By Edward Zuckerman, Talk Media News
October 25, 2016
Court tells BLM: Law protects wild horses
The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals came straight to the point: the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act instructed the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to protect wild horses from extinction, not to speed their demise by killing them. Thus, the court reversed a district judge who upheld a BLM plan that called for the “removal” of wild horses from federal lands in southwestern Wyoming. The challenge against BLM’s plan was brought by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.
Out-of-state money dominates U.S. Senate races
A report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group calculates that 77% of the money being spent in the contests for 34 U.S. Senate seats has come from out-of-state sources; and, in seven of the nation’s most hotly contested Senate races, out-of-state funds account for 81% of the spending. States with large infusions of out-of-state cash to Senate candidates were: New Hampshire (94.6%), Indiana (91.3%), Pennsylvania (87.2%), North Carolina (85.5%), Nevada (82.2%) and Ohio (82.0%).
FOIA seeks EPA water radiation data
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to compel disclosure of Environmental Protection Agency documents relating to an increase in permissible radiation in the nation’s drinking water. PEER contended in the lawsuit that EPA will allow vastly greater radioactive contamination than allowed by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The lawsuit follows EPA’s refusal to disclose information on grounds that it needs to conduct extensive “intra-agency coordination” before revealing the allowable water radioation level, PEER said.
Protection from climate change can’t start too early
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, reversing a district judge, upheld a National Marine Fisheries Service decision to start providing endangered species protection to Arctic seals, even though it was based on a climate change prediction that the seals won’t be endangered until 2095. The NMFS concluded that two species of bearded seals were likely to become endangered species “within the foreseeable future.”
Florida sex and drug trafficker pleads guilty
Shaquana Brookins, 31, of Jacksonville, Fla., faces a possible life prison sentence after pleading guilty to sex and drug trafficking charges. Brookins admitted that she distributed crack cocaine and heroin in Jacksonville, and had been engaged in commercial sex trafficking. According to the Department of Justice, Brookins used crack cocaine to compensate an attorney for legal services, and to purchase a .357 Magnum revolver.
Nursing home chain accused of bilking Medicare
Life Care Centers of America Inc., which operates more than 220 skilled nursing facilities throughout the U.S. from its headquarters in Cleveland, Tenn., will pay $145 million to settle charges that it submitted false claims to Medicare and TRICARE for services that were not reasonable, necessary or skilled, the Department of Justice said. It is the largest settlement ever reached with a skilled nursing chain, DOJ said. Two of the company’s employees will share a $29 million reward for bringing a whistleblower’s lawsuit.
Border agents seize $3.6 million cocaine shipment
Border agents working in the air and on water intercepted a wooden “yola” vessel with two persons onboard in waters near the northwestern coast of Puerto Rica, and seized 283 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $3.6 million, U.S. Customs and Border Protectionsaid. The drug smugglers’ boat, powered by a single outboard engine, was easily overtaken by a CBP marine unit. Two Dominican Republic nationals were taken into custody.
Helping America Vote Act: A primer
The Congressional Research Service, in preparation for questions that will come from the coming presidential election, issued a background report on the Helping America Vote Act (HAVA). Congress enacted the law in 2002 to prevent legal collisions such as the one that gripped the nation in the wake of the deadlocked 2000 election that relied on a U.S. Supreme Court decision for its ultimate resolution.
Rip ‘n Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and other national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.