Probe Questions Whether Researchers Took Chinese Funding

Posted: February 8, 2019, 9:57 am

Probe Questions Whether Researchers Took Chinese Funding National Institutes of Health James Shannon building on the campus of NIH in Bethesda, Md. The National Institutes of Health is investigating whether a dozen researchers there failed to report taking funding from foreign governments, specifically China.
Last August, NIH sent a letter to more than 10,000 research institutions urging them to ensure that NIH grantees are properly reporting their foreign ties. The agency also said it is investigating about a half-dozen cases in which NIH-funded investigators may have broken reporting rules, and it reminded researchers who review grant applications that they should not share proposal information with outsiders.
NIH is also getting pressure from Congress.
Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, last month requested the NIH Inspector General's office investigate “threats posed by foreign actors seeking to steal U.S. intellectual property by exploiting U.S. research institut..

Read more >

Trump Health Chief Asks Congress to Pass Drug Discount Plan

Posted: February 1, 2019, 9:10 pm

Trump Health Chief Asks Congress to Pass Drug Discount Plan FILE- In this Oct. 26, 2018, file photo Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks about proposed reforms to Medicare Part B drug pricing policies at the Brookings Institute in Washington. WASHINGTON — The Trump administration's top health official asked Congress on Friday to pass its new prescription drug discount plan and provide it to all patients, not just those covered by government programs like Medicare.
The plan would take now-hidden rebates among industry players like drug companies and insurers and channel them directly to consumers when they go to pay for their medications.
Patients with high drug copays stand to benefit from the proposal, while people who take no prescription drugs, or who rely on generics mainly, would probably pay somewhat more, since premiums are expected to rise.
A day after unveiling the plan as a proposed regulation, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar raised the ..

Read more >

Desperate Parents and Discount Marijuana: DC in a Shutdown

Posted: January 15, 2019, 8:42 am

Desperate Parents and Discount Marijuana: DC in a Shutdown District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, seated, holds the LOVE Act she signed, Jan. 11, 2019. WASHINGTON — No city experiences a shutdown quite like Washington.
Besides the economic impact, a shutdown warps the nation’s capital on a cultural, recreational and logistical level — touching everybody from garbage collectors to young parents, prospective newlyweds to aspiring Eagle Scouts.
The current partial shutdown , now in a record fourth week, has also provided a quiet boon for Mayor Muriel Bowser’s government, which rushed into the void to claim unprecedented new powers while making a public show of literally cleaning up the federal government’s mess.
The economic situation is, of course, brutal. Recent surveys estimate that the federal government directly employs more than 364,000 people in the greater Washington area including northern Virginia and southern Maryland. The District of Columbia alone — population 700,000..

Read more >

Sign-ups Steady as US Health Law Case Goes to Appeals Court 

Posted: January 3, 2019, 5:47 pm

Sign-ups Steady as US Health Law Case Goes to Appeals Court FILE – This Oct. 23, 2018, photo shows the HealthCare.gov website on a computer screen in New York. WASHINGTON — The government says 8.4 million Americans have signed up for coverage next year under the Obama health law, reflecting steady enrollment even as supporters of the law appeal a court ruling that declares it unconstitutional.
Thursday's numbers underscore the unexpected staying power of “Obamacare,'' which President Donald Trump failed to repeal after promising a better health insurance plan in its place.
The numbers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reflect the 39 states served by the federal HealthCare.gov website. The final count will be higher, after major states like California and New York report.
Also on Thursday, Democratic-led states announced they're appealing a recent ruling by a conservative federal judge in Texas that declared the Affordable Care Act unconstituti..

Read more >

9 US States Seek to Stop Trump Administration’s Atlantic Oil Testing

Posted: December 20, 2018, 3:22 pm

9 US States Seek to Stop Trump Administration's Atlantic Oil Testing FILE – Scottie Franklin, a diver, speaks at a public hearing in Atlantic City N.J., April 27, 2012, on whether the U.S. government should allow seismic testing for oil and gas off part of the U.S. East Coast. Six years later, nine states have sued to stop such tests. WASHINGTON — Attorneys general from nine U.S. states sued the Trump administration on Thursday to stop future seismic tests for oil and gas deposits off the East Coast, joining a lawsuit from environmentalists concerned that the tests harm whales and dolphins.
Seismic testing uses air gun blasts to map out what resources lie beneath the ocean. Conservationists say the testing, a precursor to oil drilling, can disorient marine animals that rely on finely tuned hearing to navigate and find food. The tests lead to beachings of an endangered species, the North Atlantic right whale, they say.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said the tests ..

