August 29, 2013 in Nation/World

In brief: Public service loan breaks underused

From Wire Reports
 

Washington – More than 33 million workers qualify to have their student loans forgiven because they work in schools, hospitals or city halls, but too few take advantage of the options because the programs are overly complicated and often confusing, the government’s consumer advocate said Wednesday.

Roughly a quarter of the U.S. workforce could take advantage of federal rules that give favorable loan repayment options to those in public service fields, including the military, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The agency recommended Congress review the loan forgiveness programs and encouraged employers to make sure their workers know they are available.

Call for paternity tests dropped

San Diego – The sister of a man suspected of kidnapping a 16-year-old girl and killing the teen’s mother and younger brother said she no longer wants paternity tests to determine if the suspect fathered the children.

James Lee DiMaggio’s sister Lora Robinson said Tuesday she hasn’t asked for DNA and she doesn’t plan to.

Last week, a DiMaggio family spokesman said she wanted DNA of Hannah and Ethan Anderson to give her a sense of closure in her older brother’s death.

Robinson said the request was prompted by rumors that her brother fathered the children but that she doesn’t think a test is needed.

DiMaggio, 40, was killed by FBI agents in the Idaho wilderness Aug. 10 after allegedly killing Christina and Ethan Anderson. Hannah Anderson was rescued and returned safely to California.

The Anderson family said last week that DiMaggio didn’t meet Brett and Christina Anderson until Christina was six months pregnant with Hannah and that Brett Anderson’s DNA was used to identify the remains of 8-year-old Ethan.

California fracking bill weak, group says

Sacramento, Calif. – A coalition of more than 100 environmental and political activist groups is denouncing oil fracking legislation as too weak and calling on California Gov. Jerry Brown to order an immediate halt to the controversial drilling practice.

“The truth is that there is no proven way to protect California from fracking besides prohibiting this inherently dangerous practice,” said the letter delivered to the governor’s office Wednesday.

Fracking, formally known as hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling technique that employs a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals deep underground to loosen oil and natural-gas deposits locked in shale.

Wednesday’s letter is the latest attempt by opponents to convince the governor that fracking runs counter to Brown’s public commitment to renewable energy and combating global warming. The coalition also has submitted petitions with more than 150,000 signatures asking Brown for the moratorium.

Environmental groups are split on legislation before the California Legislature, with the letter writers seeking a ban on fracking and the larger groups pushing instead for better regulation.

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