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New York High School Bans Backpacks, Seals Lockers

May 30, 2014, 10:36 am EDT

A New York high school banned backpacks and put several other restrictions into place on Tuesday.

Restrictions added to Wantagh High School were due to bomb threats.  The restrictions are as follows: lockers have been sealed and will remain that way for the rest of the school year, all items brought to the school must be done so in a clear bag, bags will be checked before entering school at the start of the day and after lunch, bathrooms breaks are more limited and additional security cameras have been added, CBS News notes. Read 

FDA: Tanning Beds Must Now Carry Warning Labels

May 29, 2014, 5:46 pm EDT

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that tanning beds must now carry warning labels.

The FDA said that tanning beds need to include a black box warning stating that the product should not be used by children under the age of 18. The beds must also include information on cancer risks as well as a note stating that indoor tanners should get evaluated for skin cancer on a regular basis.

Indoor tanning salons increase the risk of melanoma by 59%. The American Academy of Dermatology said that melanoma is the deadliest kind of skin cancer and the risk of getting melanoma increases each time a person is exposed to UV rays from tanning beds. Read 

Chicago Group Proposes $15 Minimum Wage

May 29, 2014, 9:39 am EDT

Workers advocates in Chicago are hoping to push the city’s minimum wage to a new high.

The Raise Chicago Coalition says Chicago’s minimum wage should be raised from the current Illinois minimum wage of $8.25 per hour to $15 an hour. The group — which is composed of labor unions and community activists — proposed the hefty minimum wage hike to the City Council on Wednesday, the Chicago Sun-Times notes.

Under the proposal, businesses whose revenue tops $50 million a year would have to increase their minimum wage paid to Chicago workers to $12.50 an hour within three months of the ordinance’s passage. Those businesses would then have to increase their minimum wage to $15 no later than one year after the measure’s adoption. Read 

Did Edward Snowden Work as a Spy for the CIA?

May 28, 2014, 11:29 am EDT

During a TV interview with NBC News, the man who leaked National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance secrets claims he was more than just an analyst for the agency.

Edward Snowden now says that he was trained as a spy by the NSA and CIA and “worked undercover overseas” for both agencies. He claimed that during his undercover service as a spy, he used names other than Edward Snowden, the New York Times notes.

Calling himself a “technical specialist” and “technical expert,” Edward Snowden said that he didn’t “work with people” or “recruit agents,” but rather installed systems to “work for the United States.” Read 

Michigan Minimum Wage to Hit $9.25 by 2018

May 28, 2014, 10:50 am EDT

On Tuesday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a bill that will boost the Michigan minimum wage to $9.25 per hour in four years.

The bill, which enjoyed bipartisan support in both houses of the state’s GOP-controlled legislature, increases the Michigan minimum wage from a current level of $7.40 per hour for workers who receive tips, Reuters notes.

Snyder, who is a Republican, hailed the Michigan minimum wage hike as “good for the hard-working people of Michigan.” Read 

Soft Drink Stocks Escape Pricey Soda Tax in Illinois

May 28, 2014, 10:07 am EDT

Coca-Cola (KO), Pepsi (PEP) and Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) can breath a sigh of relief as Illinois shoots down a proposed soda tax.

The proposed soda tax would have raised the price of the sugary drink one penny for each ounce of the beverage. House Rep. Robyn Gabel,who sponsored the bill, hoped that it would help bring in $600 million per year while pushing people away from unhealthy drinks, reports The Chicago Tribune.

The soda tax bill failed to pass the House Revenue and Finance Committee after seven representatives voted against it and two voted for it. If the bill had passed, the average price fro a case of pop would have increased by $2.88. Some representatives believed that the bill would have hurt jobs and cause people to go to other states to buy the drinks, The Tribune notes. Read 

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