Here are a few that I like.
Police and child advocates broke padlocks and busted down doors in a surprise raid of a sweatshop in India, only to find a group of children imprisoned who had been forced to make Christmas decorations.
The children, as young as 8 years old, were kept in rooms approximately six feet by six feet and had been forced to work up to 19-hour days making the decorations, which advocates believe may have been intended to be sold on the cheap in the United States.
Human rights group Global March for Children led the raid, but also got help from former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who now serves as the United Nations special envoy for global education.
The 14 children who were freed are now in the process of being reunited with their families, who are scattered across India.
Brown released video to ABC News and Yahoo! News revealing what he says were the illegal conditions in which the children in Delhi were discovered.
“There is no parent in the world who would ever want their child to be subjected to conditions that you see in these films of children in dingy basements, without air, without food, without proper care, being forced into child labor for all these hours of the day. I think every parent who sees these films will want this practice brought to an end as quickly as possible.”
Child advocates say American consumers would likely never know the origin of goods made with child labor, which Brown says has become a global epidemic that needs to be solved.
A new law in North Carolina will ban the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level will rise, prompting environmentalists to accuse the state of disrespecting climate science.
The law has put the state in the spotlight for what critics have called nearsightedness and climate change denial, but its proponents said the state needed to put a moratorium on predictions of sea level rise until scientific techniques improve.
The law was drafted in response to an estimate by the state’s Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) that the sea level will rise by 39 inches in the next century, prompting fears of costlier home insurance and accusations of anti-development alarmism among residents and developers in the state’s coastal Outer Banks region.
Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue had until Thursday to act on the bill known as House Bill 819, but she decided to let it become law by doing nothing.
The bill’s passage in June triggered nationwide scorn by those who argued that the state was deliberately blinding itself to the effects of climate change. In a segment on the “Colbert Report,” comedian Stephen Colbert mocked North Carolina lawmakers’ efforts as an attempt to outlaw science.
“If your science gives you a result you don’t like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved,” he joked.
The law, which began as a routine regulation on development permits but quickly grew controversial after the sea-level provision was added, restricts all sea-level predictions used to guide state policies for the next four years to those based on “historical data.”
Tom Thompson, president of NC-20, a coastal development group and a key supporter of the law, said the science used to make the 39-inch prediction was flawed, and added that the resources commission failed to consider the economic consequences of preparing the coast for a one-meter rise in sea level, under which up to 2,000 square miles would be threatened.
A projection map showing land along the coast underwater would place the permits of many planned development projects in jeopardy. Numerous new flood zone areas would have to be drawn, new waste treatment plants would have to be built, and roads would have to be elevated. The endeavor would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars, Thompson said.
“I don’t want to say they’re being dishonest, but they’re pulling data out of their hip pocket that ain’t working,” he said of the commission panel that issued the prediction, the middle in a range of three predictions.
Thompson, who denies global warming, said the prediction was based on measurements at a point on the North Carolina coast that is unrepresentative of the rest of the coast.
But the costs Thompson decries as wasteful are to the law’s opponents a necessary pill the state must swallow if it is going to face up to the challenge of protecting the coast from the effects of climate change.
State Rep. Deborah Ross, a forceful critic of the bill, compared it to burying one’s “head in the sand.”
“I go to the doctor every year. If I’m not fine, I’d rather know now than in four years,” said Ross, a Democrat who represents inland Greensboro, N.C., but owns property on the coast. “This is like going to the doctor and saying you’re not going to get a test on a problem.”
Its supporters counter that the law does not force the state to close its eyes to reality, but rather to base policy on more than a single model that produced what they believe are extreme results.
What’s next? Arresting scientists?
Wisconsin lost an estimated 11,700 private sector jobs in June and the unemployment rate rose to 7% from 6.8% in May, the state Department of Workforce Development reported Thursday.
Hours after the report, the state agency sent a letter to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to complain about the integrity of the statistics. The BLS compiles the figures each month for the nation and each of the 50 states.
“As agencies charged with providing timely and relevant labor market information, we have a responsibility to ensure the labor market information we publish is accurate, complete and reflective of what occurs on the ground,” Department secretary Reggie Newson wrote to his counterpart at the the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The statistical reliability and validity of monthly state-level jobs data is hardly a new issue in Wisconsin, nor is it one that appears to fade anytime soon.
Inherent inaccuracies in the monthly state data became one of the most crucial issues in June’s gubernatorial recall elections. In that race, Gov. Scott Walker was under attack for monthly job reports that showed the state lost jobs in 2011 - his first year in office. But Walker released a different state of data - from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, which economists regard as the most reliable that exists at the state level - which showed modest job gains last year.
