Monday, July 12, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 7/12

  • They may not be the 500-pound "Frankenfish" that some researchers were talking about 10 years ago, but a Massachusetts company says it's on the verge of receiving federal approval to market a quick-growing Atlantic salmon that's been genetically modified with help from a Pacific Chinook salmon.
  • Canadian Omar Khadr was captured eight years ago, nearly dead after a firefight with U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He was 15 and grew into manhood here behind the razor wire. Now, a strapping 23-year-old, he appears before an Army judge Monday to tackle a thorny question: Is Guantanamo's youngest and last Western captive equipped to defend himself on war-crime charges punishable by life in jail?
  • Since the Deepwater Horizon well exploded April 20, BP has paid fewer than half of the claims filed in six states, including Mississippi. The oil giant had received 103,013 claims as of Saturday and had paid 48,795 of them at a cost of nearly $163 million.
  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will propose a resolution this week condemning racism within the tea party movement. NAACP leaders said the resolution was necessary to make people aware of what they believe is a racist element within the tea party movement. Tea party leaders deny that the movement is racist and said the resolution is unfair.
  • California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy says there's nothing more inspiring or powerful than "the common voice of the common man." But he decided that voice wasn't being heard in the halls of power. So, he is trying to change that. He's the chairman of a new Web forum called "America Speaking Out," an attempt by House Republicans to start a national conversation with Americans, giving them a megaphone to change the very way Congress governs.
  • The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 is beginning to look like a stimulus package for the lobbying trade. During the past year, oil companies, manufacturers and trade groups have made a big push to shape the rules and regulations behind California's landmark greenhouse gas reduction law. According to state records, more than two dozen companies, trade organizations and environmental groups have been lobbying the agencies charged with creating the rules.
  • Six months after the January earthquake that devastated Haiti, 1.5 million people remain in more than 1,340 tent cities and camps, unable or unwilling to leave.
  • While their bills have yet to win a hearing, California Republicans are among those leading the charge on Capitol Hill to dismantle President Barack Obama's crowning achievement. Even if the bills don't advance, the issue is sure to provide fodder in this year's political campaigns, with Republicans calculating it's a winning issue for them.
  • A Washington D.C. couple who spent 30 years spying for Cuba are asking a federal judge to recommend that they be incarcerated near each other — but not in Florida, where they say the federal prisons "will likely have populations of Cuban-Americans who might react strongly to their offense.''
  • Protests at two Arlington, Texas, churches organized by Westboro Baptist Church on Sunday morning were drowned out by more than 100 counterprotesters who rebuked the controversial group. At both Arlington events, Westboro members were outmatched more than 10-to-1 by counterprotesters, many of whom opted for irreverence over anger as their weapon against the Topeka, Kan., group's message.
  • Facing a dismal budget crisis last year, California relied on a federal lifeline of stimulus dollars. The cash infusion staved off the bleakest of cuts to Medi-Cal patients, welfare recipients and students. But that money is beginning to run dry, leaving California grappling with whether to replace it by raising taxes or institute the severe cuts the state avoided last year.
  • They are our neighbors and our kids' schoolteachers. They are the people who in better times built our houses and highways, manufactured the goods we use and stocked the shelves in our stores. Meet the long-term unemployed. There but for some fortunate breaks go many of us. So why are they being vilified?

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