The U.S. Postal Service lost some $16 billion last year and continues to bleed red ink. Congress has been unable to agree on a rescue plan.
The latest proposal would allow the post office to end Saturday delivery in a year and enable it to ship wine and beer.
The Postal Service's woes are familiar: People don't really send letters anymore, so first-class mail is down, and Congress makes the post office prepay future retiree benefits to the tune of $5.5 billion a year.
The head of the U.S. Postal Service has acknowledged that every piece of domestic mail is photographed for processing and that the information is sometimes made available to law enforcement, according to The Associated Press.
In an interview with the news agency, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says that exterior images of individual pieces of mail are snapped at some 200 processing facilities around the country primarily for sorting purposes, but that the images have been used "a couple of times" by law enforcement to trace letters in criminal cases.
The age-old standoff between mail carrier and Canis familiaris could be coming to an end if the latest plan to save the Postal Service goes ahead.
The proposal, approved by a House committee on Wednesday, would end door-to-door delivery by 2022. Instead, postal carriers would limit their deliveries to curbside — meaning boxes at the end of driveways — or to cluster boxes, a staple of many apartment complexes.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Zone Improvement Plan, the network of ZIP codes we use for everything from mail delivery to credit card security.
The U.S. Postal Service began using the five-digit codes on July 1, 1963, hoping they would improve the efficiency and speed of mail sorting. Since then, the codes have assumed a role in the identities of many Americans, helping to define where they live or work.
Credit George Burns/Oprah Winfrey Network / Getty Images
Between 1998 and 2004, Lance Armstrong's cycling team paid him nearly $18 million. Most of the team's money came from sponsorship fees paid by the U.S. Postal Service.
Because Armstrong used a bunch of banned, performance-enhancing drugs during that time, the USPS didn't get its money's worth out of the sponsorship — and Armstrong was "unduly enriched at the expense of the United States," according to a complaint the Department of Justice filed this week in federal court.