Despite empty promises of bringing 250,000 jobs to Wisconsin by the end of his first term, Wisconsin lost another 12,000 jobs continuing our streak as the last state in the union for job creation. Now that he can no longer blame the “uncertainty” of the recall he is blaming the ACA, the drought, gnome droppings etc. My guess is he’ll have his sycophants at right wing radio, TV and the Milwaukee Journal on the case blaming everything but the failure of their right wing policies.
While Republicans lambast the cost of implementing health care reform, a new report shows that their efforts to repeal the law have come at a major cost to taxpayers — to the tune of nearly $50 million.
The House of Representatives again voted to repeal President Obama’s signature health care law on Wednesday, marking the 33rd time Republicans have attempted to take down the legislation. The 32 previous repeal efforts faltered at the hands of the Democrat-controlled Senate; the latest attempt is unlikely to break that pattern.
According to a report by CBS News, these efforts, widely viewed as symbolic political maneuvers, come with a high price tag.
CBS’ Nancy Cordes reported Wednesday that Republicans’ many fruitless attempts at repealing the Affordable Care Act have taken up at least 80 hours of time on the House floor since 2010, amounting to two full work weeks. As the House, according to the Congressional Research Service, costs taxpayers $24 million a week to operate, those two weeks amounted to a total cost of approximately $48 million.
Earlier I made a post about the republicans in Wisconsin crying voter fraud in Racine without any proof here.
The Government Accountability Board condemned “unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud” Friday in response to a recent letter from several GOP lawmakers demanding action on alleged issues in the Racine County recall election.
The board, tasked with overseeing elections statewide, received the letter from six Republican lawmakers Wednesday, telling the GAB, “We can’t afford to ignore these obvious (election) issues. Too much is at stake.”
The letter listed several key areas of “concern,” each of which accountability board executive director Kevin Kennedy addressed in his response Friday.
“Speaking frankly on behalf of our agency and local election officials, absent direct evidence, I believe continued unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud tend to unnecessarily undermine the confidence that voters have in election officials and the results of the election,” Kennedy said in a letter addressed to Speaker of the Assembly Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon).
Kennedy said there wasn’t evidence to back allegations of “tampering” with ballot bags.
Republicans are using baseless allegations of voter fraud from coast to coast to throw our whole election process into doubt. More unpatriotic actions from the enemy within.
Maricopa County Sheriff Office deputies arrested a 6-year-old suspected illegal immigrant Friday, the day President Barack Obama softened the country’s deportation policy toward young illegal immigrants.
The girl was with 15 other people believed to be in the country illegally who were traveling to the Midwest and northeast United States, said Chris Hegstrom, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
“She’s been turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to try to determine where she’s from. She told us she’s from El Salvador. That’s what she told us,” he said.
The arrest took place Friday night at an undisclosed location in northern Maricopa County.
The rematch is on between Tom Barrett and Gov. Scott Walker, after the Milwaukee mayor coasted to victory over former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk on Tuesday in the 2012 recall primary.
Barrett, 58, now faces a 28-day sprint to the finish in a historic recall election June 5 against the embattled Republican governor.
“As the governor of this state, I will end Scott Walker’s ideological civil war,” Barrett told jubilant supporters gathered at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Milwaukee.
“Do we want a governor who will divide this state like it’s never been divided before?” Barrett asked to shouts of “No!” from the crowd.
U.S. Rep. Allen West told about 90 largely supportive Palm City voters Tuesday that locally prioritized federal projects — such as the St. Lucie Inlet dredging — aren’t going to matter if Washington officials don’t address a mounting deficit.
Later Tuesday evening, a Jensen Beach crowd of 100 with more than 15 protesters greeted the congressman with mixed support, cheers and jeers.
The conservative tea party icon also got in shots at Democrats and President Obama, who spoke Tuesday at Florida Atlantic University. West said Obama was “scared” to have a discussion with him. He later said “he’s heard” up to 80 U.S. House Democrats are Communist Party members, but wouldn’t name names.
Wausau Republican Pam Galloway is resigning from the Wisconsin State Senate due to family needs. In a statement, she says, ‘My family has experienced multiple, sudden and serious health issues, which require my full attention.’
Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald reacts to the news. ‘This goes back to actually this winter … two separate members of her family are dealing with some really difficult health issues. I was just glad and pleased that she found a way of staying in the senate all the way through adjournment yesterday.’
Galloway’s official resignation (as of midnight tonight) leaves the Senate tied 16 Republicans and 16 Democrats. Considering there is no majority, there is no longer a majority leader. Monona Democrat Mark Miller, who is currently the minority leader, and Fitzgerald will lead the chamber together.