Child care workers join fast-food workers’ fight for $15 an hour by Claire Zillman – MARCH 30, 2015, 9:44 PM EDT


Child care workers are chronically underpaid, earning wages in line with fast-food workers and retail associates.

In the wake of minimum wage increases at Wal-Mart and Target, a new group of workers has joined the campaign that’s being credited for helping prompt such pay hikes.

On Tuesday, child care workers will join the Fight for $15, the movement started in 2012 by 200 fast-food workers in New York City who walked off the job to protest low pay. When the Fight for $15 stages its next protests on April 15, child care workers are expected to demonstrate alongside the home care workers and airport workers who have joined the campaign since its launch.

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which backs the Fight for $15, told Fortune that child care workers protesting alongside fast-food workers illustrates a dual crisis: underpaid working parents are struggling to pay for child care and those who care for others’ children are struggling to take care of their own.

Child care workers in the U.S. earn median pay of $9.38 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is comparable with the earnings of food preparation workers—$9.28 per hour—and retail sales employees—$10.29 per hour—and is especially measly when weighed against child care workers’ role in early childhood education.

Responsive, sensitive, and secure adult-child attachments are developmentally expected and biologically essential for young children; their absence signals a serious threat to child well-being, according to a 2012 study by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. Findings such as these help explain the child care industry’s growing expectation that its workers have college degrees. The share of Head Start teachers with an associate or bachelor’s degree grew by 61%; for assistant teachers, it increased by 24% between 1997 and 2013.

Article continues:

http://fortune.com/2015/03/30/child-care-workers-pay/

How hedge funds work – BY S.N. The Economist Mar 30th 2015, 23:50


IN FEBRUARY it emerged that nearly half of the richest hedge-fund managers in Britain have donated a total of £10m ($14.8m) to the Conservative party since 2010. Labour, the opposition party, has accused the Tories of dishing out favours, such as a tax loophole, to their “hedge-fund friends”. Earlier this month it turned out that Labour too has relied on at least one very generous hedge-fund friend who has given the party nearly £600,000 since 2012. Hedge-fund managers are renowned for their investment skills and their wealth. But how do these “masters of the universe”, and the funds they control, really operate?

Hedge funds can be traced back to the 1940s, when an unassuming man named Alfred Winslow Jones set up an investment structure that allowed him to bet on both rising and falling prices and to charge a performance fee. The sector rose to prominence (some might say infamy) in the 1990s when George Soros’s speculation against the pound forced sterling out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism; he was thereafter dubbed “the man who broke the Bank of England”. Other so-called “macro” traders such as Julian Robertson and Michael Steinhardt have achieved similar status as market legends. More recently, John Paulson’s bet against subprime mortgage-backed securities turned him into a billionaire. But the lightly-regulated industry has also had its cases of fraud: most notably Bernie Madoff, whose fund turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.

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http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/03/economist-explains-16

Under Siege From The Islamic State In Ramadi – Vice News Published on Mar 30, 2015


In early March, while the world was watching Iraqi government forces advance on the Islamic State (IS) in Tikrit, IS was launching a series of assaults on what little remains of the Government-held parts of the provincial capital, Ramadi, which has been under siege for over a year.

On the morning of 11 March alone — the first day VICE News spent in Ramadi — nearly two dozen IS car bombs were detonated, killing 10 and injuring 60.

In a series of interviews, Iraqi officials told VICE News that they fear Islamic State fighters will overrun what remains of Government-held Ramadi if the US did not intervene with air support. According to police in Ramadi, more than 2,000 officers have been killed since January 2014, when the Islamic State — then known mainly as ISIS or ISIL — first announced its presence in the city.

VICE News spent three days in Ramadi documenting civilian life and interviewing Iraqi officials, as the town remains under siege from the Islamic State.

Amid Criticism, Indiana’s Republicans To Revisit Religious Freedom Law – MARCH 30, 201511:16 AM ET


Republican leaders in Indiana say they will work to ensure the state’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (left) and House Speaker Brian C. Bosma, both Republicans, discuss their plans for clarifying the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act during a news conference today at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (left) and House Speaker Brian C. Bosma, both Republicans, discuss their plans for clarifying the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act during a news conference today at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Michael Conroy/AP

Republican leaders in Indiana say they will work to ensure the state’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

“This law does not discriminate, and it will not be allowed to do so,” Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long said at a news conference with state House Speaker Brian Bosma.

They said they would “encourage our colleagues to adopt a clarifying measure of some sort to remove this misconception about the bill.” The Associated Press says that the measure “prohibits state laws that ‘substantially burden’ a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of ‘person’ includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.”

