NEWS ARCHIVES [March 2014]
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Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series Championship - The game was not only magical, it was special. This was the first World Series the Sox won at home with all their fans in attendance in 96 years. We have play-by-play photos in our Photo Gallery.
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The XXII Olympics Winter Games - 2014 -Sochi, Russia
[Last Updated Thursday February 13, 2014]
U.S. Sweeps Olympics Medals in Freestyle
Men's ski slopestyle gold medal winner Joss Christensen of the United States, center, celebrates on the podium with his teammates Gus Kenworthy, left, silver, and Nicholas Goepper, bronze, right, during a flower ceremony at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
86th Academy Awards - 2014 Oscar Night - Hollywood, CA
Photo Credit: Top: Monica Almeida/The New York Times; bottom Jason Merritt/Getty Images; right Mike Blake/Reuters
No News on Missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 - Flight 370
LATEST UPDATES: Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
UPDATES: Missing Malaysia Flight - Russia-Crimea Crisis
WATCH MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Chris Christie's Bridge Gate
Tea Party Rep. Paul Ryan Visits the Inner-City: BY COMICS
UPDATE_Russian Provocation in Ukraine - Missing Flight 370
Healthcare.gov Comic - GOP's Trouble Minorities in Pictures
Russia Annexed Crimea - Watch Vladimir Putin's Speech
Missing Malaysia Flight Update
Flight 370 Vanished from the Sky
Crisis in Crimea - US Takes Sanctions against Russia
College Board Announced Major Changes in SAT
US Threatens Isolation & Sanction against Russia
The 2014 Oscar Awards Night - The 86th Academy Awards
Arizona Gov. Vetoed Anti-Gay/ Legal Discrimination Bill
Russian Troops Invaded Ukraine
BREAKING NEWS: FL Jury: Mistrial on 1st. Degree Murder
No Government Shutdown - Boehner Said
Winter Olympics 2014 from Sochi, Russia - Also in The News
Breaking News: David Wildstein Told Reporters He Has
Evidence of Christie's Knowledge & Connection to Bridgegate
NY City Mayor de Blasio Reached Deal to Scrap Stop-&-Frisk
Iran Nuclear Deal Moves Forward
*2013 In Review*
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March 30, 2014
UPDATE ON MISSING MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT MH-370 - 5:00 pm
The World Lost a Jumbo Jet with 239 Passengers and Crew Right under the Noses of Modern Space Satellites - Google Map Sonar Systems and Military Radar
It's been 24 days since the airliner seemingly vanished from the sky over the Indian Ocean en route to China with 227 passengers aboard and 12 crew members on May 8, 2014. On March 23, more than 14 days following the disappearance of the Aircraft the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, declared the airplane "lost in the Indian Ocean" based he said on new analysis of data from an automated satellite system on the plane, performed by Inmarsat and the British national aviation safety agency. As of today, updates from Malaysian authorities as well as search and rescue teams from more than 26 countries continue to consist of false leads depending largely on sighting of debris in the search areas over the Indian Ocean. But so far, those sightings have turned out to be not related to the missing jet liner. The families of those missing remain in shock and disbelief, and frustration has boiled over. Some have demanded meetings with authorities whom they believe have been keeping them prisoners in hotel rooms and giving them misguided information. Malaysian Airlines and the Malaysian government have promised to continue the search until they find answers as to what happened to Flight 370 and the fate of its passengers and crew.
March 23, 2014
[UPDATE ON MISSING MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT MH-370 - 6:30 PM
Day 18: MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCED EARLY THIS MORNING THAT HIS GOVERNMENT IN CONSULTATION WITH AVIATION DATA ANALYSTS DECLARES FLIGHT 370 "LOST DEEP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INDIAN OCEAN"
File Photo_Distraught Families of Missing Malaysia Fight 370 Passengers & Crew
In an unscheduled and surprise early press conference this morning, the prime minister of Malaysia announced in Kuala Lumpur that there was no longer any doubt that the missing Malaysian Airlines jetliner, Flight 370, was "lost in the Indian Ocean." Prime Minister Najib Razak said that this conclusion was reached based on new analysis of data from an automated satellite system on the plane, performed by Inmarsat and the British national aviation safety agency. The analysis narrowed down the possible paths the Boeing 777 aircraft could have taken as it kept flying for hours after contact with ground controllers was lost on March 8, and it ruled out that the plane could have gone anywhere but the remote waters southwest of Australia, where there is no place the plane could have landed safely.“It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” Mr. Razak said.
