Posts by Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News
- Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News at Yahoo News11 days ago
On Tuesday morning, a 34-year-old Yemeni, locked up in the Guantanamo Bay military prison for a third of his life without being charged, was given a chance to argue for his release.
The detainee, Ghaleb Nassar al-Bihani, listened intently to the government’s summary of his case in an air-conditioned trailer on the Cuban military base Tuesday morning. Reporters could observe portions of the proceedings by video in a Defense Department building in Arlington, Va.
Flanked by a civilian lawyer and a Navy officer, the bearded al-Bihani nervously shuffled papers on the desk in front of him as an anonymous government representative told him he had “almost certainly” been a member of al-Qaida, and would re-engage in extremist activities if he were released. His lawyer countered that he was a kitchen aide for the Taliban who never fought in battle and wanted to start a new life in Latin America or Europe.
- Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News at Yahoo News23 days ago
LOS ANGELES, Calif — Ruben Acosta, a 53-year-old security guard and legal immigrant from Mexico, shoved his fears aside and made a visit to a school administration building in Compton on a Wednesday last week because he wanted health insurance.
“A lot of Latino people don’t come because they’re afraid,” said Acosta, who brought his wife and 6-year-old granddaughter, a U.S. citizen, to the Covered California enrollment event at the Compton Unified School District. There, people working for the California health care exchange established by the Affordable Care Act sought to enroll members of the demographic group with the lowest rate of insurance coverage in America into the program the president they helped elect said would benefit them.
- Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News at Yahoo News26 days ago
The Supreme Court’s three women closely questioned the argument Tuesday that employers may opt out of providing contraception because it violates their religious beliefs.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — all part of the court’s minority liberal wing — expressed deep skepticism as to whether Oklahoma-based crafts chain Hobby Lobby has religious rights as a corporation, and whether its owners may opt out of providing some forms of birth control to employees because of it.
“How does a corporation exercise religion?” Sotomayor asked Paul Clement, Hobby Lobby’s lawyer in the case. She raised a spectre: Could for-profit corporations seek to get out of a host of federal statutes, such as those guaranteeing a minimum wage and forbidding discrimination, by claiming they violate their religious beliefs?
- Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News at Yahoo News27 days ago
On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court will hear arguments from crafts store chain Hobby Lobby that Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate violates the religious freedom of the company and its owners.
The Greens, the evangelical Oklahomans who own Hobby Lobby, argue that the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) protects them from having to provide the so-called morning after pill and intrauterine devices to their 13,000 employees, as required by the Affordable Care Act. The government counters that it has a compelling interest in requiring all health insurance plans to provide contraceptives to women and that Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs do not trump their employees’ right to access care.
The Supreme Court’s decision could dramatically broaden employers’ latitude to object to laws on religious freedom grounds and potentially restrict access to contraception for thousands of women employed by people who share the Greens’ religious objections.
What are Hobby Lobby’s chances?
- Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News at Yahoo News1 mth ago
Fast-food workers from three states are suing McDonald's, claiming a variety of wage theft practices, including forcing workers to clock out but remain at work, docking pay to purchase company-required uniforms and stiffing employees on overtime.
Two dozen McDonald's workers are named plaintiffs in the six lawsuits filed Wednesday and Thursday in Michigan, California and New York. But if the courts grant the suits class action status, tens of thousands more workers could join.
“Our clients are among the most economically vulnerable, and they work for a company that earned more than $5 billion in profits,” said Joe Sellers, an attorney who filed the suits in New York and California.
“We are currently reviewing the allegations in the lawsuits," said McDonald's spokeswoman Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem in a statement. "McDonald’s and our independent franchisees are committed to undertaking a comprehensive investigation of the allegations and will take any necessary actions as they apply to our respective organizations.”
- Yahoo News1 mth ago
Vice President Joe Biden proposed $35 million in grant funding on Wednesday afternoon to help clear the hundreds of thousands of backlogged rape kits off the shelves of police stations and labs.
Biden, who has made countering domestic abuse and sexual assault a cornerstone of his political career, told reporters that testing the backlogged kits helps police track down serial rapists, which provides “the ultimate closure for a woman.”
Advocates estimate that hundreds of thousands of DNA rape kits taken from victims sit in police precincts and labs, waiting to be tested. Money is often an issue, because each kit costs about $500 to test. Natasha's Justice Project spokeswoman Natasha Alexenko says her organization is raising private funds to help clear a backlog of 2,000 rape kits in Alameda County in California.
- Yahoo News1 mth ago
Access to hormonal birth control hasn’t typically been a goal of the gay rights movement. But after a near miss on an anti-gay bill in Arizona last week, LGBT advocacy groups are rallying around a Supreme Court birth control case, arguing that gay people’s rights will be collateral damage if the court rules that for-profit businesses do not have to provide contraceptives to female employees.
On March 25, the Supreme Court will hear arguments from the Oklahoma-based crafts store chain Hobby Lobby that the federal health care law is infringing on its religious liberty by forcing the company to provide contraceptive coverage in its health plan. The case is unusual because the family owned company is arguing that for-profit corporations — not just individuals and religiously affiliated nonprofits — have religious beliefs that should be protected under the Constitution and the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
- Yahoo News1 mth ago
President Barack Obama will announce a $200 million commitment from nine foundations on Thursday afternoon to bolster the lives of young men and boys of color.
The funding is part of a larger initiative from the White House to bring private businesses, nonprofits and local governments together to intervene in key moments in the lives of young black and Hispanic men to ensure they stay in school and eventually train for and get good jobs.
As Yahoo News first reported, the cause will be a major focus of Obama’s — and the first lady’s — even after he leaves office. "It’s something that's deeply personal to the president and first lady,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president and the Obamas’ closest friend from Chicago. “I’m sure their commitment to this initiative will be a lifelong commitment. This is not something they simply want to do while he’s in office — it will continue.”
- Yahoo News1 mth ago
Less than a week after a jury failed to convict Michael Dunn of first-degree murder in the shooting death of an unarmed teenager, a bipartisan group of Florida lawmakers passed a bill out of committee on Thursday that would expand the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law.
Dunn, 47, was charged with murdering 17-year-old Jordan Davis outside a convenience store last year. Dunn said he feared for his life after he asked Davis and three other teenagers to turn down the music in their car. He claimed he saw a shotgun in their car and then fired 10 shots, three of which hit and killed Davis. No gun was found in the car.
A Jacksonville jury deadlocked on Saturday on a first-degree murder charge against Dunn, convicting him for firing shots at the car while it was fleeing the scene but not for Davis’ murder. Dunn could face 75 years in prison on the lesser charges. The state announced this week that it will retry Dunn for murder.
- Yahoo News2 mths ago
Mayor Bill de Blasio has been on the job for only six weeks, but he has already thoroughly alienated one constituency.
Luckily for him, they’re not old enough to vote.
“GO AWAY NO ONE LIKES YOU” and “are u stupid?” were just a few of the angry Twitter messages blasted at the New York City public schools’ official account by the city’s school kids, after de Blasio announced late Wednesday night that schools would not shutter in the face of 14 inches of projected snowfall.
On Facebook, New York kids and others joined a newly created “Impeach DeBlasio” page, whose description is “RIP Snow days.” The page features images of cars completely covered in snow overlaid with de Blasio’s advice to travel safely.
Parents are sensing a new-found interest in the city’s politics among their young, who have been granted only one snow day by de Blasio despite braving six major snowstorms this year.