Home News Roundup News Roundup: January 24, 2014

News Roundup: January 24, 2014

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Local News

This week has been a busy one for Juneau – the state legislature returned to work, bringing some major changes in the Democratic caucus. [Alaska Commons]

If you live in Southeast and are looking for a job, the Tongass Democrats are taking applications for a new State Representative through Monday. [Anchorage Daily News]

The governor also delivered the annual State of the State address, the majority of which focused on his vision for education in Alaska: expanding charter schools, allowing private school vouchers, and eliminating the high school graduation exam in favor of national aptitude tests (SAT, ACT, and ACT’s WorkKeys). [Anchorage Daily News]

Speaking of education, the Anchorage School District faces a $23 million budget shortfall for the coming school year, which Superintendent Ed Graff says will require eliminating over 200 positions, including classroom teachers. This comes in addition to 718 positions that have been eliminated in the past four years. [Alaska Public Media]

Governor Parnell’s refusal to expand Medicaid means that about 40,000 low-income Alaskans will have to file for hardship exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate, because the law does not provide any tax credits for individuals with incomes below $19,800. [Anchorage Daily News]

On a happier note, Sitka Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins looked at the science about Fukushima radiation, and says Alaska shouldn’t have anything to worry about. [Alaska Dispatch]

 

National News

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Alaska, issued a ruling on Tuesday saying that courts should view laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation with “heightened scrutiny.” In most cases, laws subjected to this standard are assumed to be unconstitutional until proven otherwise. [ThinkProgress]

Another Ninth Circuit panel ruled that environmental assessments about offshore drilling in the Chukchi Sea were improperly managed, calling into question whether Shell will be allowed to try its hand again this year (if it even wants to). [Anchorage Daily News]

U.S. Senator Mark Begich has been waging a campaign to call people out when they leave Alaska off the map – and has a wall of apology letters to prove it. [Washington Post]

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to enforce net neutrality, which sounds boring but is a really big deal. [Alaska Commons]

Ralph Lauren unveiled the opening ceremony outfits for the U.S. Olympic team, and the consensus seems to be that they would fit in perfectly at an ugly sweater party. [Kansas City Star]

 

Everything Else

A bartender in East London attempted to place Tony Blair under citizen’s arrest for war crimes connected to the Iraq War. [BoingBoing]

The US Patent and Trademark Office apparently thought it was a good idea to grant King, maker of the popular game Candy Crush Saga, a wide-sweeping trademark on the word ‘candy’. [Consumerist]

If you were affected by the Target data breach – and even if you weren’t – Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring from Experian. [Lifehacker]

Not a fan of Facebook? You may be in good company. Researchers at Princeton have done a mashup of Google search trends with epidemiology data, and the resulting graphs suggest that Facebook will lose 80% of its user base between 2015 and 2017. [io9]