December 18, 2013 |
As anyone who's watched even a few minutes of A&E's reality hit "Duck Dynasty" can tell you, Phil Robertson is a pretty conservative guy. But in an interview published in January's GQ Magazine , the duck call inventor and Roberston family patriarch goes on record with comments about the sinfulness of gays and black people under Jim Crow that are about as forward-thinking as his Old Testament facial hair. In the profile, an unedited Robertson...
December 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency plans to substantially reduce inspections and civil enforcement cases against industry over the next five years, arguing that focusing on the biggest polluters would be the most effective way to clean up air and water. In a draft strategic plan, the EPA proposes to cut federal inspections by one-third from the 20,000 inspections it conducted in the last fiscal year, ended Sept. 30. Moreover, it plans to initiate about 2,320 civil enforcement cases a year, compared with the 3,000 cases initiated last fiscal year, a 23% reduction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 2013 |
In Cudahy, parents collected more than 600 signatures demanding a new principal. In Culver City, they fought attempts to unionize classroom aides and formed a group that elected a school board majority. In Los Angeles, parents are organizing for more effective school disciplinary practices. And hundreds recently flocked to a Sacramento hearing to demand a voice in shaping rules for the state's new school funding plan. This may well be the new look of parent power. While the PTA and other school-based groups used to be the primary vehicle for parent involvement, a plethora of new organizing models has proliferated - many of them reaching out to immigrants to boost their activism in schools.
November 25, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Long-delayed peace talks designed to end the bloody conflict in Syria will begin Jan. 22 in Geneva, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Monday, amid growing international alarm about the rise of Islamic militant rebels inside the country. The so-called Geneva 2 negotiations - sponsored by the United States and Russia - would mark the first meeting between the Syrian government and opposition representatives aimed at ending the 32-month-old civil war. Despite Monday's announcement, some observers expressed skepticism that the talks would take place.
November 21, 2013 |
FAIRHOPE, Ala. - The state of Alabama can't rewrite a history shot through with hate and violence, but with the help of one determined woman it has added a postscript. On Thursday, Alabama's parole board pardoned the last of the long-dead Scottsboro Boys, nine black teenagers falsely accused of rape in 1931. Their case was monumental. It divided some residents here and united others, led to two landmark Supreme Court decisions, and precipitated the civil rights movement in the decades that followed.
November 19, 2013 |
The legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Abraham Lincoln issued on Jan. 1, 1863, and the Gettysburg Address wasn't lost on the participants in the new compilation “Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War,” created to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. “Day of Liberty,” sung by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, eagerly anticipated the day when freedom would be a reality for the nation's African Americans....
November 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The undercover FBI informant warned Pakistani immigrant Basit Javed Sheikh that it was not too late to back out. "You don't have to do it," he told Sheikh in a private Facebook message Oct. 17. But Sheikh, 29, a permanent U.S. resident living in central North Carolina, was adamant, according to a federal affidavit, telling the informant: "I'm serious" and "Akhi Wallahi!" - Arabic for "Brother, I swear to God!" Now Sheikh is under arrest on allegations of attempting to reach Syria to provide material support to Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in Iraq that the U.S. deems a terrorist organization.
November 2, 2013 |
This post has been updated. See note below for details. Many of the songs on "Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War" had been long relegated to the dustbins of history before executive producer Randall Poster decided to pair the 19th century tunes with contemporary artists such as Ashley Monroe and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. But beyond giving fresh treatments to nearly three dozen songs and commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the project also delivers an allegory for the political polarization of the U.S. today.
October 23, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Bank of America has been found liable for fraud in the sale of faulty loans by its Countrywide mortgage unit, a major victory for the federal government as it continues to pursue cases stemming from the financial crisis. A federal jury in Manhattan sided with prosecutors who alleged Countrywide Financial Corp. churned out risky home loans in a process called "the Hustle" and then sold them to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Calabasas company, once considered the crown jewel of American mortgage lending, made big profits unloading loans that were later rendered worthless during the housing crisis in 2008.
October 23, 2013 |
NEW YORK -- Bank of America has lost a major civil fraud case brought by the Justice Department, a major victory for the federal government as it continues to pursue cases stemming from the financial crisis. A federal jury in Manhattan found BofA liable for faulty loans its unit Countrywide Financial Corp. sold to mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The jury also found former Countrywide executive Rebecca Mairone liable, a spokeswoman for U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara said.