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On April 20, 2010, an explosion of high pressure methane gas sank British Petroleum (BP)'s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, causing a leak that became one of the largest oil spills in history. The leak continued until the well was officially ...
updated 30 Mar 2014
Recess appointments have been used by US presidents to fill vacancies within administrative agencies, judicial benches, and other positions within the federal government that require confirmation by the US Senate. The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case ...
The 2008 financial crisis cost investors, consumers and businesses alike. Sub-prime lending practices devolved into a riskier regime from their time of inception to address disproportionate ratios in racial borrowing power in the 1980s to the housing bubble of the ...
updated 11 Mar 2014
Detroit, Michigan, the historic epicenter of US automotive manufacturing, was once a beacon of industrial prosperity. The "Motor City" was synonymous with automative giants, such as GM, Ford and Chrysler. In recent decades, however, Detroit has seen significant decreases in ...
updated 25 Feb 2014
The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (PPACA), signed into law on March 23, 2010, mandates employers to offer their employees health insurance options that provide preventative contraceptive services, such as birth control without co-payments. The PPACA's contraception mandate has ...
updated 11 Feb 2014
The Sudanese Civil War culminated in an agreement to allow the southern part of the country to succeed if the proposition passed a popular referendum. This was a compromise between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement of the south and the ...
updated 28 Jan 2014
Since the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, antitrust efforts have played a major role in fostering corporate competition and preventing monopolies. Using a base of law set out by the Sherman Act, Clayton Act and Federal Trade Commission Act, government agencies ...
updated 14 Jan 2014
Nearly half of US states have adopted labor laws known as right-to-work laws. These laws have recently become established in traditionally union-strong states, and they allow companies to employ individuals without a mandate that the employees be union members. Labor ...
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was created [pdf] in 1993 by UN Resolution 827 to adjudicate the alleged war crimes perpetrated in the region of the former Yugoslavia since 1991. The ICTY's term of prosecution has ...
updated 19 Dec 2013
Marijuana is labeled a Schedule I drug by the federal government under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Its production, distribution, possession and use are thus criminally prohibited. The drug's negative treatment from the federal government stems from the Prohibition ...
updated 17 Dec 2013
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment bars the US government from making any law regarding the establishment of religion. Traditionally, the Establishment Clause has been seen as forbidding the government from establishing a national religion as well as prohibiting ...
updated 15 Nov 2013
Redistricting is the act of using census data to assign geographical boundaries for electoral districts. Originating from a simple constitutional mandate designed to ensure equal access to the government, the modern process is often criticized as a tool for political ...
updated 12 Nov 2013
The heated debate over same-sex marriage is one of the most polarizing issues currently facing the American legal community. It is a controversy being played out in every branch of the federal government, from the floor of the US Senate ...
updated 1 Nov 2013
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a complex piece of legislation that Congress passed in 1974 to ensure that the pensions of private sector employees had stability and protection. The legislation only applies to private companies, leaving public employees' ...
updated 18 Oct 2013
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 resulted from a constitutional battle between the legislative and executive branches in how the United States should commit to military conflicts. Congress traditionally held the power of declaring war, but it has not declared ...
updated 20 Sep 2013
The growing use of unmanned aerial surveillance and combat capable aircraft, otherwise known as drones, has drawn the attention of the world. In the US, drones operated by domestic agencies are conducting surveillance for border protection and crime prevention. Abroad, ...
updated 3 Sep 2013
Since Edward Snowden leaked confidential documents to British newspaper The Guardian in June 2013, people have been asking questions relating to the US government's surveillance of a wide swath of the population. PRISM, authorized by the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
Slavery was a socially accepted and promoted practice in Greek and Roman antiquity and in Eastern empires. The modern practice of human trafficking is another iteration in the history of the international slave trade. An intricate global network connected traders ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
While the Syrian conflict began during the Arab Spring of 2011, it was fueled by decades of political oppression. On March 6, 2011, schoolchildren, inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Libya, graffitied anti-Bashir al-Assad messages on several buildings in Daraa. ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has been at the center of much debate in the past decade. The process has had an enormous impact on the energy industry in the US, particularly with regard to natural gas markets. Natural gas will ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
On June 4, 1965, US President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered a commencement address at Howard University in Washington, DC, that applauded efforts by the federal government to address race discrimination. Despite these efforts, however, the president stressed that the job ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
The conflict in Libya arose out of protests beginning February 15, 2011, in the eastern city of Benghazi. The protest came as part of a wider protest movement that had spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa. On February ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
Comprehensive health care reform was passed by Congress in March 2010 after over a year of congressional debate. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was aimed at both reforming the private health insurance market and ensuring greater access ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
On September 11, 2001, a series of coordinated attacks were carried out at the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, leaving approximately 3,000 dead in the immediate aftermath. The attacks were carried out ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) was the official US military policy towards homosexual service members from December 1993 to September 20, 2011, which mandated that "closeted" homosexual service members were allowed to serve in the military while homosexual or bisexual ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
The Iraq War began on March 20, 2003 with an invasion by US-led forces and will end December 31, 2011 when the last US forces are scheduled to leave the country. Although the eight-and-a-half year the war was successful in ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
Although the protests that ousted Mubarak in 2011 bore similarities to protests across the region known as the Arab Spring, the country has not always been in lockstep with the politics of other Middle Eastern countries. A historic peace deal ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
Guantanamo Bay was leased to the US by Cuba on February 23, 1903, as part of the Cuban-American Treaty. Although the US had maintained a military presence at Guantanamo Bay since the Spanish-American War, the perpetual lease has allowed the ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
The continuing legal controversy over reproductive rights has embroiled the US legal system for decades. Since the US Supreme Court's landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, regulating abortion services has been a major target of legislation in Congress and in ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
On April 25, 2012, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Arizona v. United States. On June 25, 2012, the Court decided the legal fate of Arizona's highly controversial immigration laws, more commonly referred to as ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
The right to vote has been a contentious issue in the US since the inception of the country. There was no specific right to vote or qualifications to vote drafted into the US Constitution. Each state was left to develop ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
The financing of national and state elections has been a political topic in the US since the early nineteenth century. In 1828, then-candidate for the US presidency Andrew Jackson was one of the first politicians to create a campaign committee ...
updated 22 Jul 2013
Since its inception in July 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has become a dominant organization in international relations and the premiere tribunal for the prosecution of war crimes. Despite being founded only a decade ago, the ICC has already ...

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