Week in Review

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Controversy over insurance coverage for contraception, changes to military family leave policies, highway fund woes and more.

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  • The U.S. Senate passed a sweeping ethics bill that would outlaw insider trading by members of Congress and the executive branch, as well impose disclosure requirements on political “intelligence” agents working for private-sector investors.
  • Controversy continued as Catholic leaders criticized the Obama Administration over its rule requiring most employers to provide insurance coverage for women’s contraceptive services.
  • Due to antitrust concerns, the European Union blocked the Deutsche Boerse’s planned merger with NYSE Euronext, a $9.5 billion deal that would have created the world’s largest financial exchange operator.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found itself under congressional investigation after six current and former FDA scientists sued the agency, alleging it unlawfully monitored personal email accounts on their work computers after the scientists notified Congress about allegedly unsafe medical devices gaining approval.
  • In response to concerns expressed by a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives about its upcoming privacy policy consolidation, Google defended its new policy as “simpler and more understandable.” See related The Regulatory Review essay.
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration garnered attention for its recent release of an early report showing a dramatic decrease in its estimates of the amount of natural gas that the U.S. could retrieve through fracking. See related The Regulatory Review essay.
  • The authors of a scientific journal article argued that rising rates of obesity and other diseases related to high sugar consumption necessitate a tax on all processed foods that include added sugars.