Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 2:25 pm
Right off the bat, the president touted the fact that more kids are graduating from high school and college than ever before. "We believed we could prepare our kids for a more competitive world," he said in Tuesday's State of the Union speech. "And today, our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record."
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 10:30 am
Google's massive investment in SpaceX gives the tech giant another avenue for its goal of providing Internet access to remote parts of the Earth, and it gives Elon Musk's company money to continue its research on space transport, re-usability and satellite manufacturing.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:57 am
The Shanghai government has fired four local officials for failing to prevent a stampede that killed three dozen people on New Year's Eve. Those who lost their jobs include Shanghai's Huangpu district Communist Party chief, its director and its top two police officials.
Investigators say that as huge crowds packed the riverfront in the Huangpu district, district party Chief Zhou Wei and other officials were busy enjoying a banquet at an opulent Japanese restaurant nearby.
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:27 am
A Palestinian man is accused of stabbing at least 11 people on a bus in central Tel Aviv today, wounding three of them seriously, before he was shot in the leg by Israeli police who took him in for questioning.
The Associated Press, citing a hospital spokeswoman, said 11 people had been stabbed. But the newspaper Haaretz, citing the ambulance service, put the number at 12.
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:25 am
In the first minute of his hourlong State of the Union address, President Barack Obama summed up his theme in single sentence: "Tonight, we turn the page."
The president then detailed a page of history filled with the financial crisis of 2008, the recession and unemployment and deficits that followed and the two distant and difficult wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It was a reminder of the ills that helped elevate young Sen. Obama to the Oval Office six years ago. And now, after many battles, he was ready to declare he had turned that page.
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:12 am
Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Ritze is a foot soldier — one of hundreds — in a passionate war over the Affordable Care Act that is reigniting as state legislatures convene across the country.
The Republican lawmaker, a family doctor, has stood behind three anti-Obamacare bills supported by conservative groups in Oklahoma and other states. None has made it into law, but Ritze plans to pick up the fight in the 2015 legislative session that convenes in the Sooner State next month.
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 10:05 am
President Obama revved up quickly for his economic victory lap.
"After a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999," President Obama said less than a minute into his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
The lap was fueled by cheap gas: "We are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we've been in almost 30 years," he said.
Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 2:17 pm
Are you thinking about tax day yet? Your friendly neighborhood tax preparer is. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen declared this tax season one of the most complicated ever, partly because this is the first year that the Affordable Care Act will show up on your tax form.
Tax preparers from coast to coast are trying to get ready. Sue Ellen Smith manages an H&R Block office in San Francisco, and she is expecting things to get busy soon.
"This year taxes and health care intersect in a brand-new way," Smith says.
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:56 am
Facing a Republican-controlled Congress in his sixth State of the Union speech, President Obama took credit Tuesday for an improving economy and focused on proposals aimed at advancing the middle class.
After years of recession and war, Obama claimed "the shadow of crisis has passed." In its place, he asserted, is a future marked by "a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production."
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am
New Orleans' most visited neighborhood rarely sees the type of violent crime that plagues other parts of the city. Recently, several high-profile robberies have rattled the region and led to criticism of the police department and the mayor, both of whom are rethinking safety measures.
Over the next few weeks, more and more visitors will roam the city's famous French Quarter, drinks in hand, for Mardi Gras. In less than 2 square miles, the French Quarter combines hotels, restaurants, street performers, and all-night bars with historic homes and tight-knit neighbors.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 7:22 am
Red, gold and green – Guinea's national colors — filled the streets of the capital, Conakry, early this morning. Guineans of all ages proudly wore the colors on their T-shirts, headbands, dresses and shorts. Children, with their cheeks and foreheads painted, ran around the street cheering, blowing whistles and waving their nation's flags.
Schools are offering more and more healthy foods for lunch. And schools that participate in the National School Lunch program require students to choose a fruit and a vegetable side. Yet plate waste is a big problem in schools; as The Salt has reported, kids throw away anywhere from 24 to 35 percent of what's on their trays.
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 3:50 pm
On the education front, President Obama's State of the Union address is likely to focus on three big proposals:
First, the president wants to talk about the idea he floated last week of making community college tuition-free. This is new.
The plan would benefit about 9 million full- and part-time students and would cost the federal government about $60 billion over 10 years. According to the administration's numbers, that would account for three-fourths of the total cost. States and community colleges would come up with the rest.
Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:03 am
Broadway is New York's biggest tourist attraction and brought in $1.3 billion in ticket sales last season. But it's also a high-stakes gamble for producers, since only 1 in 4 Broadway shows turns a profit. This month, two of the fall's most highly anticipated musicals, a revival of Side Show and The Last Ship, with songs by Sting, have thrown in the towel — closing, having lost almost their entire investments.