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Newsflash: Loretta Lynch Passes Committee; Two Right Wing Political Groups Hold Meetings; FCC Makes Internet Public Utility



Uprising’s guest expert Cristina Mislan, Assistant Professor of Journalism Studies at the Missouri School of Journalism, analyzes to day’s news headlines:

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved Loretta Lynch’s nomination for Attorney General, all but clearing the way for her to pass a full Senate vote. The vote was a narrow win for a candidate who came under fire for her decision some years ago to not prosecute one of the world’s largest banks, HSBC, for a money laundering scandal while she was Attorney General of New York. Meanwhile, out-going Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he would soon ask Congress to lower the bar on federal civil rights prosecutions. On Tuesday the Justice Department said it did not have enough evidence to prosecute George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin and in a few weeks, a similar announcement is likely coming on the shooting death by Darren Wilson of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Holder said on Thursday, “There needs to be a change with regard to the standard of proof.” Click HERE for a Guardian article, and HERE for an NBC News article on this story.

Two right wing political committees (PACs) are holding meetings. CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Committee, is starting its gathering today and every major Republican Presidential candidate such as Jeb Bush and Scott Walker is expected to make speeches and win over important constituents. The New York Times called CPAC, “a proving ground for Republican contenders in connecting with and inspiring the most enthusiastic, organized elements of the conservative base.” And, AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is also meeting in a few days. The Obama Administration just announced that it would send advisor Susan Rice, and UN Ambassador Samantha Power to the conference as representatives, in a conciliatory move over recent tensions with Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit. Click HERE for a NY Times article and HERE for a Washington Post article on this story.

And finally the Federal Communications Commission in a 3-2 vote yesterday passed rules that are in line with net neutrality, after a year of intense lobbying by rights groups. FCC Chair Tom Wheeler last year came under fire for proposing a two-tiered system that would empower major cable companies, prompting a firestorm of criticism from those who want a level playing field. While the new rules are not yet public, they are expected to enshrine the internet as a public utility rather than an information service. Services for smartphones and tablets will also fall under the regulations, alongside wired connections. The rules will also include broadband access to rural communities and people with disabilities, and protections of consumer privacy. Conservatives have lambasted the vote, with Fox News calling it “the worst example of government intervention… ever.” Click HERE for a NY Times article and HERE for a Time article on this story.