U.S. Army Debuts New Unisex Combat Uniform

Jul 29, 2013, 2:42 pm EDT

Following last month’s announcement that all military jobs will be available to women by 2016, the U.S. Army released a new combat uniform that takes female body shapes into account.

CBS reported yesterday that these unisex combat uniforms are now available at Fort Gordon, and they will exist in 16 different sizes two or three weeks from now.

Designed for men and women of a more slender build, these uniforms are tighter around the waist area, wider in the hips, and narrower around the shoulders. Read 

Fed to Ban Some Medicare Providers for First Time

Jul 29, 2013, 12:06 pm EDT

Federal health officials, announced Friday, that starting Tuesday certain types of Medicare and Medicaid providers will be banned from enrolling in the taxpayer-funded programs for the poor in three cities that have high fraud rates.

This is the first time that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has used its ability to stop new Medicare and Medicaid providers from joining the taxpayer-funded programs. The ban will last for up to six months. Providers who are already part of the program are unaffected by the bans. The three areas receiving the bans are Miami, Chicago and Houston, reports the Associated Press.

“NAHC has long supported program integrity measures such as this and strongly recommended that Congress give CMS the authority to issue a moratorium as part of the Affordable Care Act,” Val J. Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, told the Associated Press.”We look forward to continue working with CMS as it considers other areas of the country where a moratorium may be needed.” Read 

Don’t Hold Your Breath for a Detroit Bailout

Jul 29, 2013, 11:08 am EDT

If any Detroit residents — or creditors — thought that the federal government might throw the struggling city a financial lifeline, the U.S. Treasury Secretary has dashed those hopes.

In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Jack Lew signaled that Washington had no plans give the Motor City a bailout. Lew acknowledged that the city has “serious financial problems,” but said Detroit is “going to have to work out” any issues it has with its creditors on its own.

Noting that Detroit’s financial difficulties “have been a long time in the making,” Lew said the federal government would supply advice and “the kinds of normal programs” it offers to cities in distress. But nothing more. Read 

House GOP Members Planning Blitz of IRS-Related Bills

Jul 28, 2013, 8:15 pm EDT
House GOP Members Planning Blitz of IRS-Related Bills

The GOP in the House is fighting back against what it calls government abuse, announcing plans to vote this week on 10 bills inspired by the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party-linked political groups for additional scrutiny.

These bills span a wide range of concerns, from a so-called “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” suggested by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., to a bill requiring government-wide standards of customer service and target response times on phone calls and e-mails, to a moratorium on IRS conferences.

While some of these bills seem like bipartisan no-brainers, others are bound to stir up more controversy. These include a bill that would limit bonuses to federal employees, another that would make it easier to fire employees, and one that would allow citizens to record conversations with federal workers. Read 

FDA Proposes New Food Safety Rules for Imports

Jul 26, 2013, 2:14 pm EDT

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in a press release, announced two proposed rules on Friday that are set to protect Americans from unhealthy food imports.

The two proposals, in conjunction with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed by President Obama, are set to bring the food safety system into the 21st century. The two rules would make it so that importers would have to confirm that suppliers are implementing modern, prevention-oriented food safety practices, and achieving the same level of food safety as domestic growers and processors.

“We must work toward global solutions to food safety so that whether you serve your family food grown locally or imported you can be confident that it is safe,” Margaret A. Hamburg, FDA Commissioner, said in the press release. “Today’s announcement of these two new proposed rules will help to meet the challenges of our complex global food supply system. Our success will depend in large part on partnerships across nations, industries, and business sectors.” Read 

Lincoln Memorial Vandalized Overnight

Jul 26, 2013, 12:28 pm EDT

The Lincoln Memorial was shut down on Friday after a group vandalized the statue with green paint the night before.

The vandals splashed green paint onto the statue of the United States 16th president. No symbols or words were created with the paint. Workers are have used powers washers to remove most of the paint, and are scrubbing higher up parts of the statue by hand. The steps leading up to the memorial were opened up at 10:13 a.m., and park officials say the rest of the memorial will be opened up once all of the paint is removed, reports The Washington Post.

Park Police used bright yellow tape to close off the memorial after discovering it had been vandalized. Authorities believe that the statue was vandalized around 1:30 a.m., Friday, reports The Washington Post. Read 

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