RUSSIA KICKED OUT THE G8 BY EUROPEAN UNION AND NATO ALLIES FOR ANNEXING CRIMEA IN THE EAST UKRAINE REGION - THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORTED TODAY
SEE PREVIOUS REPORTS BELOW
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES: President Obama and the leaders of the biggest Western economies agreed on Monday to exclude President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia from the Group of 8, suspending his government’s 15-year participation in the diplomatic forum and further isolating his country.In a joint statement after a two-hour, closed-door meeting of the four largest economies in Europe, along with Japan and Canada, the leaders of the seven nations announced that a summit meeting planned for Sochi, Russia, in June will now be held in Brussels — without Russia’s participation.“This group came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities. Russia’s actions in recent weeks are not consistent with them,” the statement said. “Under these circumstances, we will not participate in the planned Sochi Summit. We will suspend our participation in the G-8 until Russia changes course.
March 22, 2014
[UPDATE ON MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT 370 - 11:55 AM
DAY 14: FLIGHT 370 IS STILL MISSING OVER THE INDIAN OCEAN BETWEEN MORE THAN 100 SQUARE MILES OF LAND AND WATER - REPORTS YESTERDAY THAT THE AUSTRALIANS HAVE PICKED UP SATELLITE IMAGES OF 2 LARGE OBJECTS HAVE NOT YIELDED ANY RESULTS IN THE SEARCH FOR THE 239 PASSENGERS AND CREW AIRCRAFT. EARLY TODAY - DURING A BRIEFING BY MALAYSIAN OFFICIALS A NOTE WAS HANDED TO THE SPOKESMAN ON CAMERA ANNOUNCING THAT THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT'S SATELLITES HAVE LOCATED 2 LARGE OBJECTS OFF THE COAST OF AUSTRALIA - SPECULATIONS ARE THAT THESE NEWLY SPOTTED OBJECTS MIGHT BE SAME AS THOSE THAT WERE PICKED UP EARLIER BY THE AUSTRALIANS. THE FRUSTRATION OF WAITING FAMILY MEMBERS HAS REACHED A BREAKING POINT WHEN THE CONFRONTED MALAYSIAN AUTHORITIES THIS WEEK AND ONE MOTHER WAS TAKEN AWAY BY POLICE WHILE SHE CREAMED FOR HER SON. GROUPS OF WAITING FAMILY MEMBERS MARCHED ON THE STREET -WHILE OTHERS VOICED THEIR FRUSTRATION TO OFFICIALS DURING DAILY MEETINGS AND PRESS BRIEFINGS. DOZENS OF SHIPS AND AIRPLANES FROM 26 COUNTRIES ARE STILL INVOLVED IN THE SEARCH AND THE CHINESE ARE PLANNING TO DEPLOY 3 MORE SHIPS AND 2 MORE AIRCRAFTS.
UPDATE ON RUSSIA'S ANNEXATION OF CRIMEA AND THE TURMOIL IN UKRAINE
NEARLY A WEEK AFTER A REFERENDUM THAT PRECIPITATED THE ANNEXATION OF CRIMEA BY RUSSIA - RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN CONTINUED TO DEFY SANCTIONS BY THE UNITED STATES AND NATO COUNTRIES AND MAINTAIN A COLD WAR POSTURE. PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS EUROPEAN COUNTERPARTS HAVE INCREASED TRAVEL AND FINANCIAL RESTRICTIONS AGAINST DOZENS OF RUSSIAN OFFICIALS AND RUSSIAN-BACKED UKRAINIAN OFFICIALS AND AT LEAST ONE RUSSIAN BANK. THE U.S. AND NATO HAVE PLEDGED BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ECONOMIC AID TO UKRAINE IN THE FORM OF LOAN GUARANTEES - MILITARY INTERVENTION BY THE U.S. AND EUROPEAN ALLIES IS NOT AN OPTION.
WATCH MSNBC RACHEL MADDOW'S COVERAGE OF THE NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE'S WASHINGTON BRIDGE TRAFFIC JAM GATE
Rachel Maddow: Chris Christie's Office Knew From The Start Bridge Lane Closures Were Harmful
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow determined on Friday that emails released on Friday detailing the plan to close several lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September 2013 show the woman now serving as N...
Press reports from New Jersey local journalists and the New York Times suggest that the origin of the “Traffic Study” cover-up in the New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Washington Bridge traffic jam scandal came from one of the governor’s bodies, Port Authority Police officer Nunziato and Port Authority appointee David Wildstein. Way back on December 4, 2013, Officer Nunziato claimed that he had suggested the traffic study cover story to David Wildstein to justify the 4-day traffic jam at the George Washing Bridge traffic jam scheme in Fort Lee scandal at a hearing before the New Jersey Senate Assembly.
Now, Nunziato's lawyer claimed his client only made that claim to appease Wildstein and others in Christie's inner circle. The New York Times has reported that “Paul Nunziato had nothing to do with nor knowledge of the planning, implementation or execution” of the closing of the access lanes,” based on a statement made by Nunziato’s attorney, Charles J. Sciarra, in response to questions from the newspaper about his client’s role and his public comments. “Mr. Nunziato first learned that there was an obvious improper motive regarding this issue” the statement further read. That statement was made when the committee released documents suggesting the action may have been politically motivated.
