Nation
Jayalalithaa returns to assembly with massive victory
AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa returned to the Tamil Nadu assembly on Tuesday by a record victory margin from the Radkhakrishnan Nagar constituency here.
 
Jayalalithaa polled 160,432 votes while her nearest rival, Communist Party of India's (CPI) C. Mahendran, got just 9,710 votes -- a victory margin of 150,722 votes.
 
The total electorate in the constituency was around 245,000, and the chief minister bagged more than 50 percent of that.
 
As noisy celebrations erupted at the AIADMK headquarters and outside Jayalalithaa's residence, Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah congratulated her over her landslide win, an official statement said.
 
AIADMK activists and leaders generously distributed sweets to all and sundry and burst crackers to celebrate the thumping victory -- a record of sorts for Jayalalithaa.
 
An elated Jayalalithaa thanked voters and AIADMK supporters for her massive victory and said the result was a forerunner for the 2016 assembly elections.
 
This is the seventh by-poll victory for AIADMK since it came to power in 2011. The party has won all the by-polls held since 2011.
 
As counting of votes began at 8 a.m. here on Tuesday, Jayalalithaa began to build a massive lead over her rivals.
 
In 2006, AIADMK's P.K. Sekarbabu polled 84,462 votes in Radhakrishnan Nagar. In 2011, P. Vetrivel of AIADMK got 83,777 votes and defeated Sekarbabu, who by then was in the DMK. Vetrivel's victory margin was over 31,000 votes.
 
This time the polling percentage was higher at around 74 percent, up form 72.72 percent in 2011.
 
While there were 28 candidates in the fray, only CPI's Mahendran was viewed as a serious opponent for Jayalalithaa.
 
Major opposition parties like the DMK, the PMK, the DMDK, the Congress, the BJP and the MDMK stayed away from the contest.
 
The two Left parties - CPI and CPI-M - fielded Mahendran as their joint candidate.
 
However, going by the votes polled by Jayalalithaa, it is clear the vote banks of the opposition parties fell into Jayalalithaa's kitty and did not go to the CPI candidate.
 
The Radhakrishnan Nagar seat fell vacant after AIADMK's Vetrivel resigned from the house to facilitate Jayalalithaa's re-election to the assembly.
 
Jayalalithaa, elected from Srirangam in 2011, lost that seat and the chief minister's post after a trial court in Bengaluru convicted her in the disproportionate assets case.
 
The Karnataka High Court upheld her appeal and acquitted her of all charges. Jayalalithaa was again sworn in as chief minister, but she has to get elected to the assembly within six months.
 
The Karnataka government has gone on appeal against the high court order in the Supreme Court.

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Walmart Website Riddled with Deceptive Made in USA Claims
TINA.org investigation finds more than 100 USA labeling errors
 
Walmart is going all out for America, pledging to buy an additional $250 billion in American products. To that end, the world’s largest retailer will host a manufacturing summit next week where it will look for U.S.-made products to sell. The event starts three days after the Fourth of July and promises to be a star-spangled affair.
 
But one item that probably won’t make the agenda: The made in the USA labeling mess on Walmart.com that the company has pledged to address after TINA.org brought the issue to corporate officials.
 
TINA.org’s investigation into the retail giant’s website readily uncovered more than 100 instances of false and deceptive made in the USA representations. The investigation revealed products labeled “Made in the USA” though packaging indicated they were “Made in China.” TINA.org also found USA product labels on Walmart.com that were in direct conflict with the site’s own specification information on the same webpage.
 
In a letter sent June 22, TINA.org called on Walmart to remove from its site all false and deceptive made in the USA representations. The company cited multiple reasons for the mislabeling issues including “coding errors,” outdated information from suppliers, and a convoluted process by which USA labels and product specifications are handled separately on the site. Walmart said TINA.org’s letter has since prompted the decision to streamline that process.
But while Walmart pledged that it would fix the problems, and has made limited progress in removing some of the false labels, the website is still riddled with USA labeling issues.
 
