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Supreme Court Rules on Texas Abortion Clinics

Abortion-rights advocates say state law will close more clinics

(Newser) - The Supreme Court is refusing to allow Texas to enforce restrictions that would force about 10 abortion clinics to close. The justices voted 5-4 today to grant an emergency appeal from the clinics after a federal appeals court upheld new regulations, refusing to keep them on hold while the clinics... More »

Powdered Alcohol Has US Senator 'in Total Disbelief'

... as inventor Mark Phillips decries 'nanny state'

(Newser) - People may well love Palcohol, and that's exactly what some lawmakers are worried about. Introduced in 2012 and approved for sale by the feds last month, the powdered-alcohol product is running into strong opposition despite pleas from its inventor, the New York Times reports. Six states have already banned... More »

Mom of Crash Survivor: I Thank Honda, Not God

Lynn Beisner: federal regulations more important than higher power

(Newser) - Lynn Beisner's son was driving last week when a semi-trailer wheel landed on his hood and shattered every window in the car. Amazingly, the Honda vehicle "formed a cocoon for his body" and he didn't have "a scratch on him," she writes in the Washington ... More »

Legalized Pot Becomes Food-Safety Headache

Colorado, Washington state try to forge smart regulations

(Newser) - In Colorado, regulators sat down with marijuana makers and critics today to tackle a complex issue: pot and food safety, the AP reports. Their goal: make pot-infused products clearly labeled for the general public. They agreed that it's easy for some products, like candies and pot cookies, but what... More »

A National First: California OKs Ride-Sharing

New regulations cement fast-growing services as legal

(Newser) - California has just become the first state to devise regulations for ride-sharing services, the fast-growing underground cab companies that have traditional taxis shaking in their boots. Services like Lyft, Sidecar, and Uber Technologies let you pay for a ride from people who use their own cars to drive you around.... More »

Health Insurers Raise Rates Bigtime Despite ObamaCare

California, Florida, and Ohio see double-digit increases

(Newser) - America's health insurers are raising rates by up to 26% despite the fact that President Obama was dead-set on curbing such increases, the New York Times reports. California's Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, and Blue Shield of California have proposed increases of 26%, 22%, and 20%, respectively, on certain... More »

Issa Wants 2-Year Ban on All Internet Laws

Also, 'Do Not Track' initiative hits roadblocks

(Newser) - Rep. Darrell Issa is proposing a bill that would "create a two-year moratorium on any new laws, rules, or regulations governing the Internet," reports CNN . It's been met with some controversy from fellow politicians and the public alike. The bill could block regulations that protect consumer privacy,... More »

FDA Bans the Term 'Sunblock'

Sunscreen can't call itself 'waterproof' anymore, either

(Newser) - You’ll never put on sunblock again. The FDA rolled out its long-awaited changes for sunscreen labels today, banning the word “sunblock” along with the terms “waterproof” and “sweat-proof.” From now on sunscreen can only boast that it’s “water-resistant” and specify whether users should... More »

Obama Moves to Root Out 'Dumb' Regulations

New executive order will trim, streamline rules

(Newser) - Republicans have said that deregulation will be a major part of their platform, but it looks like President Obama is beating them to the punch. The president will sign an executive order today mandating “a government-wide review of the rules already on the books” that aims to “root... More »

Regulators Let BP Blow Off Wildlife Permits

Endangered species protections simply ignored

(Newser) - The Minerals Management Service appears to have blatantly ignored a law requiring new oil drilling operations to get permits from the agency that assesses risk to endangered species. The MMS gave the okay to the Deepwater Horizon rig and dozens of others without getting the permits, the New York Times ... More »

NYC to Ban All Cabbie Phone Calls

Even hands-free devices will be a no-go under new rules limiting electronics

(Newser) - New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission is cracking down on its drivers, proposing tough new rules today that ban the use of any electronic communication devices while on the job, hands-free included. "Every driver will be prohibited from even wearing a Bluetooth device on their ears and... More »

Greedy Farmers Battle Climate Bill That Benefits Them

Demand government cash to take action

(Newser) - Farmers are among those facing the highest risk from global warming—storms, droughts and swarms of insect pests are coming their way—yet “true to form,” they’re not interested in backing a bill to fight it without reaping even more government cash, sputters Steven Pearlstein in the... More »

US to Expand Executive Pay Supervision

Administration to announce new rules, add pay-oversight chief

(Newser) - The Obama administration is set to announce new executive pay guidelines for banks and other corporations that have received bailout funds, the New York Times reports. Any company that’s taken two rounds of TARP cash—including Citigroup, Bank of America, AIG, GM and GMAC—will have to get pay... More »

Obama Overrules the Overruling of State Laws

Bush policy protected business interests in the states

(Newser) - President Obama is rewriting another set of rules inherited from his predecessor. This time, the Washington Post reports, it’s President Bush’s policy of overriding state laws with federal regulations, known as “preemption.” Says an activist, “It's environmental law, it's drug law, it's mortgage law, it's... More »

Market-Regulation Bill No Longer on Fast Track: Frank

Obama wants bill passed fast, but Congress chooses to take its time

(Newser) - Once on the fast track to President Obama’s desk, a bill that would grant the government powers to place large companies into receivership has been pushed to the slow lane, Rep. Barney Frank tells the Wall Street Journal. The bill’s complexity, and a slow-moving Senate, led the Financial... More »

Obama Reviews Abortion Rules

Bush's abstinence initiatives, Reagan's 'gag rule' could go way of dodo.

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s transition team is hard at work deciding how and when to undo the Bush administration’s abortion policies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bush’s ban on federal stem cell research funding will be among the first to go—a move that has broad bipartisan support—along... More »

Bill Subject to Toothless Rules

Obama's regulations may do little to restrain ex-prez

(Newser) - Bill Clinton agreed to rules covering his charity work and earnings so his wife can run the State Department, but the new restrictions still offer the former president plenty of leeway, Politico reports. Clinton may stick to the rules at first, but  “then perhaps—just because he has this... More »

EU Repeals Straight Banana, Curvy Cucumber Laws

Rules set tight standards for produce size, shape, color

(Newser) - The EU took a U-turn on curved cucumbers and bent bananas and voted to repeal strict laws that ban the sale of imperfect produce, the Washington Post reports. Shops are barred from selling cauliflower less than 4.33 inches in diameter and not-green-enough asparagus until July, when such laws—long... More »

Score Card on Late White House Rules Changes

Bush administration pushes through midnight regulations

(Newser) - With the  Bush White House pushing through a raft of last-minute rules, the nonprofit journalism group ProPublica offers a running list, with the status of each:
  • Business-friendly safety regulations would loosen restrictions on exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace.
  • Local police would get increased surveillance ability.
  • Loaded guns would
... More »

High Prices Pound Gas Stations

Squeezed margins drive many out of business

(Newser) - Angry at gas stations for profiting on your financial misery? Think again, the Wall Street Journal reports: They're fast going out of business as oil prices rise. This year's 40% price hike has sent costs soaring, shuttering 3,000 US stations and causing Exxon Mobile to announce the sale of... More »

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