Florida drug testing: Rick Scott signs bill allowing random drug testing of state workers
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a controversial bill Monday allowing random drug testing of state workers. Scott signed the bill, which is likely to draw a constitutional challenge, after normal working hours Monday night. The GOP governor has backed both drug testing for public workers and drug testing for welfare applicants. The initiatives could force hundreds of thousands of Floridians to submit to drug tests or risk losing their public jobs or benefits.
Gov’t requires new labels for hazardous chemicals
The Obama administration announced long-awaited regulations Tuesday to improve labels on hazardous chemicals and make them conform with international guidelines developed by the United Nations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimated that such labels could prevent more than 40 deaths and about 500 workplace injuries and illnesses from exposure to hazardous chemicals each year.
Save a mind, draft a body
The arrest of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in the slaying of 16 Afghan civilians has raised questions about whether it’s fair and sensible to order soldiers to serve multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. The need for such deployments is due, in part, to America’s reliance on a relatively small standing army and reserve. Could a draft spread the burden of combat and its reality to more Americans?
Britain limits deployment to reduce P.T.S.D.
Research has shown that personnel who deploy within the guidelines show no ill-effect related to deployment length, except in relation to alcohol intake. On the other hand, spending more than six months away, or having these periods extended unexpectedly, can have adverse effects on health and well-being for both personnel and their families. These effects are even greater for deployments lasting longer than a year, resulting in cumulative stress.
Feds overdue on airline pilot regulations
U.S. regulators haven’t met deadlines to establish four programs required by a 2010 law to improve oversight of airline pilots, the Transportation Department’s inspector general said.
Report: Alpha tops coal industry in MSHA fines
Coal mines operated by Alpha Natural Resources Inc. were assessed more proposed fines for federal safety and health violations in 2011 than all major public coal companies combined, evidence that the company continues to struggle to bring former Massey Energy Co. operations into compliance.
Facebook stalking in the name of affirmative action
There I was, Facebook stalking again. As the internship coordinator for Roll Call (now CQ Roll Call), a newspaper covering Congress on Capitol Hill, I was looking at the faces of candidates for internships. I was told that out of three interns hired each semester at Roll Call, one of them had to be from a racial minority: African-American, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian, Native American.
As more U.S. aircraft are repaired abroad, are airlines sacrificing safety for profits?
Repairing planes overseas is cheaper for airlines—and not as closely monitored by the U.S. government. According to a Department of Transportation Inspector General report issued in 2010, there are approximately 100 inspectors for more than 700 aircraft maintenance facilities abroad doing work on U.S.-based aircraft. By comparison, there are 4,000 FAA inspectors who ensure the quality of 4,200 different maintenance repair facilities within the United States. And out of eight major FAA inspection offices in the United States, just four of them completed 50 percent of their assigned inspections, the DOT inspector general reported.
Even with Daisey’s lies peeled away, Apple’s rotten core exposed
Apple’s brand glared in the media spotlight this past week, after the public learned that performance artist Mike Daisey’s theatrical rendering of the struggles of Apple factory workers contained false claims—painfully exposed on an episode of the radio program This American Life. But if one fundamental truth has emerged from the scandal surrounding Daisey’s dramatic fudging, it’s that the lived reality of many Chinese workers is undoubtedly bleak—no embellishment needed.