Home News Roundup News Roundup: April 4, 2014

News Roundup: April 4, 2014


Alaska News

First things first: In case you missed it, Anchorage had elections on Tuesday. [Alaska Commons]

The Pick.Click.Give fundraising campaign announced that 26,773 Alaskans elected to donate more than $2.7 million of their Permanent Fund Dividend checks to nonprofits during the application period that ended on Monday. [ADN]

As summer approaches, so do cheap air fares from Anchorage, including flights to Seattle for as little as $196 roundtrip. [Alaska Dispatch]

Upper One Games, a game studio established last year in partnership with Cook Inlet Tribal Council, is working on releasing its first game: Never Alone, a puzzle platformed based on Arctic survival and “generations of Alaskan folklore.” [VG 24/7]

A Boston-based company with roots at MIT wants to bring a high-altitude, flying wind turbine to interior Alaska. [Daily News-Miner]

After ten years of advocacy, the Alaska Legislature is currently considering a bill to make indoor workplaces go smoke-free across the state. [Alaska Dispatch]

The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee trolled Sen. Mark Begich with a birthday cake. [Buzzfeed]

There’s a petition on the White House website asking for Alaska to be returned to Russia. The petition claims to have been created by “S.V.” in Anchorage, but was actually uploaded by a Russian consulting firm. [NPR]


Federal Courts

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that aggregate campaign contributions limiting the total influence of a single individual over the political system are unconstitutional. Conservative plaintiff Shaun McCutcheon hailed the decision Wednesday as an incentive for all those ordinary Americans who have hundreds of thousands of dollars to donate to political campaigns to get more involved in politics. [POLITICO]

In brighter news, the court also declined to accept the state’s appeal of the Katie John subsistence case, effectively upholding the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2013 ruling that the federal government has control over hunting and fishing on “navigable state-owned waters adjacent to federal land.” [ADN]

a U.S. District Court Judge ruled that a gay man’s discrimination claims against the Library of Congress could go forward under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. If his case is successful, it would be the first time a court has accepted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2012 argument that certain forms of anti-gay harassment should be considered illegal sex discrimination. [The Advocate]


Other Feds

A teenager in Pennsylvania got lots of attention for his science fair project concluding that switching printed government documents to another font could save millions of dollars per year. [CNN] However, one writer engaged in some self-proclaimed “font nerdery” and argues that the proposal is flawed, and might not actually save any money at all. [Fast Company]

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a final rule mandating that new vehicles must come equipped with backup cameras by May 2018. [POLITICO]

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee took an overwhelming, bipartisan vote to declassify the CIA torture report, which is said to provide explicit details of prisoner treatment as well as acknowledgements that the agency’s interrogation techniques may have been counterproductive. [Foreign Policy]

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) got an important lesson about Facebook when he posted a poll asking whether the Affordable Care Act had improved people’s lives – his post got over 55,000 comments, the vast majority of which were overwhelmingly positive about the law and/or criticized Cruz for his continued opposition. [POLITICO]

NASA announced that although they will continue to work with Russia’s space agency for transportation to the International Space Station, the agency will be suspending all other contact with Russian government representatives due to the country’s actions in Ukraine. Things are gonna get real awkward up on the ISS. [IFL Science]


Everything Else

A long-term research study on efforts to improve cognitive abilities for children from low-income families in North Carolina found that early childhood education not only improved intellect, but had a dramatic effect on health later in life. [New York Times]

And finally, news we wish was a joke: A dairy plant in Omsk, Russia was closed for 90 days after an employee posted photos and video of workers bathing in a tub of milk during New Year’s celebrations. [LA Times]