facility in Vernon, one of just two such battery recycling facilities west of the Rockies, was emitting lead at levels nearly twice the allowable federal limits from December to April, according to South Coast Air Quality Management District staff.
June 13, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission laid out a plan Thursday to regulate the fees that cellular phone companies charge consumers for canceling their contracts early. FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin's proposal was similar to an industry plan put forward last month. Martin, speaking at a public hearing, criticized the fees, saying that "in practice, it can leave people locked into a service that they really want to leave."
June 7, 2008 | From Bloomberg News
General Motors Corp. and 21 other carmakers denied claims by California regulators that they could comply with the state's carbon-reduction rules this year and asked a judge Friday for an order blocking the requirements. GM and two industry groups representing U.S., Asian and European companies said in filings in federal court in Fresno that the state was attempting to enforce carbon-exhaust rules that were barred by the Environmental Protection Agency. Without an injunction, carmakers will have to spend billions of dollars over 18 months, according to the filing.
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