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Reading the Tea Leaves on North Korea After U.S. Prisoner Release

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday confirmed that North Korea has released one of the three U.S. citizens it has been holding prisoner.

Would American Crude Oil Exports Hurt Putin?

Over the last month or so the chorus supporting the lifting of the decades-old American crude oil export ban has grown increasingly louder.

Hatch Calls for ECPA, 'Patent Troll' Legislation in Next Congress

Debate Just Starting on Mandate for ‘Talking Vehicles’

Should the federal government require your new car to be equipped to communicate with other cars on the highway, in order to prevent accidents?

Iran Nuclear Deal and Congressional Politics

This week, the New York Times reported that the Obama administration planned to bypass Congress on sanctions relief resulting from multi-party talks to strike an Iran nuclear deal. Suffice it to say hardly anyone thinks that’s going to go well, if he tries it.

Are High Gas Prices Already A Thing Of The Past?

In large parts of the country gas prices are just below $3 per gallon. And in an interview conducted on Monday at the Concordia Summit in New York City, T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire oil tycoon, was asked whether he thinks these prices are here to stay.

Ebola Shift Shows Fine Line Between Reassuring And Deterring Travel

It’s a change that will affect only about nine passengers a day, but Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced Tuesday that all passengers traveling to the U.S. from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone must travel through the five U.S. airports with heightened Ebola screening.

DEA Clarifies Drug Wastage Disposal Rules

The Drug Enforcement Administration last month issued final regulations on the disposal of strictly controlled substances, such as prescription painkillers. The regulatory effort hopes to improve and expand on methods of disposing highly regulated substance and adjusts stringent record keeping requirements. The complex rules and record keeping requirements also seek to strictly control the custody of controlled substances. However, hospital groups complained that the new rules were unclear on accounting for unused portions — or drug wastage — from medicine administered to patients and is left over in syringes and IV solutions.

Ebola: CDC Updates Guidance on Protective Gear and Drinking Chlorine

There have been no new confirmed Ebola cases in the U.S since October 15. But the last two cases were health care professionals treating the first – and only U.S. identified patient. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday updated its guidance protocols for health care worker protective gear when treating an Ebola patient. The guidance and summary stresses a more thorough coverage of the body with protective equipment and urges rigorous training on donning and doffing protective suits. The new guidance follows some critiques offered last week on agency’s original guidance for protective gear.

Q&A: Law Professor Ryan Calo, Part Two

Ryan Calo is an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law and has suggested a Federal Robotics Commission as a “thought experiment.” Technocrat talked with him about the idea, how he defines robotics, and more. Below is some of the discussion. You can read more on Technocrat’s chat with Calo here on legal issues he foresees arising in the coming years.

Backlash Against Leon Panetta, Robert Gates Over Memoirs

President Obama’s former Defense secretaries are coming under fire in light of their memoirs that criticize the commander-in-chief while he’s still in office.

Steady Travel Industry Nerves Needed Amid Ebola Fears

After a plunge in airline stock prices following the first Ebola case in the United States on Sept. 30, those stocks have recovered. Investors in the airline and the hotel industries await the next episode in the Ebola outbreak.

Texas Congressman Claims EPA Analysis Falls Short

Today, Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calling for a more thorough cost-benefit analysis of the agency’s newly proposed electricity regulations.

Leahy Wants Comcast Pledge of No Paid Prioritization

As federal regulators continue to review Comcast’s proposal to acquire Time Warner Cable and as the Federal Communications Commission seeks to draft net neutrality rules, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is calling on Comcast to promise that it won’t engage in paid prioritization.

UN Ebola Response Trust Fund Struggles to Turn Pledges into Cash

The United Nations has set up a special trust fund to assist efforts to combat the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa. However, the response from UN member nations has not overwhelmed the trust fund’s accountants. The UN announced the nearly $1 billion effort in September and Reuters reports that $365 million has been pledged to the fund. However, countries have not been quick to redeem pledges with immediate cash contributions. Colombia led the way with a $100,000 check. On Friday Australia deposited $8.7 million. Even if outstanding current pledges from Venezuela, Chile, Estonia, Finland, India, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway and Romania are received before the end of the month, the fund will still substantially miss its initial $100 million October target.

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