National Journal Online

Listeria Outbreak Kills 23, CDC Reports

The ongoing outbreak of listeria linked to cantaloupes has killed 23 people and made 116 ill, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday.

“In addition, one woman pregnant at the time of illness had a miscarriage,” the CDC says in its latest report on the outbreak.

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 6:40pm

House Approves Free Trade Pacts with Colombia, Panama, South Korea

The months-long fight over trade deals with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea cleared a crucial hurdle on Wednesday when the House approved all three deals.

Each bill easily passed, including the controversial pact with Colombia that was approved 262 to 167. The popular deal with South Korea passed by an overwhelming vote of 300 to 129 while Panama, the smallest and least controversial of the pacts, was easily approved by a margin of 278 to 151.

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 6:40pm

Study: Most Teens Use Condoms for First Time

Most teenage boys—85 percent—use a condom the first time they ever have sex, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday. Girls follow closely at 78 percent. But they are not consistent—only about half of teenage females and 67 percent of males said they had used condoms all the time over the past month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 6:40pm

Senate to FCC: Don’t Forget Consumers

Senate Commerce Committee leaders say they are worried that a plan to get broadband to more people could end up costing phone customers money. They urged the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday to watch out as it overhauls an $8 billion telecom subsidy fund.

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 6:40pm

Obama Promises to Veto Abortion Bill

President Obama threatened on Wednesday to veto any bill that would restrict insurers from paying for abortions, saying it goes too far.

"Longstanding federal policy prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered," the White House said in a statement.

"The Affordable Care Act preserved this prohibition and included policies to ensure that federal funding is segregated from any private dollars used to fund abortions for which federal funding is prohibited."

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 6:40pm

LightSquared: GPS Businesses Behind Political Controversy

A LightSquared executive said on Wednesday that many of the largest global positioning system manufacturers are partially behind accusations that the wireless company inappropriately leveraged campaign contributions and political ties to officials to gain government approval of its network plan.

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 6:40pm

Perry Gives Indiana Audience a Preview of His Energy Proposal

INDIANAPOLIS—Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday previewed a speech he will give on Friday on domestic energy production that will call for an all-of-the-above approach to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil, including drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and a return to 2007 permitting levels in the Gulf of Mexico.

Speaking to a crowd of Hoosier State Republicans, Perry accused the Obama administration of siding with environmental activists at the expense of the economy.

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 5:40pm

New Poll Shows Americans Support U.S. Involvement in United Nations

An overwhelming majority of voters support U.S. involvement in the United Nations, according to a bipartisan poll released on Thursday. The poll results come as the House Foreign Affairs Committee prepares to mark up comprehensive anti-U.N. legislation that could cut off 50 percent of America’s contribution to the organization's budget, including funding to affiliates like the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the U.N. Development Programme.

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 5:40pm

Lawmakers Working to Tax Online Purchases

Lawmakers are taking another stab at closing what they call a tax loophole that allows online retailers to skip collecting sales tax, putting brick-and-mortar retailers at a disadvantage.

Reps. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) introduced the Marketplace Equity Act at a press conference today that they say will give states the authority to require out-of-state vendors to collect on legally-owed taxes. The bill includes an exemption for small and start-up online retailers.

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 5:40pm

Wyden Questions Legality Of ACTA

A key senator is questioning the Obama administration's claim that an international agreement aimed at curbing piracy and counterfeiting does not require congressional approval.

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 5:40pm