April 7, 2014 |
The NCAA must be feeling a bit like Dr. Frankenstein these days: assailed by college football and men's basketball players who reject the NCAA's precious, but mostly mythic, notion that they are student-athletes. At Northwestern University, a group of football players scored a first-round victory before the National Labor Relations Board in a campaign to be recognized as "employees" eligible to unionize. For some college football fans, this evokes disturbing images of burly 18- to 22-year-old player-proletarians marching on picket lines instead of lined up on offensive or defensive lines, much less seated in classrooms.
April 6, 2014 |
PRETORIA, South Africa - Johan Gerber is a shy, neat man with iron-gray hair, a ready smile and a quiet voice. But on the streets, he has taken to carrying an open pocket knife with a mean 4-inch blade, concealed in an envelope and ready to use. Last month, three men accosted him in broad daylight, one of whom hit him in the stomach and grabbed his cellphone. A few years back, eight men surrounded him, held a knife to his throat and stole his wallet. His car and two trailers also have been stolen.
April 4, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy shook off the winter doldrums and added a healthy batch of new jobs last month, a reassuring sign that the labor market recovery remains on track. The gain of 192,000 jobs in March, reported Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicated that the hiring slowdown earlier in the winter was temporary and stemmed from the unusually cold weather across much of the country. All the jobs added last month came in the private sector, lifting total non-government payrolls to a new peak.
April 2, 2014 |
TUNICA, Miss. - Marie Barnard was delighted when, after decades of silence on the topic, Mississippi passed a law requiring school districts to teach sex education. But the lesson involving the Peppermint Pattie wasn't what she had in mind for her sons. The curricula adopted by the school district in Oxford called on students to unwrap a piece of chocolate, pass it around class and observe how dirty it became. "They're using the Peppermint Pattie to show that a girl is no longer clean or valuable after she's had sex - that she's been used," said Barnard, who works in public health.
April 1, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - They're finally answering phones at California's beleaguered unemployment benefits agency. Four months ago, 9 out of 10 callers couldn't reach a live staffer at the Employment Development Department, according to official call logs. The system still was robotically hanging up on 80% of frustrated callers as recently as mid-February. But in March, EDD phone staffers suddenly picked up the pace, responding to a Feb. 7 call for action from the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown.
March 25, 2014 |
Critics of safety-net programs such as Social Security and Medicare are fond of saying that the private sector would do a much better job of protecting people thanks to the magic of the marketplace. Mike and Judy Holtzman of Laguna Woods are now experiencing the magic of the marketplace for long-term care insurance. And it stings. They were recently informed by their insurer, John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Co., that their annual premiums will almost double. They're both now in their mid-60s.