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Independent House ethics office wins reprieve to continue inquiries after public outcry, Trump flak

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – The Office of Congressional Ethics won a reprieve Tuesday, after House Republicans reversed course and dropped plans to gut the independent panel following a public outcry and criticism from President-elect Donald Trump. At least six lawmakers remain under investigation following complaints initially reviewed by the OCE, including Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth highest-ranking House Republican. Other ongoing investigations target Republican Reps. Created in 2008, the ethics office is a nonpartisan entity that reviews allegations of misconduct against House members, officers and staff, and makes recommendations to the House Ethics Committee. In most cases, the OCE report and findings must be publicly released.


The Nature and Importance of Machine Ethics

AAAI Conferences

Normative notions have played a role in AI since its inception. The concept of intelligence is a normatively loaded notion. If every action counted as intelligent, AI would be very easy. But there are right ways and wrong ways to prove theorems, stack blocks, and make diagnoses. If there is a debate about machine ethics, then it is a debate about ethics or the capabilities of machines and not about the essential role of normativity within computing.


Applying Human Ethics to Robots

#artificialintelligence

Robots are increasingly becoming common in everyday life. From robots that assist in blowing out fires to robots that help the elderly, it seems that robots are here to stay and, more importantly, here to help humanity. But how do you ensure that robots only help humanity? What ethics should robots abide by? And what do you do about potential lethal robots, robots meant to be used in war?


Lawmakers Urged to Update Ethics Law to Combat Harassment

U.S. News

The Legislative Ethics Commission recommended Tuesday that the ethics law be revised to specifically prohibit workplace harassment by lawmakers against their staff. The legislative ethics law currently does not include such language.


GOP senator defends EPA chief, calls ethics allegations lies and blasts media

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – A senior Republican senator on Wednesday mounted a strong public defense of Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, calling ethics allegations against Pruitt "outrageous" and "lies." Sen. James Inhofe, from Pruitt's home state of Oklahoma, spoke after summoning Pruitt to a one-on-one meeting this week to discuss more than a dozen allegations that Pruitt has misused his office to obtain perks and material benefits for himself and his family, including costly, taxpayer-funded premium-class trips and round-the-clock security. "This is the type of outrageous lies you hear in Washington that people don't have a chance to respond to," Inhofe said at a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works confirmation hearing for two EPA nominees that quickly turned into a sparring session about Pruitt. Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware listed some of the ethics allegations against Pruitt and said the Senate isn't doing enough to examine them and hold him accountable. "We are abdicating a fundamental responsibility of this body if we continue to do so," he said.