News & Features

Obama Took a Big StepToward Ending Grotesque Drug Sentencing Laws

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Obama essentially followed a lead that then Attorney General Eric Holder took when he virtually ordered US attorneys to take a hard look at who they are prosecuting for drug crimes, and why. Holder minced no words in stating the obvious. The overwhelming majority of those prosecuted are mostly poor, blacks and Hispanics, for low level, petty dealing and use. In legions of cases, those offenders were slapped with draconian sentences of 10 or more years with little prospect of parole. 

Iran Deal Holds Both Promise and Peril for Hillary Clinton

James Oliphant and Amanda Becker

Clinton embraced the deal on Tuesday in remarks on Capitol Hill. She had little choice. By her own admission, she was a driver of the talks that resulted in the historic accord, telling reporters she was “part of building the coalition that brought us to this point” while praising the agreement as “an important step that puts the lid on Iran’s nuclear programs.”

Washington State Gains $65 Million in Taxes from Marijuana Market

Brendan O’Brien

Washington state took in $65 million in tax revenue from the recreational marijuana market during the first 12 months since it became legal to produce and sell, according to data released by state regulators this week. The revenue was generated by cannabis sales of more than $260 million from June 2014 to June 2015, according to data released by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which oversees the distribution of cannabis.

Who is Burning America’s Black Churches, And Why?

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The count of black churches in the South that have been torched is not the six that have been burned since the massacre of nine blacks at Charleston's Emmanuel AME Church, but 37. The church burnings occurred in a period of not two weeks but over 18 months. That was only the tip of the church burning iceberg. In a six-year period between 1991 and 1996, the ATF investigated more than 150 churches that had been torched in both the South and the North. 

Fendi, Dior, Chanel Gowns Shimmer Down Runway in Paris Couture Week

Marie-Louise Gumuchian

Floaty floor-length gowns, intricate detailing and "haute fourrure" or "high fur" mark this week's Paris Haute Couture shows, where some of fashion's best-known names present some of the world's most expensive clothes. On Monday, Christian Dior models strutted in flowing white dresses, tight-waisted coats with ankle-length puffy skirts and oversized capes in a specially built structure at the Musee Rodin.

Greece Seeks EU Loan Deal to Avert Collapse

Barbara Lewis and Alastair Macdonald

A race to save Greece from bankruptcy and keep it in the euro gathered pace on Wednesday when Athens formally applied for a three-year loan and European authorities launched an accelerated review of the request. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called in a speech to the European Parliament for a fair deal, acknowledging Greece's historic responsibility for its plight.

U.S. and Iran: Longtime Enemies Who Hope to Make a Deal

Louis Charbonneau

It's always awkward to defend your enemies. But that's the position U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has found itself in with Iran as it pushes for an historic accord that would end a 12-year nuclear standoff. Tehran and Washington, which have called each other the "Great Satan" and a member of the "Axis of Evil" during 36 years of hostility, are more used to exchanging insults than defending each other. 

Why Are So Many Republicans Running for President?

David Greenberg

While it’s tempting to ridicule this colorful cast of characters, these candidates — with the profound exception of real-estate mogul Donald Trump — aren’t fools chasing free airtime. All but three are former or current senators or governors who, in a smaller group, would be considered viable contenders. If all these candidates hang in there for eight to 12 months, GOP voters will find that every vote counts.

Cabbies: Uber Is Killing Our Business

Sunita Sohrabji

Indian American taxi driver Makhan Singh, owner of Fremont-based Jet Cab, told India-West he has seen his income drop by almost 50 percent since Uber started picking up fares in Fremont a year ago. “I am losing about $1,500 per month to Uber,” stated Singh, who has two daughters, one who started kindergarten this year. “Business is very slow,” he said, adding that many of his long-time “regulars” are now using Uber for their airport runs.

How the Supreme Court Obamacare Ruling Helps Millions of Americans

Viji Sundaram

In a 6-3 ruling handed down by the high court Thursday, the justices said that the 8.7 million people like Richardson who are currently receiving subsides to make heath insurance affordable on the exchange will continue receiving it no matter where they live. The ruling was a resounding affirmation of Congress’ intention of subsidizing insurance coverage under ACA.


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