As Indiana Public Media reports, the two Republicans said the state’s GOP governor, Mike Pence, was unclear about the law when he appeared Sunday on ABC’s This Week. (Pence spoke of an “avalanche of intolerance that has been poured on our state” but declined to say whether the law makes it legal to discriminate.)

As NPR’s Scott Neuman reported over the weekend, Pence in media interviews said he supports an effort to “clarify the intent” of the legislation while acknowledging surprise over the hostility it has sparked.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act stoked controversy almost from the moment it was passed by the state’s Republican-dominated legislature and signed by Pence on Thursday. Pushback came not only from Hoosiers and the hashtag #boycottindiana, but also from some of the country’s biggest corporate figures, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle. (Scott has a roundup of the criticism here.)

Pence and other supporters of the measure note that Indiana is not the only state with such a law on the books. But as Scott noted, “Although the law is similar to a federal one and those in 19 other statessexual orientation is not a protected class in Indiana, leaving the door open for discrimination, critics say.”

At today’s news conference, Long said the law “doesn’t discriminate, and anyone on either side of this issue suggesting otherwise is just plain flat wrong.”

Bosma added: “What it does is it sets a standard of review for a court when issues of religious freedom and other rights collide due to government action.”

Democrats want the measure repealed, but Long and Bosma said that was unlikely.

Article continues:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/03/30/396361058/indiana-republicans-say-they-will-seek-to-clarify-religious-freedom-law?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=us

Open Cases: Why One-Third of Murders In America Go Unresolved – Martin Kaste MARCH 30, 2015 5:04 AM ET


If you’re murdered in America, there’s a one-in-three chance the police won’t identify your killer.

Det. Mark Williams (center), speaks with an officer in Fairfield Court in Richmond, Va. A decade ago, amid a surge in violent crime, police were identifying relatively few murder suspects. So the police department refocused its efforts to bring up its "clearance rate."

Det. Mark Williams (center), speaks with an officer in Fairfield Court in Richmond, Va. A decade ago, amid a surge in violent crime, police were identifying relatively few murder suspects. So the police department refocused its efforts to bring up its “clearance rate.” Alex Matzke for NPR

To use the FBI’s terminology, the national “clearance rate” for homicide today is 64.1 percent. Fifty years ago, it was more than 90 percent.

And that’s worse than it sounds, because “clearance” doesn’t equal conviction: it’s just the term police use to describe cases that end with an arrest, or in which a culprit is otherwise identified without the possibility of arrest — if the suspect has died, for example.

Criminologists estimate that at least 200,000 murders have gone unsolved since the 1960s, leaving family and friends to wait and wonder.

“It’s like the bogeyman,” says Delicia Turner. Her husband Anthony Glover was found murdered — along with a friend — in Boston in 2009. Police never made an arrest. She says the open case preys on her mind. “You don’t know if you’re walking next to the person, if you’ve seen the person … if the person knows you.”

Turner watches a lot of true-crime TV, hoping to see something that could be applied to her husband’s case. She calls her ideas in to the detectives in Boston, who tell her not to be “a TV cop,” she says.

Delicia Turner's husband, Anthony Glover, was found murdered in Boston in 2009. His is one of at least 200,000 unsolved murder cases in the U.S. since the 1960s.

Delicia Turner’s husband, Anthony Glover, was found murdered in Boston in 2009. His is one of at least 200,000 unsolved murder cases in the U.S. since the 1960s. Courtesy of Delicia Turner

Article continues:

http://www.npr.org/2015/03/30/395069137/open-cases-why-one-third-of-murders-in-america-go-unresolved

 

 

The Struggling Majority – By Susan Milligan March 30, 2015 | 12:01 a.m. EDT`


The GOP hasn’t gotten as much out of being in charge as it would have liked. But is that about to change?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner participate in the ceremony to sign H.R.203, the "Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act." in the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015.

Republicans retaking the congressional majority hasn’t meant smooth sailing for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner.

It was going to be their big chance – the opportunity to get things done, prove they could govern and tighten the reins on President Barack Obama. With historic majorities in Congress, Republicans were perfectly poised to rebrand themselves as the sober legislators ahead of the 2016 elections.

“Serious adults are in charge here, and we intend to make progress,” new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in January.

More than two months in, the GOP has been troubled by internal fissures, an emboldened president and what has been roundly decried as bad judgment, at best, in weighing in on sensitive foreign policy matters. The majority agenda has been thwarted in the Senate by Democrats who (after complaining about filibuster abuse when they had control) have largely stuck together in holding up GOP legislation. In the House, where the rules overwhelmingly favor the majority party, leaving the minority to merely make opposing speeches on the floor, the Democrats have exploited GOP divisions to exert astonishing influence.

Article continues:

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/03/30/the-struggling-republican-majority?int=a14709