SEPTEMBER 11 FIRST RESPONDERS
People who lived or worked near Ground Zero are still being diagnosed with cancer: “As the nation marks the 12th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the federal government is still working to ensure that the people who came into close contact with Ground Zero are receiving the health treatment they need. So far, about 1,140 Americans have been diagnosed with cancers that resulted from the toxins at the site of the World Trade Center collapse, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).”
“The most recent research into the issue found that 9/11 first responders have a 15 percent higher rate of cancer than the general population. Health experts expect that number to continue to rise, since some types of cancer can take decades to develop.” — Think Progress 9/11/13
Which lawmakers will refuse their pay during the shutdown?: “Hundreds of thousands of rank-and-file federal employees were forced out of the office Tuesday morning because of the start of a government shutdown and won’t be paid over the course of the impasse.
“But members of Congress and the president, who are so at odds over who caused the shutdown, will continue being paid and must be by law. That’s because their jobs are authorized by the U.S. Constitution and are paid with mandatory funds, not discretionary spending dependent on annual appropriations.”
“As of midday Monday, at least 159 lawmakers have said that they plan to donate, refuse or hold in escrow compensation earned over the course of the impasse. (The count includes a few members who already donate their salary to charity). Here’s our Thursday tally, in alphabetical order, but check back for updates.” — Washington Post 10/7/13
Foreign press is baffled as U.S. Government shuts down: “American exceptionalism has been in full view of the world in the last few days, but not in the way that people usually mean. Since Monday night, the U.S. government has reminded the international community that it’s one of the few — maybe the only — that can actually shut down.
“Foreign press correspondents, left trying to explain an inexplicable situation to their audiences back home, are dumbfounded. TPM talked with Washington reporters from around the world, everywhere from South Korea to Sweden to Turkey, to ask them what they thought about the first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years.
“Some of their takes were quite frank.” — Talking Points Memo 10/3/13
UNITED AUTO WORKERS
UAW takes another step toward representing Tennessee Volkswagen workers: “For years, the UAW has sought to organize workers at the foreign auto plants in the anti-union south, without success. But now it looks as though the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, may get some kind of union representation thanks to pressure from the union that represents Volkswagen workers in the country’s home base of Germany.
“The UAW announced last week that a majority of workers in the Chattanooga plant have signed union cards, and union leaders are asking Volkswagen to recognize the union rather than demanding an election, a process during which many employers intimidate and fire union supporters.” — Daily Kos 9/16/13