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Government

Japan Imposes "Fine On Fat" 1271

An anonymous reader writes "A recently-introduced law in Japan requires all businesses to have mandatory obesity checks (video link) for all their employees and employees' family members over the age of 40, CNN reports. If the employee or family member is deemed obese, and does not lose the extra fat soon, their employer faces large fines. The legislated upper limit for the waistline is 33.5" for men, and 35.5" for women. Should America adopt universal health insurance, could we live to see the same kind of individual health regulations imposed on us by the government? By comparison, the average waistline in America in 2005 was 39 inches for men, 37 inches for women."
The Courts

Legal Trouble For Multiple ISPs 303

Ars Technica reports that Comcast has been hit with three new class-action lawsuits due to the company's traffic-shaping practices. "The lawsuits ... ask that Comcast be barred from continuing to violate various state laws, in addition to unspecified damages." Meanwhile, members of the US House Telecommunications Subcommittee have asked Charter Communications' president to stop testing a program which uses Deep Packet Inspection to track the habits of its customers. A number of privacy groups have voiced their support (PDF). As if that weren't enough, it seems the City of Los Angeles is suing Time Warner for fraud and deceptive business practices. The Daily News notes, "... the City Attorney is seeking $2,500 in civil penalties for each violation of the Unfair Competition law as well as an additional $2,500 civil penalty for each violation described in the complaint perpetrated against one or more senior citizens or disabled persons."
Democrats

Obama Announces for President, Boosts Broadband 846

Arlen writes "As many as 17,000 people (according to police estimates) watched Senator Barack Obama officially announce his candidacy for President in Springfield, Illinois today. He mentioned several things that will interest readers of Slashdot. The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil' and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol — a popular stance in the Midwest where he announced, because of all the corn farmers. He also talked about using science and technology to help those with chronic diseases, which is likely to have been an allusion to his staunch support for stem cell research. Perhaps most of interest to readers here is the following statement halfway through Obama's speech: 'Let's invest in scientific research, and let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America. We can do that.' Like nearly everything in his speech, this was met with robust applause from the crowd. You can watch a video of the entire speech at Obama's website."

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