In the four-page statement, Mr. Sciarra said his client had talked to Mr. Wildstein in the middle of 2012 about an unrelated traffic problem near the Fort Lee access lanes at that time. That problem arose after tolls were raised, when car-pooling motorists were stopping to pick up passengers to go through a discounted high-occupancy-vehicle lane, he said, citing published reports about the practice at the time. In the written statement, Mr. Sciarra said Mr. Nunziato’s comments grew out of loyalty to his political allies and that he believed that the lane closings stemmed from the dispute between the Port Authority’s New York and New Jersey factions. “My client was trying to be supportive of people who were supportive of his union; he never intended to mislead,” Mr. Sciarra also said in a brief interview.
In a subsequent email, Mr. Sciarra said that Mr. Nunziato specifically told Mr. Baroni, before his appearance at the legislative committee, that the only suggestion Mr. Nunziato had ever made to Mr. Wildstein about the access lanes concerned those issues in 2012.
PAUL RYAN ON ECONOMIC INEQUALITY AND THE POOR
TEA PARTY HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE BUDGET CHAIRMAN & FORMER 201 GOP & MITT ROMNEY'S VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE
PAUL RYAN VISITS THE INNER CITY
BY COMICS - REPUBLISHED BY DAILY KOS
fROM THE DAILY KOS: As if the people who are victims of economic inequality as a form of racial inequality are responsible for that racial and economic inequality. This is a country where a study has found that it's easier for a white felon than for a black non-felon to get a job. But please, Rep. Ryan, as part of your push to slash anti-poverty programs, do tell me about how the "real culture problem" is that "generations of men" in the inner city don't "value the culture of work."
March 20, 2014 [Update] 5:35 PM
Russian Troops Marched Closer to the Western Borders of the Ukraine Following Putin's Annexation of Crimea Yesterday & Putin's Firing Speech in the Red Square - Sanction War Between the United States and NATO Allies against Russia Escalated
Developments at a glance
Armed troops reported to be Russian sealed off Ukrainian border.
Russian troops have been reported in the Ukraine.
Ukraine called up troops as Russian troops surround Crimea.
Malaysian Flight MH370 Still Missing - Australian Satellite Spotted 2 Large Objects Believed to Have Come from the Aircraft
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Large objects were seen by satellite floating in the Indian Ocean, 1,500 miles southwest of Perth. Malaysian officials called it a "credible lead.' But there have been many false leads in the hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Healthcaregov Comic bis Daily Kos: BY COMICS
CPAC 2014 Panel [Annual Conservative Convention]
Hall & Panel for Minority Outreach - Pictures Do Speak Louder than Word
This Picture Screamed Words
"GOP's Problem with Minorities" in a Shot That Speaks a Thousand Words
via Daily Kos: Attribution_John Hudak/Brook via #VPAC2011ng
March 19, 2014 [Update: 9:00]
Russian President Vladimir Putin Annexed Crimea on the Eastern Border of the Ukraine - 1 Ukrainian Soldier Shot & Killed by Russian Troops
Watch Putin's Defiant Speech to Thousands of Celebrating Russian in the Red S Today
Full video: Putin's address on Crimea joining Russia, signing ceremony
President Vladimir Putin has, in the last hour, signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia.Putin signed the law after a speech to Russia's parliament, in which he hit back at his critics....
Day 12 of Missing Boeing 777 - Malaysia Airlines flight 370 en Route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing
Media Continue to Speculate - Aviation Specialists Hypothesize - Terrorism Experts Theorize - World Government at a Loss
Press Conference #MH370 15 March 2014 - PM @NajibRazak
March 18, 2014
What Happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?
The Boeing 777 Vanished Out Thin Air 10 Days Ago
& the World Is Still Searching for the Aircraft
with 227 Passengers & 12 Crew Members Aboard
On Saturday March 8, 10 days ago today, Reuters reported that Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China vanished without a trace between sky, land, and water. Since then there have been no answers but questions, false leads, and speculations as to the sophisticated Boeing 777 with 239 people on board might be. The questions are many: what happened to the plane? How could a jet that size equipped with the most advanced detection and transmitter systems be missing for this length of time in the face of a world covered with satellite systems from East to West? Did the jet crash, and if so why is it that dozens of search and rescue helicopters, battle ships, and fighter jets, including two guided-missile destroyers from the United States, have been unable to find any debris or parts from the plane? If the jet descended in an emergency landing, are the passengers alive, and where might they be?
