February 24, 2013 |
Over the next three months, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to end affirmative action, whether to overturn part of one of the most important civil rights laws in our country's history (the Voting Rights Act) and whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to the same marriage benefits as heterosexual couples. In almost every term, the justices exercise veto power over fundamental policy questions such as abortion, gun control and freedom of speech and religion.
January 25, 2013 |
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday afternoon that it will split costume designers out of the broader designers branch and into their own branch.The academy's Board of Governors also noted that two new governors will soon join Jeffrey Kurland, who will transfer to newly created branch. "History was made at the Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday night with the formation of a Costume Designers Branch," said Kurland in a release. "Costume designers have waited a long time for recognition with branch status.
January 24, 2013 |
In December, California's application for a waiver from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act was denied by the U.S. Department of Education. This, we were told, was because California had failed to embrace the federal department's reform agenda, especially on issues of evaluating teachers. The denial is disturbing for what it reveals: namely, that the American education system is being reshaped in a truly fundamental way, and with little debate. National policymakers now behave as if they believe their role in making education policy ought to be much the same as that of the states in setting goals and standards, creating accountability systems, defining teacher quality, determining strategies for producing high-quality teachers and improving low-performing schools.
January 22, 2013 |
On the eve of Inauguration Day, White House political strategist David Plouffe promised that President Obama's inaugural address would include a call for bipartisan cooperation. "He is going to say that our political system does not require us to resolve all of our differences or settle all of our disputes, but it is absolutely imperative that our leaders try and seek common ground," Plouffe said on ABC. But it was hard to find that outstretched hand in the inaugural speech Obama gave Monday.
January 20, 2013 |
ATHENS - Two security guards were injured in a bomb blast at a shopping center a few miles north of the Greek capital Sunday, stoking new fears of escalating violence and extremism in the economically stumbling nation. The attack on a state bank branch in a massive shopping mall came less than a week after masked men opened fire with an AK-47 and a revolver on the headquarters of the governing New Democracy party, targeting the office of its leader, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2012 |
Most afternoons, the 12 branches of the Long Beach Public Library are packed. Library officials say they've struggled - like other public libraries nationwide - to keep patrons' interest and stay relevant to residents in a digital world. But the library's literacy program has been especially popular since its implementation two years ago. The program dedicates computers, work space and assistance specifically to families looking to hunt for jobs, take English as a Second Language courses or work on homework.
November 30, 2012 |
Your recycling bin is filled twice as high as your garbage bin. You buy carbon offsets to make up for the climate havoc caused by your jet-setting ways. You would no more be caught buying non-organic produce than taking it home in a plastic bag from the checkout counter. You are, in short, a magnificent green god(dess). But where are you going to find an environmentally friendly Christmas tree? Like the paper vs. plastic conundrum, the question of what kind of Christmas tree is greener -- real or artificial?
November 20, 2012 |
War-weary Colombians got some good news Monday when that country's largest rebel group, known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, announced a two-month unilateral cease fire on its website. (Yes, the group has a website.) The FARC's decision comes as peace talks between the Marxist rebel group and Colombia's government got underway in Cuba this week. But not everyone is optimistic about the negotiations. Some analysts suggest the rebels' decision to enter into negotiations is really intended to buy the FARC time to regroup, just as it did a decade ago when then-President Andres Pastrana ceded a swath of territory during negotiations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 2012 |
John Greenwood, a political moderate who headed the Los Angeles Board of Education in the mid-1980s and later served as president of the Southern California branch of the nonprofit Coro organization, has died. He was 67. Greenwood died of a heart attack Oct. 11 in San Pedro, where he and his family had lived for many years, said his sister-in-law Peg Greenwood. First elected to the school board in 1979, Greenwood saw his eight-year tenure begin at a time of deep contention among trustees and in the sprawling district over court-ordered mandatory school busing for integration, which had been launched the previous year.
October 9, 2012 |
Compared with its brilliantly colored botanical cousins lychee and rambutan, longan is pedestrian at first glance. The plum-sized longan fruit is featureless and mousy brown when ripe. However, once you crack the smooth, bark-like shell, you'll find a sweet-sour juicy pulp surrounding the seed. The translucent jelly tastes a bit like mango and looks similar to lychee but has its own unique bouquet. Peeled, the fruit looks like an eyeball -- which is how it got its name. Longan is Mandarin for “dragon's eye.” Longan ( Dimocarpus longan )