August 7, 2012 |
Since Leo Bullman was charged with assault after arguing with a neighbor last year, psychiatrists have ruled a half-dozen times that the 68-year-old Vietnam vet is not competent to be tried. Bullman's schizophrenia has made him volatile and unable to understand and aid his lawyer, experts say. So it's a good bet Bullman doesn't realize his case has become the source of a struggle between Pennsylvania welfare officials and lawyers over where he should be held as experts try to restore his mental competency.
July 18, 2012 |
LONDON - More used to patrolling the battlefields of Afghanistan than checking Olympic accreditations, smiling British troops fanned out across London's Olympic Park on Tuesday to fill the void left by the failure of the private security firm G4S to provide enough guards. The government had scramble to call in 3,500 extra soldiers and police to fill the gap after the security firm did not hire enough staff. Unarmed but in combat uniforms, soldiers with suntans acquired far from cloudy London were getting accustomed to their temporary theater of action, a former industrial wasteland transformed into Olympic venues and accommodation.
July 8, 2012 |
Stung by having less city money than planned, and bracing for a loss in revenue from property-tax appeals, the Philadelphia School District's budget hole has grown by as much as $64 million, officials said Friday. Previously projected at $218 million, the 2012-13 budget gap is now anywhere from $255 million to $282 million. The district had been banking on $94 million in new city money - the amount Mayor Nutter had proposed would come through Actual Value Initiative, his tax-reassessment plan - but a skeptical City Council delayed AVI and ultimately gave $40 million, some of that with conditions.
July 1, 2012 |
WEYBRIDGE, Vt. - One of the longest hiking trails in the United States stops 40 miles short of its most famous cousin, but a group is trying to bridge that gap. The North Country National Scenic Trail runs 4,600 miles from North Dakota to New York's eastern border. From there, it's about 40 miles across Vermont fields and mountains to the Appalachian Trail, the 2,170-mile hiking trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. Seeking to bring them together are a push from the organization that runs the North Country Trail; a changed attitude from officials in Vermont, where the connection was blocked decades ago; and a growing movement to connect the nation's longest hiking trails.
June 25, 2012 |
An experienced assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, one with seven years on the job, can make $65,000 yearly. A public defender with exactly the same experience makes a lot less: $51,500. To close these sorts of gaps and to fill two dozen vacancies, the Defender Association is playing hardball with the Nutter administration, which funds the office. Unless the city gives the association more money, it says, as of July, it will no longer staff three of Philadelphia's 67 criminal courtrooms and cut back staffing in a fourth courtroom.
June 20, 2012 |
MOSCOW - High-level nuclear talks involving Iran and six world powers fizzled Tuesday, creating increased opportunity for Israel to use the setback to argue that military force is the only way to stop Tehran from developing atomic arms. As she announced the indefinite pause in negotiations, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said they could be resumed - but only if a low-level July 3 meeting of technical experts in Istanbul, Turkey finds enough common ground to warrant such a step.
June 11, 2012 |
One of the most destructive trends in our nation today is the growth of income inequality. The increasing concentration of wealth, the shrinking of the middle class, and the growing number of people who are working but still poor threaten prosperity and undermine democracy. The frustration about this is palpable among many in my district. But the problem is so vast that many aren't sure how it can be addressed. Unions, it turns out, are part of the answer. I recently learned of a struggling working mother in my district.
June 7, 2012 |
LOS ANGELES - The gap in life expectancy between black and white Americans is smaller than it has ever been, thanks largely to a decline in the number of deaths resulting from heart disease and HIV infection, a new analysis has found. The bad news is that the gap is still large: A black baby boy born today can expect to live 5.4 fewer years, on average, than his white counterpart, and a black baby girl will die 3.7 years earlier, on average, than her white counterpart. What's more, the narrowing of the gap between 2003 and 2008 is due in part to a troubling development among whites: They are more likely than in the past to die from overdoses of prescription medications like OxyContin and Vicodin, along with other unintentional poisonings.
June 1, 2012 |
Republican women are rallying to Mitt Romney - boosting him to his best-ever showing on a fundamental measure of personal popularity, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Overall, Romney's favorability rating still trails President Obama's, but the gap is far more narrow than it has been. In the new poll, 41 percent of all Americans express positive views of Romney; 52 percent do so for Obama. Just over a month ago, the president had a 56 to 35 percent advantage on this score.