At the White House, Obama welcomed the shift. “The gears of government have got to work,” he said, and he declared that Republicans had increasingly used existing rules “as a reckless and relentless tool to grind all business to a halt.”
But Republicans warned of a power grab by Democrats, some predicting that worse was yet to come. “This drastic move sets a dangerous precedent that could later be expanded to speed passage of expansive and controversial legislation,” said Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.
The day’s change involved presidential appointees, not legislation — and not Supreme Court nominees.
6,000 Ariz. child abuse reports were never investigated
PHOENIX (AP) — About 6,000 cases of suspected child abuse or neglect that were reported to a statewide Arizona hotline over the past four years were never investigated, officials disclosed Thursday, calling it reason for “grave alarm.”
A team at Arizona’s Child Protective Services agency improperly designated the cases “N.I.” — meaning “Not Investigated” — to help manage the heavy workload and focus on the most severe cases, said Clarence Carter, chief of the state’s child welfare system.
Under state law, all reports generated via the hotline must be investigated, Carter said.
All the cases will be reviewed, officials said. At least 125 cases already have been identified in which children were later alleged to have been abused, they said.
UK police: 3 freed after being held for at least 30 years
LONDON (AP) — Three women have been freed after spending 30 years held captive in a south London home, including one woman believed to have spent her entire life in domestic slavery, police said Thursday.
London’s Metropolitan Police announced the rescues after two people — a man and a woman, both 67 — were arrested early Thursday on suspicion of forced labor and domestic servitude.
The arrests were part of a slavery investigation launched after one of the women contacted a charity last month to say she was being held against her will along with two others.