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Scott Pruitt slated for series of appearances on Capitol Hill

“Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt will begin a long-awaited series of appearances in Congress soon after the Thanksgiving recess, congressional committees announced Thursday” writes John Siciliano for washingtonexaminer.com. Pruitt will make his first appearance Dec. 7 in the House Energy and Commerce Committee during an environmental subcommittee hearing headed by Rep.John Shimkus, R-Ill., and full committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore. “We’re looking forward to receiving a much-needed update from Mr. Democrats attempted to shut down the committee vote by boycotting it, forcing Barrasso to suspend Senate rules to hold…

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Astronomers relieved as U.S. funding agency moves to keep Arecibo telescope operating

“The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today that it will be pursuing the option it has favored throughout the process: keeping Arecibo working, but with much-reduced funding from the agency” writes Daniel Clery for sciencemag.org. At the same time, NSF put out a solicitation for possible partners that could take over management of Arecibo and the bulk of the funding burden.In reports dating back to 2006, NSF advisers have urged the agency to scale down funding for Arecibo and other older facilities to help pay for building and operating newer instruments. Source:…

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I.R.S. Starts to Enforce Health Law’s Rule That Employers Offer Insurance

“Employees who are offered health insurance through their jobs are ineligible for the subsidies” writes Stacy Cowley for nytimes.com. The tax agency began requiring those forms two years ago, but it repeatedly ran into problems processing them.When the health law was passed, lawmakers feared that without an employer mandate, companies would cancel their insurance benefits and send large numbers of employees to the health care law’s insurance exchanges, where many people qualify for government subsidies.The penalty is activated if at least one employee then buys insurance on the health law’s…

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World Anti-Doping Agency keeping headquarters in Montreal

“Officials in the federal Transport Department made the announcement Wednesday night” reports foxsports.com. It came after a proposal put forth to the International Olympic Committee agency in Seoul by Transport Minister Marc Garneau, Quebec International Relations Minister Christine St-Pierre and Yves Bolduc, head of Montreal International. The province of Quebec and the federal government are promising to contribute a joint amount of $3 million a year to the organization over 10 years. Source: foxsports.com Share This:

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Trump likely to change consumer financial watchdog agency as Richard Cordray leaves

“While Cordray was able to implement many new regulations on banks, credit card companies and debt collectors, he also lost some notable battles” writes The Associated Press for seattletimes.com. That person was now-Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, who had proposed the agency in her previous job at Harvard Law School. Source: seattletimes.com Share This:

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Cordray Stepping Down as Head of Consumer Fin. Protection Bureau

“But those changes are much more modest than what many in the banking industry have called for” reports washingtonpost.com. His frequent clashes with conservatives turned Cordray, an otherwise ordinary Washington bureaucrat from Ohio, into a favorite of Democrats and consumer groups and a villain to Republicans and the financial industry.Trump has on at least two occasions griped about Cordray in private and wondered what to do about his tenure, according to two financial industry executives who attended the meetings.His pick for vice chairman of supervision, Randal Quarles, a former private…

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Crypto News 

This ad agency is using blockchain to create a ‘cleaner media supply’ network

“Now it’s the turn of the advertising sector, with agency network The Marketing Group launching “the first blockchain-enabled global media agency,” called Truth, on Wednesday, according to an online statement” writes unknown author for cnbc.com. The media-buying industry has been under fire this year because of problems with online ad fraud (bots instead of humans seeing or ‘clicking’ on ads) and issues with how the effectiveness of campaigns are measured. Earlier this year, Procter & Gamble’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said some in the industry were “grading their own…

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Richard Cordray to step down as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director

“Cordray is the first director of the agency, created in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to police financial markets for consumer abuse” writes Joseph Lawler for washingtonexaminer.com. Republicans have long aimed to curb the agency’s powers and objected particularly to Cordray’s pursuit of new rules on consumer products.Although his departure was long rumored among financial services lobbyists, Cordray stayed at the agency long enough to finalize major new rules on payday lending and class-action lawsuits against financial companies, the latter of which was subsequently struck down by the Republican-led Congress. Source: washingtonexaminer.com…

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IAEA confirms Iran is meeting its commitments under nuclear deal

“The quarterly report marked the ninth successive time the IAEA has attested that Iran is meeting its commitments since the nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers, including the United States, was implemented early last year” reports washingtonpost.com. The United States is the only country among the six that negotiated the deal to express dissatisfaction.Last month, Trump refused to certify that Iran was keeping up its end of the deal.According to Iranian news reports, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency, said Sunday that if the…

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