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Chicago Sun-Times Joins the Bankruptcy List

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Flickr photo by Abhi Here

Flickr photo by Abhi Here

 

With over $800 million in debt, the Sun-Times Media Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today.

Due to a decline in advertising revenue, this renders both of Chicago's major daily ...

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Governor Defends $132B Budget

Monday, March 30, 2009

budgettaxes1
New York's governor and legislative leaders are defending their budget deal, saying it makes tough choices at a time when the state's revenues are dwindling by week. The nearly $132 billion plan contains about $5 billion in cuts, and $5 billion in new taxes, including some on the wealthy. Governor Paterson, who had long opposed the millionaire's tax, says the final deal is a fair one.

'I think balance now between taxes on those with higher income and taxes on everybody so that there's a shared sacrifice.'

Brooklyn Republican State Senator Marty Golden decried all the new taxes in the budget and said Democrats are being irresponsible.

'This stimulus, this $25B, ends within 25-27 months. After that stimulus is gone, we walk into the abyss. There is no structural deficit dealt with in this budget.'

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Today in History: Three Mile Island

Saturday, March 28, 2009

President Jimmy Carter leaving Three Mile Island for Middletown, Pennsylvania.

President Jimmy Carter leaving Three Mile Island for Middletown, Pennsylvania.

At 4 a.m on Wednesday, March 28, 1979, not far from Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, the first in a ...

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Governor Seeks to End Drug Laws and Break Prison Cycle

Friday, March 27, 2009

Protesters rally against New York's Rockefeller drug laws outside Governor David Paterson's office on March 25, 2009 in New York City. (Getty)

Protesters rally against New York\'s Rockefeller drug laws outside Governor David Paterson\'s office on March 25, 2009 in New York City. (Getty)

Governor Paterson and legislative leaders have announced an agreement to ease New York’s decades-old Rockefeller drug laws, once among the harshest in the nation. Speaking at a news conference in Albany, the governor says they are rolling back many of the mandatory prison terms for low-level, non-violent drug offenders.

“Where people are addicted and have committed crimes because of their addiction, we are going to shift our services from punishment to treatment, we are going to eliminate in most cases and severely reduce in other cases, the mandatory minimums that were set by the Rockefeller drug laws.”

The governor further explained the goal to reduce addict recidivism, shown to currently stand at 50 percent. He called the current legal system unjust and ineffective, creating “a revolving door for offenders mired in a cycle of arrest and abuse.”

The new plan to go before the state legislature will shift the sentencing of convicted abusers to new “drug courts” that will oversee their treatment rather than their punishment.

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David Harvey on the Economic Crisis

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Social theorist David Harvey, distinguished professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of CUNY and author of various books including The Limits to Capital, discusses the economic crisis and what it means for the future of U.S. global power.

Listen to the entire ...

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Today in History: Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter and Anwar Sadat at Camp David, 1978.

Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter and Anwar Sadat at Camp David, 1978.

President Jimmy Carter speaks at the Egyptian-Israel Peace Accords Signing Ceremony, in the White House on March 26, 1979.

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Higher MTA Fares and Service Cuts

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sound off in the comments below: 'How would higher fares and service cuts affect you?'

exit doors

The MTA votes in favor of higher fares and service cuts:

Don't like the 25 percent fare and toll ...

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Quote of the Day: "Nothing warm and fuzzy about..."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sweater cuffs, fuzzy. Mayor, not.

Sweater cuffs, fuzzy. Mayor, not. Cell phone photo, fuzzy. Mayor, not.

A new poll finds that Mayor Bloomberg's approval rating among New York voters is the lowest it has been in his second term. But it's still ...

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Elephants on the Move

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Did you see elephants last night? If you did and they were walking along 34th Street to Madison Square Garden, it wasn't a zoo outbreak, but the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus coming to town. The circus will be at the Garden through April 13th.

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NYC Kicks off World Water Week in Battery Park

Monday, March 23, 2009

by Annie Shreffler

Hundreds of New Yorkers, many of them high school students, turned out on Sunday to begin World Water Week with a mile-long march. Volunteers carried water to show their support for the Tap Project, a UNICEF program to bring more safe drinking water to ...

