News June 7

Senator Sanders

Solar A bill that would encourage quicker and more efficient methods of installing solar panels was introduced by Sens. Bernie Sanders and John Boozman, WPTZ-TV,Environment & Energy DailyThe American Independent and vtdigger.com reported. The Burlington Free Press called Sanders' legislation "another example of working across party lines." LINKLINKLINK and VIEW

Nurses Rally Nurses will rally outside the White House to highlight what they call a broad decline in health because of the poor economy. After the morning rally at LaFayette Square, Sens. Sanders and Barbara Boxer will address a noon-time rally outside the Capitol, WRC-TV reported.  VIEW

Afghanistan Responding to a report that President Obama's national security team is contemplating steep troop reductions in Afghanistan, Sen. Sanders toldMSNBC, "Ten years is enough, it's time to bring the troops home." VIDEO

‘Crazy' Budget "What the Republicans are saying is not only do they not want the wealthy and large corporations to pay anymore, they want to give them a trillion dollars in tax breaks at the same time as they decimate Medicare, Medicaid, education, infrastructure and the needs of working families. That is pretty crazy," Sanders toldMSNBCVIDEO

Oil Speculation Right now up to 40 percent of the cost of a gallon of gas has nothing to do with supply and demand," Sanders said in the interview with MSNBCChris Jansing. "We want to limit the role of the speculators and when you do that I believe you're going to significantly reduce the price of a barrel of oil. VIDEO

Rx Prices Sen. Sanders is pushing bills to offer cash prizes instead of patents for innovative drugs. One would set up an $80 billion prize fund for companies that develop unpatented, innovative drugs. A separate bill would offer $3 billion prizes each year for new HIV/AIDS drugs, the trade publication BioWorld Today reported.

Domestic Spying "Few acts of government affront the Constitution more thoroughly that the ... anti-privacy law that the Bush administration put in place," the Madison, Wis., Capital Times editorialized. In the Senate, the no votes came from 18 Democrats and Sanders plus four Republicans. LINK

World

Syria Syria's government asserted Monday that 120 soldiers had been killed by armed protesters. The Washington Post said what began as a peaceful protest movement is turning into an armed rebellion in at least some parts of the country. LINK

Yemen Clashes in two restive provinces left 19 people dead in the strategic Middle Eastern nation that was brought to the brink of civil war by two weeks of unrest and the abrupt departure of its embattled president, The Washington Post reported. LINK

 

National

Obama Hits New Lows on Economy The public opinion boost President Obama received after the killing of Osama bin Laden has dissipated, and Americans' disapproval of how he is handling the nation's economy and the deficit has reached new highs, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. LINK 

Obama Economic Adviser Leaving Austan Goolsbee, the only economist left on Obama's core economic team, plans to leave as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers by September, after a year in the job, to return to the University of Chicago, The Washington Post reported. LINK

For-Profit Colleges For-profit colleges and vocational schools have been accused in recent years of encouraging students to earn credentials that do not increase earning potential enough to justify their student loan debt, The New York Times reported. LINK

Financial Overhaul Is Mired in Detail and Dissent Nearly one year after Congress passed financial changes to rein in the banking sector, more than two dozen of the legislation's rules are behind schedule, and no end to the wrangling over details is in sight, The New York Times reported. LINK

Debt Limit More than a hundred House conservatives signed a letter to Republican leaders setting stringent conditions that should be met if they are to support a national debt limit increase, The Hill reported. LINK

Vermont

Flood Disaster Gov. Peter Shumlin on Monday asked President Barack Obama to add flood-ravaged Washington and Caledonia counties to his request for a "Major Disaster Declaration," AP reported. LINK

Colchester Causeway The future of the badly damaged Colchester Causeway is in doubt after two months of punishing Lake Champlain floods and waves, but efforts are starting to rebuild the popular recreation trail, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK

911 State officials who run Vermont's 911 emergency call system say a new web-based system that will eventually allow a person to call for help with a text message or video is up and running, WCAX reported. LINK

Well Testing Before they left Montpelier last month, Vermont lawmakers set a date when they would return to address any vetoes issued by Gov. Peter Shumlin after the Legislature finished its main business for the year. That day is Tuesday, but lawmakers won't be trying to override the one bill Shumlin vetoed, a measure that would have required new testing of private wells for arsenic and other heavy metals, WCAX reported. LINK

Falling Gas Prices Price-watching website VermontGasPrices.com says average retail gasoline prices in the state have fallen 1.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.86 on Sunday, WCAX reported. LINK

School Spending U.S. Census data shows that Vermont has the fifth highest average spending on public school students in the country, WCAX-TV reported.LINK