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  • Ilhan Omar confronts Elliott Abrams over human rights news

    Omar suggested Americans would have reason to doubt Abrams’ testimony about the United States role in Venezuela. “If I could respond to that,” said Abrams. “I’m not going to respond to that question, I’m sorry,” said Abrams. Omar continued.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 16:02:35 -0500
  • Florida governor calls for grand jury over Parkland school shooting news

    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday called for a state grand jury to investigate the 2018 school massacre in Parkland in which 17 people died, pledging accountability for any local failures that led to the deadliest U.S. high school shooting. DeSantis, a Republican elected last fall after campaigning on the issue, petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for the investigation the day before the first anniversary of the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 18:31:42 -0500
  • British schoolgirl Shamima Begum who joined Isil found in Syria and 'wants to come home' news

    A British schoolgirl who fled to Syria to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has said she does not regret it, but wants to return to the UK to give birth. Shamima Begum, 19, vanished from her home in Bethnal Green in London four years ago, along with two other teenage girls, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase. A girl who identified herself as Shamima Begum, was found in a refugee camp in Syria as the Isil caliphate collapsed, the Times reported. In an interview with the newspaper she described how she had been living in the caliphate and had married an Isil fighter from the Netherlands called Yago Riedijk. She was heavily pregnant and due to give birth any day. Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase, and Shamima Begum  Credit: PA The girl is living in the al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria along with 39,000 other refugees. She described having seen a severed head in a bin during her time with Isil, and escaping bombs dropping, the Times reported. The teenager also said she had already given birth to two children, both of whom died in infancy. She told the Times: "I’m not the same silly little 15-year-old schoolgirl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago. And I don’t regret coming here." She added: "I am scared this baby is going to get sick in this camp, that's why I want to get back to Britain, because I know my baby will be looked after." The three girls had joined another London teenager, Sharmeena Begum, in Syria. All were married off to jihadists.  Shamima Begum said at least one of her friends, Kadiza Sultana, had been killed when a bomb hit a house in Raqqa. Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, holds her sister's photo while being interviewed by the media at New Scotland Yard, central London Credit: PA The other two girls reportedly stayed on to fight in Baghuz in eastern Syria, along with a few hundred Isil fighters, as the caliphate came to an end. Shamima Begum and her husband fled instead, and the husband surrendered to Kurdish forces. The girl told the Times she had spoken to her mother in the UK and asked for her support when she goes home. She had also read what had been written about her online by people back in the UK. "The caliphate is over," she told the Times. "There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory. I know what everyone at home thinks of me. But I just want to come home to have my child. All I want to do is come home to Britain." British teenagers Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum passing through security barriers at Gatwick Airport, en route to Syria in 2015 Credit: AFP The Home Office said it does not comment on individual cases, although anyone who returns to the UK after travelling to IS territory faces criminal investigation and stricter laws are now in place. Security Minister Ben Wallace said: "The UK advises against all travel to Syria and parts of Iraq. Anyone who does travel to these areas, for whatever reason, is putting themselves in considerable danger. "Everyone who returns from taking part in the conflict in Syria or Iraq must expect to be investigated by the police to determine if they have committed criminal offences, and to ensure that they do not pose a threat to our national security. "There are a range of terrorism offences where individuals can be convicted for crimes committed overseas and we can also use Temporary Exclusion Orders to control an individuals' return to the UK." A displaced Syrian woman and a child walk toward tents at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp of al-Hol in al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria Credit: AFP Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer who was instructed by the Bethnal Green girls' families after they ran away, said he was "glad (Ms Begum) is alive and safe". He told the Press Association the authorities should be reminded of former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe's position at the time of their disappearance. "The position of the Metropolitan Police was that they should be treated as victims, so long as they hadn't committed any further offences while they are out there," he said. Mr Akunjee said he had spoken to the girls' families, who had "expressed the position that they want time and space to process what's happened". The Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are expected to announce the territorial defeat of Isil in the coming days. Around 2,000 US special forces are expected to be brought home by April. Giving evidence to MPs in the wake of the British schoolgirls's disappearance, in 2015, senior police officers said they would not be treated as criminals if they returned home. They said there was a "difference between the person running around with a Kalishnikov" and three schoolgirls who had been duped into travelling to Syria. The girls funded their travel to Syria by stealing jewellery from relatives, paying more than £1,000 in cash to a local travel agent for their flights to Turkey. Donald Trump has said Isil is "defeated"and that an announcement is imminent on "100 percent of the caliphate" having been retaken. The war to push Isil out of its so-called caliphate had lasted more than four-and-a-half years. The area once covered part of Syria and Iraq that was around the size of Britain. Pentagon officials have warned that Isil remains an "active insurgent group in both Iraq and Syria". Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 03:18:37 -0500
  • Suicide bomber targeting Iran's Revolutionary Guard kills 27 news

