#AceWorldNews says Lawmakers in the north-eastern Spanish region of Catalonia on Thursday voted to seek a referendum on breaking away from Spain. The Catalan Parliament in Barcelona voted 87 to 43 in favour of a referendum, with 3 abstentions, Reuters reported. A petition will be sent to the national parliament seeking the power to call a popular vote on the region’s future. Polls show roughly half of Catalans want independence. As many as 80 percent want the right to vote on the matter.
#AceFoodNews says Maine Gov. Paul LePage signed legislation today making Maine the second state to require labeling for genetically engineered (GE) foods. The GE food labelling will not take effect until five contiguous states enact similar legislation.
“American consumers want the right to know what is in the food they eat, plain and simple,” said Rebecca Spector, who spearheads state GE labelling legislative efforts at Centre for Food Safety. “The food movement has created the political will to label genetically engineered foods and states are beginning to respond.”
Polls show 90-95 percent of Americans want GE food labeling. In 2013, 50 bills were introduced requiring labeling in 26 states. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) recentlyintroduced federal legislation that would require nationwide labeling of GE products.
“The GMO [genetically modified organisms] labelling law will give Maine people the information they need to make informed decisions about the food they and their families eat,” said Maine Conservation Voters’ Executive Director Maureen Drouin. “Already 64 countries around the world label foods that contain GM ingredients, including all of Europe, Russia, China, Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia. The GMO labelling law will give important freedom of choice to food consumers in Maine and the north-east.”
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#AceWorldNews says the Obama administration has touted the White House website’s ‘We the People’ section as a powerful platform for the American public to petition their government. According to a new report, however, those solicitations are all too rarely acknowledged.
“When I ran for this office, I pledged to make government more open and accountable to its citizens,”United States President Barack Obama wrote on WhiteHouse.gov back in September 2011. He was unveiling at the time the website’s new ‘We the People’ feature, and said the addition of it would be “giving Americans a direct line to the White House on the issues and concerns that matter most to them.”
“Soon, anyone will be able to create or sign a petition at WhiteHouse.gov seeking action from the federal government on a range of issues,” senior advisor David Plouffe added at the time. “If a petition gathers enough signatures, the White House staff will review it, make sure it gets to Obama Administration policy experts and issue an official response.”
But 27 months later, an investigation conducted by federal technology site NextGov has revealed that many of the petitions that have met the criteria needed for a response have been long ignored by the administration — including at least one that’s been in limbo for over two years.
“There are currently 30 We the People petitions that have crossed the threshold for an official White House reply but not yet gotten one, including eight that have waited more than one year,” Joseph Marks wrote for NextGov on Thursday this week.
On average, Marks added, those petitions have waited around 10 months apiece so far for a response.
In the two-plus years since being launched, the White House has undoubtedly been aware of the popularity of the We the People section of its site. Originally the administration required that petitions receive only 5,000 signatures to warrant a response, and then raised that threshold to 25,000 autographs and eventually 100,000.
The White House has responded to 134 requests since Sept. 2011—or around five a month. But 30 petitions that surpassed the signature threshold still remain unanswered, including some that accumulated far more digital autographs than necessary.
- Report: Obama’s Lack of Executive Experience Responsible for Disastrous Obamacare Rollout(breitbart.com)
- White House: Healthcare.gov Meets Deadline for Repairs(mashable.com)
- Google-Backed Email Privacy Petition Gets 100K Signatures, But Will It Work?(techcrunch.com)
- White House pivots to new/old populist messaging(bokertov.typepad.com)
- David Plouffe: Obama’s Approval Ratings ‘Will Recover’(swampland.time.com)
- Indian-Americans petition Obama to drop case against Devyani – Times of India(timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
- White House actually responds to that petition for building a ‘Death Star’(venturebeat.com)
- White House petitions now require 100K signatures for formal response(venturebeat.com)
- Check out this video from the White House hackathon(venturebeat.com)
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Link To Petition: http://dccc.org/page/s/stop-the-shutdown?source=LR_em_PET_2013.10.02_1_tn_stop-the-shutdown