In the News

There's little debate that college costs have risen over the past decade and that the increase has hit the wallets of families hard — especially those in the greatest need.

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Cops have a difficult, sometimes impossible, job. It's tough enough when we ask them to handle crimes, the day-to-day lawbreaking that threatens all of us, and particularly those in low-income neighborhoods. When we ask them to be agents of social policy, problems emerge.

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President Barack Obama on Thursday called for "peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson," one day before Missouri authorities were expected to release the identity of the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.

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The constitutional crisis that has developed in Ferguson, Missouri, begins as is so often the case with a human tragedy.

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In America today, the views of the voting public are nearly meaningless; wealthy individuals and business-backed special interest groups are almost entirely responsible for the stances that politicians take on the issues. That’s the takeaway from a new study by Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University.

Los Angeles lawmakers were expected to vote Wednesday on a proposal to renegotiate or terminate an interest rate swap deal from the mid-2000s that critics say now costs the city millions of dollars a year in fees. If successful, the initiative could make the city the nation's largest to challenge ballooning Wall Street levies that accompany similar interest rate swap deals throughout the nation.

Assemblyman James Brennan says companies that own private power generators are overcharging consumers, potentially by billions of dollars.

But in his quest to get unredacted financial information from the companies, the Brooklyn legislator has run into a regulatory roadblock: Power generator officials say that if the information was made public it would put them at a competitive disadvantage and create market volatility. So far, the state has sided with the generator companies.

A year after a conservative U.S. Supreme Court majority gutted the crown jewel of the civil rights movement, the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA), the nation’s foremost voting rights attorneys say that racial discrimination in voting is rampant, especially in southern states where the the VRA helped to ensure access to the ballot.

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Even amid the battles over the implementation of Common Core reading and math standards, and the sparring over reforming the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system, an old debate is flourishing again: How to stem unwed pregnancy and the chronic poverty among out-of-wedlock households that are caused and exacerbated by it.

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Both are big-name governors of populous states. Both have presidential aspirations and a reputation for bare-knuckle bullying. And both are now facing criticism -- and the scrutiny of federal prosecutors -- for their administration's penchant for micro-management. 

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