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PG&E Could Face Steep Fines For Banned Exchanges With Regulators

[One case concerned a CPUC] decision to award millions to PG&E as a reward for satisfying energy-efficiency goals, even though consumer advocates argued that the company hadn’t successfully hit the targets. … PG&E started to face major public scrutiny for its cozy ties to utility regulators after a trove of emails were released in court proceedings initiated by the city of San Bruno in the wake of the deadly 2010 pipeline explosion. … “We’ve said again and again that the rules are much too lax,” [said Mindy Spatt, a spokeswoman for The Utility Reform Network (TURN)]. “We and our allies will be pushing for the maximum penalty.”


Is Your Thanksgiving Turkey On Drugs?

Only two of the large turkey companies — Tyson (Hillshire Farm), and Hain Pure Protein (Plainville Farms brand) — avoid the use of all antibiotics and ractopamine. All of the others at least use antibiotics for disease prevention, though biggies like Cargill and Foster Farms claim to not use the drugs for growth-promotion. … Foster Farms — the poultry giant behind a massive outbreak of salmonella in 2013 — announced this past summer that it will eventually eliminate all medically important antibiotics from its birds, but was criticized for not providing a more specific timeline to reach that goal.

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Paris Attacks Spark Another Fight Against Encryption

[Encryption “back-doors” for law enforcement] won’t necessarily weaken terrorist organizations’ ability to communicate with each other over the Internet. … But what it could do is make it easier for criminals and terrorists to access our financial, medical and other personal records, said Pam Dixon, the executive director of the World Privacy Forum in San Diego. They might find a way through the back-door as well. “Strong crypto means good security for all of us,” she said. “It means that banks and hospitals can secure financial and other transactions in our digital world.”

Blue Shield

Nonprofit Blue Shield Accused Of Backing Out Of $140-Million Charity Pledge

Blue Shield’s corporate conduct has come under intense scrutiny for the past year after officials revoked its longtime state tax exemption. Auditors at the California Franchise Tax Board criticized the insurer for stockpiling “extraordinarily high surpluses” of $4 billion and for failing to offer more affordable coverage as a nonprofit. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is also investigating Blue Shield’s disclosures on executive compensation.


85,000 Additional Corinthian Students To Get Fast-Track Debt Relief

There was enough evidence to conclude that Everest’s California and online campuses, along with California WyoTech schools, had deceived students by overstating job placement numbers. … [The California Attorney General’s Office] alleged in a lawsuit filed in 2013 that Corinthian had overstated job placement rates by counting graduates who were employed at temporary staffing agencies or one-day health fairs. In some cases, according to the complaint, Corinthian had paid staffing agencies to hire students in order to satisfy accrediting entities.