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As Congress Prepares for TPP Fight, Another Trade Deal Nears Completion

President Obama’s chief trade negotiator is optimistic that delegates will meet deadlines for a major deal on services—one scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. US Trade Representative Michael Froman gave his outlook on the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) on Wednesday, while noting potential roadblocks. “We have a number of challenges whether it’s the data issue or the new services issue that is very important that we are able to resolve in TISA and we are going to continue to work… Keep Reading


Federal Banking Regulators to Subject Fat Cats to New Cybersecurity Rules

Prudential regulators announced on Wednesday that they intend to formulate new cybersecurity rules for the country’s largest banks. Three major agencies said that they plan on formally proposing the guidelines in January, and welcomed public comment, per standard procedure. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve are administering the push. In an advance notice of the proposal, they stated that efforts will focus on “cyber risk governance; cyber risk management; internal dependency management; external… Keep Reading

Retired General James E. Cartwright

Another Former Obama General Pleads Guilty to Lying to Feds in Leak Case

The Department of Justice announced Monday that retired Gen. General James E. Cartwright pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, while trying to obscure his role in passing along top secret information to journalists. As the former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Cartwright occupied an influential seat in the Obama administration until he stepped aside to join the private sector in 2011. “General Cartwright violated the trust that was placed in him by willfully providing information that could endanger national security to… Keep Reading

Mylan EpiPen

DOJ Epipen Price Gouging Deal Lacking Hundreds of Millions, Criminal Investigations

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called on the Justice Department to reject a settlement that it reached earlier this month with Mylan, over accusations that the federal government is one of many customers that the pharmaceutical giant ripped off. Blumenthal said that the $465 million deal was “far less than $700 million in harm” estimated to have been done to public finances, after Mylan jacked up the price of the Epipen. Outrage spread over the hikes in August, in the wake of media reports about the increased… Keep Reading

Hillary Clinton

Clinton Campaign Staff Made Major Donor Policy Decision Without Her Knowledge, Emails Show

Hillary Clinton’s top campaign advisors made the decision to accept money from lobbyists hired by foreign entities without first obtaining her approval or even informing her, newly released emails show. An email chain published by Wikileaks titled “Re: Foreign registered agents” shows her campaign staff debating to institute a policy barring those who have registered under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) from contributing to or fundraising for the campaign. Dennis Cheng, the campaign’s national finance director, wrote in an email dated April 13, 2015:… Keep Reading

omnicare logo

Nursing Home Pharmacy Giant to Cough Up $28 Million Over Drug Kickbacks

After it was caught accepting direct payments, lavish vacations, and sports tickets from a drug company seeking to improperly boost profits, Omnicare Inc. has agreed to a settlement with the US Department of Justice. The nation’s largest nursing home pharmacy will pay $28 million for its role in a massive kickback scheme perpetrated by drug manufacturer Abbott Laboratories dating back six years. “Omnicare solicited and received kickbacks from Abbott in exchange for recommending that physicians prescribe Depakote, an anti-epileptic drug manufactured by Abbott, to elderly nursing home… Keep Reading

Wall Street

Wall Street Preparing Dodd-Frank “Skin in the Game” Rule Workaround

Investment bankers look set to water down a Dodd-Frank rule designed to snuff out the proliferation of toxic financial products. Players on Wall Street are preparing to minimize the impact of the so-called “skin in the game” rule by setting up affiliated companies to satisfy requirements on risk-sharing, according to The Wall Street Journal. The legal framework, which was finalized by the Obama administration in 2014, is set to take effect on Christmas Eve. The regulations require those who sell Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) to hold onto… Keep Reading

post office truck

GAO: Cyber Hacking Anxiety Could Reverse USPS Woes

A government watchdog analyzed how the internet is reducing Americans’ reliance on the US Post Office, and suggested that the downward trend of paper mail delivery may only be temporary. Postal experts interviewed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) claimed that continued “electronic diversion” in mail delivery is likely to be short-lived, as more people get burned in cyberspace. “Internet privacy and security concerns could be contributing to a slowed rate of electronic diversion,” four of the officials interviewed by GAO stated. The oversight agency… Keep Reading

USS Mason off the Red Sea coast of Yemen

Shrugging Off Concerns of Saudi Atrocities, U.S. Joins In Yemeni Bombing Campaign

US warships lobbed missiles at Houthi rebel positions in Yemen late Wednesday, marking the first time that American forces have been directly involved in the ongoing fighting there—one between the militants and the Saudi Arabian-backed government. American government officials claimed that the attacks hit and destroyed three radar installations, according to NPR. The strikes were launched in retaliation, after two missiles were launched from Yemen at a US destroyer in four days. Houthi forces, via state media organs they control, denied responsibility for the attack.… Keep Reading

Hillary Clinton on her phone

Clinton’s “Instinct” is to Side with Law Enforcement on Encryption & Surveillance, Campaign Chair Said

Throughout the campaign, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has shied away from the heated debate between the government and tech companies over access to encrypted devices. An email, however, from her campaign chair, John Podesta, released by WikiLeaks, does offer a glimpse into how a President Clinton might approach the issue. “Her instincts are to buy some of the law enforcement arguments on crypto and Snowden type issues,” Podesta wrote in a message from November 20, 2015. Podesta’s email was in response to Democratic lobbyist… Keep Reading

John Ashcroft

Bush Officials Immunity for Terror War Abuses to be Subject, Again, of SCOTUS Battle

The Supreme Court will hear litigation that will determine if high-ranking US officials can be sued for civil rights abuses that occurred just after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Justices said on Tuesday that they will take up the case, which was brought by mostly Muslim immigrants against former top George W. Bush appointees. Defendants include former Attorney General John Ashcroft and former FBI Director Robert Mueller III. A federal appeals court in New York had stripped Ashcroft and Mueller of their “qualified immunity”… Keep Reading

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