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Study confirms groundbreaking advance in stem cells

PARIS — The first use of embryonic stem cells in humans eased a degenerative form of blindness in two volunteers and showed no signs of any adverse effects, according to a study published by The Lancet on Monday. Publication in the peer-reviewed journal marks an important step for embryonic stem…

Democrats call for investigation of Justice Clarence Thomas

Twenty House Democrats called Thursday on the U.S. Judicial Conference to formally request that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate Justice Clarence Thomas’s non-compliance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. Justice Thomas indicated on his annual financial disclosure forms that his wife had received no income since he…

Deal may speed protections for imperiled species

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – The government would have until 2018 to decide whether to extend Endangered Species Act protections to hundreds of imperiled animals and plants under a deal with environmentalists submitted on Tuesday for approval by a federal judge. The agreement between the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity and…

FOIA request seeks details of Justice Thomas’ jet and yacht travel

A non-partisan watchdog group has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in an attempt to determine whether conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas improperly disclosed the use of private jets and a yacht. Common Cause’s FOIA request (PDF) to the U.S. Marshals Service encompasses travel on seven dates…

Lawyers: Protect IP Act would align U.S. Internet policy with ‘repressive regimes’

A group of Internet and intellectual property law professors have penned a letter to congressional lawmakers in opposition to the Protect IP Act, which would give the government sweeping new powers to take websites offline, censor search engines and sue Internet publishers accused of infringing activities. In the letter, they…

Microsoft director admits E.U. data not exempt from Patriot Act spying

In the brave new world of cloud computing, where data is stored off-site in massive server farms instead of on a user’s local hard drive, privacy and security are paramount in the consumer’s mind. Unfortunately for privacy advocates, their concerns are essentially moot thanks to the U.S.A. Patriot Act, which…

Sen. Al Franken: Congress must vote on Libya

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) said that congressional approval would be needed to authorize continued U.S. military intervention in Libya. “The War Powers Act should be enforced,” Franken told Talking Points Memo after giving a speech at Netroots Nation in his home state of Minnesota. “We’re going to have to vote.”…

First patients enroll in stem cell trials on blindness

WASHINGTON — The first clinical trials that examine the use of stem cells to treat two forms of blindness are ready to begin now that patients have been enrolled, a US company announced on Thursday. A total of 24 patients have entered two separate trials at an eye institute in…

Entertainment industry rolls out support for Protect IP Act

WASHINGTON – Screenwriters who have shaped television programs such as The Late Show With David Letterman, CBS Radio News, How I Met Your Mother and Law & Order told a roomful of Capitol Hill staffers on Tuesday that a clampdown on Internet piracy would be consistent with the principles of…

White House denies violating War Powers Act in report to Congress on Libya

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama sent a report to Congress Wednesday insisting that he did not exceed his powers in ordering US military action in Libya. Officials said that the 30-page report justifies US action in the mission to protect civilians and target the forces of Moamer Kadhafi and contains…

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