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More States Encouraging Bilingualism with Programs Leading to Something Extra on Diplomas

Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:05 Written by
By the Associated Press
 
PORTLAND, Ore. –  Several states are starting to recognize and reward high school graduates who are bilingual.
 
California, New Mexico, Washington, Illinois and Louisiana recently moved to add special bilingual seals to the diplomas of students who are proficient in two languages.
 
Other states are working on rules to begin using diploma seals.
 
In Oregon, one high school granted the seals this month to more than a dozen students, and seals will be available statewide next year.
 
Renewed interest in bilingualism marks a departure from the past decades. Rising immigration numbers led to English-only laws and states banned bilingual education.
 
In recent years, dual language programs have been on the rise. Parents and employers see bilingualism as vital in the globalized world.
 
Critics say dual language programs don't benefit English learners.
 
 

ObamaCare Coverage For Millions in Jeopardy As Watchdog Finds Widespread Data Flaws

Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:59 Written by
By Jim Angle and the Associated Press
 
The Obama administration is struggling to resolve data discrepancies that could jeopardize coverage for millions who sought health insurance on the federal exchange HealthCare.gov, according to a watchdog report on the still-rocky implementation of ObamaCare. 
 
Though the system's troubles have faded from the headlines since the problem-plagued launch last October, a report from the health department inspector general provided the first independent look at widespread issues the government is having effectively fact-checking the information applicants are putting in the system. 
 
According to the report, the administration was unable to resolve 2.6 million so-called "inconsistencies" out of a total of 2.9 million such problems from October through December 2013. 
 
The government needs to determine applicants' eligibility in order to verify they can enroll and, in some cases, get government subsidies. Without that step, coverage could be jeopardized. Critics fear these issues also could cause chaos during the 2015 tax-filing season, as many would have to pay back subsidy money they were not entitled to. 
 
According to the report, those running the federal marketplace are having trouble resolving problems "even if applicants submitted appropriate documentation." 

The House That Talking Built: Clintons’ Speaking Riches a Political Conundrum

Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:55 Written by
By Judson Berger
 
 
Speech in Saudi Arabia? $300,000. 
 
Speech in Austria? $500,000. 
 
Speech in Hong Kong? $750,000. 
 
And those are just a few of the windfalls banked by Bill and Hillary Clinton since each has left their respective office. 
 
For Hillary, the wealth factor could loom just as large in a potential 2016 White House bid as lingering questions about her handling of the Benghazi attack or dredged-up controversies from the Clinton White House days. But at issue is not just the net worth of the former first family -- but how they made that money. The Clintons have amassed a fortune on a ‘profession’ that few Americans can relate to. 
 
Simply put, it is the house that talking built. 
 
"[Clinton] thinks 'hard work' is giving speeches because she's a Clinton. There aren't many/any Americans who can identify with that," Republican National Committee spokesman Raffi Williams said. 

Fracking Industry Fumes as Researchers Reveal High Levels of Leaking Methane

Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:46 Written by

 

By Lucy Nicholson
 
The latest drilling techniques for obtaining gas, which drill horizontally as opposed to the more traditional vertical drilling, shows a higher rate of leaking methane, according to a study that could spell problems for fracking across the nation.
 
After poring over data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection involving more than 41,000 wells, it was determined that more than 6 percent of the active gas wells drilled in the Marcellus region of Pennsylvania “show compromised cement and/or casing integrity,” according to an academic paper published on Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 
 
A team of four scientists – working without federal funding – conducted analysis on more than 75,000 state inspections of gas wells performed in Pennsylvania since 2000. 
 
The results suggest that hazardous leaks of methane could pose potential obstacles for drilling across the nation, said study lead author Cornell University engineering professor Anthony Ingraffea, who leads an environmental activist group that helped subsidize the study. 
 
The leak rate of methane was found in nearly 10 percent of horizontally drilled wells for before and after 2009 in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania, where fracking is a serious business. 