“False made in USA labeling on Walmart’s website has misled consumers looking to purchase American-made products,’’ said TINA.org Executive Director Bonnie Patten. “The largest retailer in the world should have made sure its American-made claims were accurate before affixing made in USA labels on the products. Until Walmart cleans up this mess, consumers cannot rely on Walmart with regard to where a product is really made when shopping on the site.”
 
Sold on America
https://www.truthinadvertising.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Made-the-Cut-Campaign-Img-5.png It’s no secret that patriotism sells. Not only do Americans prefer products made in the USA to those made abroad, but a recent survey found that they are willing to pay up to 60 percent more for American-made products.
 
Walmart’s stated commitment to “American renewal” comes at a time when the company is trying to boost online sales, which lag mightily behind the more than $1 billion in sales that its brick-and-mortar business brings in every day. It has vowed to invest as much as an additional $500 million in e-commerce. And while Walmart has promised to be selective about what American-made products it chooses to bring home from the upcoming summit — posting on Twitter last week: “This product (My First Hot Sauce) didn’t make the cut. Find out what will on July 7th” — TINA.org found numerous products on Walmart.com that shouldn’t have “made the cut.”
 
The Made in America Mess
The issues can be divided into three categories…
 
 
 

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How States in the US Are Fighting to Keep Towns From Offering Their Own Broadband
North Carolina and Tennessee are the latest states to side with telecoms, which have long lobbied against allowing cities to become Internet providers
 
Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission voted to ease the way for cities to become Internet service providers. So-called municipal broadband is already a reality in a few towns, often providing Internet access and faster service to rural communities that cable companies don’t serve.
 
The cable and telecommunications industry have long lobbied against city-run broadband, arguing that taxpayer money should not fund potential competitors to private companies.
 
The telecom companies have what may seem like an unlikely ally: states. Roughly 20 states have restrictions against municipal broadband. 
 
And the attorneys general in North Carolina and Tennessee have recently filed lawsuits in an attempt to overrule the FCC and block towns in these states from expanding publicly funded Internet service. 
 
North Carolina’s attorney general argued in a suit filed last month that the “FCC unlawfully inserted itself between the State and the State’s political subdivisions.” Tennessee’s attorney general filed a similar suit in March. 
 
Tennessee has hired one of the country’s largest telecom lobbying and law firms, Wiley Rein, to represent the state in its suit. The firm, founded by a former FCC chairman, has represented AT&T, Verizon and Qwest, among others. 
 
James Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, said it is not unusual for attorneys general to seek outside counsel for specialized cases that they view as a priority. 
 
Asked about the suit, the Tennessee attorney general’s office told ProPublica, “This is a question of the state’s sovereign ability to define the role of its local governmental units.” North Carolina Attorney General’s office said in a statement that the “legal defense of state laws by the Attorney General’s office is a statutory requirement.” 
 
As the New York Times detailed last year, state attorneys general have become a major target of corporate lobbyists and contributors including AT&T, Comcast and T-Mobile.
 
North Carolina is no exception. The state’s Attorney General Roy Cooper received roughly $35,000 from the telecommunications industry in his 2012 run for office. Only the state’s retail industry gave more.
 
The donations are just a small part of contributions the industry has made in the states. In North Carolina’s 2014 elections, the telecommunications industry gave a combined $870,000 to candidates in both parties, which made it one of the top industries to contribute that year. Candidates in Tennessee received nearly $921,000 from AT&T and other industry players in 2014
 
The FCC’s decision came after two towns – City of Wilson in North Carolina and Chattanooga in Tennessee – appealed to the agency to be able to expand their networks. 
 
The vote has rattled some companies. In a government filing earlier this year, Comcast cited the FCC’s decision as a risk to the company’s business: “Any changes to the regulatory framework applicable to any of our services or businesses could have a negative impact on our businesses and results of operations.”
 
If the court upholds the FCC’s authority to preempt restrictions in North Carolina and Tennessee, it may embolden other cities to file petitions with the agency, according to lawyer Jim Baller, who represents Wilson and the Chattanooga Electric Power Board. “A victory by the FCC would be a very welcome result for many communities across America,” said Baller. 
 
For some residents in and outside of Chattanooga, clearing the way to city-run broadband…
 
 
Courtesy: ProPublica

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