News in Brief: House Still Waiting for Senate Action on 400-Plus Bills, and More

House Still Waiting for Senate Action on 400-Plus Bills

While the House of Representatives has passed numerous bills this year, the Senate has not touched a majority of them, The Hill reports. The House has passed 420 bills this session, including smaller bills and resolutions like renaming post offices after major American figures, but much of that legislation has stalled in the Senate. House incumbents engaged in heated re-election battles have pointed to the upper chamber’s slow pace, where bills can be held up by various tactical procedures like the filibuster.

Anti-War Activists Whose Homes Were Raided by FBI Refuse to Tesify

FBI agents raided the homes of 14 anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis on September 24 in an attempt to find “material support of terrorism,” an FBI spokesperson told the AP. The activists are refusing to testify before a grand jury, leading to possible jail time, the AP reports. Melissa Power, an attorney for a couple in Chicago whose home was raided, stated, “They feel grand juries are now, and have historically been, a tool of harassment against activists.”

Failed Times Square Bomber Sentenced to Life in Prison

Democracy Now! reports that Faisal Shahzad was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday following a failed attempt to set off a car bomb in Times Square. Shahzad, who lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children, said he received explosives training from the Pakistani Taliban. He pleaded guilty in June.

Toxic Sludge in Hungary May Spur Ecological Disaster; Company Denies Fault

A red toxic sludge is ravaging Hungary, forcing the country to declare a state of emergency, The Dallas Morning News reports. A reservoir at an aluminum plant 100 miles southwest of Budapest failed Monday. The ecological catastrophe will reach the Danube and other major rivers in the country, said the country’s environmental affairs secretary. While he ordered the aluminum facility to close until the disaster is controlled, the company released a statement saying that “the red sludge was not considered toxic waste under European Union standards,” and denied that more precautions should have been taken with the reservoir.