Some states act to protect residents from extreme heat — with a new focus on young people
After two years of record-breaking heat that brought a surge of deaths and health emergencies, several states have enacted or are considering measures designed to protect residents — with a new focus on younger people whose vulnerability is rising with the temperatures. Nationally, heat-related deaths rose from about 1,000 in 2018 to 1,722 in 2022 […]
Michigan congresswoman pushes ‘Restaurant Workers Bill of Rights’
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, re-introduced legislation Tuesday aimed at improving the lives of U.S. restaurant workers. The “Restaurant Workers Bill of Rights” would raise wages and improve work conditions for restaurant staff. Tlaib, who also pushed this legislation last year, held a press conference Tuesday alongside U.S. House colleagues and […]
Job #1 for the 2023 General Assembly: ending easily preventable deaths
State government has scores of vitally important roles to play in modern North Carolina. The list of agencies and missions is a long one. At a basic level, however, government’s most important task is – or at least ought to be – protecting the lives and health of the state’s residents. And so, while state lawmakers obviously have numerous priorities to weigh and debates to have during the 2023 legislative session that convenes tomorrow, one extremely efficient path for prioritizing their work, fulfilling their most basic duty, and making the state a measurably better place would be this: ending easily preventable deaths.
Tyson asks U.S. Supreme Court to shield it from COVID-19 lawsuits in state courts
Faced with court rulings that say a Trump administration directive doesn’t protect Tyson Foods from liability caused by workers’ deaths due to COVID-19, the food giant is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the matter. Arguing that recent court rulings against the company will have “drastic consequences for the next national […]
Bernie Sanders at U.S. Senate hearing rips Amazon over union opposition
WASHINGTON — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took Amazon to task Thursday at a congressional hearing, bashing the online giant’s leadership for fighting union drives and questioning whether the federal government should continue contracting with the multibillion-dollar company. Amazon executives didn’t attend the hearing but U.S. senators did hear from labor unions and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Nine rare cancers tied to burn pit exposure added to VA benefits list
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is adding nine rare respiratory cancers linked to burn pit exposure to the list of illnesses eligible for disability and health benefits. President Joe Biden, who has said his son Beau Biden’s exposure to toxic fumes from the pits could have led to his death, announced the policy change Monday, saying in a statement he hopes to avoid repeating mistakes of the past.
Winston-Salem fertilizer fire reveals regulatory loopholes, spurs hard questions about building and workplace safety
Owners of the Weaver Fertilizer plant in Winston-Salem failed to submit a required chemical inventory to the NC Department of Public Safety in 2020, a key piece of information for state and local emergency officials. Nearly 600 tons of ammonium nitrate caught fire at the Weaver plant on Jan. 31 and burned for four days. The risk of explosion was so great that Winston-Salem officials asked people to evacuate within a mile radius, temporarily displacing 6,000 residents.
Biden administration drops vaccine-or-test workplace rule
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Tuesday it will withdraw an emergency mandate that would have required employees at large businesses to get the COVID-19 vaccine or test regularly for the virus. The decision from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which will take effect Wednesday, follows a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court earlier […]
Supreme Court blocks Biden workplace vaccine rule, allows health care workers mandate
[This story has been updated] The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a blow to the Biden administration’s fight against the pandemic, blocking a federal mandate that workers be vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19 — though the court allowed a separate rule requiring vaccinations for some health care workers. The two rulings represented a […]
Federal vaccine rule for private businesses to kick in on Jan. 4
WASHINGTON — Many private employers beginning in January will have to ensure their workers either are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they will undergo weekly testing and wear a face covering, under a new federal rule announced Thursday by the White House. The policy from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is set to […]
Baldwin film cast member: Production was rushed, crew overworked before fatal shooting
Ian Hudson stared down four pistols and a shotgun Oct. 3, bracing for his on-camera death for the movie “Rust,” filmed southwest of Santa Fe. Hudson raised his pistol, inviting a hail of fake gunfire — at least 22 blanks fired by actors about 20 feet away out of antique, fully-functioning firearms, he said. The […]