Late last week, an investigative report from Reuters’ Enterprise Team uncovered the details of a big money contract between the Chinese telecommunications equipment company ZTE and the Telecommunication Company of Iran that included technology that can be used to conduct surveillance and crack down on dissidents. The details of the deal revealed surprising end-runs being made by Iran around global sanctions.
When I think of tax evasion or corporate loopholes, I think paper shredders and mumbling accountants huddled over ledgers – not green pastures and high white fences… and yet, for wealthy landowners looking to avoid the brunt of high property taxes through agricultural credits and breaks, all it takes to save millions is a few stray heifers, or a handful of goats. Pat Garofalo is economic policy editor at Think Progress, and the author a recent op-ed called
Today on the Exchange, we examine the controversy over education tax credits. Under a proposal at the Statehouse, businesses could donate to private school scholarships, and get a tax credit for doing so. Supporters say it’s a way to help all students achieve, regardless of means, but opponents say it’s a back-door way to use public money for private-school vouchers. We’ll look at this idea, and why it’s provoked so much debate.
Mary Stuart Gile - Democratic State Representative from Concord
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court hears its second day of testimony about the Affordable Care Act. At issue is a central tenet of that law: whether it's legal to require individuals to purchase health care.
But apart from the legal debate, there are questions about the economics of the mandate. Some — like Peggy Bodner of Portland, Ore. — worry it may be difficult to find the money to pay for health insurance, even with government subsidies.
Joseph Francis, 54, says he came to this cholera clinic in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince,after becoming so dehydrated he could barely walk. Cholera has killed more than 7,000 Haitians since the first outbreak of the disease in October 2010. At the start of the rainy season, cases are once again beginning to climb.
Cots are lined up in a Port-au-Prince cholera clinic run by GHESKIO, a Haitian medical group. GHESKIO is helping to organize a huge pilot project to vaccinate some 100,000 Haitians against cholera. Tens of thousands of people have signed up to participate. The health workers have been trained, and the vaccine is waiting in coolers. But the campaign is bogged down in bureaucratic red tape.
Residents of the Port-au-Prince slum Cite de Dieu step gingerly over a stream of sewage. Aid workers had planned to be finished with the vaccination program before the spring rains, when widespread flooding can bring cholera directly into people's homes.
Nadia Simone stands in front of her house in Cite de Dieu. She says she has been trying to get a trash-clogged ditch next to her house drained because she knows it brings cholera right to her doorstep. Last year cholera made her young daughter very sick. "I don't want cholera to come back to my house," she says.
A lone pig roots through trash along a sewage canal that runs from the center of Port-au-Prince through Cite de Dieu. During the rainy season, the canal overflows its banks and fills nearby houses with sewage.
A GHESKIO worker goes door to door in Cite de Dieu. As part of the planned vaccination campaign, an army of health workers has gone out to inform Haitians about cholera and sign them up to get the vaccine.
Most people in this rural part of Haiti, near Saint-Marc, get their water from the Artibonite River. Though the river is known to be contaminated with cholera, few can afford chlorine tablets to purify the water.
Esperante Jean-Louise, who goes by Fifi, got cholera last year. The experience was terrifying, she says: "I first felt it in my head. And then once I started vomiting, I had diarrhea at the same time. I couldn't stand up — I was near death."
Rice farmer Alexis Rochenel, Fifi's husband, shows his blank cholera vaccination card. People will need two doses of vaccine spread over several weeks. Health workers could have been finished with the first round of vaccinations by now. But they're still waiting for the government to sign off on the project.
A young girl cools off from the midday heat in an irrigation canal near Saint-Marc. People in this area were chosen for the pilot vaccination program because they draw their water from the contaminated Artibonite River.
A hundred thousand people in Haiti are ready and waiting to get vaccinated against cholera.
The vaccine is sitting in coolers. Vaccination teams are all trained. Willing recipients are registered and entered into databases.
The impending mass vaccination project aims to show that vaccinating against cholera is feasible in Haiti. It has never been done in the midst of an ongoing cholera epidemic. So far, more than 530,000 Haitians have fallen ill with cholera, and more than 7,000 have died.
The U.S. Supreme Court gets to the heart of the health care arguments Tuesday. Almost exactly two years after Congress passed the Obama health care overhaul, the justices are hearing legal arguments testing the constitutionality of the so-called health care mandate — so-called because those words actually do not appear in the law.
U.S. officials are looking more closely for signs of state-sponsored terrorism these days. In this attack, Israel blamed Iran for bombing a car belonging to the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India, on Feb. 13. The wife of an Israeli diplomat was injured. Iran denied it was involved.
There has been a subtle shift taking place in the intelligence community in recent months.
Intelligence and law enforcement officials say analysts and experts who have been tracking al-Qaida for more than a decade have been quietly reassigned. Some are being moved completely out of al-Qaida units. Others are being asked to spend less time watching al-Qaida and more time tracking more traditional foes — like state-sponsored terrorists.
October Baby tells the story of 19-year-old Hannah, a first-year college student, who leaves home on a search for her birth mother. In many ways, it's a Hollywood-style road trip movie dealing with questions of identity, but at the movie's core is also a vigorous message about abortion.
In one scene, Hannah tracks down a nurse who worked at the health clinic where her birth mother had sought an abortion — one that failed when Hannah was born prematurely.