March 31, 2013 |
CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Prosecutors are expected to announce Monday whether they will seek the death penalty in the Aurora movie theater massacre - a decision that could affect not only the defendant, James E. Holmes, but also capital punishment in Colorado. As the critical decision loomed, the defense and prosecution were scrambling to win the upper hand - in the world of public opinion, if not the courtroom - in an escalating war of words. Holmes, 25, a former neuroscience student, is accused of opening fire in a packed premiere showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" on July 20, killing 12 people and injuring about 70 others.
March 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Labor and business leaders have agreed to a plan for setting wages for a new category of low-skilled immigrant workers, possibly ending a scuffle that delayed negotiations in the Senate over a sweeping plan to overhaul the country's immigration system, officials involved said. Senators drafting the bill are reviewing the compromise worked out Friday by representatives from the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But the breakthrough may put the bipartisan group of eight senators on track to unveil a bill soon after Congress returns from recess on April 8. "We are very close - closer than we've ever been," Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)
March 27, 2013 |
Proposed legislation to raise the state minimum wage could eliminate tens of thousands of jobs and harm the California economy, a small-business advocacy group said. The measure, AB 10, could wipe out more than 68,000 jobs over 10 years and cost $5.7 billion in lost production of goods and services, according to a study released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business. More than 63% of the lost jobs would be in the small-business sector, NFIB researchers said.
March 27, 2013 |
When a two-engine Chinese turboprop darted over disputed islands in the East China Sea, the first foreign intrusion into Japanese airspace in more than 50 years, the People's Liberation Army was able to truthfully profess its innocence. The tiny turboprop belonged to China Marine Surveillance, a once-obscure cog in the vast bureaucracy that has become a kind of paramilitary force in Asian waters. A host of Chinese agencies with innocuous titles -- the Maritime Safety Administration, the Fisheries Law Enforcement Command, the State Oceanic Administration -- have become stealth warriors in Beijing's campaign to press its territorial claims in Asian waters.
March 16, 2013
In their Op-Ed article Sunday, economists Kevin A. Hassett and Michael R. Strain said President Obama's proposal to boost the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour would do little to blunt poverty in the United States and would make it more difficult for businesses to hire workers. They said other ways to aid the poor, including expanding the earned income tax credit, would be more effective. In response, reader Ralph Mitchell wrote: "By opposing the president's proposed minimum-wage increase to $9 an hour, Hassett and Strain are suggesting the government underwrite the cost of doing business by providing necessary life supports to families - through welfare systems, emergency healthcare, the earned income tax credit and so on - so that businesses can pay lower wages.
March 15, 2013 |
California labor officials have fined a Southern California hospital chain, Pacific Health Corp., more than $7 million for not paying employee wages and bouncing payroll checks. The company operates the Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center, Tustin Hospital, Newport Specialty Hospital, Bellflower Medical Center and Anaheim General Hospital. All of the locations were cited except the Newport Beach facility. "Employers have an obligation to pay workers the wages they've earned," said Christine Baker, director of the California Department of Industrial Relations.
March 14, 2013 |
NEW YORK -- As the stock market continues to trend relentlessly upward, calls to raise wages for those at the bottom of the pay scale are becoming louder. After months of protests and marches, Iowa's Sen. Tom Harkin and California Rep. George Miller introduced a bill to tie the minimum wage to inflation, and various groups have responded in support and protest of the bill. But as a Senate Committee held a hearing Thursday on the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, it became evident that what you think about the proposal might be related to what you think about the state of Oregon.
March 10, 2013 |
Nearly 8 million Americans go to work every day yet still live below the poverty line. That is in part because the federal minimum wage is too low. Currently, an individual with a full-time job at the minimum wage and a family of three to support will fall below the federal poverty line. These workers, despite putting in regular hours, are struggling to provide basic necessities for themselves and their families. By allowing the minimum wage to remain at a nearly unlivable level, we have deemed certain jobs not worthy enough to meet even our country's minimum standard of living.
March 10, 2013 |
In announcing his wrongheaded proposal to increase the minimum wage to $9 an hour, President Obama spoke in lofty terms: "In the wealthiest nation on Earth," he said in his State of the Union address last month, "no one who works full time should have to live in poverty. " If the debate proceeds as it has -- many times -- in the past, then most Democrats will embrace the president's message and back the proposal, while most Republicans will oppose it, on the grounds that higher labor costs will lead to higher unemployment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2013 |
For decades, Long Beach hotel workers fought for better wages. But their efforts to start unions mostly fizzled. So last year, union backers tried something new: a ballot measure. Voters swiftly gave them what years of picket lines and union-card drives had failed to secure - a $13-per-hour minimum wage for hundreds of Long Beach hotel workers. A similar shift happened in San Jose, where voters in November awarded workers a higher minimum wage not just in hotels, but citywide.