July 24, 2013 |
BEIJING - After years of building massive and lavish new government office buildings - including ones inspired by the White House, Versailles and the U.S. Capitol - China is saying enough is enough. Central authorities have issued a five-year moratorium on the construction of new government offices, training centers and hotels, the latest step in a frugality drive that also includes cutbacks on banquets, travel and other perks for bureaucrats. According to the State Council, China's cabinet, the new policy issued late Tuesday is important for “building a clean government and … maintaining the image of the Communist Party.
July 9, 2013 |
In celebrating their agreement with free-agent center Dwight Howard, the Houston Rockets said too much. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com , the Rockets have been fined $150,000 by the NBA for "unauthorized comments made by team personnel about Howard during the league's annual moratorium on player business. " For the first nine days of July, the league office finalizes their year-end accounting for the previous season and determines the salary cap for the coming year. During that time, teams can come to verbal agreements with players but are not permitted to comment publicly.
June 21, 2013 |
Less than a month ago, there were several major bills to provide oversight of hydraulic fracturing in California. Most of them died in their respective houses, and now only one is left. The Legislature should pass the remaining bill, SB 4, and Gov. Jerry Brown should sign it into law. Fracking, as it's called, involves injecting large volumes of water, usually mixed with sand and chemicals, into the ground to fracture the rock and release the oil locked within. Although the practice has been carried out for years in California, largely in one remote area of Kern County, there are new concerns about it because of estimates that some 15 billion barrels of oil lie in a geologic formation called the Monterey Shale in the Central Valley.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 2013 |
Los Angeles voters took regulation of the city's medical marijuana shops into their own hands Tuesday, embracing a ballot measure to sharply reduce the number of dispensaries in the city. But as in all things related to pot policy, the future of the new law is hazy. Under the measure, only 135 dispensaries - those that were operating before a failed moratorium in 2007 - will be allowed to stay open. But enforcement could prove a monumental challenge as backers of a rival measure threaten lawsuits and city lawyers begin the long process of identifying all of the city's dispensaries and bringing them into compliance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- Plans to halt fracking in California advanced in the Legislature on Monday, when a key committee approved three measures that would prohibit the practice until the state can study it further. The votes were a victory for environmentalists, who have been scrambling to slow the boom in fracking nationwide. A proposed moratorium on fracking failed in the California Legislature last year. Hydraulic fracturing is the practice of injecting chemicals into the ground to break apart rock and release oil and natural gas, and it's allowed energy companies to tap into vast new resources of fuel.
March 28, 2013 |
In response to a jump in requests for temporary film permits, Camarillo officials have passed a 45-day moratorium on adult film production in the city. The ordinance, approved Wednesday, gives the city time to study the potential effects of pornographic film production and determine whether to impose regulations. The city received several calls last week inquiring about temporary film permits and asking whether Camarillo had a condom ordinance, Assistant City Atty. Don Davis said.
February 6, 2013 |
Charlottesville, Va., has taken action against the use of police spy drones, ordering a two-year moratorium on the citywide use of unmanned aircraft. It is the first city in the nation to do so, supporters say, and its move may prompt other municipalities to act. Seeking tough regulation over the future use of civilian drones in U.S. airspace, the City Council passed a resolution that prohibits police agencies from utilizing drones outfitted with anti-personnel devices such as Tasers and tear gas. It also sought to block governments from using data recorded via police spy drones in criminal prosecutions.
January 23, 2013 |
Bird flu researchers said Wednesday that they would end a self-imposed moratorium on controversial experiments to determine how the deadly H5N1 virus might mutate and gain the ability to spread easily among humans. In a statement published online by the journals Science and Nature, 40 scientists said they were poised to resume their investigations - but only in countries that have established clear rules for conducting the research safely. The U.S., which is the largest funder of influenza research, is not yet among those nations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 2013 |
Two high-ranking state officials Thursday called on school districts across California to impose a moratorium on costly capital appreciation bonds while changes are considered to limit their use. Bill Lockyer, state treasurer, and Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, sent letters to education officials asking them to avoid using the sometimes risky bonds until the governor and Legislature can weigh proposals to restrict the...
December 30, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — You've probably seen the reverse mortgage pitchmen at work on your TV screen — former Sen. Fred Thompson and actors Robert Wagner and Henry "Fonzie" Winkler prominent among them — urging seniors to pull cash out of their homes through a loan program guaranteed by the federal government. But it looks as if the pitchmen will have fewer and smaller mortgages to sell in 2013. In a move aimed at controlling losses to its insurance funds, the Federal Housing Administration is clamping a moratorium on the most popular form of reverse mortgage — the so-called standard version, which allows large lump-sum drawdowns of cash at fixed interest rates.