In a move hailed by the internet community, the FCC voted yesterday to reclassify consumer broadband as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act. The maneuver will allow the FCC to enforce net neutrality. In a separate ruling, the FCC also overturned state laws prohibiting municipal broadband. Both decisions are seen as big wins for consumers.
The second open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act ended on Sunday, and the Obama administration has declared it a big success. According to administration officials, over 11 million people signed up for coverage this time around. The administration did not specify the number of new enrollments versus renewals from last year.
The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France have reached an agreement to end the fighting in war torn Ukraine. The nation has been engulfed in conflict for nearly a year as Russian backed separatists have fought the central government for control of the eastern portion of the country that borders Russia. Western powers believe Russia is supplying weapons and soldiers to the rebels cause.
The battle over same-sex marriage in Alabama is not over. Last night, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered all probate judges to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. A federal court had previously thrown out Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage, with Monday being the first day couples could apply for licenses.
The first jobs report of 2015 was issued by the Labor Department today, and the news was nearly all positive. The US added 257,000 jobs last month, and previous months were revised up. November’s job totals jumped to 441,000, the highest figure in 17 years. December’s numbers were revised up from 252,000 to 329,000.
The New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX in stunning fashion last night, ripping victory from the jaws of defeat. It was the fourth Super Bowl win for the Patriots, as well as the fourth for MVP Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. This fourth championship came ten years after the Pats won 3 Super Bowls in 4 years in the early 2000s.
Mardi Gras has officially arrived, and crowds have already begun flocking to downtown Mobile to celebrate. According to Mobile Police, nearly 80,000 people took to the streets for Saturday night’s parades. Revelers were treated to parades from the Pharaohs, Order of Hebe and Conde Explorers.
Mitt Romney has decided against a third run for the presidency. The former two time presidential candidate made the announcement in a conference call to donors. Romney had told donors earlier in the month that he was entertaining a third run.
Saraland voters took to the polls yesterday to vote on a property tax increase in order to fund improvements to the school system. The measure passed comfortably, with 62% voting in favor of the increase and 38% voting against. Property taxes will now increase by 7.5 mill, or about $75 for a $100,000 home.
A powerful nor’easter threatens to bring crippling snow to the northeastern US today and tomorrow. A blizzard warning has been issued for a 250 mile stretch of the northeast, with Boston and New York among the cities threatened. Upwards of 50 million people could be affected by the storm.