All posts for the day March 26th, 2013
NEW YORK — A lawsuit against the Transportation Security Administration over its airport security procedures is heading to a court hearing next week, following a Friday order in the case that could give the government extra headaches.
Two Harvard law students brought the suit in 2010, arguing that their Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches was being violated by “nude body scanners” and “enhanced pat-downs.” A federal district court threw out their case, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit will hear their appeal on April 4.
President Obama on Tuesday named veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson as the agency’s first female director, signaling his desire to change the culture at the male-dominated service, which has been marred by scandal.
Pierson, who most recently served as the agency’s chief of staff, will take over from Mark Sullivan, who announced his retirement last month. The agency faced intense criticism during Sullivan’s tenure for a prostitution scandal during preparations for Obama’s trip to Cartagena, Colombia, last year.
“Over her 30 years of experience with the Secret Service, Julia has consistently exemplified the spirit and dedication the men and women of the service demonstrate every day,” Obama said in a statement announcing Pierson’s appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also praised Obama’s “historic decision” to name Pierson as the service’s first female director.
Pierson, 53, has held high-ranking posts throughout the Secret Service, including deputy assistant director of the office of protective operations and assistant director of human resources and training. She has served as chief of staff since 2008.
First, Chicago is the country’s number one late-night delivery city, with 14 percent of the city’s total orders happening between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. New York and San Francisco are tied for second, and then Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., are tied for third, with 10 percent of their orders happening outside normal business hours.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has signed a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running through the end of September.
The measure leaves in place $85 billion in automatic budget cuts known as the sequester. But it takes steps to ease the impact of the cuts to food inspection and college assistance for active duty military personnel.
The House and Senate passed the spending bill last week. Without it, the government on Wednesday would have run out of money to keep operating.
The measure funds the day-to-day operating budgets of every Cabinet agency through Sept. 30, the end of the 2013 fiscal year. It also provides another $87 billion for overseas military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and maintains a pay freeze for federal workers.
5 Great Gardening Apps:Let’s just agree there’s an app for everything, and gardening is no exception. I tried out a number of apps for the iPhone (though some of these have Android versions) and picked a few that will help your garden grow.
1. Food Gardening Guide (free for iPhone, iPad, Android): Mother Earth News has produced this delightful and comprehensive guide on how to grow your own food. Chapters are titled “All About Growing (whatever),” and they deliver info on planting, harvesting and storage, saving seeds, pest and disease prevention, growing, and kitchen prep. For instance, did you know you can harvest carrots, store them over the winter, and replant in spring to generate seeds? Now you do.
2. Landscaper’s Companion ($5.99 iPhone, iPad; $4.99 Android): This is a planting reference for just about anything you can stick into soil — trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, bulbs, and on and on. For each species, the app provides its growing zone, watering and sun needs, height, width, and bloom time — plus a pretty picture. You can also scroll through images, pick a plant that sparks your interest, and then research it.
3. Garden ID (free for iPhone, iPad): A personal gardening guru that customizes information for your particular slice of heaven. Allow the app to use your current location, and it suggests fruits, vegetables, and herbs that can thrive in your edible garden anytime, and even varieties you can plant now. Select a veggie, and Garden ID gives you planting, growing, and harvesting tips. As a bonus, it also names plants that like to grow together, like corn that shades lettuce, giving it a longer growing season. You’ll also learn which plants don’t get along, like cauliflower and tomatoes.
4. Garden Tracker (99 cents for iPhone, $3.99 for iPad): A digital gardening journal that helps you keep track of what you planted where, when you watered and fertilized each plant, and days until harvest. It also gives info on sunrise, moon phases, and USDA Hardiness Zones. It’s a great planning tool for square or rectangular plots and beds, because it lays out plants in a grid.
5. Home Outside ($1.99 for iPhone, iPad): Home Outside lets you dream up out-of-the-box landscaping not limited to rectangular plots. You can arrange trees, gardens, patios, hammocks, even driveways. Don’t like the way it looks? Move, rotate, scale up and down until your landscape design looks just right.