Families of Missing Flight 370 Passengers
On the early morning of March 8, Flight 370 flew over the Gulf of Thailand between northern Malaysia and southern Vietnam, lost or suspended all communication links, and appeared to have changed direction and flew across the Malay Peninsula and out over the Strait of Malacca. Since then, 26 nations, including the United States military have been involved in a search expanded to cover 11 countries and deep ocean waters, marking a desperate and extensive international effort to locate the missing airplane. As of today, the missing airplane represents the biggest mystery known to men. Malaysian investigators, aided by
their international counterparts have shown nothing but frustration in their regular press conferences, while 500 or so family members of the missing passengers and crew members wait in a hotel in the Malaysian capital for any news. Thus far, however, the news have all been contradictory and the investigation appears to rely on nothing more than a process of elimination of false leads and theories, all known aviation possibilities having been exhausted and nearly eliminated.
There have been few mysteries of this sort involving airplanes, but never a jet of this size. In 1937, Amelia Mary Earhart’s plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean near Howland Island, while flying solo around the globe in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10 Electra. In 1945, 19 United States Navy planes disappeared while flying over the area known as the Bermuda Triangle located between the island of Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Miami. A search and rescue plane that was deployed by the Navy to locate the missing airplanes also went missing. Those planes were never found.
Data from the plane are sketchy, but authorities have reported that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, was shut off before it disappeared. The last transmission from that system was received by air traffic controllers early in the flight, at 1:07 a.m. But no one knows for sure when the system was shut down, as the next transmission wasn't due until 1:37 AM, 30 minutes later. However, someone in the cockpit, believed to be the co-pilot, made a last verbal communication with air traffic controllers at 1:19 AM before the Aircraft vanished from radar and ceased to send system communication and signal, with the voice saying, "All right, good night." At 1:21 AM, the airplane’s transponder was switched off and all civilian radar lost contact with the plane altogether at 1:30 AM. Nonetheless, at 2:15 AM, Military radar detected the plane off Malaysia's west coast, hundreds of miles off course. This was the last radar detection recorded from the Aircraft. Subsequently, more than seven hours after takeoff, a satellite made the last electronic connection, known as a "handshake," with the plane at 8:11 AM. Yesterday, Pakistan said that the plane never showed up on its civilian radars and would have been treated as a threat if it had. The Times of India reported that India's military also said there was no way the plane could have
Search & Rescue Photo_fijone.tv
According to CNN, Malaysia's New Straits Times reported today that the flight dropped to 5,000 feet after turning back from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route on March 8 and quoted unnamed officials as saying "it's possible that the aircraft had hugged the terrain in some areas that are mountainous to avoid radar detection." New Straits Times Editor Farrah Naz Karim told CNN's "New Day" that the newspaper spoke to sources close to the investigation and asked how flying at that altitude could be done. She added that this is one aspect that investigators could be looking into but it's all speculation at this point. “A signaling system was disabled on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet before a pilot spoke to air traffic control without mentioning any trouble,” a senior Malaysian official said yesterday.
The fate of the Malaysia Flight 370 and its 239 passengers and crew members remains embedded in mystery. The question as to whether or not the airplane and its passengers may have been the victims of terrorism or high jacking is being explored. As of now, a statement by the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, relative to the search for the missing jet tells the whole story; He acknowledged that data from military radar and satellite raised the possibility that “the plane could have ended up somewhere in Indonesia, the southern Indian Ocean or along a vast arc of territory from northern Laos across western China to Central Asia.” “It’s something of the scope I’ve never seen before,” said Cmdr. William Marks, the spokesman for the United States Navy Seventh Fleet, which joined the search. In a telephone interview, he added: “Essentially, it’s like looking for a person somewhere between New York and California. It’s that big.”
Crisis in Crimea Took a New Turn
U.S. Imposed Sanctions on 11 Prominent Russian and Ukrainian Nationals & Officials
European Officials Approved their Own Set of Sanctions against 21 Russians & Ukrainians
Obama: U.S. Expanding Scope of Russian Sanctions
March 17 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama speaks at a White House press conference announcing sanction on Russian government officials in response to the nation's actions in Crimea.
Localized Russian authorities in Crimea claimed the Moscow-backed referendum in Crimea on Sunday to break off from Ukraine and rejoin Russia was favored by a 97 percent vote. Sunday, in Crimea, as helicopters dropped Russian troops just outside the Crimean peninsula between the Russian and the Ukrainian borders and seize a natural gas terminal, tensions grew on the eve of the referendum for Crimea to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia.
The newly-formed Crimean government declared itself independent in a step clearly intended to move the country toward annexation from Russia. The confrontation started when Russia sent troops into the Ukrainian province following the ouster of the Russian-supported former Ukraine President Yanukovych’s in February after his troops opened fire and killed 80 demonstrators who gathered in support of joining the NATO alliance.
According to press reports, the President told Putin in a telephone call on Sunday that the referendum “violates the Ukrainian Constitution and occurred under duress of Russian military intervention” and “would never be recognized by the United States and the international community.” Meanwhile, the President continues to indicate that “there remains a clear path for resolving this crisis diplomatically.”
