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450 miles of wall by end of 2020, Army Corps reports to President Trump
4/11/2019 10:07:07 PM

By Robert Romano   “Around Dec. 2020, the total amount of money we will have put in the ground in the last couple of years will be about 450 miles. That’s probably about $8 billion, in total about 33 projects.” That was Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, giving President Donald Trump a report at Calexico, Calif. on how much new wall would be constructed by the end of 2020. Semonite broke down the figures: That’s 82 miles as of right now mainly from renovating existing...

Jobs report signals steady economy in first quarter
4/11/2019 10:03:57 PM

By Rick Manning   Why was I eagerly anticipating at the Labor Department job report for March? Job reports are boring and they are usually more of a trailing indicator of the nation’s economic direction as the last thing that employers do is lay off employees when heading into tougher times.  However, two factors made the April 5 report different. First, the February establishment report showed what could have been a trend setting flattening of the number of jobs created with a meager 20,000 reached after acceleration into the 300,000s the previous two...

Toward a Living Wage
4/4/2019 6:24:10 PM

By Julianne Malveaux   It is unfathomable that the federal minimum wage has not been increased in more than a decade, since 2007. That the wage, at $7.25 per hour, has remained flat through recession and recovery, through extremely high unemployment rates and much lower ones. Republicans have absolutely refused to consider minimum wage increases, and in early March rejected a bill that would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. Still, with the Democratic majority in Congress, the bill came out of committee on a 28-20 party line vote. While the federal...

I Don’t Miss My Teacher’s Hickory Stick, but She Never Did
4/4/2019 6:22:29 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   I am not sure why I think of some things, however, every occasionally I remember something that happened a million years ago. Or so it seems. This week for some reason, I happened to think of my fifth grade elementary school teacher. Her name was Miss Ammon. She was a wonderful teacher in many regards and taught me quite a bit or at least she tried. As a fifth-grader, I looked at her as a very old woman. She might’ve been 50, I’m not sure. One of my friends joked and asked her, “Miss Ammon, how was Noah as a student?” I...

American Exceptionalism at Its Worst
4/4/2019 6:18:18 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman   On March 15, a terrorist carrying two semi-automatic weapons and three rifles attacked worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 men, women, and children—some of them refugees who had fled war zones seeking safety. In the hours that followed nearly 70,000 New Zealanders signed petitions calling for gun control reform, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led the nation’s elected leaders in vowing to take swift action. On March 21, less than a week later, Prime Minister Ardern announced the...

African American Heart Health Is Vital
3/29/2019 5:05:33 PM

By Dr. Anisa Shomo   Last month, February 2019, was not only Black History Month, it was also Heart Health Awareness Month per the American Heart Association. Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. Generally, heart disease is considered a man’s disease, but more Black and White women die of heart disease than all cancers combined. About 610,000 men and women die of heart disease each year and it accounts for 1 in 4 deaths in both genders. Coronary Heart Disease is the most common type and accounts for over half of these deaths....

In Defense of Screen Time
2/28/2019 12:38:01 AM

By Siri Fiske   The Silicon Valley engineers who design our tech gadgets won't let their kids anywhere near those devices, according to a shocking New York Times profile. These workers are convinced too much time in front of smartphones and iPads is rotting kids' brains. Technology "is wreaking havoc on our children," warned one former Facebook employee. These parents need to relax. It's true that allowing kids to browse social media until the wee hours of the morning isn't a good idea. But it's also true that smart phones, iPads, and other...

At a Climate Crossroads: Nonviolence or Violence
2/28/2019 12:36:26 AM

By Andrew Moss   Sixty-one years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King declared, "Today the choice is no longer between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Emboldened by the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott two years earlier, King saw nonviolence not only as a powerful strategy for achieving social change; he viewed it as a philosophy and way of life that gave the world its only genuine alternative to the doomsday scenarios posed by the cold war arms race. As he said, "In a day when Sputniks and Explorers dash through outer space and...

We Must Tackle the Suicide Epidemic Among Veterans and Service Members
2/28/2019 12:35:11 AM

By Andrew L. Yarrow We rightfully mourn the approximately 7,000 U.S. members of the armed services who have died in the long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet, the death toll from more than 17 years of war is slightly less than the yearly total of suicides by active-duty service members and veterans. Twenty veterans and active-duty military commit suicide every day in the United States. They account for one-sixth of the more than 47,000 Americans who died by suicide in 2017. Veteran suicide rates are about 50 percent higher than rates among the general population, Keita...

New Fitness Test Presents Challenges for Army Guard
2/28/2019 12:33:13 AM

By Lolita C. Baldor   WASHINGTON (AP)—The Army National Guard is looking for nearly 5,000 fitness instructors and buying roughly $40 million in workout equipment in the next seven months to help its soldiers meet new physical fitness standards being set by the military service. But even as commanders begin delivering the new 10-pound medicine balls, pull-up bars and hexagon barbells, they also worry whether America's 330,000 citizen soldiers will have the time and the drive to master the new, more grueling Army fitness test. “For those who are already...