AUSTIN - Teachers would be able to use deadly force against students, and would be safe from prosecution, under legislation filed last week in the state House.
The Teacher’s Protection Act by Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, would allow educators to use force or deadly force if they feel they need to protect themselves against a student or anyone else on school grounds. It also allows teachers to use deadly force to protect school property, and to avoid prosecution “for injury or death that results from the educator’s use of deadly force.”
The bill was filed just days before a video of a New Jersey physics teacher being body slammed by his 9th grade student went viral. In the video, it’s clear the teacher is avoiding fighting back or touching the student.
Comcast has been supported by many politicians in its bid to acquire Time Warner Cable, but the testimonials from elected officials aren’t quite as organic as the cable company would have you believe.
A report today by The Verge, based on documents obtained through public records requests, shows that in August three politicians sent letters to the Federal Communications Commission that were ghostwritten by Comcast. We reported several months ago that letters from politicians closely mimicked Comcast talking points and re-used Comcast’s own statements without attribution, and the documents revealed today show just how Comcast was able to get politicians on board.
“For instance, a letter sent to the FCC by a town councilman from the small community of Jupiter, Florida was in fact largely orchestrated by some of the biggest players in corporate telecom,” The Verge wrote. “Not only do records show that a Comcast official sent the councilman the exact wording of the letter he would submit to the FCC, but also that finishing touches were put on the letter by a former FCC official named Rosemary Harold, who is now a partner at one of the nation’s foremost telecom law firms in Washington, DC. Comcast has enlisted Harold to help persuade her former agency to approve the proposed merger.”
Time Warner Cable (TWC) has mistreated its customers for decades and should face a wide-ranging investigation as part of its proposed merger with Comcast, a new complaint to the Federal Communications Commission says.
Telecom analyst Bruce Kushnick of New Networks Institute, who recently petitioned the FCC to investigate Verizon for perjury, is now taking aim at TWC’s billing practices and customer service.
“We call for the halt of the proposed Time Warner Cable-Comcast merger, but more importantly, this Petition for Investigation & Complaint calls for the immediate start of a series of investigations,” Kushnick and Audit Director Tom Allibone of telecom customer advocacy group Teletruth write in a complaint. It was filed with the FCC two weeks ago and is being filed today with New York state officials, who are also examining the merger.
Kushnick and Allibone point out that Comcast and TWC are two of the most hated companies in the US, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, and they lay out five areas the FCC should investigate. One of those is related to Kushnick’s own experience in which his Time Warner Cable service was advertised at $89.99 per month and shot up to $190.77 less than two years later.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil fell as much as 5 percent on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund cut its 2015 global economic forecast on lower fuel demand and key producer Iran hinted prices could drop to $25 a barrel without supportive OPEC action.
An expected slide in the U.S. oil rig count in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of last year failed to boost sentiment as traders and investors remain glued on concerns of oil oversupply.
Oil prices are hovering near six-year lows after a seven-month long selloff on worries of a glut caused primarily by unexpectedly high production of U.S. shale crude.
Benchmark Brent crude was down 48 cents at $48.36 a barrel by 1533 GMT, after touching a session low at $47.78.
U.S. crude traded down $2.12 at $46.57, after an intraday bottom at $46.23.
The party of pure evil strikes again.
Net neutrality legislation unveiled by Republicans today would gut the ability of the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the broadband industry.
As expected, the bill forbids the FCC from reclassifying broadband as a common carrier service, preventing the commission from using authority it has under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. This is the statute the FCC uses to regulate landline telephone providers.
The bill—full text here—also targets a portion of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Section 706 of the Act instructs the FCC to accelerate deployment of broadband to all Americans “by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.” The FCC is considering using this authority to preempt state laws that limit the rights of cities and towns to build broadband networks.
That will be off the table if Republicans get their way. The bill text amends communications law “to prohibit the Commission or a State commission from relying on section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as a grant of authority.” It also defines broadband as an “information service,” preventing the FCC from treating broadband providers as common carriers.
