- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 19, 2010

DEMOCRATS

DNC may reward late primary states

ST. LOUIS | A Democratic National Committee panel is proposing giving states that hold their presidential primaries later in the 2012 calendar year bonus delegates to the convention.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee approved a plan Thursday to award anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent more delegates to states that hold contests in March and beyond.

The committee already has signed off on a plan to start the nominating process no earlier than February and reduce the number of superdelegates, from 20 percent of the total number of delegates to 15 percent. The full DNC will vote on all the changes Friday.

IMMIGRATION

Drug criminals top deportation list

The Homeland Security Department is reporting that about a third of 130,000 criminal immigrants removed from the U.S. last year committed crimes involving dangerous drugs.

The department said the category includes manufacturing, distribution, sale and possession of illegal drugs. Traffic offenses are the second most common crime on the list, and immigration violations are a close third.

About 390,000 people were removed from the U.S. in 2009.

The Obama administration has made deporting immigrants who commit crimes an immigration enforcement priority, and Congress has tried to steer funding toward such arrests and deportations.

LABOR

On-the-job deaths hit record low

The number of U.S. workers who died on the job fell by 17 percent last year to the lowest level in nearly two decades, as workers logged fewer hours during the recession, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The 4,340 workplace fatalities recorded in 2009 was the smallest total since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the data in 1992. It’s the second straight year that fatal work injuries have reached a historic low, after a 10 percent drop in 2008.

High unemployment and layoffs in more dangerous industries such as construction played a major role in the decrease, the agency said. The construction unemployment rate is 17.3 percent, nearly double the overall jobless rate of 9.5 percent.

Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis called the decrease encouraging and pledged to continue her agency’s stepped-up enforcement of workplace safety laws.

CAMPAIGNS

Cable network nixes ad against Target

ST. PAUL, Minn. | Cable news network MSNBC said Thursday that it has rejected a TV ad calling for a boycott of department store chain Target Corp. over a political donation in Minnesota.

MSNBC spokeswoman Alana Russo said the commercial submitted by the liberal group MoveOn.org violates its advertising policy by directly attacking an individual business.

MoveOn officials announced plans earlier this week to spend $35,000 airing the ad on MSNBC nationally and on three networks in the Twin Cities. The group said the stations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market are running the ad.

Minneapolis-based Target last month donated $150,000 to a political fund supporting conservative GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer in Minnesota. That triggered a national backlash from gay rights groups and liberals.

CALIFORNIA

Redford aids Boxer in Senate contest

Hollywood icon Robert Redford is trying to help Sen. Barbara Boxer raise money for her re-election campaign in a letter championing the liberal Democrat’s efforts on the environment.

The actor and director is a longtime environmental activist who has been a regular donor to Democratic candidates.

Mr. Redford said in an e-mail to potential donors that Mrs. Boxer, in the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill, has sought to extend a moratorium on drilling in federal waters along the Pacific Coast. Mrs. Boxer’s opponent, Republican Carly Fiorina, has criticized a permanent ban as shortsighted.

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