Briefs

Huge uptick in pandemic ‘air rage’ hits flight attendants

BY: - September 27, 2021

Flight attendants have been subject to unprecedented harassment over masks and more during the pandemic, and a U.S. House panel on Thursday heard the raw details of those “air rage” incidents. While there’s no hard data, the leader of the flight attendants’ union said the most aggression appears to occur in Southern states where there’s […]

Who will get a booster shot? A Q-and-A about what the feds are saying

BY: - September 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Booster shots soon will begin rolling out to some Americans who received the two-shot vaccine made by Pfizer—after a contentious and confusing federal approval process that isn’t over yet. Determining who exactly should be rolling up their sleeves for an additional dose was tricky. The Biden administration had leapfrogged federal regulatory panels in […]

Evergy scales back plans to add solar power by 2024

BY: - September 23, 2021

Evergy will keep open part of its Lawrence, Kansas, coal plant to run occasionally on natural gas despite earlier plans to shutter it completely and fall short of earlier pledges to add massive amounts of solar power to the electric grid, the utility revealed in regulatory filings this week.  Earlier this year, Evergy filed its […]

Advocates press for action in Congress on voting rights, despite grim outlook

BY: - September 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Activists are ramping up the pressure on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to move on his chamber’s version of a voting rights bill, even though there’s no sign there will be enough Republican support to advance it. Alternatively, they’re pressing for an end to the filibuster, though there’s no indication there would be […]

U.S. House passes short-term spending bill to keep government open until December

BY: - September 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats approved a short-term spending measure Tuesday over GOP opposition that would keep the federal government operating through Dec. 3 and provide $28.6 billion for costs related to recent natural disasters. The bill faces a battle in the evenly divided Senate, where Republicans are opposed to a provision raising the debt ceiling. The spending […]

​​Missouri AG’s push to sue every school with mask mandate heads to court next week

BY: - September 21, 2021

Orders requiring school children to wear masks in class will be tested in court next week, when a Boone County judge will be asked to decide if Attorney General Eric Schmitt can sue every district in the state in a single case. Circuit Judge Brouck Jacobs has set a hearing for 9 a.m. next Tuesday […]

People hold up signs that read "Protect safe, legal abortion."

U.S. Supreme Court schedules Dec. 1 oral arguments in major abortion case

BY: - September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Dec. 1 in a case that threatens to overturn decades of abortion protections established under the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. The upcoming case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, stems from a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks. It has been […]

Economist: Climate change, food scarcity demand ‘transformation’

BY: - September 20, 2021

A challenging combination of food scarcity and climate change-related threats to agriculture are driving calls for a “transformation” in food systems, an economist told environmental journalists this week.  Those issues are expected to be discussed by world leaders at a special United Nations food systems conference Sept. 23 in New York. Channing Arndt, a development economist […]

Immigration reform blocked from reconciliation bill in Congress, but Democrats vow to try again

BY: - September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate parliamentarian has turned down a plan to include a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, a blow for Democrats and immigration advocacy groups when the decision was disclosed late Sunday. “We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide […]

Republican AGs urge Biden administration to give up on vaccine requirements

BY: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — More than 20 Republican state attorneys general — including Missouri’s Eric Schmitt — are threatening to sue the Biden administration over its mandate that large employers require their employees to either be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo weekly testing. In a Thursday letter, the 24 attorneys general pushed the administration to remove the […]

Dairy farmer: Fix ‘broken’ milk pricing system

BY: - September 16, 2021

An Iowa dairy farmer appealed to a U.S. Senate subcommittee Wednesday to help fix a “broken” milk-pricing system she said has worsened conditions in an era of financial uncertainty. Christina Zuiderveen, managing partner of Black Soil Dairy LLC and an industry leader, said the federal milk marketing orders system “promised dairy producers that if their […]

Putting on pandemic pounds: State obesity rates hit all-time highs

BY: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — The number of states with high obesity among residents has nearly doubled since 2018, according to new data Wednesday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 16 states that had obesity rates among adult residents of at least 35% last year, with Iowa, Ohio, Delaware and Texas on that list for […]