January 16, 2016 |
A Philadelphia man faces a stiffer possible penalty after being charged Thursday under federal law with using a gun during a pair of robberies. Samuel Robinson, 29, of Philadelphia, was charged in a five-count federal indictment with robbing two Metro PCS stores in Mayfair and Hunting Park on Oct. 28, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. He could be sentenced from 32 years to life in prison if convicted of violating two counts of the Hobbs Act listed against him in an indictment.
January 14, 2016
FOUR MORE DOWN, so many more to go. The Federal Trade Commission recently smacked down four debt-collection outfits and their affiliates that the agency said engaged in abusive practices. This latest round of action is part of a federal, state, and local effort around the country to target deceptive debt collectors. I've personally been on the other end of a telephone call with a collector trying to bully me into paying a debt I didn't owe. The person was attempting to collect some medical payment that he claimed was owed by my deceased brother.
January 14, 2016
By Mark Salzer On Jan. 4, President Obama signed an executive order directing federal agencies to facilitate the release of confidential information about individuals with mental illnesses to the national gun background check database. Specifically, the Social Security Administration is to release the names and other information to the database if an individual receives benefits because of a mental-health issue and has a representative payee - that is, the individual has been determined to be unable to make competent decisions about his or her finances.
January 12, 2016
OREGON Bundy says he is examining papers The leader of a small, armed group occupying a national wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon said Monday that he and his followers are going through government documents stored inside refuge buildings. Ammon Bundy told reporters the documents will be used to "expose" how the government has discriminated against local ranchers who use federal land for cattle grazing. Bundy said the documents would also help secure the release of Steven and Dwight Hammond, two area ranchers convicted of arson who returned to prison last week to serve longer sentences.
December 5, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate and House approved a sweeping transportation bill Thursday that could help increase the compensation to victims of the May 12 Amtrak crash in Philadelphia and boost funding for rail safety - both steps coming in response to the derailment that killed eight people. The five-year, $305 billion bill includes policy provisions related to highway safety, railroads, and road programs. Several policy riders, though, including one to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, drew criticism, and some faulted the bill for being funded with gimmicks.
November 13, 2015 |
They menacingly photographed Sarina Rose's children as they waited for the school bus. They cursed her out and cornered her at a luncheonette. One formed his hand into the shape of a gun and pretended to shoot her as he mouthed the words "Bang, bang, bang. " Rose's company used a partly nonunion workforce to convert a long-derelict Loft District building into apartments, and members of Ironworkers Local 401 registered their objections using such shameful and in most circumstances criminal tactics.
September 23, 2015 |
NEW YORK - As fantasy football advertisements are pushing aside beer commercials on TV broadcasts of Eagles games, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D., N.J.) is trying on multiple fronts to get equal legal treatment for sports gambling. Last week, he called for congressional hearings, with the hope of changing federal law to make gambling as legal as sports fantasy. On Monday, after a gambling-fantasy panel discussion here, Pallone was asked what he would say to the judges on the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit who were asked to reconsider New Jersey's challenge to a 1992 federal law that in effect restricts legal sports gambling to Nevada.
August 27, 2015 |
A federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned New Jersey's sports betting law for the second time in two years, saying federal statutes forbid gambling on college and professional sports except in a handful of states. New Jersey voters amended the state constitution in 2011 to permit sports betting at struggling casinos and racetracks while barring wagers on New Jersey college teams or on any collegiate event occurring in the state. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, and others sued to prevent implementation of the plan.
August 23, 2015 |
Pennsylvania is the latest state to investigate Planned Parenthood affiliates and find no wrongdoing involving the disposal or use of fetal tissue. In fact, the state's clinics do not even provide tissue for research, the inquiry found. But the finding isn't satisfying Republican legislators critical of the organization. Planned Parenthood Federation of America has been on the defensive since July, when antiabortion activists began releasing secretly recorded videos showing the organization's executives candidly talking about supplying fetal tissue donated by abortion patients for medical research.
July 17, 2015 |
Former President Bill Clinton told the NAACP convention here Wednesday that he was wrong to sign a law that resulted in mass incarcerations of nonviolent drug offenders, a day after President Obama called for changes to laws that have filled prisons with minorities over the last two decades. Appearing on the final day of the civil rights group's annual meeting, Clinton spoke with contrition. "I signed a bill that made the problem worse, and I want to admit it," he said. The law so severely toughened federal sentences, and set a tone for state courts to follow, that prisons swelled - with disproportionate numbers of African American and Latino inmates, Clinton said.