The rich keep getting richer, and by next year, just a handful of the upper-class will have accumulated more than half of the world’s wealth.
A new report released on Monday by Oxfam warns that this deepening global inequality is unlike anything seen in recent years.
Using research from Credit Suisse and Forbes’ annual billionaires list, the anti-poverty charity was able to determine that the richest 1 percent of the world’s population currently controls 48 percent of the world’s total wealth.
If trends continue, Oxfam predicts that the most-affluent will possess more wealth than the remaining 99 percent by 2016, The New York Times reported.
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Climate change and high rates of extinctions of animals and plants are pushing the Earth into a danger zone for humanity, a scientific report card about mankind’s impact on nature said on Thursday.
An international team of 18 experts, expanding on a 2009 report about “planetary boundaries” for safe human use, also sounded the alarm about clearance of forests and pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus in fertilizers.
“I don’t think we’ve broken the planet but we are creating a much more difficult world,” Sarah Cornell, one of the authors at the Stockholm Resilience Center which led the project as a guide to human exploitation of the Earth, told Reuters.
“Four boundaries are assessed to have been crossed, placing humanity in a danger zone,” a statement said of the study in the journal Science, pointing to climate change, species loss, land-use change and fertilizer pollution.
Of a total of nine boundaries assessed, freshwater use, ocean acidification and ozone depletion were judged to be within safe limits. Others, including levels of airborne pollution, were yet to be properly assessed.
Pope Francis said Thursday he is convinced that global warming is “mostly” man-made and that he hopes his upcoming encyclical on the environment will encourage negotiators at a climate change meeting in Paris to make “courageous” decisions to protect God’s creation. Francis has spoken out frequently about the “culture of waste” that has imperiled the environment and he elaborated en route to the Philippines. While there, Francis will meet with survivors of the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, which the government has said was an example of the extreme weather conditions that global warming has wrought. “I don’t know if it (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face,” he said. “We have in a sense taken over nature.”
SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON Jan 15 (Reuters) - U.S. healthcare executives say Obamacare is likely here to stay, despite repeated calls from Republican lawmakers for repeal of the 2010 law aimed at providing health coverage for millions of uninsured Americans.
Top executives who gathered in San Francisco this week for the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference, say that while President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement may well be tweaked, it is too entrenched to be removed.
The Obama administration said in November that it aims to have over 9 million people enrolled in government-backed federal and state health insurance marketplaces in 2015, their second year of operation. Another 10 million have enrolled for coverage under an expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor.
Opponents of the law in the newly-elected Congress, now dominated by Republicans, seek to replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act with their own healthcare reforms. Some are betting that the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the federal tax subsidies helping the uninsured buy coverage in 36 states.
For private health insurers and hospitals, the addition of millions of new covered patients has helped buoy their profits. Drugmakers have benefited from the increase in the number of patients eligible for reimbursement of prescription medications.
Never underestimate what a far right Supreme Court may do though.
One of America’s most prominent welfare queens is not very happy with the government who handed him Bear Stearns as a Christmas present shortly before he and the rest of his buddies broke most of the world economy and then stole what was left.
“We have five or six regulators or people coming after us on every different issue,” Dimon, 58, said today on a call with reporters after New York-based JPMorgan reported fourth-quarter results. “It’s a hard thing to deal with.” JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, posted a drop in fourth-quarter profit amid $990 million of legal expenses, about double what some analysts predicted. The legal costs, mostly tied to probes into currency rate-rigging, follow even bigger payments in 2013 related to mortgage bonds sold before the 2008 crisis by JPMorgan and two firms it acquired.
Yes, the amount you have to pay your lawyers to keep your well-tailored buns out of the federal prison system will put a crimp in the old profit margin. Maybe it’s time to take a look at where you can cut back. How about that line in the quarterly report labelled, “Cheating and Stealing”? Might be a good place to start.