April 4, 2015 |
It didn't take long for the uproar over religious-freedom laws in Indiana and Arkansas to reverberate in Pennsylvania. Democrats, including Gov. Wolf, grabbed onto the controversy this week to bolster their bid for a state ban on discrimination against members of the LGBT community. The proposal would make it illegal for businesses to fire workers or deny customers because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. It would also offer protections beyond antidiscrimination measures already passed by more than 30 municipalities, including Philadelphia, Haverford, Abington, and New Hope.
April 2, 2015 |
TO GIVE YOU an idea of how influential sports have become in this nation's fractionalized and petty political discourse, just look at the timeline since Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 101 into law last Thursday. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is openly gay, condemned the law, known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The CEO of Salesforce, the billion-dollar tech company, did as well, Marc Benioff saying he would halt plans to expand into the state. Angie's List announced it, too, was canceling a $40 million expansion of its Indianapolis headquarters, a move that was to add 1,000 jobs.
March 26, 2015 |
DURING HIS first moments as a free man in nearly 45 years, Clarence Safwat Davis was thinking about groceries. Specifically, about whether his family needed to pick up bread and milk on the drive home to Tioga from the state correctional institution at Graterford. "It's something that's part of our normal flow as a family, something we always do and ask about," Davis, 64, said the other day, a few weeks after that January night. "I didn't want to miss that step. I really just wanted to pick up where we had left off. " But his first thought, even before pantry staples, was how surreal it felt to be able to do whatever he wanted for the first time since he was 20 years old. "I hoped that no one would come along and pinch me and wake me up from this dream," he said.
March 18, 2015 |
The Freedoms retained three of their four players from last season's playoff team Monday in the World TeamTennis draft. "We wanted to maintain our continuity," team owner Billie Jean King said in a teleconference with reporters. "The chemistry from last year was so good that we really didn't want to mess it up. And I think it is going to be even stronger because we don't have to go through the preliminary introductions of getting to know each other again. " Last season marked the Freedoms' first playoff appearance since 2007.
January 22, 2015 |
PATCO riders will soon be able to use their Freedom cards to pay fares on SEPTA subways and buses, PATCO and SEPTA officials said Wednesday. However, SEPTA-issued smart cards won't work on PATCO. After SEPTA switches to its long-awaited electronic "smart card" fare-payment system this year, PATCO cards will be compatible with the SEPTA Key system, PATCO general manager John Rink said. One caveat: A PATCO card must be registered with PATCO. That registration will permit SEPTA to identify the user and bill PATCO for the trip, Rink said.
January 9, 2015 |
WHETHER YOU agree with Charlie Hebdo 's editorial line - or whether, until Wednesday, you'd even heard the name - is not the point. When armed terrorists burst into the office of the satirical French weekly famous for its irreverence and killed 12 people, they assassinated some of France's greatest cartoonists: Cabu, Wolinski, Charb and Tignous. These are household names in my country. They were people I grew up reading, people who all their life fought for the freedom of expression and their right to use it for satirical purposes, people who are now being mourned in France and beyond for what they represented.
January 9, 2015 |
YESTERDAY, CLARENCE DAVIS received the best news he'd heard in 40 years. After waging a legal battle over what he claimed was false testimony and a botched prosecution in a 1970 murder case, Davis, 63, was granted parole by a Philadelphia Common Pleas judge after negotiating a new guilty plea. Initially convicted of robbery and first-degree murder, Davis' new deal had him plead to third-degree murder, robbery and firearms offenses, and sealed his release from the state Correctional Institution at Graterford.
December 3, 2014 |
The Civil War ended, the constitutional amendments abolishing slavery and establishing civil and legal humanity of African Americans passed - a new day dawned in 19th-century America. Meet the new day, same as the old day. Reconstruction ended in 1877, blacks were disenfranchised, the Supreme Court gave its imprimatur to segregation in 1896; a half-century passed before civil rights dominated the national stage again. Mostly this story is told as it unfolded in the South. But what of the North?
November 13, 2014 |
OOPS! Former Philadelphia Police Inspector Daniel Castro was mistakenly let out of federal prison last month and told he could serve the rest of his sentence at his Northeast Philadelphia home. What happened? Well, sources say a U.S. Probation Office revised presentence report omitted key information, which led prison officials to believe Castro was eligible for getting a year knocked off his five-year sentence for completing a prison drug-abuse program. But Castro, 51, wasn't supposed to be eligible for early release because of his violence-related conviction.
November 12, 2014 |
S TEVIE WONDER - just announced as a 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient - makes a rare appearance this Sunday, at the Wells Fargo Center. Better still, he'll devote the gig to recreating his 38-years-young "Songs in the Key of Life" mega-album. Helping him out: expect singer India.Arie, a large string section and at least 20 other musicians. How great is all this? Let's count the ways. After seizing artistic control of his career from Motown in the early 1970s, the former "Little Stevie" Wonder set out to prove his mettle.