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Public health experts 'flabbergasted' that Biden still hasn't picked an FDA chief

Politics / Political News /

President Joe Biden’s failure to name someone to lead the Food and Drug Administration, more than 10 months after the election, has flummoxed public health experts who say it’s baffling for the agency to be without a permanent leader during a national health crisis.

The pandemic has taxed the FDA, an 18,000-person agency whose chiefs have ...Read more

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Stephanie Bice's path reveals opportunities, perils for suburban Republicans

Politics / Political News /

EDMUND, Okla. — As the Oklahoma Republican Party verged on implosion this summer, GOP Rep. Stephanie Bice donned a hard hat and toured a vocational-technical school under construction here in her district.

The facility was state-of-the-art, with modern furniture so new it was still encased in plastic and with glass-walled conference rooms ...Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Disinformation may be the new normal, election officials fear

Politics / Political News /

As voting wound down last week during the California recall election, Natalie Adona, the assistant registrar of voters in Nevada County, got an irate phone call.

A voter, driven by disinformation that Republican politicians had pushed for weeks, berated Adona over the state’s lack of a photo ID law, saying election officials exposed the ...Read more

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Texas abortion doctor lawsuits filed by allies may go nowhere

Politics / Political News /

The first two lawsuits filed in the wake of a Texas bill that allows private citizens to sue doctors who perform abortions in all but the earliest weeks of pregnancy may have trouble gaining traction.

That’s because the lawsuits against Alan Braid, a San Antonio doctor who wrote a newspaper column in which he admitted to violating rules that...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

House passes stopgap funding, debt ceiling suspension bill

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — The House passed a catchall budget package Tuesday that is intended to avoid a partial government shutdown and debt limit crisis, but it seems likely to come back for a do-over once the Senate works its will.

The stopgap funding bill, which passed on a 220-211 party-line vote, would extend federal agency budget authority through ...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Disaster aid bill would compensate farmers for grape crops damaged by wildfires

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — Wine grapes damaged by smoke are among the crops covered under a $28.6 billion disaster assistance bill for states ravaged by wildfire, drought or hurricanes.

Thick smoke from some of the worst wildfire seasons in history tainted grape harvests in wineries in California, Oregon and Washington between 2017 and 2020. Grapes are ...Read more

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Biden tries to reassure allies in UN speech, urges action on climate change and pandemic

Politics / Political News /

NEW YORK — President Joe Biden tried to extend his global honeymoon with the international community during his first speech to the United Nations on Tuesday, promising “relentless diplomacy” now that the United States has “turned the page” on the war in Afghanistan.

In a speech that asserted the world was at the beginning of a “...Read more

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Democrats struggle to get Biden's plan back on track

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — Democrats’ plan to enact an ambitious remodel of the nation’s social safety net programs is facing new hurdles on Capitol Hill amid deep divisions over the scope of the package, its cost and what can be included under the Senate’s stringent rules.

The conflict jeopardizes President Biden’s entire “Build Back Better” ...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

House poised to vote on hundreds of amendments to defense bill

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — When the House debates its defense authorization bill starting Tuesday night, it plans to consider 476 amendments on everything from the proper level of U.S. defense spending to how best to handle the Afghanistan war’s fallout.

The House will consider, and probably reject, proposals to cut the amount of spending authorized in ...Read more

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Biden reacted in horror to video of border agents and migrants, aide says

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden believed scenes of border patrol agents on horseback intimidating Haitian migrants were “horrific and horrible” and supports a Department of Homeland Security investigation into the matter, his top spokeswoman said Tuesday.

“I don’t know anyone who could watch that video and not have that emotion,” ...Read more

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Democrats split over military aid to Israel

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — The decision by Democratic leaders to remove military funding for Israel from a draft continuing resolution underscored a split in the party amplified by GOP criticism of the move.

The $1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome rocket-defense shield was in an initial version of the resolution but, after progressives said they’d oppose...Read more

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Do Americans support new Texas abortion law? What poll finds as first lawsuits filed

Politics / Political News /

Most Americans in a new poll disapprove of Texas' abortion law ahead of the first lawsuits filed to challenge it.

A Monmouth University poll released Monday found majorities of respondents disagree with the Supreme Court's decision to allow the law to take effect and with key provisions of the law. The law, called Senate Bill 8, bans abortions ...Read more

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Spending bill contains $1 billion for Israel's rocket defenses

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — The stopgap spending bill the House plans to vote on this week includes $1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket shield.

The proposed funding for Israel’s military is one of several noteworthy defense spending provisions in the continuing resolution, which was unveiled Tuesday. Once enacted later this month, the measure ...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Congress set to vote on disaster aid bill

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — Wine grapes damaged by smoke are among the crops covered under a $28.6 billion disaster assistance bill for states ravaged by wildfire, drought or hurricanes.

Thick smoke from some of the worst wildfire seasons in history tainted grape harvests in wineries in California, Oregon and Washington between 2017 and 2020. Grapes are ...Read more

Eduardo Munoz/Pool/AFP/AFP/TNS

Biden tries to reassure allies and urges action on climate change, pandemic at UN

Politics / Political News /

President Joe Biden promised “relentless diplomacy” to address global challenges like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic in his first speech at the United Nations on Tuesday.

“Our security, our prosperity and our very freedoms are interconnected, in my view, as never before,” he said. “And so, I believe we must work together as ...Read more

Biden vows to beat COVID and climate change in debut speech to UN General Assembly: 'Let's get to work'

Politics / Political News /

NEW YORK — President Joe Biden passionately called on world leaders to work together to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and address the challenge of climate change in his first address as president to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday morning.

Seeking to usher in a new era of U.S. leadership, Biden vowed to respect allies and ...Read more

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Report renews calls for research on social media's impact on kids

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — Child safety advocates say an explosive report that Facebook failed to disclose data showing its products negatively affect the mental health of teenagers should be the final straw for lawmakers worried about social media’s impact on young users.

Democrats and Republicans zeroed in on child safety as a bipartisan area of ...Read more

Trump lawyer pushed Pence to overturn presidential election with 6-point memo: Bob Woodward book

Politics / Political News /

A far-right-wing lawyer for former President Donald Trump reportedly sought to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence to join the effort to overturn the 2020 election using a six-point legal memo.

The outlandish memo urged Pence to use his supposed power while presiding over Congress to toss out the electoral votes from seven swing states that...Read more

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Biden to urge action on climate change and the pandemic at UN today

Politics / Political News /

President Joe Biden will try to reassure allies that the United States will not turn its back on global commitments during his first speech at the United Nations on Tuesday as he pushes for more cooperation on combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

His remarks come as he’s trying to strengthen alliances as a vanguard against ...Read more

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Threats against members of Congress are skyrocketing. It's changing the job

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — A few months ago California Democratic Rep. Norma Torres received an anonymous video of someone following her car. The camera pans down to a 9 mm handgun on the seat as a male voice says: "I see you. I got something for you."

In June, police charged a man with making "terroristic threats" against New York Republican Rep. Tom Reed...Read more