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Policy Archive

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.

From Texas To Wisconsin, Voters To Determine Transportation Policy

In two weeks, voters decide which party will control the Senate and House, as well as choosing 36 governors and 6,049 state legislators.

Do We Want to Risk Over-Enforcement or Under-Enforcement?

The question of over-enforcement versus under-enforcement in telecommunications came up in a panel talk on Friday that was part of a Duke University School of Law’s Center for Innovation Policy event on Internet regulation in 2020.

With Gasoline Under $3 A Gallon, Drivers Are Thriving

Sometimes the bit of data that makes transportation news is staring you right in the face. So it was this weekend when I drove from Washington, D.C., to Princeton, N.J., and back.

This Week: Another Committee Hearing on Ebola; Groups Examine Improvements to the Delivery of Health Care

Congressional committees are quickly mobilizing to examine the response effort to combat the spread of the Ebola virus. This week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Friday takes its turn in quizzing federal health officials. A House panel started the push for hearings in a session last week. Meanwhile, the Aspen Institute today examines leadership of the effort to combat the Ebola virus in West Africa. On Tuesday, a foreign policy group conference call mulls the international implications of the pandemic in Africa. On Wednesday, the retiring House Democratic dean of health care topics, California Rep. Henry A. Waxman discusses national and global health care challenges in a Georgetown University lecture

Video: John Oliver Shreds U.S. Over Afghan Translators on 'Last Week Tonight'

On HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” Sunday, John Oliver ripped into the backlog of Afghan translators awaiting special U.S. visas. The deadly threats against those translators were the subject of what has become the defining trait of Oliver’s show: a 15-minute plus segment where he lays waste to one particular problem.

The Week Ahead: 'Right to Be Forgotten,' Net Neutrality and Cybersecurity

Events on the “right to be forgotten,” net neutrality are cybersecurity are on tap for this week.

Transgender Military Service, Ebola, China's Navy in the Week Ahead

It’s another slow-ish week in Washington, D.C., with elections nearing, but one House committee is back in town for a hearing, and some other hot topics — including the subjects in the headline and cybersecurity — are on the agenda.

The Week Ahead: Methane & Efficiency Scorecard

On tap this week:

The Week Ahead: Distracted Teen Drivers, Earnings Reports & Another Ebola Hearing

This week we’ll be watching the Ebola effect on commercial aviation as tighter screening proceeds at five U.S. airports and as the political debate continues over a ban on issuing visas to would-be visitors from three Ebola-affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Weekly Wrapup: Encryption, Patent Office and Robots

FBI Director James B. Comey’s remarks on encryption and law enforcement access to data, the nomination of Michelle K. Lee to head the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and a Q&A on robots and the law were among the highlights from the last few days. Check out the Mid-Week Catchup for happenings from earlier this week.

A Look Back: Autonomous Vehicle Scenarios, 2014 Campaign and Pets on Trains

This week we looked at futuristic scenarios for autonomous vehicles on our roads as envisioned by the Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole and others.

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