Category Archives: public policy

The Rise of Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue

The gun-control debate in the aftermath of a mass shooting is a stark reminder of the deeply held beliefs in the U.S. about firearms and access to them. Some members of the medical community, however, have been trying for years to broaden those conversations to include, not just arguments about the Constitution or political ideologies, but a discussion about the toll gun violence takes on public health Continue reading

Owner of ‘Tetris’ rights takes Hawaii home, ranch off grid

By CALEB JONES, Associated Press HONOLULU (AP) — High above the bustling city of Honolulu, in a quiet, exclusive hillside neighborhood where some of the island’s wealthiest residents live, there is an extravagant home that’s not quite like the others. The 6,000-square-foot house has a view overlooking Diamond Head, Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean, and two Tesla cars in the driveway Continue reading

Court ruling spurs backers’ hopes for redistricting changes

By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Groups trying to curb the partisan sculpting of House districts are hoping their Supreme Court victory will prompt more states to create independent commissions to redraw congressional lines. But Republicans scoffed that Monday’s 5-4 decision upholding Arizona’s independent redistricting commission would have little impact Continue reading

When Does Workplace Wellness Become Coercive?

By Julie Appleby Christine White pays $300 a year more for her health care because she refused to join her former employer’s wellness program, which would have required that she fill out a health questionnaire and join activities like Weight Watchers. “If I didn’t have the money … I’d have to” participate, says White, 63, a retired groundskeeper from a Portland, Ore., community college. Like many Americans, White gets her health coverage through an employer that uses financial rewards and penalties to get workers to sign up for wellness programs Continue reading

Clementa Pinckney eulogy caps a roller-coaster stretch for Obama

Barack Obama is experiencing arguably the most pivotal stretch of his tumultuous and consequential two-term presidency as he heads to Charleston Friday to once again take up the unwelcome mantle of comforter in chief. The Supreme Court on Thursday swatted down what could be the last major legal attack on his signature domestic achievement, Obamacare. On Friday, the justices ruled in favor of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, perhaps the defining social debate of his time in office Continue reading

Supreme Court affirms right to gay marriage

The Supreme Court has found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, striking down bans in 14 states and handing a historic victory to the gay rights movement that would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago. Anthony Kennedy, a conservative justice who has broken with his ideological colleagues to author several decisions expanding rights for LGBT people, again sided with the court’s four liberals to strike down the state bans. Continue reading

Mayor faces complexities of poverty, crime in reviving N.J.’s largest city

By Ellen Wulfhorst By Ellen Wulfhorst NEWARK, N.J. (Reuters) – A handful of streets in New Jersey’s largest city boast glistening apartment towers with floor-to-ceiling views of the Manhattan skyline, but much of the rest of Newark bears the scars of stubbornly high crime rates and persistent poverty. The complexities of life in Newark are reflected in graffiti, boarded-up houses and shattered car windows, stark reminders for Mayor Ras Baraka of the challenges he faces to attract people and investment to his hometown. Continue reading

Who’s to blame during California drought? Basically everyone

By FENIT NIRAPPIL, Associated Press SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Mother Nature isn’t the only one getting blamed during the California’s drought Continue reading

Report Shows Injury-Related Deaths Among States

A new report on injury-related deaths in the U.S. Continue reading

Walker’s record as governor is taking some hits this year

By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press MADISON, Wis. (AP) — While Scott Walker’s fellow Republicans were grousing about his budget plan and part of his proposal to overhaul higher education, the governor was more than 1,000 miles away, gripping the wheel of the Mt. Washington cruise boat on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. Continue reading