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National news briefs — compiled March 24


Company liable for abuse

A federal judge has found a California-based labor contractor liable for discrimination and abuse of hundreds of Thai workers at Hawaii farms. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Monday announced the ruling against Global Horizons, which placed the workers at six farms across the state. U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi’s ruling said Global Horizons officials inflicted various forms of abuse on Thai workers at a Maui farm, including slapping a worker in the head and throwing a worker against a wall. Other abuse cited in the ruling included workers being threatened with a gun and deportation. The suit against Global Horizons and six Hawaii farms also alleged farm workers were subjected to uninhabitable housing, insufficient food and inadequate wages.


State dumps Common Core

Indiana on Monday became the first state to formally withdraw from the Common Core education standards in a move that did little to appease critics of the national program, who contend the state is simply stripping the “Common Core” label while largely keeping the benchmarks. Indiana was among 45 states that in recent years adopted Common Core standards spelling out what students should be learning in math and reading at each grade level. Some conservatives have since criticized the initiative as a top-down takeover of local schools, and in signing legislation Monday to pull Indiana from the program, Republican Gov. Mike Pence trumpeted the move as a victory for state-level action.


Changes for halfway houses

Attorney General Eric Holder is announcing new requirements for halfway houses serving federal criminals preparing for release from custody. In a video message posted Monday on the Justice Department’s website, Holder said halfway houses will have to provide standardized treatment for inmates with mental health and substance problems. They’ll also be required to permit cellphone use among inmates, provide transportation so felons can pursue job opportunities and expand access to electronic monitoring equipment. The changes are intended to cut recidivism rates and help inmates transition back into society.

Compiled from wire reports.


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