New coal leases on federal land halted
The Obama administration is halting new coal leases on federal lands until it completes a review of fees charged to mining companies and mining's affect on the environment. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said that companies can continue to mine coal reserves already under lease. The program has not been significantly changed in more than 30 years.
No details yet on Biden cancer initiative
Vice President Joe Biden launched a "moonshot" initiative to cure cancer, aiming to use his final year in office to break down barriers in the medical world. At Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia, he cited pioneering efforts on immunotherapy. He has yet to lay out exactly what he'll do that hasn't been done in the half-century since President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer.
Scathing report on anthrax handling issued
The Army issued a scathing critique of the management of a military laboratory that mistakenly sent live anthrax around the world, singling out a brigadier general and 11 other people for possible disciplinary action. An inquiry into the lab at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah found that it failed to test lab surfaces for contamination and employed a biosafety officer who lacked necessary education and training.
Democratic Party pays federal fine
The state Democratic Party has paid a $23,000 fine to federal regulators for campaign-finance violations during the recall campaigns of 2011 and 2012. Violations include failing to keep payroll logs and underreporting spending by about $185,000, according to an agreement between the state party and the Federal Election Commission. The violations were around the time of recall elections involving Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and 13 state legislators.
New Ebola death after end of outbreak
Just one day after the World Health Organization declared the end to the biggest outbreak of Ebola, a body in Sierra Leone tested positive for the virus. WHO warned that small flare-ups of the disease are likely because the virus can persist in the bodily fluids of survivors. Ten flare-ups have been reported in the past nine months in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.