March 3, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Iraq's Sunni finance minister drew cheers from antigovernment protesters Friday when he announced he would resign from the government, further intensifying the country's political crisis nearly a decade after the U.S.-led invasion. In a separate incident, Iraqi officials said a Russian-made rocket fired from Syria exploded well inside Iraqi territory. The rocket is likely to heighten worries that violence from Syria's civil war could spill across the border. Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi's decision to leave marks the first resignation of a senior Sunni member of the Shiite-led government since a wave of antigovernment protests began following the December arrest of his bodyguards on suspicion of terrorism-related activities.
March 2, 2013 |
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D., Pa.) said Friday that she would establish a state political committee in the next few weeks, an important procedural precursor to her expected run for governor of Pennsylvania. The six-term representative from Jenkintown has been traveling around the state trying to line up support. Should she pull the trigger, Schwartz said, she would not file to run simultaneously for her House seat. "Legally, I'm allowed to, but it wouldn't be right," she said.
March 1, 2013
Oh, Lawd, not another conversation about black hair. On the one hand, I can't take any more comments about first lady Michelle Obama's bangs. Bangs are trendy; she likes them. Get over it, America! But on the other hand, I can't ignore the desperate need for continued, open-minded and intelligent discussions about the politics of black hair, especially in such cities as Philadelphia, where "boutiques" selling straight-from-India weaves mostly to black women are popping up as fast as Starbucks.
February 27, 2013
My 4-year-old can't read yet, but she likes to pretend she can. She grabs a treasured storybook and, using pictures as a guide, repeats the lines she remembers: "Mr. McGregor said, 'Stop, thief!"' The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a favorite of hers. She'll read soon enough - probably before she starts first grade - because she is growing up in a home that confers several advantages: Her mother is middle-class and college-educated; her household is full of books; and her caregivers read to her and enjoy reading for their own pleasure.
February 26, 2013 |
Saturday's sold-out Desaparecidos show at Union Transfer began with a recording of Ted Nugent enthusiastically advocating unrestricted gun laws and working up to a comparison of President Obama to King George. As Nugent's message became increasingly extreme, the band, led by Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, launched into "The Left is Right," a brief blast of pro-Occupy Wall Street punk rock that announced an evening of impassioned politics and rabble-rousing rock and roll. Oberst formed Desaparecidos in the early 2000s as a noisy voice for political and social change, and as a contrast to his intensely self-absorbed work in the much-loved Bright Eyes.
February 25, 2013 |
Pleasant and polite, 16-year-old Blair has a beautiful smile, and he smiles often when he is with people he feels comfortable with. A bit shy, he takes a little time to warm up to people he is just meeting. Blair enjoys performing stunts on his bike, and talking about this and weightlifting will put him at ease and help him open up. His favorite pastimes include watching television, playing video games, and working on puzzles. Enrolled in 11th grade, Blair is a good student and his report card is filled with A's and B's. He gets along well with his teachers and classmates.
February 25, 2013
Unlikely Liberal Sarah Palin's Curious Record as Alaska's Governor By Matthew Zencey Potomac Books. 209 pp. $24.95 Reviewed by Steve Weinberg The word liberal carries lots of meanings in the realm of electoral politics. But none of those meanings would seem to apply to Sarah Palin, who during 2008 rocketed to renown as the Republican Party vice presidential candidate. Palin and presidential candidate John McCain positioned themselves as "conservatives," which carried the connotation of "anti-liberal.
February 22, 2013 |
A FEDERAL JUDGE on Thursday upheld the city's ban on political giving by police officers and ruled that they could not contribute part of their paychecks to a political-action committee. Siding with Mayor Nutter's administration, District Court Judge Juan Sanchez said in his decision that the Home Rule Charter provision banning cops from political activity is still constitutional, because of the Police Department's history of corruption and the potential for abuse if cops became more politically organized.
February 22, 2013
A federal judge rejected a bid Thursday by Philadelphia's police union to reverse a ban on political contributions by officers. Juan R. Sanchez ruled that the ban does not violate police officers' free-speech or equal-protection rights, as Lodge 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police contended. The prohibition dates to the establishment of the City Charter in 1951. The union filed suit in May 2011, and lawyers for both sides made their cases before Sanchez last July. The union wanted the ban overturned so that officers could contribute to the FOP's political action committee via payroll deduction.
February 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., holding back tears, entered a guilty plea Wednesday in federal court to criminal charges that he engaged in a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items. He faces 46 to 57 months in prison, and a fine of $10,000 to $100,000, under a plea deal with prosecutors. A few hours later, his wife, Sandra Jackson, pleaded guilty to filing false joint federal income tax returns that knowingly understated the income the couple received.