Latest News
Thousands of mentally ill Californians are not being reported to the state Department of Justice so that they can be considered for a list of those prohibited from possessing firearms, a state audit said Tuesday. More than 20,000 people have been identified as possessing guns even though they are prohibited from doing so because of criminal records, restraining orders or severe mental illness, and the state is working to clear the backlog by sending agents out to confiscate weapons.
In Massachusetts, the numbers just aren't adding up right. The state weathered the recession better than most, adding a healthy number of jobs and maintaining one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. But it faces a serious job skills gap: At the end of last year, roughly 250,000 people in the state could not find work while 135,000 positions went unfilled.
Five hours have been set aside for Thursday's "stand your ground" hearing in the Florida House, where changes to the law, including its repeal, will be considered. For many, it will be their first exposure to the chairman of the hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, a brash 31-year-old Twitter aficionado who three months ago declared he didn't support "changing one damn comma" in the 2005 law.
The overall unemployment rate for veterans is steadily declining, but veterans are having better luck landing work in Virginia and Texas than they are in California and New Jersey. The jobless rate for the youngest veterans remains stubbornly high. Amid a national campaign to hire veterans the overall unemployment rate for veterans stands at 6.5 percent, compared to a rate of 7.2 percent for the country as a whole.
Texas' new voter ID law, set to go into effect on November 5, requires individuals to provide a photo ID featuring their legally recognized name in order to vote. It's well-documented that such laws disproportionately disenfranchise low-income voters, people of color, students and the elderly, but married women and transgender people (some of whom are married women) are also among those likely to be impacted by the new law.
In a federal court building in downtown Detroit, beginning on Wednesday morning, the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history comes down to a single question: Is Detroit bankrupt? Federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes will begin hearing arguments on the crucial issue of whether Detroit is eligible to restructure its debts and liabilities under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that applies to municipalities.
The U.S. Congress on Wednesday approved an 11th-hour deal to end a partial government shutdown and pull the world's biggest economy back from the brink of a historic debt default that could have threatened financial calamity. Capping weeks of political brinkmanship that had unnerved global markets, President Barack Obama quickly signed the spending measure, which passed the Senate and House of Representatives after Republicans dropped efforts to use the legislation to force changes in his signature healthcare law.
Twice in the space of a week North Carolina became the first state to cut programs for low-income families, and on Tuesday officials said more of the state's most vulnerable citizens could be put at risk if the federal shutdown continues. Counties across North Carolina are facing difficult choices including the loss of money for subsidized child care, for feeding and nutrition programs for babies and their mothers, for child protection programs, and for money to pay social workers, officials said.
Ten years later, the players have changed and so have the issues but the central question remains largely the same: Should a public university use race in determining who gets admitted? In a landmark case decided a decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court said the University of Michigan Law School could do so. Today, the high court will be asked if Michigan voters had the right in 2006 to strip that authority away.
The federal government shutdown will impact in different ways some of the nation's more than 2 million civilian workers, about a fifth of whom experts estimate to be people of color. According to various data, African-Americans represent approximately half of the minorities who would be out of work as certain government operations are no longer up and running.