March 17, 2014 |
PARIS -- With the City of Light buried under a thick blanket of smog for a week now, authorities in the French capital took drastic steps Monday to cut the number of cars on the road and to encourage commuters to find more environmentally friendly ways of getting to work. Only cars with license plates ending in an odd number were allowed on to Paris streets during the day. Drivers with plates ending in an even number were ordered to leave their vehicles at home and use public transport, which officials have made free of charge since Friday to try to reduce pollution -- at a cost of $5.6 million a day. [Updated 1:40 p.m. PDT, March 17: Late Monday, authorities announced that the driving curbs would be lifted as of midnight because the level of pollution had dropped.
March 16, 2014 |
Months after an airport screener was killed in a shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport, a new report concludes that adding more security measures at the nation's airports may not be worth the cost. The study goes on to suggest that it might even make sense to relax some of the existing security tactics. "It may be time to reduce security," said John Mueller, a professor of political science at Ohio State University who wrote the report with Mark G. Stewart, a civil engineering professor at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
March 13, 2014 |
Remember "the Princeton Mom," who made a pariah of herself last year when she exhorted marriage-minded college women not to graduate without securing future husbands along with their diplomas? She's back in the media gestalt. She's back in the way that people often come back after they make such splashes, with a book that didn't need to be written, though you can't really blame them for writing it (when you're an Internet scourge, you might as well take a publisher's money and run). Susan Patton is her name, and the book, "Marry Smart," is essentially a 200-plus page version of a letter, printed in the Princeton student newspaper, that started it all . In it, Patton inveighed against female students who were too busy thinking about their studies and their careers to look for future husbands among their classmates: "You will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you," she wrote.
March 12, 2014 |
TUCSON - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Wednesday she would not seek a third term, forgoing a campaign that would have required her to challenge the state's term limits measure. The Republican had left open the option of running this year, despite the overwhelming weight of legal opinion against it. She became governor in 2009 when Democrat Janet Napolitano left office to join President Obama's Cabinet, and Brewer won reelection the following year. The state limits governors to two terms, and most legal experts said her first partial term counted toward the limit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - Warning that truancy has reached a crisis level in California elementary schools, state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and half a dozen lawmakers proposed a raft of bills Monday aimed at keeping kids in school. Harris said 30% of elementary school students were truant in the 2012-13 school year. "California's Constitution guarantees our children the right to an education, yet our elementary schools face a truancy crisis," Harris said. "When children in kindergarten through sixth grade miss school, they fall behind and too many never catch up. " A child is considered truant after missing school or being tardy by more than 30 minutes without a valid excuse on three occasions during a school year.
March 9, 2014 |
Laszlo Bock, the head of human resources at Google, made quite a splash with his announcement last year that the technology firm has changed the way it hires people. Gone are the brainteaser-style interview questions that so many candidates abhorred. But also gone, it would seem, is any concern with discovering how smart applicants really are. "GPAs are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless.... We found that they don't predict anything," Bock told the New York Times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Anxious about last summer's ruling on Proposition 8, sponsors of California ballot measures are going to considerable lengths to ensure they will be able to defend them if the state doesn't. Nearly 1 in 4 proposed initiatives include language intended to skirt the ruling and avoid having a measure overturned because of antipathy by state officials, a review of the measures showed. The proposal topics are as varied as public pensions and Internet privacy, each armed with clauses aimed at turning sponsors into semi-public officials able to defend the measures if the state refuses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2014 |
The L.A. City Council is expected vote Tuesday on a proposal to treat e-cigarettes like conventional cigarettes and prohibit them in nearly every workplace and many outdoor spaces. Lobbyists for the e-cigarette industry have been pushing back, and want to secure exemptions for establishments where "vaping" -- taking a drag of flavored nicotine vapor from an e-cigarette -- is increasingly popular. Backers of the battery-powered e-cigarettes portray them as a godsend for those looking to quit conventional smoking.
February 27, 2014 |
In its swiftness and brute force, Republican opposition to the Arizona measure that would have bolstered the right to deny services to gays sent one message to GOP Gov. Jan Brewer: Veto it. And it sent another to everyone else in the Republican Party: Keep your eyes on the ball. On the cusp of what the GOP hopes will be a November takeover of both houses of Congress, and the start of a 2016 presidential contest that it hopes will end with the White House in its embrace, party leaders appear to have shifted strategy: Instead of ignoring deviations from Republicans' strong suit, they will try to quash them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO -- A measure to block California's transgender students rights law failed to qualify for the November ballot Monday, according to the secretary of state's office. The referendum would have repealed a law passed last year that requires school districts to let transgender students participate in school programs and use school facilities, such as bathrooms and locker rooms, based on their gender identity instead of their biological sex. The measure was backed by a coalition called Privacy for All Students.