Week in Review

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President Obama discusses climate change at COP21, the U.S. Senate votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and more…

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  • President Barack Obama spoke about climate change at COP21—an ongoing international conference intended to foster dialogue and an international agreement on climate change—stating “that the United States of America not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it.”
  • In light of the June passage of the USA Freedom Act, which banned the bulk collection of Americans’ phone call data, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) announced that it had ended its telephone surveillance program under which it collected metadata—information that includes the length and date, but not the substance, of a call.


  •  A University of Pennsylvania study found that almost half of Medicaid patients diagnosed with Hepatitis C were denied newly approved antiviral drugs because these treatments were deemed to be not medically necessary. Researcher Vincent Lo Re attributed these refusals to the cost of these drugs.
  • In a working paper on the national regulation of space, McGill University Professor Paul Dempsey examined national licensing, liability, and the registration of space activities. Professor Dempsey also discussed alternative means to regulating the upcoming commercial space industry.
  • A recent report issued by the PEN American Center, an international literary and human rights organization, examined whistleblower protections for U.S. intelligence community workers. The organization argued that a “chaotic patchwork of protections” leaves many intelligence community employees and contractors “extremely vulnerable to retaliation and criminal prosecution.”