Read more >

Trump Plans to Create Unified US Space Command

Posted: December 17, 2018, 5:10 pm

Trump Plans to Create Unified US Space Command Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Hidden Heroes 3rd Annual National Convening at the Capital Hilton in Washington, Nov. 26, 2018. WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order before the end of the year creating a U.S. Space Command as a major military command.
Vice President Mike Pence will make the announcement Tuesday at the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, two U.S. officials said, and Trump could sign the order as soon as Tuesday.
The move is separate from Trump's goal of creating a “Space Force” as an independent armed service branch, but could be a step in that direction.
The U.S. Air Force's existing Space Command would be a key component of the new joint entity, raising space to the same status as U.S. Cyber Command.
Pence to meet with Joint Chiefs
According to U.S. officials, Pence will be at the Pentagon on Tuesday and will meet with the Joint Chiefs. Space Command is e..

Read more >

Republicans Say Little About Obamacare Ruling

Posted: December 15, 2018, 3:24 pm

Republicans Say Little About Obamacare Ruling FILE – A sign on an insurance store advertises Obamacare in the San Ysidro district of San Diego,Calif., Oct. 26, 2017. Republican lawmakers have been mostly silent on Friday’s court ruling that the Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare, is unconstitutional. Democrats, however, have said they’ll hold the GOP to its commitment to retain popular provisions of the law, such as guaranteed coverage for those with pre-existing health conditions.
“The GOP spent all last year pretending to support people with pre-existing conditions while quietly trying to remove that support in the courts,'' Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a tweet Saturday. “Next year, we will force votes to expose their lies.''
FILE – House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California holds a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 13, 2018. U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat who will assume the s..

Read more >

New Water Rules Mark Latest Trump Rollback on Environmental Regulations

Posted: December 11, 2018, 7:00 pm

New Water Rules Mark Latest Trump Rollback on Environmental Regulations FILE – A puddle blocks a path that leads into the Panther Island Mitigation Bank near Naples, Fla., June 7, 2018. Experts say the Trump administration’s move to redefine what constitutes a waterway is threatening a uniquely American effort to save wetlands from destruction. A new proposal from the Trump White House would roll back more Obama-era environmental regulations.
Trump administration officials say Tuesday's proposed change in the Clean Water Act provides “a clear, understandable, and implementable definition” of what kinds of bodies of water the government can regulate. Environmental groups say the new rules are a concession to industry and will pollute the nation's already polluted waterways.
Definition of 'waters'
During the Obama era, what constituted “Waters of the United States” was expanded under the Clean Water Act to include all kinds of wetlands from ditches that only contai..

Read more >

Groups Sue Trump Administration Over Atlantic Oil Testing 

Posted: December 11, 2018, 5:30 pm

Groups Sue Trump Administration Over Atlantic Oil Testing South Carolina coastal resident Phil Frandino holds a sign at the Charleston announcement of a lawsuit against the Trump administration to stop future seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic Ocean, in Charleston, S.C., Dec. 11, 2018. CHARLESTON, S.C. — Environmental groups opposed to offshore drilling sued the federal government Tuesday to prevent future seismic tests for oil and gas deposits
in Atlantic waters off the U.S. East Coast.
Seismic testing, which uses air gun blasts, violates federal laws that protect marine mammals, endangered species and national environmental policy, according the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston, S.C., against U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The fisheries service in November gave initial permission to five companies to conduct seismic airgun tests beneath a vast region off the East Coast. The permits allow marine wildlife to ..

Read more >

Trump Weighs In on Climate Change

Posted: December 5, 2018, 8:15 am

Trump Weighs In on Climate Change FILE – The Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the morning sun in Glenrock, Wyoming. “I'm not going to put the country out of business trying to maintain certain standards that probably don't matter,” President Donald Trump told VOA when asked about the economic impacts of climate change.
SEE ALSO: Highlights From VOA Contributor Greta Van Susteren's Interview With President Trump
When not denying its existence, the Trump administration's approach to
climate change essentially comes down to three arguments: the United States has already cut its greenhouse gas emissions more than other countries, regardless of any international agreement; regulations to cut emissions come with high costs and few benefits; and those regulations would put the United States at a disadvantage because other countries will not follow.
“When you look at China, and when you look at other countries where they have foul air,” Trump ad..

Read more >