Where many found jobs: Construction and health care
1/12/2018 5:42:51 PM

Construction boosted strong hiring in December, with builders and contractors expanding to keep up with heavy demand for homes. The sector accelerated hiring to 30,000 jobs during the month. For the full year, construction added 210,000 jobs, up from 155,000 in 2016. Health care and manufacturing also posted strong gains of 31,000 and 25,000 jobs, respectively, in December. Driving the manufacturing gains were makers of durable goods, including machinery and fabricated metal products. By contrast, retailers shed 20,300 jobs last month as general merchandise stores, including...

New Federal pot rule sparks latest clash over states' rights
1/12/2018 5:38:59 PM

By Sudhin Thanawala The decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind an Obama-era policy on federal marijuana enforcement sparked an outcry from Republicans and Democrats. They argue that Sessions is trampling on the rights of states that have decided to legalize pot for medical or recreational use, or both. Pot remains illegal under federal law, and Sessions' new direction lets federal prosecutors in states where marijuana is legal decide how aggressively to enforce that law. Here's a look at how states have broken with the federal government on pot and...

Listen to the military on climate change
1/12/2018 5:23:40 PM

By Matt Haney Whom should we believe when it comes to national security: military experts preparing for future dangers, or politicians preparing for their next election? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question, but it deserves consideration. When it comes to global warming, national security has taken a back seat to ideology and campaign contributions. There is little doubt, outside of Washington, D.C., about the causes of climate change. That the planet is getting warmer due to human activity is confirmed by 97 percent of climate scientists and nearly 200 scientific academies...

Lessons from the African-American vote in Alabama
12/28/2017 6:48:45 PM

By Dr. John Warren The African Americans who have convinced themselves that one vote doesn’t matter, should take a very close look at what happened during the recent special election in Alabama. In spite of the endorsement of President Donald Trump and the extremely conservative White voters who supported Roy Moore, Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate won the for the United States Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Jones was the first Democrat elected to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate in 25 years. How he won is very important to African Americans across...

Congress still needed to bolster Trump effort to end Obama’s war on coal
12/28/2017 6:35:33 PM

By Robert Romano “Congress has abandoned much of its responsibility to legislate and has instead given unelected regulators extraordinary power to control the lives of others.” That was President Donald Trump on Dec. 14 letting the American people know specifically why his administration has had to spend much of its first year in office taking apart the administrative state in Washington, D.C., where it is bureaucrats who make law, not Congress. “This excessive regulation does not just threaten our economy, it threatens our entire constitutional system,”...

Five tips to stress-free homeownership from the experts
12/27/2017 7:41:42 PM

By Christopher G. Cox For most people, the decision to purchase a home is the single biggest financial commitment they will make in a lifetime of decision-making. The decision to buy a home, especially a first home, involves so many competing factors, that it can cause high levels of stress and anxiety. As stress-inducing as a home purchase can be, there are things that a prospective homeowner can do to minimize potential headaches. Ruth Hudspeth, branch manager for Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, says the number one thing homebuyers need to do is be...

New enrichment program for Black girls transforms lives
12/17/2017 10:06:37 PM

By Candace J. Semien At a time when many messages for young girls seem to be conflicting, Baton Rouge teens are experiencing an influx of organizations and programs designed to show them how amazing and powerful they are in the world. From Black Girls Rock on a national scale to the local Womanhood101 initiative and the TransfHERmation program, the brilliance of teen girls are being magnified and strengthened. “I believe girls are a special gift from God and they should be nurtured as such,” said Quintina Ricks, founder of TransfHERmation, an enrichment program for...

Who will become the next president of South Africa?
12/17/2017 9:49:42 PM

By Stacy M. Brown The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s governing social democratic political party once led by the late Nelson Mandela, faces perhaps its most contentious and controversial election yet. On Dec. 18, the party will vote for its next president, a contest that puts former health minister Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma against Deputy Prime Minister Cyril Ramaphosa and three others including Lindiwe Sisulu, the nation’s minister of Defense and Military Veterans. “South Africa is governed by the Tripartate Alliance of the ANC, South...

President draws protests while honoring civil rights heroes
12/17/2017 9:41:34 PM

By Darlene Superville President Donald Trump has honored figures of the civil rights movement, some famous, some not, at a ceremony that exposed stark divisions among Americans about his commitment to that legacy. Trump on Saturday toured the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the adjacent Museum of Mississippi, both in Jackson. Outside, demonstrators protested his presence, some holding signs that said “Make America Civil Again” and “Lock Him Up” and others shouting “No Trump, no hate, no KKK in the USA.” During the opening ceremony, about...

Anita Hill says Thomas, Weinstein part of arc toward justice
12/14/2017 11:39:17 AM

By Sandy Cohen Anita Hill told a room full of entertainment industry professionals that her 1991 testimony about Clarence Thomas and the flood of sexual harassment allegations surfacing now are part of “an arc that had been bending toward justice.” Hill and National Women's Law Center President Fatima Goss Graves spoke to Hollywood actors and executives Friday about how to parlay the momentum generated by the Harvey Weinstein revelations into lasting social change. Actresses Alyssa Milano and Frances Fisher and documentarian Kirby Dick were among the more than...