News June 1

Senator Sanders 

Koch Brothers In response to the Koch brothers' plan to spend $400 million on Republican election campaigns, Sen. Bernie Sanders called out the Kochs and urged America to stand up against Citizens United, reported. LINK

Slow Living A prelude to Brattleboro's annual Strolling of the Heifers, the Slow Living summit spotlights speakers on local agriculture, healthier energy, economic and social policies. It concludes today with speeches from Gov. Peter Shumlin and Sen. Sanders, the Rutland Herald reported. LINK

Rx Prices The House passed a bill that would ban Americans from bringing safe, approved Canadian prescription drugs into the country. Sen. Sanders was the lone "no" vote in the Senate, National Journal and the Canadian press agency QMI reported. "Americans pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for their medicine ... (This bill) does far too little to address this crisis," he said. LINK, LINK

JP Morgan Sen. Sanders has introduced a bill that would amend the Federal Reserve Act to prohibit people employed by entities regulated by the Fed Board of Governors, like JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, from serving on a Federal Reserve Bank's board of directors, U.S. News reported. LINK

See No Evil The Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank president said adequate procedures are in place to keep bankers serving as directors of regional Fed banks from influencing Fed supervision of their banks. Sen. Sanders has described the current arrangement as a blatant conflict of interest, Dow Jones reported. LINK


Quebec Demonstrations Quebec's premier Jean Charest on Thursday suspended negotiations with university students aimed at ending weeks of protests over proposed tuition hikes. One student leader called for more street protests and a large rally was planned Saturday in Montreal, The Associated Press reported. LINK

Syria Gunmen killed 11 workers at a state-owned fertilizer factory in a volatile central Syrian province, activists said Friday - the second execution-style shooting reported in Syria in less than a week. The shooting occurred Thursday as the workers were on their way to their jobs in a bus that came under fire, AP reported. LINK


Unemployment The United States economy gained a paltry 69,000 jobs in May, the Labor Department said Friday. The dismal showing pushed the official unemployment rate to 8.2, up 0.1 percent from April, The New York Times reported. When workers forced into part-time jobs and those who gave up looking for work are counted, the real unemployment rate was 14.8 percent. LINK 

Student Loans House Republicans on Thursday outlined new ways to break the political impasse that threatens to drive up student loan rates July 1. Leaders in both parties have expressed support for keeping loan rates low for another year, but they have disagreed on how to offset the $6 billion price tag, The Washington Post reported. LINK

Student Debt Americans are borrowing more to pay for college while reducing other debt as a weak job market prompts more people to go to school and tuition keeps climbing, new Federal Reserve Bank of New York data show. Americans owed $904 billion in student loans at the end of March, nearly 8 percent more than a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK

Gay Marriage A battle over a federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman appears headed for the Supreme Court after a federal appeals court in Boston ruled Thursday that denying benefits to married gay couples is unconstitutional, The Associated Press reported. LINK


Special Olympics More than 800 Special Olympics Vermont athletes will compete this weekend at the University of Vermont. Opening ceremonies for the 2012 Special Olympics Vermont Summer Games takes place Friday night at UVM's new track facility, AP reported. LINK

Biomass The selectboard in Springfield, Vt., voted to commit 30,000 of gallons of municipal water a day to a proposed biomass project, according to AP. LINK