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Islamic State used ammo made in 21 countries, including America

An independent arms monitoring group has collected evidence that fighters in the Middle Eastern extremist group known as the Islamic State, labeled a “network of death” by President Obama, are using weapons and ammunition manufactured in at least 21 different countries, including China, Russia, and the United States.... Read more»1

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Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

Part one in a two-part series examining how financial companies charge high fees to the families of prison inmates.... Read more»

BLS: Hispanic worker deaths up in 2013

The number of contractors and Hispanic workers who died on the job increased in 2013 even as the overall tally of worker deaths declined, according to preliminary data released in September by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.... Read more»1

A life-and-death struggle for asylum in America

Teens’ tortured road to asylum in America. Lawyers and feds are scrambling to unravel the truth from kids fleeing Central America.... Read more»

Commentary

Taking insurance companies out of health care

There are many Americans who are beginning to question the contributions big insurance companies make to our health care system. And I’m not just talking about lefty advocates of a single-payer system. Corporate executives are also wondering why we need the big insurers and whether higher-quality and more cost-effective care could be provided to employees if they didn’t have to deal with health insurers at all.... Read more»

Activists: Stop giving military hardware to school cops

More than 20 national education and civil rights advocates sent a letter September 15 to Department of Defense officials, urging them to stop giving U.S. school police departments anti-mine vehicles, military-grade firearms like M16s, and even grenade launchers.... Read more»

U.S. now faces threat of U.S.-made weapons in Iraq

Never mind that the vehicle is a boxy, lumbering, second-hand set of wheels with a top speed of just 60 mph. To some of the fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. M1117, aka the Guardian Armored Security Vehicle, has become their favorite ride.... Read more»

Koch-backed seniors group low-balling election spending?

The 60 Plus Association — a nonprofit senior citizen advocacy group funded largely by billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch’s conservative political network — appears to have vastly understated its level of election spending on federal tax filings, a Center for Public Integrity review of documents indicates.... Read more»1

‘Dr. Evil’ fuels dogfight between AKC, Humane Society

In recent weeks, riders of Washington, D.C.’s metro system have seen a parade of posters inside trains that make shocking allegations about the nation’s best-known animal rights group, the Humane Society of the United States.... Read more»

Commentary

Washington's cynical misinformation game

In most of our country’s major institutions, we have little tolerance for cheating and lying. Whether it’s the court system, schools, businesses, even our sports teams, we impose stiff sanctions against those who deceive us to gain some advantage. Yet there is one arena in which misleading the public not only is abided but is the norm: politics. In fact, much of what constitutes political discourse in this country is now built on a foundation of dishonesty.... Read more»

Medicare Advantage patients find themselves in regulatory limbo

Medicare pays the privately run health plans — an alternative to traditional Medicare — a set monthly rate for each patient. About 16 million Americans have signed up at an annual cost to taxpayers of more than $160 billion, about one third of the elderly and disabled people eligible for Medicare. A Center for Public Integrity investigation published in June found as much as $70 billion of improper payments to Medicare Advantage plans from 2008 through last year.... Read more»

Commentary

Predictions of Obamacare waits for doctors prove unfounded

Commentary: critics falsely claimed Obamacare would make matter worse.

... Read more»

Lobbying declines among top special interests

As election season spools up and an already lethargic Congress readies for recess, federal lobbying efforts among elite special interests are sputtering, too.... Read more»

MALDEF challenges Texas town's ban on housing border kids

Civil rights groups filed a federal complaint Tuesday challenging a Texas city’s ban on providing housing to “refugees” or foreigners such as the Central American children who’ve been turning themselves in at the border. League City’s ordinance cites concerns of diseases, Islamic terrorism.... Read more»1

Analysis

Obamacare-driven competition lowering rates in some states

Participants in the health care marketplace would be wise to shop around.... Read more»2

Commentary

Attack ads may actually be benefiting Obamacare enrollment

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, its opponents have spent an estimated $450 million on political ads attacking the law. While those attacks likely cost some Democrats their congressional seats in 2012, a new report indicates that, crazy as it sounds, those ads may have contributed to the success of the legislation this year.... Read more»

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