Latest from Neetish Basnet
Capitalizing on capital’s draw, street vendors peddle to protests, tours
WASHINGTON - Whether it's icy bottles of water out of a cooler in the summer, or hats and T-shirts in the winter, when political movements come to Washington they are invariably trailed by an army of vendors who capitalize on the protesters' need for food, water and souvenirs.
Can’t hurt to ask: Arizona lawmakers raise earmark requests by $194 million
WASHINGTON - For a second straight year, Arizona Republicans refrained from requesting any funding for local projects in Congress, while Democrats boosted requests by $194.5 million, a 43% increase over last year, when earmarks were restored after a decade-long hiatus.
Arizona donors double down after Jan. 6 panel questions Trump election fund
WASHINGTON - Thousands of Arizonans gave a total of $1.5 million to former President Donald Trump's election defense fund, but the Jan. 6 committee said that money went to other Trump funds in what it called "a big rip off." But Arizona donors say they don't feel ripped off.
D.C. services stressed by migrants bused in from Arizona, Texas borders
Washington, D.C., officials are asking federal and regional governments to help area nonprofits stretched thin by busloads of migrants who are being sent to the city by the governors of Arizona and Texas.
Arizona GOP censures Bowers a month after his testimony to Jan. 6 panel
WASHINGTON - The Arizona Republican Party formally censured House Speaker Rusty Bowers Tuesday as "unfit to serve" the party, less than one month after he testified to the committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
House advances two abortion-rights bills, but prospects dim in Senate
WASHINGTON - Arizona lawmakers split on party lines Friday as the House passed a pair of bills guaranteeing a right to an abortion, exactly three weeks after the Supreme Court overturned that right.
Valley’s 12.3% inflation among highest in nation; U.S. at 40-year high
WASHINGTON - The Phoenix area posted one of the nation's highest inflation rates over the past year at 12.3%, compared to a national rate of 9.1% that was itself the sharpest rise in more than 40 years.
Court upholds Arizona prisons’ ban on explicit materials for inmates
WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court Friday upheld the Arizona prison system's ban on sexually explicit material for inmates, rejecting claims by a censored prison magazine publisher that the policy violates the First Amendment.
National park tourism, spending recovers from pandemic but still lags
WASHINGTON - National parks in Arizona welcomed 10.7 million visitors who pumped $1.12 billion into local economies in 2021, both sharp increases from the pandemic-induced lows of the year before, but still shy or pre-pandemic levels, according to a recent report.
‘Immense suffering’: After Roe, groups focus on how to help pregnant people
Activists and organizations on both sides of the abortion debate are figuring out how best to help pregnant people after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 ruling that had legalized abortion.
Arizona officials decry, delight in Supreme Court ending abortion rights
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Friday that there is no constitutional right to an abortion in the U.S., overturning nearly 50 years of precedence and returning the power to regulate abortions to states. In Arizona reaction was swift, and ranged from anger to elation.
Passing on gas: Biden’s gas-tax holiday gets cool reception in Arizona
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden's plan to ease prices at the pump by suspending state and federal gas taxes could be running on empty, after state and federal lawmakers who would have to approve the tax holiday greeted it skeptically - or with hostility.
With Supreme Court on cusp of abortion ruling, Arizona advocates prepare
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court is expected to hand down a ruling restricting or overturning abortion rights within a matter of days, but abortion providers and abortion-rights groups in Arizona say they have been getting ready for months.
New Juneteenth holiday gains acceptance – slowly – in Arizona, elsewhere
WASHINGTON - Juneteenth was a holiday for federal workers Monday, but not workers in many states, including Arizona. Some cities recognize the day but not all, and just 30% of businesses gave workers the day off. But advocates say it's still a step in the right direction.
Resources, reform needed to fight gun violence, Phoenix chief tells Senate
WASHINGTON - Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams urged senators Wednesday to devote more resources to law enforcement agencies to help fight the rising incidents of gun violence among youths.
Arizona’s senators part of group behind ‘commonsense’ gun-reform bill
WASHINGTON - Arizona's senators were part of bipartisan group that unveiled a compromise gun-reform proposal that is weaker than just-passed House legislation but might have the votes needed to get past a Senate filibuster.
Despite calls for reform, guns are still a growth industry in Arizona
WASHINGTON - At a time when headline-grabbing mass shootings are driving calls for gun reform, gun manufacturing appears to still be a growth industry in Arizona, which had the third-most in the nation. The number of manufacturers grew 218% over the last decade.
White House touts ‘robust’ Arizona economy; critics call that half the picture
WASHINGTON – Despite rising inflation and high gas prices, White House officials insisted this week that Arizona is sharing in the nation's "robust" economic recovery, with low unemployment, and expanding wages in the state.
Baby bump: Births in Arizona increase for the first time in seven years
WASHINGTON - The number of babies born in Arizona last year rose for the first time in seven years, to 77,735 births, stumping experts who had expected a baby bust to worsen through the pandemic. The state's numbers mirrored an increase in U.S. births.
Surging Arizona gun sales could surge anew in wake of mass shootings
WASHINGTON - Gun sales in Arizona have surged in recent years and experts say they could jump again, sparked by reports of multiple mass shootings around the U.S. that have claimed dozens of lives.
For many in Arizona, back to work does not mean back to the office
WASHINGTON - More than two years into the pandemic, a sizable number of Arizonans have yet to go back to the office. A new Census survey found just over 60% of Americans working on-site in May. In Arizona, just 58.1%. of employees were working on site.
Supreme Court rejects appeals of death-row inmates in two Arizona killings
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that inmates do not have a right to raise defenses in federal court that were rejected in state courts, denying the appeals of two Arizona death-row inmates in the process.
Feds approve 35,000 more work visas, as firms struggle to fill open jobs
WASHINGTON - Arizona businesses welcomed the federal government's release this week of another 35,000 H-2B visas for temporary guest workers, as a tight U.S. labor market has left companies scrambling to fill vacancies.