Home News Roundup News Roundup: December 12, 2014

News Roundup: December 12, 2014


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Alaska News

An Alaska Superior Court judge ruled that an Anchorage anti-panhandling law is unconstitutional, but upheld a related controversial law that bans sitting on municipal sidewalks. The ACLU has filed a motion for reconsideration of the latter ruling. [Alaska Commons]

A new need-based grant program at APU will make the school an even more competitively priced option, with some low-income students able to attend for free. APU has taken several steps to position itself as an attractive option amidst national conversations about higher education costs and bleak budget projections for University of Alaska schools. [Alaska Dispatch News]

Senator Lisa Murkowski gave the Senate a lesson about fish guts during consideration of whether to extend a measure exempting small commercial fishing vessels from incidental discharge permits. [Amanda Coyne]

A fisherman in Eek unexpectedly found a silver salmon while ice fishing last Friday. That’s right, salmon in December. [KYUK]


A Saturday protest against the disproportionate use of deadly force by police against Black Americans drew over a hundred supporters in Anchorage. [Alaska Commons]

Medical students at more than 70 schools staged die-ins on Wednesday,  publicized under the hashtag #WhiteCoats4BlackLives. [Huffington Post]

Dozens of Congressional staffers staged a walkout and press conference on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in solidarity. [Mother Jones]

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I’ve been participating in the ongoing protests in Oakland and Berkeley, California over the past week. Things have gotten pretty intense at times: a seminarian had her head split open by a police baton,  police have used tear gas and pepper spray on protesters (including a Reuters journalist), and an undercover cop pulled a gun on protesters on Wednesday. Several professional journalists report being struck by police batons while working, with their press credentials clearly visible. A big storm in the Bay Area has cooled things off for a day or two, but more actions are planned for this weekend; this is definitely a story to keep an eye on. [Huffington Post, Mashable, BoingBoing, Society of Professional Journalists]

Federal News

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report finding that about 43 million Americans – roughly one in five – have delinquent medical debt on their credit reports, and that medical bills account for over half of all overdue debts on credit reports. But obviously it’s Obamacare that’s going to wreck the economy. [Washington Post]

A rider to Congress’ new spending bill is designed to prohibit the District of Columbia from moving ahead on marijuana legalization, which was overwhelmingly approved by DC voters last month. However, there’s some debate as to whether the restriction will have its intended effects. [Forbes]

That same spending bill also drastically increases the amount of money that individuals can donate to national political parties, striking yet another blow to the already weak McCain-Feingold campaign finance law passed in 2002. [Washington Post]

Everything Else

Peru plans to file criminal charges against Greenpeace activists who caused permanent damage to a World Heritage Site while placing a climate change banner in advance of a United Nations meeting. [The Guardian]

A Canadian study found that to nobody’s surprise, the HPV vaccine doesn’t make teenage girls more promiscuous, but it does help prevent cancer. [io9]

A Kickstarter-backed initiative called Walk [Your City] provides easy and affordable guerrilla wayfinding materials to help anyone make their city more walkable. [TreeHugger]

Thanks to the Nebraska Humane Society, a tiny sheep in a christmas sweater was reunited with his owner. [Gawker]

A journalist sacrificed days of gastrointestinal integrity to answer one of life’s great questions: who makes the best boxed mac and cheese? [The Stranger]


  1. It’s amazing to me, but you never know because of the way that news outlets pick what they cover. How many police departments are now giving their officers refresher courses in handling crowd control during public demonstrations?

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