Daily Briefing

Wednesday

Investigators Say U.S. Fails to Inspect Most Chemical Plants at Risk of Terror Attacks

Report by Senate GOP staffers points to threats from the release of toxic and flammable chemicals. An investigation by Republican staff on the Senate Homeland Security Committee said the government has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical sites that it considers to be at a higher risk for a terror attack and has underestimated the […]

Tuesday

CDC Alerts Health Workers About the ‘Remote Possibility’ of Ebola Spreading to U.S.

With the Ebola death toll exceeding 670 in West Africa, concerns mount internationally. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the risk of Ebola spreading to the U.S. is low, but it issued a Level 2 health alert, advising health workers to be vigilant. The largest outbreak of the Ebola virus on record […]

Monday

Trial to Begin Against 3 Charged in Deadly Food Poisoning Outbreak

U.S. prosecutors take aim against Peanut Corp. of America officials accused in conspiracy to sell tainted products. Jury selection begins today in Albany, Ga., in the case against three former company officials accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls […]

Thursday

Even a Light Rain Can Send Raw Sewage Into New York City’s Waterways

New York City’s aging sewer system can be overwhelmed by as little as one-twentieth of an inch of rainfall. When it rains in New York, raw sewage bypasses treatment plants and flows directly into city waterways. Besides the human waste, oil, industrial waste and household garbage that happen to be on the street when a rainstorm […]

Wednesday

U.S. Urges Phasing Out Thousands of Older Rail Tank Cars That Carry Crude Oil

Spurred by fiery train crashes, Transportation Department proposes new rail safety rules. Thousands of older rail tank cars that carry crude oil would be phased out within two years under regulations proposed today in response to recent crashes, including the oil train explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last year that killed 47 people. Accident investigators have complained […]

Tuesday

European Critics Squeal About a Controversial Drug That U.S. Pork Producers Feed to Pigs

Anxiety over safety of U.S. pork and other food products could thwart expanded trade deal with European Union. The concerns stem from a common practice in the U.S. pork industry: mixing feed with ractopamine, a drug that makes the animals grow leaner in the final weeks of their lives. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has […]

Monday

Poor Women in the U.S. Are Giving Birth to Healthier Babies

Babies born to impoverished U.S. women are less healthy than newborns of rich mothers, but the gap has narrowed. While experts agree that government policy has been critical to boosting the health of poor newborns, the improvements aren’t because of a single policy or administration. Rather, they reflect improved access to care, as well as such […]

Thursday

Australia Repeals Laws Requiring Big Companies to Pay for Carbon Emissions

Critics say carbon tax retreat by Australia makes it the first country to reverse progress in fighting climate change. Opposition politicians and environmentalists in Australia reacted with dismay today to the country’s repeal of laws requiring large companies to pay for carbon emissions. The Senate voted 39 to 32 to repeal the carbon tax after Prime Minister […]

Wednesday

United Nations Report Says AIDS Epidemic Could Be Brought Under Control by 2030

Global assessment finds that, “More than ever before, there is hope that ending AIDS is possible.” In a report released ahead of next week’s international AIDS conference in Australia, the United Nations AIDS program said the number of people infected with HIV was stabilizing at around 35 million worldwide. The epidemic has killed about half of […]

Tuesday

EPA Wants Automakers to Prove Mileage Claims With Improved Road Testing

Inflated fuel-economy claims prompt regulator to propose more realistic mileage evaluations. The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing that automakers carry out new road tests to back up the mileage claims on the vehicles they sell. The proposal, which would require a public comment period, comes after several high-profile cases in which estimates provided by Ford, Hyundai […]