Today, President Obama signed an executive order freezing the assets and banning visas for Russians deemed to be responsible for the seizing of Crimea or otherwise interfering in Ukrainian sovereignty. In a press conference today, President Obama announced sanctions against Russian officials. In coordination with the European Union, the United States has placed sanctions against Vladislav Surkov, one of President Vladimir V. Putin’s most influential advisers. According to reports by the New York Times, the President has set in place a new set of sanctions that target a limited number of Russian nationals and officials. Others facing U.S. sancions Sergei Glazyev, Vladimir Putin’s economist and Ukraine advisor, Matviyenko, chairman of the Federation Council_ the upper house of Parliament, and Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin. Many others have been placed on a the list of sanctions, including Leonid Slutsky and Yelena Mizulina two members of the State Duma_ the lower house of Parliament, and Andrey Klishas, a member of the Federation Council who wrote a bill to seize Western interest assets in retaliation for any sanctions imposed on Russia.
In addition, the White House also sanctioned two officials supported by the Russians; those individuals, Sergei Aksyonoy_the newly named prime minister, and Vladimir Konstantinov_the newly declared speaker of Parliament. Both are under sanctions for supporting the Russian power and land grab in Crimea. Yanukovych, the pro-Russian Ukrainian president deposed last month is also under sanctions by the United States, along with Viktor Medvedchuk, the head of a pro-Russian civil society group. No sanctions have been placed on Mr. Putin himself. However, the White House officials revealed in a tele-conference today that the president may go to a broader range of sanctions that the Russian had not faced since the Cold War. Currently, a number of large American corporations are significantly invested in the Russian market, including ExxonMobil, Boeing, Ford and PepsiCo. The United States is not engaged in any large trade with Russia, but American businesses are nervous about the rapidly escalating conflict.
The president has dispatched Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to Eastern Europe to meet with leaders of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, all NATO allies that feel especially nervous about Russia’s actions in the Ukraine. The president is scheduled to travel to Europe next week on a previously planned trip, which now may be centered around the recent events on the Russian border.
March 5, 2014
College Board President David Coleman Announced
Major Changes in the SAT Test
The New York Times broke the news today that College Board President David Coleman announced landmark changes in the SAT test and the way students will take test, complete with support program to help low-income students by waiting the entrance exam fee. The paper reported Mr. Coleman saying both the SAT and the ACT “have become disconnected from the work of our high schools.”
In addition to the fee waiver, which will help low-income student with their college applications, the College Board, in partnership with Khan Academy, will offer free online practice problems from old tests and instructional videos showing how to solve them before the exam time.
The SAT’s rarefied vocabulary words will be replaced by words that are common in college courses, such as “empirical” and “synthesis.”
The math questions, now scattered widely across many topics, will focus more narrowly on linear equations, functions and proportional thinking.
The use of a calculator will no longer be allowed on some of the math sections. The new exam will be available on paper and computer, and the scoring will revert to the old 1600 scale, with a top score of 800 on math and what will now be called “Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.” The optional essay will have a separate score.
The new SAT will be introduced in the spring of 2016. Criticisms of the test have mounted in recent years, causing some colleges to create a "test optional" category for entering freshmen with the options to only submit high school transcripts and even write a paper.
In his announcement, Mr. Coleman said, " for many students the tests are mysterious and “filled with unproductive anxiety.” Nor, he acknowledged, do they inspire much respect from classroom teachers: only 20 percent, he said, see the college-admissions tests as a fair measure of the work their students have done in school.There have been intense complaints among parents , students, and educators that the test causes an ineffective and inappropriately high level of coaching and tutoring, which placed low-income students at a distinct disadvantage. Typically, students spent the better part of their junior year prepping for the test in what some have referred to as a test-prep marathon.
“It is time for the College Board to say in a clearer voice that the culture and practice of costly test preparation that has arisen around admissions exams drives the perception of inequality and injustice in our country,” he said in a speech Wednesday in which he announced the changes. “It may not be our fault, but it is our problem.”
Some of the changes will make the new SAT more like the ACT, which for the last two years has outpaced the SAT in test-takers and is increasingly being adopted as a public high school test by state education officials. Thirteen states use it that way now and three more are planning to do so. The ACT has no guessing penalty, and its essay is optional. It also includes a science section, and while the SAT is not adding one, the redesigned reading test will include a science passage. According to Mr. Coleman, the three-hour exam — 3 hours and 50 minutes with the essay — had been redesigned with an eye to reinforce the skills and evidence-based thinking students should be learning in high school, and move away from a need for test-taking tricks and strategies. Sometimes, students will be asked not just to select the right answer, but to justify it by choosing the quote from a text that provides the best supporting evidence for their answer.
