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PNS Daily News - August 22, 2017 


We're featuring a variety of stories in today’s news including: a new strategy for Afghanistan; an increase in hate groups is not just an issue in the South; and high blood pressure becoming a more common problem among children and teens.

Daily Newscasts

Public News Service - MA: Consumer Issues

Bay Staters with disabilities are on the front lines this week in battles to preserve critical health coverage both in Massachusetts and Congress. (Boston Center for Independent Living)

BOSTON – Bay Staters with disabilities are fighting battles on two fronts this week, to protest possible budget cuts and protect critical health coverage, both in Massachusetts and in D.C. The Trump administration has proposed steep cuts to Medicaid and opened the door for states to cut so-c

Supporters of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau held a 6th Birthday party in Boston, but they warn lobbyists are hard at work in D.C. trying to kill the agency. (MASSPIRG)

BOSTON -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau turned six years old on Friday, and along with a birthday cake, New Englanders are getting a warning that could affect tens of thousands of Bay State consumers. Janet Domenitz, executive director of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group

Proposed SNAP food assistance cuts are likely to hit low-income seniors and people with disabilities hardest. (USDA)

BOSTON – President Donald Trump wants to take a $193 billion slice out of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over the next 10 years, and local advocates say seniors and Bay Staters with disabilities would be hardest hit by the proposal. Patricia Baker, a policy analyst at

Advocates say KFC's move makes sense given the global concern about the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. (MASSPIRG)

BOSTON -- Consumer and public health advocates are applauding the latest pledge by a fast food chain to phase out its use of chickens raised on antibiotics. Kentucky Fried Chicken has announced that by the end of 2018, all chicken purchased by the company will be raised without having received any o

Litter is only one reason some communities ban retailers' use of plastic bags. They can also damage equipment at recycling facilities. (Metro Waste Authority)

BOSTON — Last month, two more towns in Massachusetts passed measures to end the use of plastic bags, and backers say it's fueling support for a statewide ban. As more towns and cities pass local bag ordinances, Rep. Lori Ehrlich of Essex said it builds momentum for her statewide legislation.

Brian Rosman with Health Care For All estimates at least a half-million Bay State residents would see their health coverage end, or be greatly reduced, under the GOP's replacement plan. (Health Care For All)

BOSTON – It has a new name and President Donald Trump's endorsement, but one local watchdog group says the GOP's Affordable Care Act replacement could end or reduce health care for at least a half-million people in Massachusetts. The plan would end the mandate to purchase insurance, and instea

Caution is the byword for the toys Bay Staters put under their tree. A new report cautions against toys that could spy on young children on the Internet. (Mike Clifford)

BOSTON – A new report from a New England consumer watchdog group has some tips for holiday shoppers who want to avoid toys that collect internet data on kids and more. Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, said its 2016 report offers consumer safegua

MASSPIRG's Diedre Cummings, right, says local small businesses end up bearing the brunt of additional federal and state taxes due to tax-haven abuse by big multinational companies. (MASSPIRG)

BOSTON – When big companies avoid taxes by using offshore tax havens, small businesses are forced to pick up the slack for those lost revenues. A new national survey found that Massachusetts ranks fourth-highest in the nation for the impact of that additional burden on local businesses. The

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