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A suicide car bomber claimed by an al-Qaida-linked group attacked a bus carrying members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard paramilitary force Wednesday, killing at least 27 people and wounding 13 others, state media reported.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:50:54 -0500
  • Texas Mom Arrested After Kids Found Locked in Dog Cage and Covered in Feces news

    The two eldest children were found in a 3 by 3 foot dog cage and the two other children were discovered nearby, covered in urine and feces.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 16:32:35 -0500
  • U.S. Weighs New PDVSA Sanctions as Next Step Against Maduro

    The U.S. is also bracing for a possible bankruptcy filing by Citgo Petroleum Corp., an American refiner controlled by PDVSA, according to Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a person who was briefed by the Trump administration. Citgo has already hired a law firm to help it weigh its strategic options, including potential bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported last month, though an American official told reporters on Jan. 31 that Citgo was one of Venezuela’s most important assets and the administration seeks to keep it viable.

    Fri, 15 Feb 2019 00:02:04 -0500
  • Photos of the New 2019 Subaru Ascent Touring

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    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 12:09:00 -0500
  • Google investing billions in US operations news

    Google said Wednesday it will invest $13 billion in US data centers and offices this year as the internet giant continues to expand across the country. The spending will build on more than $9 billion in US investments in the past year and should create the potential for tens of thousands of new jobs, according to chief executive Sundar Pichai. "This growth will allow us to invest in the communities where we operate, while we improve the products and services that help billions of people and businesses globally," Pichai said in an online post.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:08:36 -0500
  • The Latest: German minister says Airbus must find jobs news

    TOULOUSE, France (AP) — The Latest on Airbus' announcement that it will stop making the superjumbo A380 (all times local):

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 12:23:26 -0500
  • US senate passes border bill as Trump prepares to declare national emergency news

    The US Senate has passed a major spending bill that would effectively avoid another federal government shutdown, sending the legislation to the president’s desk for a signature. Now, the only question is whether Donald Trump intends to sign it. The bipartisan measure is the product of weeks of negotiations after the longest government shutdown in history, in which Mr Trump demanded billions of dollars towards his campaign promise of building a wall sprawling across the entirety of the US-Mexico border.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 17:01:00 -0500
  • Apple ramps up self-driving program as Waymo says its tech improves news

    Apple Inc has sharply increased its efforts to test self-driving cars on public roads but lags far behind market leader Waymo on a key safety metric, according to data released on Wednesday by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Apple, which has kept details of its self-driving program under wraps, put in 79,745 miles (128,337 km) of testing in California in 2018, still far short of 10 million miles of testing on roads around the world by Alphabet Inc's Waymo. The data was part of California regulators' annual so-called "disengagement reports," which track how often a human safety driver must intervene to take control from a self-driving system during testing on public roads.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 15:00:25 -0500
  • Gay couples in Japan join together on Valentine's Day to sue government over same-sex marriage ban news

