Jan Lee

Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.

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Doctors: Microcephaly in Brazil Caused by Larvicide, Not Zika?

Brazil is facing an epidemic of the birth defect microcephaly. The government says it’s due to the Zika virus. So does the World Health Organization. But physicians in Brazil and Argentina are insisting that the answer is in the water — and due to Brazil’s controversial use of larvicide.

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Scalia’s Death and Senate Politics: What’s Next for Clean Power?

With the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, things just got complicated for the Supreme Court — and for Senate majority members, who see the likelihood of a progressive Obama nomination heading their way. But in an ironic twist of fate, President Barack Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan, which was dealt a legal blow last week, may actually gain some traction from an evenly-split Supreme Court — even if Senate Republicans don’t confirm Obama’s nomination.

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Cities Offer Work — Not Pennies — to Panhandlers

Two cities, pressured by rising homelessness and criticism about inhumane laws that “punish” the poor, are trying something new. Both are seeing some success, although advocates say that Albuquerque’s answer is a win-win for everybody.

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U.S. Supreme Court Halts Clean Power Plan Amid Questions of Partisanship

In a surprising decision that environmentalists are calling “unprecedented,” the Supreme Court imposed a stay on the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan this week. The decision doesn’t bode well for the EPA-run program, but the Obama administration says it isn’t giving up.

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Barclays, Credit Suisse Settle with Record Fines for Misleading Investors

Dark pools? If it seems as if the names of financial-trading systems are getting murkier these days, you’re not alone. But the SEC and the New York attorney’s office have taken up the task of clearing the water for investors. Last month, regulators convinced Barclays and Credit Suisse to join the long list of financial institutions now accused of misleading investors in dark pool systems. The settlement garnered another $150 million for fed and state coffers and an admission of guilt from Barclays. But will it be enough to head off any more financial trainwrecks?

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Oregon Militants Arrested, But Is It Really Over?

Eight militants, including leader Ammon Bundy, were arrested and another was killed outside of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. But will this be enough to put a stop to the standoff, let alone end longstanding tensions between ranchers and the government?

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Nevada Guts Payments for Rooftop Solar, Installers Call It Quits

In a strange decision that is forcing rooftop solar businesses in the sunny state of Nevada to close their doors, the state’s utility commission voted unanimously earlier this month to slash net-metering payments to homeowners that have invested heavily in rooftop solar. So far, the commission is sticking firm — but what about Nevada’s exemplary solar industry?

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Boosting Sustainability in the World’s Priciest Sailing Race

The Ben Ainslie Racing team and 11th Hour Racing have their eye on the America’s Cup — but for more reasons than winning the race. They see a golden opportunity to improve sustainability in one of the world’s most renowned (and expensive) races.

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Record Homelessness Spurs California, NYC and Hawaii to Act

Both Los Angeles and Hawaii recently declared states of emergency because of escalating homelessness in their states. The answers proposed in the two sunny climes, however, are as different as night and day — and both are destined to raise some eyebrows.

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Obama Halts Most Coal Mining on Public Lands

President Obama has kept true to his State of the Union address this week: He has placed a moratorium on coal mining on public lands while the Department of Interior reviews the use of federal lands for coal mining production. As the tag line often says: Some exceptions exist.

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New Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Nods to Presidential Pick

If you are going to pick a consumer product to symbolize the social message of your presidential campaign, you can’t go wrong with ice cream. And if Bernie Sanders should win the Democratic candidacy, Ben & Jerry’s will have the flavor picked out for the party.