May 19, 2011 |
The federal government on Thursday began testing simplified disclosure forms designed to help borrowers find the mortgage that's right for them. There are two prototypes that will be tested by consumers and lenders, but both forms do the same thing: consolidate two federally required disclosure forms into a single and simpler one. The forms will be given to consumers who have just applied for a mortgage. They are designed to make the loan's costs and risks clear and let borrowers comparison shop for the best offer.
May 4, 2011 |
HARRISBURG - Conference trips to faraway places like China, India, and Ireland. Tickets to pro football games. Passes for pricey receptions and galas. Dinners galore. Even in these belt-tightening times, such gifts and travel are all part of the life of a Pennsylvania legislator, according to the latest statements of financial interest filed with the State Ethics Commission. In annual filings that were due Monday, some elected officials reported no gain in 2010 aside from the paycheck that comes with the job. Others accepted meals, trips, and assorted trinkets.
May 3, 2011 |
The basic checking account is getting a lot more complicated. Banks in the last year have revamped terms to introduce new or hiked fees, change minimum balance requirements and tweak other terms. Now U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y) is calling for regulations that would require banks to provide consumers with an easy-to-read one-page disclosure form listing all fees and terms. Schumer is also responsible for the fee and interest rate disclosure form that banks are currently required to provide with credit card offers.
May 2, 2011
The challenge of detecting child abuse will be the focus of a free training session May 13 in Chester County. The Crime Victims' Center of Chester County will offer a seminar on mandated reporting issues from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Temenos Retreat Center in West Bradford Township. The grant-funded program, "Recognizing, Responding, and Reporting: What Every Professional Should Know about Child Abuse," is open to any professionals who work with children, including those who live or work outside the county.
April 13, 2011 |
The Philadelphia Housing Authority told a federal judge Tuesday that its fired director, Carl R. Greene, was engaged in a "shameless tactic" to prevent the agency from giving investigators documents on millions of dollars spent for outside lawyers during his watch. Greene's attorney asked U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody last week to block the PHA in its plans to release six years' worth of legal bills to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and its independent inspector general.
April 13, 2011 |
BERLIN - An FBI report kept secret for 25 years said the Soviet Union "quite likely fabricated" evidence central to the prosecution of John Demjanjuk - a revelation that could help the defense as closing arguments resume Wednesday in the retired Ohio autoworker's Nazi war-crimes trial in Germany. The newly declassified FBI field-office report, obtained by the Associated Press, casts doubt on the authenticity of a Nazi ID card that is the key piece of evidence in allegations that Demjanjuk was a guard at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland.
April 1, 2011 |
Question: A friend revealed to me that she is having an affair with a good friend's husband. I wish she had not told me, because it puts me in a very awkward position of keeping this secret both from her husband and the wife whose husband she is smugly sleeping with. I am sensitive to this because some time ago I discovered my own husband's infidelity with another smug woman. As painful as the discovery was for me, we eventually worked things out. A few people eventually told me they were suspicious but afraid to say anything.
February 23, 2011 |
The epic battle over accusations that Chevron Corp. polluted a large expanse of the Amazon rain forest played out before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Tuesday as the energy giant sought the release of thousands of pages of confidential documents it said could shed light on improper tactics of plaintiffs' attorneys. Lawyers representing Chevron asked the Third Circuit to uphold a lower-court opinion that records be released. They are being held by Philadelphia trial lawyer Joseph Kohn, who for years financed the litigation before withdrawing from the case in November 2009.
February 9, 2011 |
The disclosure that Villanova University's law school altered admissions data that figure prominently in national rankings occurs amid ongoing concern that the rankings offer both a false picture of educational quality and create incentives to manipulate grades and test scores. The nation's most prominent rating service, U.S. News & World Report, for years has been the focus of scorn among college and university administrators who say that at best it gives an inadequate picture of educational quality.
December 2, 2010 |
All the hoopla about whether WikiLeaks has harmed U.S. foreign policy has missed the most stunning lesson of this drama. We now know that, in the age of the Internet, two obscure individuals can upend U.S. diplomacy and command global headlines. A bored U.S. Army private and an obsessive Australian oddball have set the world on edge. Although I am a journalist, and journalists are supposed to love leaks, I do not think this is a good thing. Consider: If two hackers can cause such a global stir by dumping tens of thousands of secret diplomatic cables onto the Web, what comes next?