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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took more than 15 months to act on a whistleblower complaint it received about conditions at an Abbott Nutrition factory that was at the center of a nationwide shortage of infant formula, a new audit shows.

The Department of Labor received the email and three days later forwarded it to an FDA address specifically for such complaints. But one of several staff members charged with managing the FDA inbox at the time “inadvertently archived” the email in February 2021, and it wasn’t found until a reporter requested it in June 2022.

The episode is one of several that led the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General to conclude in a report Thursday that the FDA's policies and procedures to address the issues at the Abbott plant were inadequate.

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Democrat Dick Durbin announces failure of supreme court justice to disclose travel paid for by billionaire benefactor

The US supreme court justice Clarence Thomas took at least three additional trips funded by the billionaire benefactor Harlan Crow that the conservative justice failed to disclose, the chair of the Senate judiciary committee said on Thursday.

Crow, a Texas businessman and Republican donor, disclosed details about the justice’s travel between 2017 and 2021 in response to a judiciary committee vote last November to authorize subpoenas to Crow and another influential conservative, according to the committee chair, Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat representing Illinois.

“The Senate judiciary committee’s investigation into the supreme court’s ethical crisis is producing new information – like what we’ve revealed [on Thursday] – and makes it crystal clear that the highest court needs an enforceable code of conduct, because its members continue to choose not to meet the moment,” Durbin said.

A supreme court spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did a lawyer for Crow.

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A U.S. Navy submarine has arrived in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a show of force as a fleet of Russian warships gather for planned military exercises in the Caribbean.

U.S. Southern Command said the USS Helena, a nuclear-powered fast attack submarine, pulled into the waters near the U.S. base in Cuba on Thursday, just a day after a Russian frigate, a nuclear-powered submarine, an oil tanker and a rescue tug crossed into Havana Bay after drills in the Atlantic Ocean.

The stop is part of a “routine port visit” as the submarine travels through Southern Command’s region, it said in a social media post.

Other U.S. ships also have been tracking and monitoring the Russian drills, which Pentagon officials say do not represent a threat to the United States.

25
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The court found that anti-abortion doctors who questioned the FDA’s easing of access to the pill did not have legal standing to sue.

In a blow for anti-abortion advocates, the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a challenge to the abortion pill mifepristone, meaning the commonly used drug can remain widely available.

The court found unanimously that the group of anti-abortion doctors who questioned the Food and Drug Administration’s decisions making it easier to access the pill did not have legal standing to sue.  

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It's part of a push by Democrats to highlight the electoral contrast over reproductive rights. Before the vote, GOP senators said they favor legal IVF but prefer a narrower bill.

Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic-led bill Thursday to codify broad federal protections for in vitro fertilization in the midst of a growing partisan clash over reproductive rights in the United States.

The vote was 48-47, with just two Republicans voting for it: Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine. Others in the GOP said the legislation went too far, instead signing on to a scaled-back version that Democrats said was ineffectual.

The Right To IVF Act was brought up for a vote by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to put the GOP in a political predicament less than five months before the 2024 elections. Democrats say the conservative-led Supreme Court’s decision in 2022 to eliminate federal abortion rights means that access to contraception and IVF are also at risk.

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President Joe Biden touted on Thursday several new major U.S. commitments for Ukraine that were announced this week, including a 10-year bilateral security agreement, sanctions to disrupt Russia's war machine, and a sign-off from the G7 on a $50 billion loan backed by frozen Russian assets.

Biden, in during a press conference in Italy with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said the collective efforts by the G7 show that Russian President Vladimir Putin "cannot wait us out, he cannot divide us, and we'll be with Ukraine until they prevail this war." 

On the bilateral agreement, Biden said the goal is to "strengthen Ukraine's credible defense and deterrence capabilities for the long term."

He reiterated his position that American troops will not fight in Ukraine, but the United States would provide them with weapons.

Zelenskyy called it a "historic day" after signing the "strongest agreement between Ukraine and the U.S. since our independence."

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Project 2025 blueprint for second Trump term envisages replacing thousands of career staff with political loyalists

America’s career diplomats are braced for the threat of a mass purge if Donald Trump wins the November election and for the potential flooding of the state department with loyalty-tested political appointees.

Rather than leading to a seamless change of course in a rightward Trumpist direction, the diplomats’ union and former ambassadors argue, such an attempted takeover would be much more likely to end in legal challenges, gridlock and chaos.

