NJ nursing homes for veterans face federal investigation of COVID-19 deaths
The U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation into alleged negligence and poor quality care at New Jersey’s veterans homes, where the number of coronavirus deaths was largely underreported, officials said Wednesday.In a letter to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, federal authorities said the agency is looking into whether the civil rights of veteran residents have been violated because of “inadequate medical care generally, and during the coronavirus pandemic in particular.”The investigation will also examine why the number of coronavirus deaths were understated, particularly in nursing...
New York Daily News
Bulldozers were ready to fight California fires. Why did Forest Service turn them away?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Loyalton fire was 2 days old and starting to pick up momentum in a heavily forested area 50 miles north of Lake Tahoe. That’s when Jeff Holland offered to help.Holland’s logging company, CTL Forest Management Inc., happened to have an array of firefighting equipment — bulldozers, water trucks, a wood-chipping machine called a masticator — parked on a property he owns in Loyalton, just west of where the fire started in mid-August. He proposed hiring out the equipment to the U.S. Forest Service, which was in charge of fighting the fire.He was turned down.“I had several p...
The Sacramento Bee
Qualcomm gets another victory in antitrust battle with Federal Trade Commission
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to reconsider an August ruling that Qualcomm’s business practices are legal under anti-monopoly laws — likely ending a three-year legal battle between federal regulators and the San Diego company.The court on Wednesday denied a request by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission seeking a second look at a three-judge panel’s decision that threw out the FTC antitrust case.The FTC petitioned for “en banc” reconsideration was based on alleged legal errors in the panel’s findings, which the agency argued “tears at the fabric of antitrust law.”With an en ...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Commentary: Understanding the landscape of Facebook's dominance
Facebook clearly dominates social media.But showing how and what Facebook monopolizes is tricky, especially if you’re a regulator pursuing antitrust action against the company.The “Roadmap for an Antitrust Case Against Facebook” published by the Omidyar Network in June begins to make this case in the U.S. But more is needed.Properly defining the market Facebook dominates will be critical to the success of any federal effort to rein in the excessive power Facebook has over civic life and online display advertising.It should also help the public better understand why such a popular and useful we...
The Seattle Times
Michigan border sees 1,700% increase in drug seizures amid pandemic
DETROIT — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say they’ve had an unprecedented year with a 1,700% increase in marijuana seizures and 200% increase in seized firearms during the pandemic.The seizures were conducted by the Detroit Field Office, which oversees the Ambassador Bridge, Detroit Windsor Tunnel, the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, the International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.From Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, drug enforcement operations in Michigan’s five ports netted more than 9,000 pounds of marijuana, 211 pounds of cocaine, more than ...
The Detroit News
Editorial: US antitrust case against Google a welcome start
Angst over President Donald Trump should not cloud judgment of a new federal antitrust case against Google.In announcing the case last week, Trump’s Department of Justice launched a new era of antitrust enforcement to rein in excessive control that giant digital platforms have over life and commerce.This is vitally important, long overdue and must continue during the next presidency.There is bipartisan support for regulatory enforcement, prompted by widespread concern about unfair competition and a lack of transparency and accountability by these platforms.While Google, Facebook and other plat...
The Seattle Times
Nation and world news briefs
AstraZeneca cleared by US regulators to resume vaccine trialAstraZeneca Plc, the U.K. drugmaker developing a coronavirus vaccine with the University of Oxford, has been cleared by U.S. regulators to restart a trial halted in the country for more than a month on concerns about a volunteer who became ill, according to a person familiar with the decision.The person asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.A decision to allow the study to resume would remove a significant impediment for AstraZeneca and Oxford as they try to get their coronavirus shot across the line. They ar...
Tribune News Service
FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as coronavirus treatment
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has officially approved remdesivir as a treatment for coronavirus, drug manufacturer Gilead Sciences announced Thursday.The Ebola drug was already being used to treat patients under an emergency-use authorization issued in May, but the latest FDA action makes it “the first and only approved COVID-19 treatment” in the United States, according to the company.The antiviral drug has been found to reduce recovery time by an average of five days among those who are sick enough to be hospitalized. Also known by the brand name Veklury, the drug can fast-track reco...
New York Daily News
Editorial: Restore faith in COVID-19 vaccines
Pfizer officials announced on Oct. 16 that the pharmaceutical giant won’t be ready to apply for FDA approval of its COVID-19 vaccine until the third week of November.That means there will be no miracle Election Day vaccine — which should assuage fears that this potentially lifesaving development might be prematurely rushed past scientific protocols for political ends.A credible vaccine is needed, especially with coronavirus cases once again trending upward across the country.However, to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly virus, any vaccine must not only be safe and effective, it must...
The Seattle Times
Immigrants can still get their US work visas expedited, but it will cost a lot more
U.S. immigration authorities announced this week that, effective Monday, they will increase the fee for priority processing of work visa applications, a special process that allows expediting the case’s adjudication for an additional, hefty cost.Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows U.S. employers or foreign applicants to pay a $1,440 fee for premium processing, in addition to other fees required for the type of forms submitted.This fee, which is attached to Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, will increase to $2,500, the immigration agency said in a news release....