March 12, 2013
Does raising the tax on firearms and ammunition make sense as a way of reducing gun violence in the United States? A lot of Democratic lawmakers seem to think so, based on the amount of legislation at both the federal and state levels to do just that. We're not sure they're right, which is why we have problems with nearly all the taxation bills on the table. But they do make some important points in principle. So-called sin taxes have their downsides, but they can have benefits. Cigarette taxes, for example, have dramatically decreased smoking, reducing healthcare costs, and aided innocent victims of second-hand tobacco smoke.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2013 |
Carpenter Community Charter is among the best elementary schools in Los Angeles. Its students surpass standardized testing goals, its art and music programs are thriving and it enjoys robust support from parents and the community. The campus also, officials say, is harboring scores of cheaters: families who have provided false addresses so their children can attend the esteemed Studio City school south of Ventura Boulevard. Faced with the possibility of over-enrollment this fall - and armed with new verification powers - Carpenter is taking action.
March 8, 2013 |
SEATTLE - Problems with combat stress in soldiers have escalated so rapidly that the Army has doubled its behavioral health workforce over the last five years and still needs to hire more help, according to a nationwide review of the military's troubled system for handling the mental wounds of war. The review, released Friday, said about 4% of those returning from combat come home with behavioral health problems. In seeking help, they face a confusing array of programs, inconsistencies in training for mental health workers and gaps in mental health records because of uncoordinated record-keeping systems.
March 6, 2013 |
Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger faced tough questioning about alleged liberal bias at Disney-owned ABC News and ESPN during the entertainment company's annual meeting in Phoenix on Wednesday. Justin Danhof, a representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a free-market think-tank, told Iger that he believed this bias - which he said was apparent in ABC News reporter Brian Ross' coverage of the July 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colo. - could decrease Disney's advertising revenue because so many Americans are conservatives.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2013 |
Nearly two-thirds of American voters believe that human population growth is driving other animal species to extinction and that if the situation gets worse, society has a "moral responsibility to address the problem," according to new national public opinion poll. A slightly lower percentage of those polled - 59% - believes that population growth is an important environmental issue and 54% believe that stabilizing the population will help protect the environment. The survey was conducted on behalf of the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, which unlike other environmental groups has targeted population growth as part of its campaign to save wildlife species from extinction.
February 27, 2013
After years of resisting all criticisms of its operations, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is finally listening - a little. It spent $700,000 for an outside, high-level review that complimented the stem cell agency for funding an excellent portfolio of research projects, but also raised serious objections to the agency's structure, which the review said was likely to lead to financial conflicts of interest. The criticisms were nothing new - many of the same points have been made since the agency was created by Proposition 71 in 2004 - but the positive response by the chairman of the agency's board was. The governing board is now making changes to address some of the long-standing issues.
February 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - When it comes to the nation's debt, payback time might be here. Years of low tax rates and rising federal spending, amplified by the devastating economic effect of the Great Recession, have driven the U.S. borrowing tab to more than $16 trillion from less than $1 trillion in 1981. Deficit reduction has become the dominant issue in Washington. The first major tax increase since 1993 took place last month. And large automatic spending cuts - $1.2 trillion over the next decade - are set to kick in Friday.
February 22, 2013 |
Vinny Del Negro sat at his desk in his office late Thursday, long after most of his players had left a mostly quiet locker room. A few feet away, many of the Clippers' assistant coaches were still huddled in their office, their conversations quiet but succinct. Del Negro and his staff had just witnessed the team's worst loss of the season, a 116-90 thrashing by the San Antonio Spurs that left the coaches disappointed. "I didn't see the fight," Del Negro said. "I didn't see the passion.
February 21, 2013 |
U.S. health officials announced plans for scientists to move forward with controversial research on the deadly H5N1 bird flu and said that any discoveries about how the virus might gain the ability to spread easily among humans should be shared with other scientists and the public. The new policy, released Thursday by the National Institutes of Health, requires that studies aimed at making the virus more dangerous would now be subject to a heightened level of review. Effective immediately, researchers will have to explicitly delineate the potential science and health benefits - as well as safety risks - involved in their work before they can get government funding, said Dr. Amy Patterson, NIH associate director for science policy.
February 20, 2013 |
The audio clip came clearly through the Staples Center sound system, the voice of Jerry Buss comforting Lakers fans one final time. "The real purpose of what I do is to try to have this city totally involved…" Buss was saying in a radio interview. "I wanted that when you think L.A., [it was], 'Oh, wait, that's where the Lakers play. Lakers, Lakers.' That's what I wanted. " What more could Lakers fans do? They offered a long ovation after a moment of silence and started a "Jer-ry, Jer-ry" chant.