If elected, Trump has threatened to reinstate a policy he unsuccessfully attempted in his first term with the creation of “Schedule F”, a new category of federal employees which would be applied to tens of thousands of civil servants in “policy-related” jobs, robbing them of legal protections and making them liable to be fired at will.

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In-person collaboration has been linked to high performance and job satisfaction, but these benefits don't increase with more days spent in the office.

An oft-cited reason for in-person work mandates is that they help drive connection among a team. As more employers push for four and five days in the office, rhetoric has focused on the importance of collaboration and a sense of belonging that some leaders believe can only be fostered in a shared physical environment.

Yet some data shows the number of days people attend the office doesn't directly correlate to that sense of connection. In fact, there's only a 1% difference in the number of employees who say they feel connected to their organisation working four or five days a week as compared to those working two or three days on site. That slim leading edge went to the latter group, at 60%, according to a global survey of 1,115 employees by London-based workplace insights firm Leesman, seen by the BBC.

"There just doesn't seem to be huge gains from the number of days people are in the office," says Allison English, deputy CEO of Leesman. "It's about the quality, not quantity, of time that matters. In fact, we see that the greater the number of in-person days, the less the worker is generally satisfied with work-life balanceimpacting engagement and their connection to the organisation."

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The ECJ fines Hungary €200 million for violating European Union asylum rules. Hungary must comply with EU migration policies and pay €1 million per day until it does.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Thursday that Hungary must pay a lump sum of €200 million ($216 million) and a penalty of €1 million per day for not implementing migration and asylum measures.

The court made the decision based on its own December 2020 ruling that Hungary had failed to comply with EU law on the treatment of migrants, after which Budapest was ordered to implement changes.

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A UN report reveals that 120 million people were forcibly displaced globally in 2024 due to conflict and violence. This marks a record high, affecting 1.5% of the world's population.

The UN said on Thursday that a record-breaking 120 million people were living in a forcibly displaced status globally between the beginning of 2023 through to May 2024.

The new data was revealed in the Global Trends report by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) which outlines statistics tracking the number of refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless people around the world.

"An estimated 117.3 million people remained forcibly displaced at the end of 2023, having been forced to flee persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and events seriously disturbing public order," the report stated.

In May, 120 million people were displaced globally, nearly 10% more than the figures from 2022, representing around 1.5% of the world's population, the UNHCR said.

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Mark Martin, the man raised by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as a “son,” is speaking out on the sad truth of their relationship.

The man Clarence Thomas said he once considered like a “son” now says that Thomas doesn’t want much to do with him. 

Mark Martin, the grandson of Thomas’s sister Emma Mae Martin, spoke to Business Insider from a jail cell in South Carolina and said that the Supreme Court justice and his wife, Ginni, don’t have a relationship with him anymore, despite being his legal guardians from age 6 to 19

Martin, who is awaiting trial on drug and weapons charges after he was arrested last summer, benefited from gifts Thomas received from conservative billionaire Harlan Crow, which the Supreme Court justice initially failed to include in financial disclosures.

“I haven’t really heard much from them in a long time,” Martin said of his adoptive parents. “I tried to communicate with them a couple of times, but I’ve never gotten any response.”

Thomas didn’t respond to Business Insider’s request for comment, but it’s not likely that he would have offered any acceptable justification for his and his wife’s treatment of someone they have referred to as a son. Thomas still refuses to speak about the unethical gifts he has received and adamantly refuses to resignfrom the Supreme Court despite all of his ethics scandals. Sadly, it seems that Martin’s life has been a casualty of Clarence and Ginni Thomas’s service to the conservative movement.

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Even as they prepare to vote on a formal ban on churches with women pastors, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to boot one such church from its ranks.

Messengers, as voting representatives are known, voted 6,759 to 563 to oust First Baptist Church of Alexandria, a historic Virginia congregation that affirms women can serve in any pastoral role, including as senior pastor. A similar scenario played out at last year’s meeting. Two congregations, including a well-known California megachurch, were ejected from the convention. Ninety-two percent of messengers approved this year’s ouster. 

The Virginia congregation has been involved in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination since its 19th century founding and has contributed millions toward denominational causes. But it came under scrutiny after the pastor of a neighboring church reported it to denominational authorities over its having a woman as pastor for children and women.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 2 days ago

Thanks treefrog!

[-] [email protected] 25 points 2 days ago

Appreciate the recognition, Flying Squid. And I'll try to make it easier for people who skim.

[-] [email protected] 131 points 9 months ago

The air-defence system fired its rounds to shoot the drones down, thus revealing its location, Rybar reported. Ukraine waited until it had fired all its ammo, then targeted it with cruise missiles.

