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DOD sued for alleged improper incineration of 'forever chemicals'

DOD sued for improper incineration of 'forever chemicals'Earthjustice sued the Department of Defense (DOD) on Thursday, arguing the military has been improperly incinerating so-called forever chemicals.

The class of chemicals, known as PFAS, is a central ingredient in the firefighting foam widely used by the military, but it's caused alarm due to both its links to cancer and its persistence in the environment.

Earthjustice, which filed the suit on behalf of communities where PFAS has been incinerated, argues DOD is in violation of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which both required the military to phase out use of PFAS-laden firefighting foam and incinerate its stockpiles at temperatures high enough to break down the chemicals and avoid releasing them into the air.


Bloomberg offers to release three women from hush pacts

Bloomberg agrees to rescind NDAsMike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign said Friday that he identified three confidentiality agreements with women related to alleged comments he made and is inviting them to be released from the pacts.

Bloomberg also said he won’t offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward.

The former New York City mayor has come under increasing pressure to free the employees from non-disclosure agreements insuring their silence, including calls from Elizabeth Warren this week that tripped up Bloomberg in the debate.



Doug Collins says he won’t be intel chief after Trump floats him for DNI job

Rep. Doug Collins says he won't accept intel job

Rep. Doug Collins quickly shot down speculation that he would be nominated as the next director of national intelligence after President Donald Trump floated the Georgia Republican for the role of America’s spy chief, insisting Friday that he would instead continue his campaign for Senate.

“Wow, you know, it is humbling. I mean, it’s amazing for a trooper’s kid from north Georgia to have the president think that much of you — to mention my name among others to be [in] this position,” Collins told Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria,” hours after Trump revealed Thursday night to reporters on Air Force One that he was considering the congressman for the post.


NSC aide who worked to discredit Russia probe moves to senior ODNI post

"Kas" Patel gets key Intel post

Kash Patel, a former top National Security Council official who also played a key role as a Hill staffer in helping Republicans discredit the Russia probe, is now a senior adviser for new acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, according to four people familiar with the matter.

It’s not clear what exact role Patel is playing in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the U.S. intelligence community. He started at ODNI on Thursday, according to an administration official.


Trump Costing Taxpayers And Putting Money In His Pocket With Stay At His Own Hotel

Trump staying at his own hotelPresident Donald Trump’s choice to stay at his own Las Vegas hotel each night during the western states swing that wraps up Friday likely cost taxpayers a million extra dollars as well as diverted thousands of them into his own cash registers.

Previous presidents on extended trips away from the White House typically stayed in the city of each day’s final event, or traveled to the city of the following day’s first event. Trump, instead, traveled back to Las Vegas each night from California, Arizona and Colorado to overnight at his Trump International Hotel ― requiring several extra hours’ flying time on Air Force One, a plane that costs taxpayers about a quarter-million dollars per hour in the air.


Trump Gives Defense Department Power To Abolish Bargaining For Civilian Unions

Dept. of Defense given power to stop civilian unions from bargainingPresident Donald Trump has officially granted the Department of Defense the legal authority to abolish the collective bargaining rights of its civilian labor unions representing some 750,000 workers.

Gutting the unions would provide “maximum flexibility,” Trump wrote in a memo published Thursday in the Federal Register, which was first reported by Government Executive.

Trump signed the memo three weeks ago, invoking “national security” to justify granting the Defense Department an exemption from the law giving all federal workers the right to unionize.

Wall Street slides as gloomy data adds to coronavirus fears

Wall Street slid on Friday due to coronavirusU.S. stock indexes fell on Friday after data showed U.S. business activity stalled in February, while a spike in new coronavirus cases in China and elsewhere sent investors scrambling for safer assets such as gold and government bonds.

The IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ index of services sector activity dropped to its lowest level since October 2013, signaling a contraction for the first time since 2016. The manufacturing sector also clocked its lowest reading since August.

Declines on Friday were led by heavyweights Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Inc (AMZN.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for a second straight day.


Texas woman sentenced to eight years for illegal voting paroled, faces deportation

Rosa Maria Ortega paroled; faces deportation

In 2017, Rosa Maria Ortega's eight-year prison sentence for illegal voting in Texas made her an unwitting poster child of an alleged voter fraud epidemic that dominated headlines and a president's tweets.

Last December, Ortega was granted parole after serving a little more than nine months. She now faces a more permanent punishment: The 40-year-old mother of four teenagers, who came to the USA as a baby and lived here legally with a green card, is the target of deportation proceedings to her native country of Mexico.

After being paroled, Ortega spent nearly two more months in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). She was freed on bond by an immigration judge last month. The U.S. Department of Justice office that handles immigration proceedings did not respond to a request Thursday for information on her case, including when she is due to appear in court.


Miami Will Be Underwater Soon. Its Drinking Water Could Go First

Miami will be underwater soon; their drinking water may go firstOne morning in June 2018, Douglas Yoder climbed into a white government SUV on the edge of Miami and headed northwest, away from the glittering coastline and into the maze of water infrastructure that makes this city possible.

He drove past drainage canals that sever backyards and industrial lots, ancient water-treatment plants peeking out from behind run-down bungalows, and immense rectangular pools tracing the outlines of limestone quarries. Finally, he reached a locked gate at the edge of the Everglades. Once through, he pointed out the row of 15 wells that make up the Northwest Wellfield, Miami-Dade County’s clean water source of last resort.

Yoder, 71, is deputy director of the county’s water and sewer department; his job is to think about how to defend the county’s fresh drinking water against the effects of climate change. A large man with an ambling gait, Yoder exudes the calm of somebody who’s lived with bad news for a long time.


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