Students now write about their experiences and opinions, with no penalty for incorrect assertions, even egregiously wrong ones. Going forward, though, students will get a source document and be asked to analyze it for its use of evidence, reasoning and persuasive or stylistic technique. The text will be different on each exam, but the essay task will remain constant. The required essay never caught on with most college admissions officers. Few figure the score into the admission decision. And many used the essay only occasionally, as a raw writing sample to help detect how much parents, consultants and counselors had edited and polished the essay submitted with the application.
Starting in the spring of 2016, some of the changes to the SAT will include:
• Instead of arcane “SAT words” (“depreciatory,” “membranous”), the vocabulary words on the new exam will be ones commonly used in college courses, such as “synthesis” and “empirical.”
• The essay, required since 2005, will become optional. Those who choose to write an essay will be asked to read a passage and analyze how its author used evidence, reasoning and stylistic elements to build an argument.
• The guessing penalty, in which points are deducted for incorrect answers, will be eliminated.
• The overall scoring will return to the old 1600 scales, based on a top score of 800 in reading and math. The essay will have a separate score.
• Math questions will focus on three areas: linear equations; complex equations or functions; and ratios, percentages and proportional reasoning. Calculators will be permitted on only part of the math section.
• Every exam will include, in the reading and writing section, source documents from a broad range of disciplines, including science and social studies, and on some questions, students will be asked to select the quote from the text that supports the answer they have chosen.
• Every exam will include a reading passage from either one of the nation’s “founding documents,” such as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, or from one of the important discussions of such texts, such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
March 4, 2014
Vladimir Putin's Russia - US Secretary John Kerry Spoke Threatened Isolation
and Other Tough Measures against Russia
by Western Allies and the United States at Press Conference form Ukraine
After Visiting Memorial of The 80 Murdered Protesters
Putin: No Russian Soldiers in Ukraine - Even Though They Are Crawling Around
US Secretary John Kerry is currently giving a press conference in the Ukraine threatening the Soviet Union with sanctions and isolation if President Vladimir Putin does not remove his troops from the Ukraine. Kerry's press conference came after he visited a memorial set up for the 80 people who were killed during the protest that dislodged the Russian-aligned former president of the Ukraine. Putin remains defiant, but denied the unidentified troops are from Russia. This news is fluid and developing.
Read more of this news below and how it all started a week ago.
March 3, 2014
The 2014 Oscar Awards Night Hosted Sunday March 2 Hosted by Ellen Degeneres with All the Bliss & Glitters
& The Winners Are:
"2 Years A Slave" for Best Picture
"Gravity" Swept The Technical Categories
To Win Seven Awards
2 Years A Slave’ won the best picture honor at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony. Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett took home the best acting Oscars. The film ‘Gravity’ earned seven awards, including the best director honor for Alfonso Cuarón.
As the New York Time put it in their corage, diversity dominated the 86th Academy Awards, beginning with Nyong’o; there was also the Mexican-born Alfonso Cuarón, the first Latino director to win; Steve McQueen, the first black man to win for best picture with “12 Years a Slave”; Robert Lopez, the first Filipino-American, now an EGOT winner, with his Oscar for “Let It Go” from “Frozen”; and probably a lot of celebrating in Australia, as Cate Blanchett, best actress, called out talented people there. With her wins for costumes and production design in “The Great Gatsby,” her countrywoman Catherine Martin became Australia’s biggest Oscar winner.
The tightest race was in the original screenplay, and there the prize went to Spike Jonze over David O. Russell. Russell was picked to win an award for "American Husler." which won 10 nominations. Mr. Russell was considered “due” for an Oscar, but voters chose “Her.”
The Times pointed out how the 86th Academy Award appeared to have consciously made room to "acknowledge" and send a message on gay right, mental illness, the African-American experience, and girl-power.
Oscar Fashion & Red Carpet Glitters
Left: Mike Blake/Reuters; top: Monica Almeida - Michael Buckner/Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian Photo Credit: Left: Mike Blake/Reuters; top: Monica Almeida/The New York Time: Michael Buckner/Getty Images
March 2, 2014
Republican Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona Vetoed Anti-Gay [Nice Shirt - Nice Shoes - No Service Bill]
Effectively Blocking A Legal License for Anyone in AZ
To Discriminate in Business on The Basis of Religious Beliefs
On Wednesday February 26, 2014, Despite Governor Brewer's insistence that public opinion and vocal opposition from all sectors of the country played no role in her decision, following a week of outcry and threats of boycotts by major corporations and businesses from airliners to technology companies, to sports franchises, Hollywood heavy weighs, the US Chamber of Commerce, and soft drink giants, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have given business owners the right to refuse service to gay men, lesbians and other people on religious grounds. This save-face action was brought only when the media in unison shone a bight spotlight on the Arizona Religious Freedom bill, also known as the discrimination, a.k.a. the nice shirt – nice shoes, no service bill. The bill would have allowed anyone from hotel and grocery clerks to taxi drivers to refuse service to, for examples, unmarried mothers, people who drinks or smoke, a Muslim taxi driver could refuse to pick up a woman traveling alone. Overall, the potential for discrimination was endless under the broad provisions of this bill.