[-] [email protected] 130 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)

Here’s some good news about that with California making its own insulins:

The state-label insulins will cost no more than $30 per 10 milliliter vial, and no more than $55 for a box of five pre-filled pen cartridges — for both insured and uninsured patients. The medicines will be available nationwide, the governor's office said.

https://www.npr.org/2023/03/19/1164572757/california-contract-cheap-insulin-calrx

[-] [email protected] 155 points 10 months ago

“It’s becoming all too commonplace to see everyday citizens performing necessary functions for our democracy being targeted with violent threats by Trump-supporting extremists," Jones said. "The lack of political leadership on the right to denounce these threats — which serve to inspire real-world political violence— is shameful.

And there’s also this:

Yesterday — after Trump posted on his social media website that authorities were going "after those that fought to find the RIGGERS!" — Advance Democracy noted that Trump supporters were "using the term ‘rigger’ in lieu of a racial slur" in posts online.

[-] [email protected] 162 points 10 months ago

"Liberal media has distorted my record since the beginning of my judicial career, and I refuse to let false accusations go unchecked," Bradley told the Journal Sentinel in an email. "On my wikipedia page, I added excerpts from actual opinions and removed dishonest information about my background."

What, then, was getting under her skin?

It's clear Bradley really, really disliked the section in her Wikipedia page dealing with a Republican challenge to the stay-at-home order issued by the administration of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in response the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to her Wikipedia page, in May 2020, Bradley "compared the state's stay-at-home orders to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II," a case known as Korematsu v. the United States.

[-] [email protected] 147 points 10 months ago

According to ABC 13 Eyewitness News in Houston, things started when school trustee Melissa Dungan declared that she had spoken to parents who were upset about "displays of personal ideologies in classrooms." When pressed for an example, according to the news report, "Dungan referred to a first grade student whose parent claimed they were so upset by a poster showing hands of people of different races, that they transferred classrooms." … Some other members of the school board did, in fact, argue that there was nothing objectionable about such a poster. But Dungan was backed up by another trustee, Misty Odenweller, who insisted that the depiction of uh, race-mixing was in some way a "violation of the law." The two women are part of "Mama Bears Rising," a secretive far-right group fueling the book-banning mania in Conroe and the surrounding area. At least 59 books have been banned due to their efforts.

WTF

[-] [email protected] 143 points 10 months ago

The search was so secret that Twitter was barred from telling Trump the search warrant had been obtained for his account, and Twitter was fined $350,000 because it delayed producing the records sought under the search warrant.

[-] [email protected] 220 points 10 months ago

“They attempt to legitimize these unnecessary debates with a proposal that most recently came in of a politically motivated roundtable,” Harris said in her afternoon speech at the 20th Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Quadrennial Convention in Orlando. “Well, I’m here in Florida, and I will tell you there is no roundtable, no lecture, no invitation we will accept to debate an undeniable fact. There were no redeeming qualities of slavery.”

Makes sense to me.

[-] [email protected] 155 points 10 months ago

Last week Country Music Television, which initially aired the video, pulled it from rotation. But after Aldean defended the music video by stating that "there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage," Stark said it was easy to prove him wrong

In a TikTok video that's gotten at least 1.5 million views, Stark found that two of the clips in the video came from stock footage. One showed a woman flipping off police at at labor day event in Germany and another was a commercial stock clip of a molotov cocktail.

Lying about it and then getting caught.

Stark shared screenshots with NBC News of hateful messages she's received since posting her videos about Aldean's song, which included racist slurs, fatphobic remarks and death threats.

Just bizarre.

[-] [email protected] 231 points 11 months ago

Heartbreaking

One of the plaintiffs in the suit, Samantha Casiano, vomited on the stand while discussing her baby's fatal birth defect, which she said also put her life at risk.

Casiano said she learned at 20 weeks' gestation that her baby had anencephaly, a serious condition that meant the infant was missing parts of her brain and skull. Casiano said her obstetrician told her the baby would not survive after birth and gave her information about funeral homes.

Casiano read aloud a doctor’s note that diagnosed her pregnancy as high risk, then began to sob and ultimately threw up, prompting the judge to call a recess.

[-] [email protected] 152 points 11 months ago

This is why they're mad

President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which passed in 2022 by a narrow party-line vote, empowered Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in the program’s six-decade history.

The provision aims to make drugs more affordable for older Americans but will likely reduce pharmaceutical industry profits.

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