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Weed Shortage Imminent in Washington State Ahead of First Legal Sales

Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:42 Written by

 

By Nick Adams
 
Legal weed is about to become a reality for residents of Washington state, but onlookers to the experiment-in-waiting say pot enthusiasts can expect one peculiar problem to arise right off the bat.
 
According to a recent report from the Associated Press, Washington’s Liquor Control Board plans to issue 15 of its first 20 licenses next week to retailers, who will in turn begin being able to sell recreational weed legally starting the following day. Once those dispensaries open for business, Washington will become the second place in the United States where adults will be able to purchase pot without necessarily worrying about breaking any laws.
 
Randy Simmons, the board's legal-pot project manager, told AP that would-be buyers should expect delays, however.
 
"Will there be shortages?" Simmons asked the AP during a recent interview. "The answer to that is yes."
 
Simmons isn’t the only one with dire predictions. Randy Oliver, the chief scientist at one of two labs in Washington where state-regulated marijuana will be tested, told AP that his facility has seen only a fraction of what they expected.

Benghazi Attack Suspect Has Been Talking to U.S. Interrogators: Officials

Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:36 Written by

By Reuters
 
(Reuters) - A Libyan militant accused of involvement in the 2012 attacks on U.S. government installations in Benghazi, Libya, has been talking to U.S. interrogators, U.S. officials familiar with the matter said.
 
Ahmed Abu Khatallah, captured in Libya on June 15 by a U.S. military and FBI team, has been interrogated both before and after he was advised of his right under U.S. law to remain silent, they said.
 
Abu Khatallah was transferred over the weekend to a federal prison in Alexandria, Virginia, from the U.S. Navy ship where he had been held since his capture, the officials said.
 
While aboard the USS New York, Abu Khatallah was interrogated first by a team of elite counterterrorism experts, known as the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG), without being read his "Miranda Rights", a procedure in U.S. criminal cases under which a suspect is advised that he has the right to remain silent and to consult a lawyer.
 
He was later advised of his rights, the officials said. On Saturday, he was brought into federal court in Washington, where he pleaded not guilty to a terrorism conspiracy charge related to the Benghazi attack. 

Federal Court Declares No-fly List Unconstitutional

Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:29 Written by

 

By: JOE WOLVERTON, II, J.D. 

An Oregon federal judge ruled June 24 that 13 Muslim Americans who challenged the federal government’s no-fly list in a lawsuit were denied a constitutional right to travel. Additionally, the court found that the plaintiffs had no way of challenging their inclusion on the list.

 
This is the first time that a federal court has ruled that the government’s mandated procedure for appealing inclusion on the no-fly list is unconstitutional.
 
The experience of the 13 Muslims who brought the complaint against the federal government serves as a cautionary tale for all Americans who have found or will find themselves blacklisted in one way or another by an increasingly intolerant federal authority.
 
According to a report issued by the FBI last year, there are 20,000 names on the no-fly list, and 500 of those people are American citizens. That agency has become adept at using one’s presence on that list as a way of coercing him to join the amateur domestic spying corps by snooping on members of a community and reporting back to the bureau.
 
The Stasi would be very proud.
 
As you read the following account of the mistreatment of the complainants provided by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), remember that when a government is permitted to persecute the members of one religious group, they will sooner or later assert that same authority over other faiths when they feel justified.

Report: Virtually All Food Imported Into U.S. Not Inspected By FDA

Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:25 Written by
By: NOEL BRINKERHOFF
 
Virtually all of the food imported into the United States reaches consumers without being inspected by the federal government, putting the nation at risk of exposure to food-borne illnesses.
 
An investigation by FairWarning and Investigative News Network (INN) found that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors allow nearly all food imports to enter the country without undergoing visual examination.
 
“The FDA has been outgunned and overmatched for years as a rising tide of imported food has found a place at the U.S. dinner table,” FairWarning’s Rick Schmitt wrote. “Because of budget constraints ordinarily only 1 percent to 2 percent of food imports are physically inspected by the agency at the border each year.”
 
The incredibly low inspection rate is particularly alarming considering that food imports have been steady growing in the U.S.

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