January 2, 2014 |
For food, fashion and fast trains, few labels are more sought after, and rightly so, than "Made in France. " But when it comes to the making and unmaking of empires, not so much. Take the case of the Central African Republic. Three weeks ago, as bloody mayhem engulfed the CAR, François Hollande did what French presidents do best: He sent in the paratroops. With the blessing, and precious little else, of his European neighbors, Hollande declared his intention to protect 100 or so French nationals in Bangui, the capital, and to disarm both the outlawed Seleka fighters, overwhelmingly Muslim, and the vigilante anti-balaka (or "machete")
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2013 |
Even in deep blue California, where Democrats dominate, organized labor is losing public popularity. That's a general statement, based on nonpartisan polling. Specifically, public employee unions are tarnishing all labor, according to the pollster. He pinpoints pension envy: public employees pulling down generous retirement benefits that private sector taxpayers began losing years ago. That's the long-term public gripe. And recently in the traditional labor stronghold of the San Francisco Bay Area, voters have especially soured on unions because of two very annoying public transit strikes.
December 4, 2013 |
A judge's ruling Tuesday that the city of Detroit's bankruptcy case may go forward - and that its pension obligations are not entitled to special protection but can be reduced, along with other debts - sends a chilly message to workers in California, where Stockton and San Bernardino are moving through the Chapter 9 bankruptcy process and other cities are struggling with their costs and revenues. The decision makes it clear, if it wasn't previously, that the promise of full retirement pay for municipal employees is directly dependent on the continuing solvency and sound financial planning and management of cities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2013 |
Dwarfed by the looming seal of a troubled city, a group of nearly a dozen candidates crowded on the City Council dais, shoulder to shoulder, taking turns explaining why they should be the next mayor of San Bernardino. There was the retired coach who said he could whip the city into shape like the boys on his wrestling team. The developer who wanted to make it easier to build. The real estate broker running on a platform of prayer, transparency in government and turning a languishing shopping mall into the world's largest skate park.
October 30, 2013 |
LONDON - A plan to regulate the British press as a result of the country's phone-hacking scandal was signed by Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday despite the objections of publishers who sought a court order to block such a measure. The royal charter approved by the queen and the nation's major political parties calls for the creation of a watchdog group designed to curb the type of abuses revealed by the scandal. The practices include listening to the voicemails of crime victims, celebrities, royal family members and others, such as employees or relatives of people in the news.
October 7, 2013 |
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Argentina in a long-running sovereign debt dispute, but the closely watched case is far from over. The high court's decision, handed down Monday, upholds a 2012 ruling by a lower court obliging the South American republic to pay all its bondholders at once - including those that have refused offers to renegotiate the value of their holdings and instead brought suit seeking repayment. Creditors who sued the nation, including two large hedge funds, hailed the decision as a victory.