A Republican-led House committee has asked for a briefing from the Planned Parenthood official whose secretly recorded discussion of how her organization obtains tissue from aborted fetuses for research has ignited a new GOP political offensive on abortion.

The letter to Planned Parenthood from GOP leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said comments by Dr. Deborah Nucatola "raise most troubling questions with regard to your organization's practices when performing abortions and whether those practices are consistent with federal law."

Brad Pitt slams Costco over factory-farmed eggs

Written by Sandy Cohen,
AP Entertainment writer
Sunday, 19 July 2015 13:00

Brad Pitt and Bill Maher say Costco contributes to animal cruelty by selling eggs from caged hens.

World brands scored on social justice policies

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Friday, 17 July 2015 18:08

Oxfam International recently ranked the world’s 10 largest food and beverage companies on their policies and commitments to improve food security and sustainability. The scorecard covers seven themes impacting the lives of people living in poverty around the world: transparency, farmers, women, agricultural workers, access to land, water and climate change.

Justice Kennedy compares gay marriage uproar to flag burning

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 17 July 2015 05:12

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy this week likened controversy over the court's decision to allow gay marriage to public reaction over the 1989 ruling that said burning an American flag was protected free speech.

Kennedy, who was the deciding vote in both cases, described how the reaction decades ago was critical at first but changed over time.

Lab-raised endangered dragonflies being released in Illinois

Written by The AP Monday, 20 July 2015 03:39

Federally endangered dragonflies that have been raised in a laboratory over the past several years are being released at a forest preserve this week in Illinois, where scientists believe they'll be a good match with the small population still there.

Did Donald Trump go too far today by trashing John McCain’s military service?

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Saturday, 18 July 2015 17:28

Donald Trump has soared to the top of Republican presidential polls for his brash rhetoric, particularly his assertion that Mexican immigrants are drug dealers and rapists.

Republican Senators seek to roll back auto, rail safety regulations

Written by Joan Lowy
and Tom Krisher,
AP writers
Friday, 17 July 2015 17:32

At a time of record auto recalls and high-profile train wrecks, Republicans are working on legislation to roll back safety regulation of the auto and railroad industries.

Illinois governor pressed to sign ex-gay therapy ban

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 16 July 2015 21:11

A coalition of health advocates and civil rights activists is pressing Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign legislation that would protect LGBT youth from the discredited practice of conversion therapy.

The Illinois State Senate, earlier this summer, voted 34-19 to pass the Illinois Youth Mental Health Protection Act. The bill was approved 68-43 by the House in early May.

Experts create a diet for health and the environment, but Republicans try blocking it

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Sunday, 19 July 2015 20:08

New dietary guidelines are due later this year.

Congressional Republicans beholden to food industry lobbyists are complaining, “Where’s the beef?” in a scientific committee’s proposed revisions to the U.S. dietary guidelines.

A court decision ending an investigation into the activities of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign could transform Wisconsin elections by allowing candidates to coordinate their campaigns with outside organizations — or PACs — that support them, while shielding the candidate’s PAC donors from fundraising limits and disclosure.

Global Respect Act to further LGBT rights reintroduced

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Friday, 17 July 2015 08:05

Human rights activists hailed the reintroduction of the Global Respect Act, which would direct the U.S. State Department to report gross violations of basic human rights against LGBT people in its annual human rights report to Congress and to ban foreigners who have committed or incited violations from entering the United States.