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Today in History: Robert Moses

Friday, March 20, 2009

Robert Moses

On March 20, 1955, Robert Moses, master builder and commissioner, joins in a dedication of the Brownsville Boys Club, offering his views on juvenile delinquency and the need for cooperations among city agencies.

'This is a significant occasion, it ...

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Natasha Richardson Dies at 45

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Natasha Richardson

The actress Natasha Richardson, whose career highlights included the film 'Patty Hearst' and a Tony-winning performance in a stage revival of 'Cabaret,' has died.

A statement issued Wednesday evening by a publicist for Richardson's husband, the actor Liam Neeson, described Neeson ...

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The Leonard Lopate Show: The Other Side of Desire

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In his book, The Other Side of Desire, New York Times Magazine staff writer Daniel Bergner investigates different kinds of sexual desire through four case studies.

Listen to an entire interview here.

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SEC: Madoff Accountant "Pretended" To Audit Him

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The fallout from Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme widened today, with the arrest of his longtime accountant on fraud charges. David Friehling is accused of helping the disgraced money manager ...

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Eliot Spitzer on AIG

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Former AIG insurance giant chief Maurice 'Hank' Greenberg was sued by then New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who accused AIG and Greenberg of cooking the firm's books to deceive regulators and investors. (AFP/Getty Images)

Former AIG insurance giant chief Maurice \'Hank\' Greenberg and then New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. (AFP/Getty Images)


Eliot Spitzer, columnist for Slate and former governor of New York, talks to WNYC's Brian Lehrer about AIG bonuses, CEO compensation, the NYS budget, and other matters of the day.

Brian Lehrer: What put AIG in your sights as New York attorney general?

Eliot Spitzer: We were approached by some sources who said that AIG, which was at the time guided by Hank Greenberg as CEO, was, to speak in street vernacular, juicing its books by creating false reinsurance contracts that would appear to add capital to its balance sheet. Now that sounds all very complicated but, what it really means is they were playing games with their accounting in order to look stronger than they were. Hank Greenberg, there are tapes that prove this, was very, very concerned with any, even minor, fluctuation in their stock evaluation.

These contracts, it was alleged, were designed to make them look better in the eyes of Wall Street. We investigated, brought a civil case to settlement of $1.4 billion. At the time, $1.4 billion seemed like a lot of money. It was the biggest financial settlement ever. The board removed Hank Greenberg because he invoked the Fifth Amendment, when he was asked about this. Four people were charged criminally and convicted for basically playing games. But it lead us to inquire and to probe into the inner workings of the company and what we saw was a mess.

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St. Patrick's Pick-me-up

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

(Kathleen Horan)

(Kathleen Horan)


Everyone may be Irish today, but given the tough economic times some are wondering if its really a good time to be celebrating. Before setting out on the St. Patrick's Day parade route, Mayor Bloomberg said the answer was simple: yes, more than ever.
'People need a pick-me-up,' says Bloomberg. 'People need to know that we can get through this together. All we need to do is treat everybody today like their Irish, next time like their Italian, the other like they're Hindus.'

(Kathleen Horan)

(Kathleen Horan)


It's a parade of firsts and lasts for St. Patrick's Day in New York. Warren Levinson reports.

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Cuomo Holds AIG's Feet to the Fire

Monday, March 16, 2009

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been taking AIG to task since October 2008 when he demanded it explain many payments and expenses including bonuses, stock options and junkets. (Getty)

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has ...

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Senator Gillibrand Meets with Lobbyists -- and Tells Us!

Monday, March 16, 2009

(Getty)

(Getty)

In an early meeting with journalists after her appointment, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand noted she was among the first members of Congress to post her schedule -- including meetings with lobbyists and so-called 'private meetings' -- on the internet. She's barely got a website up and running (spokesman Matt Canter says a more complete one is coming within the week). But we asked anyway, who has she met with? (We were curious if anyone was lobbying her on the stimulus funding, and our interest was piqued by the conspicuous presence of former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, who IS lobbying on stimulus funding, , at the press conference announcing Gillibrand's appointment.) Canter sent us over this list -- anything on it look interesting to you?

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Today in History: Terry Anderson

Monday, March 16, 2009

Terry Anderson

On March 16, 1985, Terry Anderson, an Associated Press bureau chief, was taken hostage in Beirut, Lebanon. He was held captive for over six years by Hezbollah. Of all the hostages, Anderson was held the longest. Here he is ...

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