At the end, it was clear that Governor Brewer who claimed neither protests nor outrage would influence her decision to sign or veto the bill, ultimately vetoed the bill amid growing pressure and a real possible for crippling economic loss to her state. Not only was Governor Brewer under pressure from businesses and outside groups, the pressure on her to veto the bill also came
from Arizona business leaders, who said the bill would be a financial disaster for the state and would harm its reputation, as well as prominent members of the Republican establishment, including Arizona Senator John McCain, former 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott. One thing is certain: everyone agreed that the measure would have allowed people to use religion as a “fig leaf” for widespread discrimination and prejudice.
The bill was inspired by legislation passed or pending in legislatures in other states, and actual incidents in which florists, photographers and bakers were sued for refusing to cater to same-sex couples. But the Arizona bill contained expansions that would have allowed much broader religious exemptions by business owners. Supporters of the bill said it was needed to allow people to live and work by their religious beliefs. “This bill is not about allowing discrimination,” said Arizona State Senator Steve Yarbrough during debate on the measure last week. “This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.”
These companies, together with JetBlue, American Airline, The Marriotts, the NBA, the NFL, and many others warned Gov. Brewer against singing the legal discriminaionation bill into law
After announcing earlier in the week that she would take her time until Friday or Saturday to announce her decision, Brewer called a hasty press conference Wednesday, in which she took no questions. Ms. Brewer announced her veto after spending the day holed up in the Capitol in private meetings with opponents and supporters. “I call them like I see them, despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd,” she said. She added that the legislation “does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona,” and that it was “broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.” The governor further castigated the Republican-controlled Legislature, which passed the bill last in Mid-February, for making it the first piece of legislation to reach her desk this year. Her priorities, she said, are a budget, continuing the state’s economic growth, and “fixing our broken child protection system.”
The measure is the latest initiative in Arizona to set off a political firestorm. Arizona is still struggling to repair its image and finances after the boycotts and bad publicity it endured after the passage of an immigration law, also known as the “paper please” law in 2010. That law would have given police officers the right to stop people whom they suspected of being in the country illegally.
On Monday February 24, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. spoke about bans on same-sex marriage within the states, mostly in about 9 states in the South, including Georgia, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota. The Attorney General indicated that he sees ways to curb those bans on Gay Marriage.
Vladimir Putin's Russia
Sent Military to Ukraine – Ukraine Mobilizes Troops
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — on Saturday March 2, 2014, Russia moved to seize control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. The build of troops along the Ukrainian border rattled the new Ukrainian government and prompted Ukraine to call up its military reserves by Sunday, and warn Moscow against further incursions. Mr. Yanukovych’s refusal, under Russian pressure, to sign new political and free trade agreements with the European Union last fall set off the civil unrest that last month led to the deaths of more than 80 people, and ultimately unraveled his presidency. The country’s new interim government has said it will revive those accords. On Saturday, Russian troops in military vehicles bearing the license plates of Russia’s Black Sea force but wearing uniforms without the identifying Russian insignia swarmed the major thoroughfares of Crimea across the border from Russia. They encircled government buildings, closed the main airport and seized communication hubs, solidifying what began on Friday as a covert effort to control the largely pro-Russian region. In Sevastopol, pro-Russian “self-defense” forces were blocking the entrances of the main Ukrainian naval headquarters.
Col. Sergei Starozhenko, the Ukrainian commander, told reporters the unmarked troops had arrived about 5 A.M. and “they want to block the base.” He said he expected them to bring reinforcements and call for talks. Asked how many men he has at his command, he said simply: “Enough.” At Perevalnoye, a small Ukrainian base some 15 miles south of Simferopol on the road to Yalta, scores of soldiers with masks, helmets and goggles, in unmarked uniforms, ranged along one wall of the base. Inside there were about two dozen Ukrainian soldiers, equipped with an armored personnel carrier.
Saturday, a pro-Russian crowd in Simferopol waved a Russian flag in front of a local government building guarded by armed men. It also started with former Ukraine Prime Minister Yanukovych’s refusal, under Russian pressure, to sign new political and free trade agreements with the European Union last fall set off the civil unrest that last month led to the deaths of more than 80 people, and ultimately unraveled his presidency. The country’s new interim government has said it will revive those accords. This crisis has the potential to create a breach in the international agreements on the sanctity of the borders of the post-Soviet nations, and bring back the Era of the Cold War between Eastern and Western powers.
