News & Commentary - Archive 2013

March 16, 2013

The TSA just can’t win. For years, it has been ridiculed and criticized for spending time and energy at screening checkpoints on low risk threats like grannies with walkers or children in diapers.

Yet TSA’s announcement this month that it will permit passengers to carry small pocket knives on flights – a step designed to enable screeners to focus on more serious threats that could bring down an airplane – has been met with withering criticism.

March 12, 2013

When you cut through the bluster and controversies surrounding the Bradley Manning/Wikileaks case, it raises a difficult unresolved question that has great significance for our democracy:  How can the government be held accountable for its national security policies (and mistakes) in a world where there are far too many secrets, and those who disclose those secrets to the press are violating the law?

March 11, 2013

A bipartisan Senate proposal on immigration reform has drawn praise, including from President Obama. But a key feature of the proposal -- how to handle the 11 million foreigners living in the country illegally -- has provoked a familiar objection: Why grant U.S. citizenship, that most precious of rights, to those who broke the law to get here?

We believe there is a simpler, fairer and more efficient solution that won't get bogged down in the "path to citizenship" debate. Rather, it will unlock the enormous potential of North America's labor pool:

March 11, 2013

A panel of national- and state-level scholars will discuss political accountability in the 21st century at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy on Wednesday, March 20.

The panel discussion, “Who Does Government Work For?”, begins at 5:15 p.m. in the Fleishman Commons and is free and open to the public. Five panelists will discuss what factors affect how accountable our political institutions are and who they are accountable to, including mass media and big money.

March 9, 2013

A Chinese oil company last week bought a small but significant player in the Canadian oil sands, the third largest deposit of accessible oil in the world and source of more than a quarter of U.S. oil imports.

The sale of Nexen Inc. to the Chinese National Offshore Oil Co. for $15.1 billion was the largest Chinese overseas acquisition ever, and continues a patient, strategic Chinese campaign to secure energy assets in North America.

March 8, 2013

Philip Bennett, the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy, will step down from his role as managing editor of FRONTLINE when his contract expires in May, the program announced today.

March 4, 2013

Washington, D.C.—The Nonprofit Media Working Group, a nonpartisan group of foundation and nonprofit media leaders, today recommended that the IRS modernize its rules to remove obstacles in the way of nonprofit news outlets.

The agency’s “antiquated” approach to granting tax-exempt status has undermined the creation of new media models, the group said in its report, “The IRS and Nonprofit Media: Toward Creating a More Informed Public.”

March 1, 2013

The bet, as of last weekend, was that it would take effect. According to the latest poll conducted by the Pew Research Centre from February 13-18, 49 per cent of the respondents were in favour of Congress taking action to delay the automatic spending cuts, while 40 per cent would let the sequester go into effect. In the same poll, 49 per cent blamed the Republicans in Congress for the inaction, while 31 per cent blamed President Obama.

February 28, 2013

If you’ve been following the recent debate over the president’s proposal to require universal background checks for gun transactions, you’re familiar with the “40 percent” statistic. Proponents assert that up to 40 percent of gun sales do not involve a federally licensed dealer and therefore are exempt from the current federal requirement for a background check of buyers. Opponents have been attacking this statistic, saying it’s far too high.

February 18, 2013

The PBS program FRONTLINE earned the George Polk Award for Documentary Television Reporting for “Money, Power and Wall Street,” a four-part investigation into the global financial crisis that aired in 2012, Long Island University announced.