According to the New York Times report, the levels are worrying climate scientists.
The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.
Scientific instruments showed that the gas had reached an average daily level above 400 parts per million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering.
The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.
Despite controversy surrounding the law, France will be another country that has made gay marriage legal.
France will see its first gay weddings within days, after French President Francois Hollande signed a law Saturday authorizing marriage and adoption by same-sex couples and ending months of nationwide protests and wrenching debate.
Hollande’s office said he signed the bill Saturday morning, a day after the Constitutional Council struck down a challenge to the law and ruled it in line with France’s constitution.
Hollande, a Socialist, had made legalizing gay marriage one of his campaign pledges last year. While polls for years have shown majority support for gay marriage in France, adoption by same-sex couples is more controversial.
The parliamentary debate exposed a deep conservatism and attachment to traditional families in France’s rural core that is often eclipsed by and at odds with libertine Paris.
This group previously complained to the Denver Post for being “targeted” by the IRS for further review. However, their political activity could have raised a red flag.
A Colorado conservative group believed to be targeted by the Internal Revenue Service is operating without any tax-exempt status and spent more than $1 million last year against Democrats, public records show.
The Citizen Awareness Project is chaired by Charlie Smith. He applied for 501(c)4 status last year, which means he was applying to be a social welfare, tax-exempt organization. In tax law, these groups are prohibited from working on behalf of individual political campaigns and are supposed to be issue-oriented.
Their donors are secret.
The findings were reported by CBS News White House Correspondent Major Garrett.
On Friday, Republicans leaked what they said was a quote from Rhodes: “We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation.”
But it turns out that in the actual email, Rhodes did not mention the State Department.
It read: “We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.”
Republicans also provided what they said was a quote from an email written by State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland.
The Republican version quotes Nuland discussing, “The penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency (CIA) about al-Qaeda’s presence and activities of al-Qaeda.”
The actual email from Nuland says: “The penultimate point could be abused by members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings.”
In a congressional hearing, Steven Miller explains the Internal Revenue Service’s reasoning for choosing certain political groups for further review and the mistakes that the agency made.
On Friday morning, Steven Miller, the acting IRS commissioner set to resign due to the scandal, appeared before the House ways and means committee and testified that several IRS employees made “foolish mistakes” by using catchwords like “tea party” and “patriots” as they picked through hundreds of nonprofit applications from groups that might be involved in politics. Miller described his agency’s behavior as “obnoxious.” Yet he denied that the IRS vetters who handled all those applications for groups wanting 501(c)(4) nonprofit status—who were working out of a field office in Cincinnati—acted out of political bias. Instead, he said the agency’s errors “were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection.”
Prior to Miller’s testimony, the IRS itself took the unusual step of posting on its website 14 questions related to the tea party debacle and the agency’s official response to each one. It’s an interesting and useful document.
The IRS insists that its staffers, as Miller emphasized, were wrong to target groups with “tea party” or “patriots” in their name. However, the agency says that it would’ve zeroed in on tea partiers and other conservative groups anyway, as it looked for applicants that might be getting too involved in politics. They sought out politically-inclined groups because 501(c)(4) nonprofits are allowed to dabble in politics but cannot make it their “primary activity.” But as they looked for groups that might be too political, they used inappropriate shortcuts.
A Senator is trying to repeal the “Monsanto Protection Act” part of a previous spending legislation.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is planning to push an amendment to the upcoming farm bill that would repeal the secret provision known as the Monsanto Protection Act, a rider attached anonymously to a spending bill that sailed through Congress in March. An outcry greeted the news of the legislation once the public learned that it had been passed by Congress with no debate and signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The provision allows Monsanto and other companies to continue selling genetically engineered seeds, even if a court has blocked them from doing so. Merkley will press for a floor vote on his repeal amendment when the farm bill is taken up next week, a Merkley aide told HuffPost.
Federal courts have recently ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had failed to consider the potential harm some genetically engineered crops may have, and acted too hastily in approving their sale. The industry fought back with the farm bill rider, preventing the enforcement of court rulings.
The bill responds to the rising amount of sexual assaults in the military.
A New York senator introduced a bill Thursday that aims to remove sex crimes from the military’s chain of command — a bid to transform an insulated culture that tends to dampen sex-assault reporting, leaving many victims feeling helpless or hopeless.
Under the Pentagon’s current justice system, less than 1 percent of accused sexual perpetrators in the military were convicted last year while during 2012 just 9.8 percent of sex-assault victims reported the incidents, according to a Department of Defense report. Many victims feel powerless because their superiors can control everything from whether a case proceeds to whether a guilty verdict is eventually overturned.
The new proposal by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., rides a rising tide of public anger over separate allegations that two service members tasked with curbing sexual misconduct within the armed forces had themselves committed sexual misconduct