    Thirteen gay couples filed Japan's first lawsuit challenging the country's rejection of same-sex marriage on Valentine's Day, arguing the denial violates their constitutional right to equality. Six couples holding banners saying "Marriage For All Japan" walked into Tokyo District Court to file their cases against the government, with similar cases filed by three couples in Osaka, one couple in Nagoya and three couples in Sapporo. Plaintiff Kenji Aiba, standing next to his partner Ken Kozumi, told reporters he would "fight this war together with sexual minorities all around Japan." Mr Aiba and Mr Kozumi have held onto a marriage certificate they signed at their wedding party in 2013, anticipating Japan would emulate other advanced nations and legalise same-sex unions. That day has yet to come, and legally they are just friends even though they've lived as a married couple for more than five years. So they decided to act rather than waiting. "Right now we are both in good health and able to work, but what if either of us has an accident or becomes ill? We are not allowed to be each other's guarantors for medical treatment, or to be each other's heir," Mr Kozumi, a 45-year-old office worker, said in a recent interview with his partner Mr Aiba, 40. "Progress in Japan has been too slow." Politician Mizuho Fukushima has spoken out in favour of gay rights in Japan Credit: AP Photo/Mari Yamaguchi Ten Japanese municipalities have enacted "partnership" ordinances for same-sex couples to make it easier for them to rent apartments together, among other things, but they are not legally binding. Japanese laws are currently interpreted as allowing marriage only between a man and a woman. In a society where pressure for conformity is strong, many gay people hide their sexuality, fearing prejudice at home, school or work. The obstacles are even higher for transgender people in the highly gender-specific society. The Supreme Court last month upheld a law that effectively requires transgender people to be sterilized before they can have their gender changed on official documents. The LGBT equal rights movement has lagged behind in Japan because people who are silently not conforming to conventional notions of sexuality have been so marginalized that the issue hasn't been considered a human rights problem, experts say. "Many people don't even think of a possibility that their neighbors, colleagues or classmates may be sexual minorities," said Mizuho Fukushima, a lawyer-turned-politician and an expert on gender and human rights issues. "And the pressure to follow a conservative family model, in which heterosexual couples are supposed to marry and have children, is still strong." Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ultra-conservative supporters have campaigned to restore a paternalistic society based on heterosexual marriages. The government has restarted moral education class at schools to teach children family values and good deeds. "Whether to allow same-sex marriage is an issue that affects the foundation of how families should be in Japan, which requires an extremely careful examination," Mr Abe said in a statement last year.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 07:00:10 -0500
  • Hackers can gain full control over Xiaomi electric scooter, security group finds news

    The Xiaomi M365 electric scooter has a defect in which hackers can take complete control over the vehicle, according to Zimperium.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:42:39 -0500
  • Make El Chapo pay for a border wall? Don't count on it news

    NEW YORK (AP) — After El Chapo's conviction in a drug-trafficking trial that included florid testimony of jewel-encrusted guns, a fleet of cash-laden jets and a personal zoo with roaming big cats, some Americans have floated an idea they see as poetic justice: Why not take some of the Mexican drug lord's billions in ill-gotten gains and make him pay for a border wall?

    Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:17:00 -0500
  • Putin, Erdogan Spar Over Syria Militants Amid Split on Safe Zone news

    While Putin urged Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a summit on Thursday to work out ways to “completely destroy the terrorist hotbed” in the Idlib region, a joint statement after the talks referred only to the need for “concrete steps” to restore a September truce shattered by the Islamist takeover last month. Erdogan said he’d “relayed our expectations” to Putin and Rouhani for Syrian government forces to “abide by the cease-fire” agreed in September, and for Russia and Iran to support Turkey’s demand for a buffer zone inside northern Syria to counter U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in the region.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 11:42:28 -0500
  • The U.S. Navy Just Bought Four Giant, Robot Submarines from Boeing news

