четверг, 15 марта 2012 г.

Good sense triumphs in desegregation case

It wasn't easy, but sensible jurisprudence finally triumphed in aschool desegregation case. On March 31, the U.S. Supreme Courtrediscovered a cardinal principle that it had mislaid for 38 years:"Racial balance is not to be achieved for its own sake."

That profoundly obvious conclusion came in a major case fromDeKalb County in suburban Atlanta. Prior to 1969, the county schoolswere firmly segregated by race. Black children sued. A federaldistrict judge ordered the school system to get on withdesegregation.

Years passed. Massive demographic changes occurred. Between1975 and 1980, an estimated 64,000 blacks moved into the southernpart of the county. Thousands of …

Italian surgeons get prison for unneeded surgery

ROME (AP) — A Milan court has convicted three doctors of performing unnecessary surgeries in what the Italian media has dubbed a "clinic of horrors," with the hospital's chief surgeon sentenced to 15 1/2 years in prison.

The court delivered its verdict late Thursday, in what was one of Italy's most notorious cases of health care gone awry. Prosecutors produced evidence that unneeded operations, including amputations, were performed on 83 patients at the Santa Rita clinic in Milan with the aim of getting large reimbursements from the state health system.

The chief surgeon, Pier Paolo Brega Massone, was sentenced to 15 1/2 years in prison. He was accused of causing pain through …

Stocks fall on China lending concerns

The stock market slumped Wednesday on concerns that tighter lending standards in China will prolong an economic recovery. Disappointing earnings results from IBM Corp. and Morgan Stanley added to the market's angst.

At the same time, a spike in the dollar pushed commodity prices sharply lower, hurting stocks of energy companies and materials producers.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 200 points, its biggest of 2010 so far. Demand for safe havens like government debt jumped, pushing yields lower in the Treasury market.

Concerns grew that China's efforts to keep its economy under control could hurt a global recovery. A top banking regulator …

среда, 14 марта 2012 г.

Exploring `new folk' Williams adds more pop to sound

Dar Williams, John Gorka and Lucy Kaplansky 8 p.m. Tuesday RaviniaFestival Martin Theatre Tickets, $25; lawn, $8 (847) 266-5100

Although Dar Williams casually sprinkles her conversation withwords such as "zeitgeist," "ontological" and "drecky," we'lldispense with the footnotes.

She's smart, yes, but so charming that it's OK if you're a big ol'bumbling boob and she's an ecologically aware, natural-food fueled,quick-witted, state-of-the-art folk singer.

Actually, it's "new folk." And just what is "new folk," anyway?Did the old folks die?

"They've got to call it something," Williams said. "It's probablybetter than urban folk or contemporary folk. Well, …

Lawmakers discuss mortgage co. CRA

When lawmakers debated the Community Re-investment Act in the early `90s, residents of low-income communities were so effectively cut off from good lines of credit borrowers were forced to resort to disreputable lenders with usurious interest rates.

Bankers squawked mightily at the provisions of the CRA, which required that banks give detailed reports on their lending activities in low-income communities and communities of color. The CRA gave the Federal Reserve Bank the power to rate banks' compliance with the law

Banks with a smaller percentage of loans in low-income and minority communities receive low CRA ratings, which gives the Feds the leverage to block mergers and …

Finnan returns from international retirement

Liverpool defender Steve Finnan came out of international retirement Wednesday as part of Giovanni Trapattoni's squad for next week's friendly in Norway.

While the Liverpool player reversed his previous decision to be included in the 22-man squad, Bolton defender Andy O'Brien said he will not return.

"(Finnan) is an experienced player and he still has a lot to give to the team," Trapattoni said Wednesday. "I respect Andy O'Brien's decision and I thank him for letting us know.

"(Manchester City's) Stephen Ireland has told us he is not yet ready to make himself available but has indicated that he may do so in the future. As I …

Review: HMS pinafore theatre Royal, Bath

Everyone has their favourite Gilbert and Sullivan operetta butthey don't come any more tuneful than HMS Pinafore.

Better still, the story is ludicrously simple which allows one toconcentrate fully on the main business of the day which is showingpoliticians up for what they really are - mainly self seekers whowant the rest of us to do as they say, not as they do.

No change there then, even in more than 130 years.

You have to admire the musical pair for their contribution tosticking proverbial pins into puffed-up politicians though. Poorold Gilbert's knighthood …