Ukraine’s acting president, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, said at a briefing in Kiev on Saturday evening that he had ordered Ukraine’s armed forces “to full combat readiness.” A Ukrainian military official in Crimea said Ukrainian soldiers had been told to “open fire” if they came under attack by Russian troops or others though it was unlikely they could pose a serious challenge to Russian forces. Analysts generally agree that the goal of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, may be to destabilize the region, rather than engaging in an all-out with the neighboring country, as was the case in the bloody war following the invasion of Georgia by Russia after the breakup of former Soviet Union when the Republic of Georgia sought to regain its independence from Russia.
Meanwhile, the aggressive response from Russia left world leaders and NATO scrambling for appropriate diplomatic responses. It drew sharp warnings and criticism among the Western Alliance. In Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron said that “there can be no excuse for outside military intervention” in Ukraine. Canada said it was recalling its ambassador from Moscow and, like the United States, suspending preparations for the G-8 meeting. The American ambassador, Samantha Power, called for an international observer mission, urged Russia to “stand down” and took a dig at the Russian ambassador, Vitaly I. Churkin, on the issue of state sovereignty, which the Kremlin frequently invokes in criticizing the West over its handling of Syria and other disputes. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, also spoke with Mr. Putin on Saturday and described himself as “gravely concerned” and urged Mr. Putin to negotiate with officials in Kiev.
President Obama who just hours earlier had pointedly warned Russia to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, became blunt on Friday, as he warned Russia that it should not intervene militarily in Ukraine, saying the United States will stand with the world to condemn a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. “There will be costs,” said President Obama in a brief statement from the White House on Friday. The president said the United States government is “deeply concerned” by what he said are “reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside Ukraine.” The president accused Russia on Saturday of a “breach of international law” and condemned the country’s military intervention, calling it a “clear violation” of Ukrainian sovereignty. NATO has scheduled an emergency meeting for Sunday to discuss the crisis in Russia and the Ukraine. As of Sunday, the United States was threatening sanctions against Russia, and several countries, including the UK and Canada has announced a boycott of the upcoming G8 Summit in Sochi in an effort to isolate Russia and force Vladimir Putin to withdraw his troops from Ukraine.
February 15, 2014
Florida Jury Reached Partial Verdict in The Killing of 17 Year Old Jordan Davis
by Michael Dunn
Read our editorial in Views & analysis below
After four days of deliberation, the jury in the trial of Michael Dunn, a Florida man who shot a teenager to death in a parking lot during a dispute over loud music, said it could not agree on whether Mr. Dunn had acted in self-defense or was guilty of murder.The jurors did find Mr. Dunn guilty of three counts of attempted murder for getting out of his car, and firing several times at the Durango sport utility vehicle in which Jordan Davis, 17, was killed but three other teenagers survived. Mr. Dunn continued to fire at the car even as it pulled away. For that crime, Mr. Dunn he could be sentenced to 20 to 60 years in prison.The judge declared a mistrial on the count of first-degree murder. The jury also failed to reach agreement on lesser charges that are automatically included in jury instructions.Those were second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter. Prosecutors are free to move ahead with a new trial on the murder charge, if they wish.
February 12, 2014
The New York Times Broke The News Late Tuesday
Ending three years of brinkmanship in which the threat of a devastating default was used to wring conservative concessions from President Obama, the House on Tuesday voted to raise the government’s borrowing limit until March 2015 – without any conditions.The vote – 221 to 201 – relied primarily on Democrats to carry the legislation, the first debt ceiling increase since 2009 that was not attached to other measures. Only 28 Republicans voted yes.
February 11, 2014
THERE MAY BE NO GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN THIS TIME AROUND
OVER RAISING THE DEBT CEILING TO ALLOW THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO PAY ITS BILL AND PREVENT DEFAULT
From the New York Times: Facing a rebellion over his latest debt ceiling proposal, Speaker John A. Boehner has told House Republicans that he will bring legislation to a vote Wednesday that would raise the government’s borrowing authority with no strings attached.“House Republican leaders told members this morning that it is clear the paid-for military COLA provision will not attract enough support, so we will be bringing up a ‘clean’ debt limit bill tomorrow,” a Republican aide said. “Boehner made clear the G.O.P. would provide the requisite number of Republican votes for the measure but that Democrats will be expected to carry the vote.”;The military provision would have reversed a cut to the pensions of working-age veterans that Congress approved two months ago to try to trim the budget deficit.
Winter Olympics 2014 from Sochi Russia - Medalists
[Update: Monday February 17, 2014]
Meryl Davis & Charile White Winning gold in The Ice Dancing Competition
on Sunday Febraury 16, 2014
The Sochi Olympics 2014 - Men Freestyle Ski Slopestyle Medalists
Gus Kenworthy - Silver Medalist
Gus Kenworthy - Silver Medalist