    Orca could help to fill a yawning gap in the American submarine fleet. In December 2016, the U.S. Navy announced it needed 66 nuclear-powered attack subs, or SSNs, to meet regional commanders' needs.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 23:00:00 -0500
  • New migrant caravan forming could be largest caravan yet news

    Guatemalan Intelligence Secretary Mario Duarte weighs in on the latest caravan and what Guatemala is doing to protect and control the movement of these migrants.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 23:07:45 -0500
  • Airbus A380, the Concorde: technical feats, commercial flops news

    The scratching of the superjumbo jet Airbus A380 echoes the sad fate of the supersonic Concorde, another feat of aviation technology that turned out to be a commercial flop. The inaugural commercial flight on January 21, 1976 of Concorde, the world's first supersonic passenger plane, promised a revolution in aviation. It was the first computer-controlled commercial aircraft in history and also innovated with a weight-saving aluminium body and triangular delta wings.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 05:45:23 -0500
  • Nasa's Mars rover is officially dead, space agency says news

    Nasa's Opportunity rover is officially dead, the space agency has said, after it disappeared in a dust storm on Mars. Clearly emotional Nasa staff, standing in front of a life-sized replica of the rover, said they had not heard back from the rover and that the mission would come to an end. "I am standing here with a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude," said Nasa associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen, before he announced that the Opportunity mission is now considered complete.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 06:20:00 -0500
  • Democratic lawmakers say U.S. military action in Venezuela 'not an option' news

    The Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, expressed concern about Trump's hints that military action was an option in Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro is under intense international pressure to step aside and the country's economy is in chaos. "I do worry about the president's saber rattling, his hints that U.S. military intervention remains an option. The head of Venezuela's National Assembly, Juan Guaido, invoked a constitutional provision to assume the presidency three weeks ago, arguing that Maduro's re-election last year was a sham.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 15:27:10 -0500
  • These Are the 8 Most Reliable Used Cars

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    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 10:01:00 -0500
  • Club: Mardi Gras tradition is not the same as blackface news

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans' widely recognized Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club says its tradition of using black makeup for its Mardi Gras float riders is not the same as "blackface," a controversy that has embroiled officials nationwide.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 21:04:25 -0500
  • Catholic dioceses in New Jersey release names of accused priests news

    The disclosure was the result of an internal investigation of archdiocese records and all of the priests and deacons listed have previously been reported to law enforcement and none remain in the ministry, Newark Archbishop Cardinal Joseph Tobin said in a statement. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal formed a task force in September to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy in his state, along with any efforts to cover up such abuse. "I am pleased to see that our task force’s grand jury investigation has prompted the dioceses to finally take some measures to hold predator priests accountable," Grewal said in a statement on Wednesday.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 22:14:21 -0500
  • America Wants to Talk About Iran, But Europe Doesn’t news

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo first described this week’s big international conference in Warsaw, he left little doubt about its purpose. At the meeting, he said last month, America and its allies would discuss “how it is we together can get Iran to behave like a normal nation.”

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 16:30:16 -0500
  • Storm creates chaos in California with flooding, mudslides news

    SAUSALITO, Calif. (AP) — Waves of heavy rain pounded California on Thursday, trapping people in floodwaters, washing away a mountain highway, triggering a mudslide that destroyed homes and forcing residents to flee communities scorched by wildfires last year.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 22:43:48 -0500
  • United Airlines: Three new routes for fast-growing Denver hub

    United Airlines will add three new domestic routes at its Denver hub, all of which will go head-to-head against budget rival Frontier Airlines.

    Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:17:50 -0500
  • UK teen runaway who joined IS 'wants to come home' news

    An unrepentant British teenager who joined the Islamic State group in Syria said in an interview Thursday that she wanted to come home, highlighting the challenge for Western governments on how to deal with returning jihadist supporters. Shamima Begum, who ran away from London with two school friends in 2015, spoke to The Times newspaper from a refugee camp in eastern Syria after fleeing the collapse of the IS group's "caliphate". "So I fled the caliphate.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 12:02:20 -0500
  • Amazon cancels plans to build second headquarters in New York after local protests news

    Amazon has announced it has cancelled plans to build its second headquarter campus in New York City following protests. “After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” Amazon spokesperson Jodi Seth said in a statement on Thursday. Incentivised by a $3bn subsidy deal with New York City, Amazon had originally planned to build a massive complex in Long Island City, Queens.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 06:52:00 -0500
  • 2020 Vision: Buckle up America! It’s gonna be a long, crowded campaign news

    If this week was a preview, the 2020 presidential cycle will make the last one seem tranquil.

    Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:13:21 -0500
  • The 2019 Bentley Bentayga Speed Is Faster but Cannot Crush the Lamborghini Urus news

    Still, it's the fastest 12-cylinder SUV anywhere.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:20:00 -0500
  • Public school strikes revive clash with Teach for America news

    Young teachers are caught up in a possible strike in Oakland, California, that's giving new life to the long-simmering tension between traditional public schools and the education reform program Teach for America.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 19:17:51 -0500
  • U.S. charges former top Apple lawyer with insider trading news

    Authorities said Gene Levoff exploited his positions as corporate secretary, head of corporate law and co-chairman of a committee that reviewed draft copies of Apple's financial results to trade illegally between 2011 and 2016. Prosecutors said Levoff, 45, of San Carlos, California, generated $604,000 in illegal gains, including realized profit and avoided losses, before Apple terminated his decade-long employment in September.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:59:10 -0500
  • GOP Looks to Turn Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal on Democrats news

    Republicans are embracing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s sweeping plan known as the Green New Deal to avert climate change, but not because they like it. Fueling the effort is a fact sheet that Ocasio-Cortez’s office circulated -- then retracted -- that included references that aren’t in the text of the actual resolution.

    Fri, 15 Feb 2019 04:00:00 -0500
  • Sunken WWII U.S. carrier discovered in Pacific news

    At a depth of nearly 17,500 feet, a research vessel funded by the late Seattle billionaire Paul Allen has discovered the wreckage of an American aircraft carrier sunk in the South Pacific during World War II. (Feb. 14)

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 18:44:15 -0500
  • White supremacist sentenced for killing black man with sword news

    NEW YORK (AP) — A white supremacist who killed a black man with a sword wanted to ignite a worldwide race war, a prosecutor told a judge who sentenced the man Wednesday to life in prison without parole.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:38:39 -0500
  • Venezuela at UN enlists countries in show of support news

    Russia and China joined Cuba, Iran, North Korea and several other countries at the United Nations on Thursday to show support for Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in his showdown with the United States. "We all have the right to live without the threat of use of force and without application of illegal coercive unilateral measures," Arreaza told journalists, flanked by the ambassadors of several countries.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:41:07 -0500
  • Southwest Airlines passes key FAA test, schedules more Hawaii test flights

    The airline, which needs FAA approval for long overwater flights, has scheduled a test flight on Thursday from Oakland to Honolulu.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 11:43:17 -0500
  • 1stdibs Unveils Massive New Showroom Near Hudson Yards

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    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 17:58:17 -0500
  • Parkland shooting: How the NRA is more vulnerable than ever after a year of protests and a wave election news

    One year after gunfire began in the freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the movement those bullets sparked has swept through the US and opened a new chapter on guns in America. Guns have come to dominate political debate this past year in way unseen previously in the US, with massive protests from March for Our Lives attracting headlines and major news coverage — and virtually all Democrat presidential candidates supporting stricter gun control. Meanwhile, dozens of states have moved to pass new gun control laws in an historic effort, as communities across America continue to be scarred by gun violence.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 12:56:00 -0500
  • 10 Things to Know for Today news

    Congress is set to resolve its clattering brawl with President Donald Trump in uncommonly bipartisan fashion as lawmakers prepare to pass a border security compromise. European plane manufacturer Airbus says it will stop making its superjumbo A380 in 2021 for lack of customers.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 05:30:09 -0500
  • Cars submerged, vineyards flooded as storm slams California news

