Attorney General Who Is Suing The EPA Picked By Trump To Head EPA

Attorney General Who Is Suing The EPA Picked By Trump To Head EPA

President-elect Trump’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency is Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has strong ties to the energy industry, is an outspoken critic of climate change, clean energy efforts, and federal regulation in general, and who is currently involved in multi-state lawsuits against the very agency he may soon be put in charge of. [More]

Court: NCAA Athletes Are Not Employees, Not Entitled To Minimum Wage

Google

Even though collegiate athletes brings in untold fortunes for schools, TV networks, merchandise makers, ticket vendors, and the hospitality and travel industries, they are not — according to a federal appeals court — employees of their schools and are therefore not entitled to be paid anything. [More]

Ludovic Bertron

Banks Ask Congress To Alter Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Roll Back Pro-Consumer Regulations

While virtually all federal agencies will soon see a change in leadership when President-elect Trump enters the White House, the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its Director remain in question. In an effort to work around those legal concerns, the banking industry has called on Congress to legally change the structure of the CFPB, and to roll back a number of the CFPB’s recent and pending regulations on banks and lenders. [More]

Nordstrom’s $85 “Leather Wrapped Stone” Makes Us Wonder: Can You Tell Real Gifts From Fakes?

Nordstrom’s $85 “Leather Wrapped Stone” Makes Us Wonder: Can You Tell Real Gifts From Fakes?

Nordstrom is — perhaps intentionally — making headlines this holiday shopping season for its inexplicable offering of a “Medium Leather Wrapped Stone” in “Natural” for the low, low price of $85 — with free shipping, obviously. It screams of hoax, but is apparently the real deal, leading us to wonder if folks can tell the difference between bizarre gift ideas and things we just conjured up. [More]

JetBlue Asks Court To Throw Out Lawsuit Over Misplaced 5-Year-Old

JetBlue Asks Court To Throw Out Lawsuit Over Misplaced 5-Year-Old

More than three months after losing track of an unaccompanied minor and sending him to an airport in an entirely different city than his intended destination, JetBlue is arguing that an international treaty prohibits the mother from bringing a lawsuit against the airline. [More]

afagen

Supreme Court Overturns $399M Verdict In Long-Running Apple/Samsung Patent Spat

The seemingly never-ending smartphone patent slapfight between Apple and Samsung continues on, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today that a $399 million jury award granted to Apple needs to be reassessed because the iPhone maker isn’t entitled to all of the profits from the infringing Samsung devices. [More]

Why It’s A Problem That Gene For Drug-Resistant Superbug Was Found On U.S. Farm

Mike Matney

Antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria are nothing new on U.S. farms, so why are some people so concerned about the recent discovery, on an American pig farm, of a gene that confers resistance to a vital class of antibiotics? [More]

United Gets Off Easy, Pays $2.4M Penalty For Using Planes To Chauffeur Airport Exec To Vacation Home

(Jason Daniel Brown)

Last year, United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek abruptly resigned amid a federal investigation into allegations that the airline had provided illegal special favors to an official in charge of Newark Liberty International Airport — including relaunching a route to South Carolina that just happened to be near a home owned by that official. United has now agreed to pay $2.4 million to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into these allegations — just a tiny portion of the financial benefit the airline received as a result of this back-room dealing. [More]

FCC Warns AT&T, Verizon That Sponsored Data Programs May Harm Consumers

FCC Warns AT&T, Verizon That Sponsored Data Programs May Harm Consumers

While last year’s Open Internet Order — better known as the “net neutrality” rules — stops broadband providers from blocking, speeding up, or slowing down data to or from sources of their choosing, that rule doesn’t explicitly deal with the practice of “zero-rating,” where a broadband provider doesn’t count certain content against the user’s monthly data limit. After recently raising “serious concerns” about this practice, the FCC is now warning AT&T and Verizon that some of their zero-rating programs appear to harm consumers by providing these companies with unfair advantages in streaming video. [More]

frankieleon

Intoxicated Best Buy Worker Can’t Hold Store Liable For Letting Him Drive Home, Crash His Car

If you show up to work so overly medicated that you won’t remember it the next day, it’s pretty likely that your employer is going to notice and send you home (and maybe tell you to never come back), but if you wreck your car on the way home, can you hold your employer responsible for letting you drive away? [More]

Scammers Ran A Fake U.S. Embassy In Ghana For A Decade Before Being Shut Down

U.S. State Dept.

The U.S. Embassy in Ghana is a large, secured office building in the bustling West African port city of Accra, but for a decade scammers convinced some folks that their humble two-story structure — without security fencing, U.S. military guards,… or Americans of any sort — was indeed the office of the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana. [More]

For-Profit College Industry Eyes Resurgence Under Trump Administration

For-Profit College Industry Eyes Resurgence Under Trump Administration

At its height, the for-profit college industry represented about 25% of all federal student aid, even though these schools only accounted for about 8% of U.S. college students. Meanwhile, these schools were spending the large majority of their money on advertising instead of education, and their students were defaulting on loans at double the rate of other borrowers. Since then, several education chains have shuttered due in no small part to federal investigations and regulations, but investors are seeing sunnier days ahead under a business-friendly Trump White House. [More]

Phil Hart

Feds Appeal Order That Halted Expansion Of Overtime Pay To Millions

This morning, around 4 million Americans would have gone to work, eligible to collect overtime pay that they hadn’t previously been entitled to receive. However, last week a federal court judge halted the new rule that would have expanded this overtime coverage. Even with a new administration coming into the White House in about seven weeks, the Justice Department has announced its intention to appeal this ruling. [More]

J.G. Park

USDA Can No Longer Hide How Much Money Stores Make From Food Stamps

All across America, families use benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP — formerly, and colloquially, known as the Food Stamp program) to buy food, but participation in SNAP varies from store to store, and the federal regulator that oversees the program has denied requests to turn over data on retailer-specific use of SNAP benefits. However, yesterday a federal court ruled that the government can no longer shield this information from public view. [More]

Eric BEAUME

Facebook’s Robot Army May Soon Determine If Your Live Video Is Offensive

Facebook — the company whose artificial intelligence has had a wee bit of trouble distinguishing between fake and authentic news sources — believes that its machine censors can be deployed to determine if a users’ live video stream is too naughty or offensive. [More]

AT&T Confirms Live Access To NBC Is Still Mobile-Only On ‘DirecTV Now’

AT&T Confirms Live Access To NBC Is Still Mobile-Only On ‘DirecTV Now’

Earlier this week at the official launch event for the DirecTV Now live-TV streaming service, I and others noticed that while the live feed for the local NBC affiliate was showing up on the DirecTV Now mobile app, the channel was absent from the lineup of stations available for viewing on your actual TV. AT&T staff that we spoke to at the event insisted that this would not be the case when the service launched, but DirecTV Now is now live — and NBC is still not working on users’ TV sets. [More]