Amazon has introduced an upgraded suite of tablets that includes an enhanced 8.9-inch Kindle HDX ($379), a new tablet designed for children ($149), and a new Kindle HD tablet ($100). The e-tailer has also released the Kindle Voyage ($199), an e-reader with a touchscreen, faster processor and new page turning technology.
Democrats have reversed the partisan imbalance on the federal appeals courts that long favored conservatives, a little-noticed shift with far-reaching consequences for the law and President Obama’s legacy.
For the first time in more than a decade, judges appointed by Democratic presidents considerably outnumber judges appointed by Republican presidents. The Democrats’ advantage has only grown since late last year when they stripped Republicans of their ability to filibuster the president’s nominees.
Democratic appointees who hear cases full time now hold a majority of seats on nine of the 13 United States Courts of Appeals. When Mr. Obama took office, only one of those courts had more full-time judges nominated by a Democrat.
The New York Times Book Review announced a redesign to its bestsellers lists that will see the introduction of 12 new monthly charts.
The new lists include Travel, Humor, Family, Relationships, and Animals. In addition, on a rotating basis, the Book Review will also publish in print lists that were previously online exclusives—Politics, Manga, Graphic Novels, Food and Fitness.
The Justice Department and several advocacy groups are fightingTexas’ absurdly strict voter-ID law. Passed in 2011 by the Republican-dominated Legislature, the law accepts as proof of identity a concealed-weapon permit but not a student ID card.
Apple is reportedly preparing to launch in 2015 its largest-ever iPad, with production beginning in the first quarter of next year. The screen will reportedly measure 12.9 inches diagonally. Currently, Apple’s iPads have 9.7-inch and 7.9-inch diagonal dimensions.
American Airlines announced Tuesday that it is pulling its fares from popular travel website Orbitz.com “effective immediately” and also will pull its US Airways offerings next week. “We have worked tirelessly with Orbitz to reach a deal with the economics that allow us to keep costs low and compete with low-cost carriers,” American Airlines President Scott Kirby said in a statement. The issue at hand was fees the travel site charges for posting and selling the airfares. For its part, Orbitz said it won’t be hurt by the move. “Our sites offer hundreds of airlines which are eager to capture the revenue American is choosing to forego,” it said in a statement. In 2010, American pulled its fares in response to disagreements over selling extra services like WiFi and meals.
House Republicans are agitating to dramatically curb federal bank regulators’ ability to combat money laundering, calling for changes in decades-old financial fraud standards in an effort to aid payday lenders.
Moving illegal cash through the financial system has long been barred by money laundering laws. But under a bill introduced by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), federal regulators would be forbidden from doing anything to “restrict or discourage” a bank from doing business with any company that has both a license to do business and a “reasoned legal opinion” from a lawyer claiming that the business doesn’t break the law.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has warned Catholic school officials against donating to the ALS Association as part of the “ice bucket challenge” because it fears that the money could end up in research using embryonic stem cells. “It’s a well-established moral principle that a good end is not enough. The means to that ends must be morally licit,” the Archdiocese said. The Archdiocese has said that instead, any money should be sent to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City.
The North Carolina voter suppression law requires ends a popular high school civics program that encouraged students to register to vote in advance of their 18th birthdays and specifically bars elections officials from accepting college IDs, even from state-run universities.
This just makes no sense to me. OMG, even the League of Women Voters knows it’s a pile of stinking crap. There is NO real voter fraud. Why doesn’t the judge take that into consideration when he’s weighing the legitmacy of the law?
Large burns in the decade through 2012 are five times more frequent than in the 1970s and early ‘80s. At the same time, the cost of battling those blazes has increased nearly fourfold since 1985; the federal government will most likely spend $2 billion this year acting as the nation’s rural fire department. The agencies saddled with this duty don’t have the money. And Republicans in Congress recently blocked consideration of emergency wildfire funds.
Yet Western homeowners represented by those very Republicans are clamoring: Put the fires out, now! So federal agencies will have to borrow from funds that had been set aside for fire prevention in order to smother the fires this time. The government is expected to rush to the scene after any big natural disaster — the impulse society at work. But there is no urgency to fix, or try to prevent, the overheated planet.