May 23, 2013 |
CHICAGO - The Chicago Board of Education voted yesterday to close 50 schools and programs, an ambitious plan that has sparked protests and lawsuits and could help define - for better or worse - Mayor Rahm Emanuel's term in office. City officials say the closings are necessary because of falling school enrollment and as part of their efforts to improve the city's struggling education system. "The only consideration for us today is to do exactly what is right for the children," schools chief executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett said before the board's vote.
May 23, 2013
When a U.S. military commander suggests medical facilities at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, may have to be upgraded to care for aging terrorism detainees, it's a clear sign that President Obama needs to redouble efforts to deliver on his 2008 campaign pledge to close the embarrassing facility. Even more compelling, before beefing up health-care services for the retirement set, prison authorities may need to expand their morgue. A hunger strike by many of the 166 men being held at the island naval base without trial has entered its fourth month.
May 21, 2013 |
The Guarneri Quartet is no more, and yet there it was (plus one), closing the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society season Friday night. You couldn't fool the audience at the American Philosophical Society, which greeted the four former members of the quartet with love obviously rooted in the years between 1964 and 2009, when the Guarneri was a real force. They met at Marlboro Music, the Vermont school and festival that is PCMS' sister organization, and the clubbiness surrounding both groups cuts both ways.
May 19, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Encouraging news about the U.S. economy extended the stock market's rally Friday. A gauge of future economic activity rose more than analysts had expected, as did a measure of consumer confidence, adding to evidence that the economy is steadily recovering. Stocks closed higher for a fourth straight week. Indexes are at record levels after surging this year on optimism about the economy and record corporate earnings. The market is also being supported by ongoing stimulus from the Federal Reserve, which is keeping long-term borrowing costs at historically low levels.
May 17, 2013 |
Five grew up on the hard streets of North Philadelphia, one in the killing fields of Cambodia. Two are social workers, one is a nurse, another a soldier who served two tours in Iraq. They are black, Latino, and Asian, all about the same age, all but two of them mothers, all bound to one another today through the happenstance of having long ago shared a particular middle-school teacher. Their intergenerational, multiracial friendship might be unusual in parts of the Philadelphia region, recently named among the nation's most segregated, but it thrives at Caryl Levin's house in Melrose Park.
May 15, 2013 |
New Jersey's public defenders are going to court to stop Gloucester County from closing its county jail and splitting its 250 to 350 inmates among four other county jails, including one in Newark. Not only will the move make it difficult for public defenders to help their clients, but the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders' decision to close the facility is a violation of state regulations, the lawsuit says. "We do not, as a matter of policy, comment on matters involving litigation," Gloucester County spokeswoman Debra Sellitto responded Monday.
May 9, 2013 |
NEW YORK - The Dow Jones industrial average rose, closing above 15,000 for a second day after passing the landmark level for the first time Tuesday. On Wednesday, a day without any major economic releases, investors focused on company earnings as reporting for the first quarter draws to a close. Although earnings growth has slowed from last quarter, profits are at record levels and projected to rise throughout the year. The Dow closed up 48.92 points, or 0.3 percent, at 15,105.12.
May 9, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Two months after recovering the last of its losses from the financial crisis, the Dow Jones industrial average charged higher Tuesday, closing above 15,000 for the first time. It was another milestone in the market's epic ascent of 2013. Good economic reports, strong corporate earnings, and fresh support from central banks have eased investors' concerns about another economic slowdown. Many had been on the lookout for signs that a spring swoon would derail the rally, as in each of the last three years.
May 8, 2013 |
Sometimes the absurdities of an official policy or action are so clear that they need not be elucidated. Such is the case with the Obama administration's maintenance of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Last week, President Obama told reporters that he intends to once again press Congress to close the facility, as he had promised to do in his first campaign. But there is no indication that the president intends to devote any of his remaining political capital to the task - any more than he did during his first term.
May 7, 2013 |
FORT MEADE, Md. - Government secrecy reaches a new level this week in the court-martial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst who sent 700,000 classified U.S. documents to the WikiLeaks website. A military judge, Col. Denise Lind, has ordered what prosecutors say is an unprecedented closed hearing Wednesday at Fort Meade to help her decide how much of Manning's coming trial should be closed to protect national security. An unidentified prosecution witness will testify during that closed hearing in a "dry run. " Defense attorneys say that could allow the judge to find ways to avoid closing the courtroom to the public during the presentation of classified evidence.