    Among the hardest hit areas was northern California, with rain driven by winds of up to 75 mph (120 kph) pounding parts of Sonoma County's wine country. In the Sacramento Valley, flood warnings were in effect from Chico to Stockton as the warm "Pineapple Express" tropical system brought rain to the mountains, melting snow and swelling creeks. A woman was injured when a tree fell on a home in Carmel, and falling trees knocked out power to houses in Atherton near Palo Alto, according to tweets from the National Weather Service (NWS) and local authorities.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 18:55:45 -0500
  • Anti-Amazon Backlash Rose From Grassroots to Stymie Bezos news Inc. expected some public outcry over its choice to expand in a redeveloped Queens industrial area along New York City’s East River. Among the fatal errors: Three-term Governor Andrew Cuomo and two-term New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, underestimated how an anti-corporate message from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in office less than two months, would take root so deeply and so quickly. “Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world,” Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described Democratic Socialist, said on Twitter.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 17:03:32 -0500
  • There’s Not Much Performance in Denver Schools’ ‘Pay for Performance’ System news

    On Monday, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) went on strike, the latest in a series of teacher strikes that have erupted across the country over the past year. While Denver teachers have voiced concerns about class sizes, support staff, and starting salaries, the consensus is that the issue at the heart of the strike is teacher frustration with Denver’s once-celebrated ProComp pay system, which was jointly developed by the DCTA and Denver Public Schools in 2005.Back then, ProComp was heralded as a pioneering step forward on pay-for-performance/merit pay, and that framing  has colored coverage of the strike. Even before the strike started, education outlet Chalkbeat ran an explainer headlined, “How a once-promising merit pay system led Denver teachers to the brink of a strike.” This week, the Washington Post reported “Denver teachers strike in bid to dismantle pay-for-performance system.” The New York Times account was headlined, “Denver Teachers’ Strike Puts Performance-Based Pay to the Test.”The only problem? This narrative is bunk. For all the talk about “merit” and “performance,” ProComp is almost wholly devoid of any links between pay and teacher performance.As Denver Public Schools’ compensation chart illustrates, ProComp allows teachers to earn an annual $3,851 pay bump for obtaining an advanced degree or license; a $2,738 boost for working in a “hard to staff” field or a “hard to serve” school; $1,540 for working in a “ProComp Title I” school, which is different than a “hard to serve” school; $855 for completing the requisite “professional development units”; and between $800 and $5,000 for filling designated leadership roles. There is also a yearly bonus for teachers based on students’ state-wide-exam results.None of these bonuses, save perhaps for the last one, are performance-based. The only other component of ProComp resembling anything even remotely close to a performance-based incentive for individual teachers is the $855 they can receive for a satisfactory evaluation on a paper-driven performance rubric — and that figure falls by half for longtime educators. (Just how modest is such a sum in context? Average teacher pay in Denver before incentives is about $51,000, and the district has already offered teachers a 10 percent raise.)A couple points here merit note. First, contra the coverage of the strike, the Denver pay system which has sparked so much backlash is not actually rewarding performance. Rather, ProComp is mostly designed to reward the usual credentialism and to steer teachers to work in certain schools or fields. That’s all fine, and some of it makes good sense, but it’s a misnomer to characterize it as constituting a “pay-for-performance” scheme.Second, to the extent that ProComp seeks to reward performance in any fashion, it has opted for school-wide bonuses to schools that make large gains on math and reading scores (what the district euphemistically terms “top performing-high growth” schools). Reading and math scores matter, a lot. But education reform’s fascination with paying for test points is troubling on several counts. It is bizarrely detached from the instruction that most teachers (including those who teach science, foreign languages, music, or history) are asked to focus on and has encouraged corner-cutting and outright cheating. It also has parents concerned about narrow curricula and soulless instruction, and teachers feeling like insurance salesmen.Performance pay is always tricky, but a raft of for-profit and non-profit organizers have muddled through in pretty sensible ways — tapping human judgment, seeking to assess the full contribution that an employee makes, and relying more upon promotions and raises than one-time bonuses.Denver’s situation is so noteworthy because Denver is no laggard. Indeed, for many years, it has been celebrated as a “model” district by reformers. So it’s disheartening how little progress the city has actually made. Reformers wound up being so focused on finding ways to pay teachers to switch schools or raise test scores that they missed what might have been a larger opportunity to reshape the teaching profession by reimagining how teachers’ job descriptions, pay structures, and responsibilities could work. Indeed, given the limited dollar amounts involved (a 1–2 percent bonus if a teacher aces his personal evaluation), it’s hard to imagine why anyone ever expected ProComp to be a game-changer.As teacher strikes continue apace and efforts to improve schooling move on from the enthusiasm of the Bush and Obama years, there may emerge new opportunities to rethink teacher pay. If they do, reformers should seize them by focusing more intently on how well teachers do their jobs, and less on where they work or how many boxes they check.Frederick M. Hess is the director of education-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Brendan Bell is the education-program manager at AEI.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 06:30:52 -0500
  • PR push for white officer accused of killing armed black man

