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New drugs are highly effective in curing hepatitis C, but they can cost $80,000 or more, sparking a debate on who should have access to the drugs.

Jose Robles is the picture of health. And because of that, he has to remain sick, even though new drugs would likely cure him of the disease he’s had since birth. He’s not the only one: From doctors and patients to ethicists and actuaries, the debate over access to drugs for hepatitis C has spurred investigations and lawsuits and conversations about the restrictions that leave some patients without access to the newest treatments. Read more»

Arizona judges varied widely in the disposition of asylum requests, but experts say that could be caused by any number of reasons. And the state’s judges were well within the range of denial rates for immigration judges nationwide, according to a TRAC analysis of Justice Department data.

Arizona’s 11 immigration judges varied widely in their handling of asylum cases between 2009 and 2014, with denial rates ranging from 21.3 percent for one judge to 65.9 percent for another, according to Justice Department data. Read more»

Sue Chilton of Arivaca, front, and Nan Stockholm Walden of Sahuarita, far right, were among the border residents invited to testify on the problems of living near the border.

Southern Arizona residents Nan Stockholm Walden and Sue Chilton didn’t agree on much in their testimony to a House subcommittee Thursday, but they did agree on one thing – something needs to be done to better protect border communities. Read more»

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Misael Cabrera, foreground, told a House committee that the EPA’s new ozone guildelines could end up winding U.S. cities for pollution generated elsewhere, among other problems.

The director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality told lawmakers Thursday that new air-quality standards will burden rural communities, like many in Arizona, by holding “rural counties accountable for pollution they did not create.” Read more»

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Monument in New Mexico, one of 10 monuments created by President Barack Obama studied in a new report that said the monuments generate $156 million in business for local communities.

WASHINGTON – National monuments designated by President Barack Obama are adding $156 million to their local economies a year, according to a study of the 10 most recently named monuments spanning Western states. Read more»

Researchers have spent decades trying to inventory the tens of thousands of relics and remains in government and museum hands, like these at the Arizona State Museum.

A divided federal appeals court Wednesday reinstated a Navajo Nation lawsuit seeking to force the National Park Service to return more than 300 remains and relics that are “among the most sacred” of the tribe’s property. Read more»

The Tohono O’odham Nation acquired 135 acres in Glendale that converted to reservation land, where the tribe will soon open the Desert Diamond-West Valley resort and casino.

A federal appeals court Tuesday rejected the latest in a long line of challenges to the Tohono O’odham casino that opened in Glendale in December. Read more»

More than 4,000 wild burros live in western Arizona, which federal officials say is three times the amount the land can support. Now, federal and local officials are talking about ways to rein in the herds.

After face-to-face meetings in Washington this week, officials agreed that “there is a problem” with overpopulation of wild burros in Arizona’s western counties and that something needs to be done. Read more»

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Defense Secretary Ash Carter, unveiled a Pentagon plan to close the military detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which would fulfill a pledge from his first campaign for president.

Arizona Republicans responded swiftly – and vehemently – to the plan announced Tuesday by President Barack Obama to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where some of the most notorious terrorism suspects are detained. Read more»

Political experts say endorsements can help a campaign – but that their impact varies depending on the level of the campaign, the size of the endorsement and other factors. And it could be complicated by the apparent anti-establishment mood of voters this year, they say.

Endorsements can give a campaign a bump or bring in some money, but when there appears to be a strong anti-establishment current to the campaigns some endorsements might even backfire. Read more»

The Grand Canyon, at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers. A bill by Rep. Raul Grijalva would protect an additional 1.7 million acres around the canyon by designating them as part of new national monument.

Backers of a bill that would create a new national monument on 1.7 million acres of federal land around the Grand Canyon touted a new survey Thursday that they said shows broad support for the plan. Read more»

Phoenix faces a bigger financial threat from a market crash than it does from drought, terrorism or any of a number of other manmade and natural disasters, according to a new “risk index” of cities around the globe. Read more»

The Animas River, days after an Aug. 5 spill of toxin-tainted wastewater from the abandoned Gold King Mine in Colorado. The spill has since been cleaned up, but regulators – and nearby residents – are keeping a wary eye on it.

Six months after the Gold King Mine spill dumped nearly 3 million gallons of toxins into the Animas River, regulators say the immediate threat has passed, but others say the long-term threat remains. Read more»

A syringe used to shoot heroin rests on a sofa in a Yuma dopehouse in this 2013 file photo. The White House wants to add $1.1 billion to the budget in fiscal 2017 to fight heroin and opioid abuse.

The White House said Tuesday that it will include an additional $1.1 billion in its fiscal 2017 budget request to help states battle prescription opioid abuse and heroin use. Read more»

Environmentalists worry that target shooting could trash sensitive areas of the desert, but gun enthusiasts say there’s a place for responsible shooters.

Federal officials are moving forward with a proposal to allow target shooting on more than 470,000 acres of the Sonoran Desert National Monument – a stark change from a 2012 plan that would have limited shooting to just 84 acres. Read more»

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