The repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy took effect this morning at 12:01 a.m., officially ending the ban on service by openly-gay soldiers. The Pentagon said the military is “adequately prepared” for the repeal as 97 percent of the military has undergone training.
President Obama’s advisers will urge him to veto pending House legislation that would block two of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new air pollution rules. The two rules the GOP wants to block deal with mercury standards and cross-state pollution from power plants, both of which the EPA expects to have large positive impacts on public health.
The Palestinians may delay their planned Security Council vote for full membership in the United Nations as senior Western diplomats seek to put together a plan where Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas instead submits a letter calling for membership rather than holding a vote on it. Abbas is reportedly considering this proposed plan.
A study of 2010 census data reveals that “more than one in three young families with children were living in poverty last year.” At 37 percent, it was “the highest level on record for the group” as young families are now “six times as likely to be poor as elderly families” — a “major generational change.”
The Department of Labor is cracking down on wage violations by businesses. Yesterday Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis signed an agreement with the IRS and nine state agencies to expand enforcement against businesses that improperly label workers as independent contractors or as non-employees to deprive workers of minimum wage and overtime pay.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed hedge funds and other traders as it investigates potential insider trading before the U.S. credit rating was cut in August. The SEC has demanded more information about specific trades made just before the ratings cut and is looking into firms that bet the stock market would tumble.
The Obama administration’s “administration’s plan to rescue the U.S. Postal Service would allow the agency to end Saturday mail delivery and sell non-postal products.” The White House says its plan aims to save $20 billion over the next few years.
Violent crime fell for the fourth consecutive year in 2010, the FBI said yesterday, despite the ongoing economic woes and police departments facing budget constraints. The cause of the drop is not entirely clear, though law-enforcement officials credit improved policing and other researchers credit an aging population.
And finally: Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) took advantage of International Talk Like a Pirate Day to launch a broadside on President Obama’s new deficit play, Tweeting, “Watch ye purses & bury yr loot, the taxman cometh. TALK like a pirate day…not ACT like one.”