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The attorney for a white police officer charged with fatally shooting an armed black man in Tennessee is calling for legal discovery documents to be sealed from members of the public.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 18:59:21 -0500
  • Former US Air Force agent charged with defecting to Iran news

    The US Justice Department charged a former Air Force intelligence official Wednesday with spying for Iran, saying she exposed a fellow US agent and helped the Revolutionary Guard target her former colleagues for cyber attacks. US officials said Monica Witt, 39, who worked a decade in Air Force counterintelligence, had an "ideological" turn against her country and defected in 2013, turning over information on US espionage operations against Tehran. "It is a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country," said Assistant Attorney General John Demers, announcing the indictment.

    Wed, 13 Feb 2019 15:06:13 -0500
  • Honda's pickup trucks recalled because they can catch fire from car wash soap

    The Honda pickup is subject to a new recall to fix faulty fuel pumps that can crack when exposed to acids in car-wash detergents.

    Fri, 15 Feb 2019 12:56:53 -0500
  • This Year’s Flu Shot Was Far More Effective Than Last Year's. Here’s Why news

    The CDC just released its latest numbers

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 13:00:19 -0500
  • Trump Venezuela envoy interrogated by Ilhan Omar over his role in Iran-Contra scandal news

    Donald Trump’s envoy to Venezuela was left flustered and visibly angry following an interrogation by Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar over his controversial political past. Elliot Abrams was appointed special envoy to Venezuela last month to help lead the US response to the political crisis in the South American country, which is seeing widespread hunger and violence following the collapse of its economy. On Wednesday, Mr Abrams, who served in the Reagan administration, testified in front of the House foreign affairs select committee, where he was subjected to a fierce line of questioning by Ms Omar.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 09:20:00 -0500
  • Report: President Trump Installs $50,000 Golf Simulator in the White House news

    President Trump has installed a room-sized golfing simulator inside his personal quarters at the White House

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 11:01:15 -0500
  • UK's Prince Harry visits marines in the Arctic on Valentine's Day news

    Britain's Prince Harry flew up to the Arctic on Valentine's Day to meet the Royal Marines and learn about special freezing-weather helicopter commando exercises. Harry, who is Captain General of the Royal Marines, visited northern Norway where he reviewed the Commando Helicopter Force which operates in temperatures as low as minus 30 Celsius. "This is the first time His Royal Highness has visited Joint Helicopter Command since becoming Captain General and it is great that he is doing the visit while we’re in Norway," said Warrant Officer 1st Class Adrian Shepherd, who has served with force for 27 years.

    Thu, 14 Feb 2019 09:11:42 -0500
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