4:48pm

Thu May 2, 2013
Politics

Obama Nominates Campaign Fundraiser For Commerce Secretary

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:27 pm

Influential Chicagoan Penny Pritkzer has been tapped by President Obama to lead the Commerce Department.

4:48pm

Thu May 2, 2013
Politics

On Recess, Senators Get An Earful Over Failed Gun Vote

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:27 pm

Senators whose votes on the gun bill got attention back home have been getting an earful during the recess week, when many are back in their states.

4:48pm

Thu May 2, 2013
Politics

Two Nominations Round Out Obama's Second-Term Cabinet

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:27 pm

President Obama rounded out his cabinet on Thursday by naming Chicago benefactor Penny Pritzker as Commerce Secretary and White House aide Michael Froman as U.S. trade representative.

4:48pm

Thu May 2, 2013
World

Labor Watchdog Groups Limited In Their Power To Enforce Laws

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:27 pm

The collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh is seen as a gross violation of safety and workers rights. There are international organizations which try to guide and encourage companies and governments towards better codes of conduct, but the groups have no legal recourse.

4:35pm

Thu May 2, 2013
Middle East

Sea Of Syrian Refugees Threatens To Overload Jordan

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 9:23 pm

There are more than 100,000 Syrian refugees at the Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the Syrian border.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Jordan's fastest-growing city lies in the middle of the desert, where the sand is so white that from a distance it looks like snow. There's little running water and not much electricity.

The name of this place? The Zaatari refugee camp, home to more than 100,000 Syrian refugees.

"This is a city — not one that anybody would want to create if they had a choice," says Caroline Gluck of Oxfam, one of the aid agencies working in the Zaatari camp. "It's certainly not urban planning at its best."

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4:35pm

Thu May 2, 2013
U.S.

Bill Would Put Immigration Verification System To The Test

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:27 pm

Employers using the E-Verify program are required to post an E-Verify Participation Poster, shown here in a handout photo. A Senate bill would make participation in the system, used to check employees' immigration status, mandatory for all employers.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Reuters/Landov

Some employers around the nation have been using E-Verify to check the immigration status of employees for years. Operated by the Department of Homeland Security, the online system is designed to make it harder to hire unauthorized workers — and harder for those workers to find jobs.

While participation in the program has been voluntary since 1996, the immigration bill now in the Senate would make E-Verify mandatory.

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4:35pm

Thu May 2, 2013
News

When It Comes To Guns, How Young Is Too Young?

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:27 pm

A woman holds a .22-caliber Crickett youth rifle at a Gander Mountain store in Flint Township, Mich. This type of gun, which is marketed to children and comes in a variety of colors, was involved in the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky.
Steve Jessmore The Flint Journal/Landov

The shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky at the hands of her 5-year-old brother has opened up yet another debate about gun control.

While no one favors the idea of 5-year-olds using weapons without supervision, there is no consensus on the appropriate age to start hands-on training with firearms.

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4:31pm

Thu May 2, 2013
Research News

Of Flybots And Bug Eyes: Insects Inspire Inventors

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 5:49 pm

These robotic flies, which were built in a Harvard lab, can flap their wings independently of each other and fly around while tethered to a power and control wire.
Kevin Ma, Pakpong Chirarattananon AAAS/Science

A smartphone can tell you where to get a cup of coffee, but it can't go get the coffee for you. Engineers would like to build little machines that can do stuff. They would be useful for a lot more than coffee, if we could figure out how to make them work.

But the rules of mechanics change at small scales. Friction becomes dominant; turbulence can upend a small airplane.

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4:28pm

Thu May 2, 2013
Shots - Health News

Outbreak Of New SARS-Like Virus Kills 5 In Saudi Arabia

The new coronavirus uses spikes on its surfaces to infect cells.
Elizabeth R. Fischer/Rocky Mountain Labs/NIAID/NIH

With a new bird flu in China, it's easy to forget that there's another worrisome virus emerging in the Middle East.

Today we got a rude reminder of its presence.

Five more people have died from a new SARS-like virus on the Arabian Peninsula, the World Health Organization said Thursday. Two others are being treated in intensive care.

That brings the total cases to 24, including 16 deaths.

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4:25pm

Thu May 2, 2013
Shots - Health News

Colorado Weighs Reopening Psychiatric Hospital For Homeless

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 4:22 pm

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, center, exits the Fort Lyon Correctional Facility in Las Animas, Colo., on Wednesday after touring the facility. Hickenlooper has proposed closing the facility due to budget concerns.
Andy Cross Denver Post via Getty Images

Last summer's mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., led Gov. John Hickenlooper to call for stricter gun control and big new investments in mental health care.

Several significant gun bills passed, and a package of mental health reforms is moving forward. But there may not be enough support to win funding for 300 new inpatient psychiatric beds.

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