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American students are still falling behind Europe and Asia in math and science, according to international test results released yesterday.
Fourth-graders tested closer to the top students in reading and made some advancement on math since 2007, but other scores were statistically the same.
In math and fourth-grade science, South Korea and Singapore were top-ranked. Eighth-grade science was led by Singapore and Taiwan.
American fourth-graders were 11th in math and seventh in science; eighth-graders were ninth in math and 10th in science.
THE NAME IS MISLEADING
It isn’t about a right to work but rather a right for workers to choose whether they want to join a union or pay fees similar to union dues. The Michigan laws would make membership in a union and payment of dues voluntary and would cover both the private and public sectors, except for fire and police unions.
IT’S NOT THE FIRST STATE …
The right-to-work drive in Michigan is the latest of a series of setbacks for labor unions in the U.S., beginning in 2011, when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pushed through the legislature limits on teachers’ and other public-sector unions. The Wisconsin limits on unions are on hold while the issue is challenged in court. Earlier this year, Indiana passed right-to-work legislation, and two cities in California voted to curb the pensions of public-sector workers. In all, 23 other states have some sort of right-to-work laws on their books.
… BUT IT MAY BE THE BIGGEST
The symbolism of turning Michigan into a right-to-work state is strong because it is the home of the U.S. auto industry and the place where autoworkers first began to demand better wages and working conditions in the assembly-line automotive plants built by industrial barons such as Henry Ford in the 1920s. Michigan is a stronghold of the union movement in the United States. Some 671,000 workers, or 17.5 percent, were members of unions in Michigan in 2011.
Democrats and unions already are planning to challenge the state measures in court.
Are app developers violating children’s privacy rights?
We got to ride along with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division during training — and now you can too!
Pass out the dictionaries — American students are drastically, terrifyingly behind the curve in reading.
Since Cory Booker reportedly may challenge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, we stacked up the two politicians side-by-side.
Careful what you say — Big Brother’s listening! The Daily has learned that government officials are quietly installing audio surveillance on public buses across the country to eavesdrop on passengers.
Plans to implement the technology are under way in cities from San Francisco to Hartford, Conn., and Eugene, Ore., to Columbus, Ohio.
Linked to video cameras already in wide use, the microphones will offer a formidable new tool for security and law enforcement. With the new systems, experts say, transit officials can effectively send an invisible police officer to transcribe the individual conversations of every passenger riding on a public bus.
But the deployment of the technology on buses raises urgent questions about the boundaries of legally protected privacy in public spaces, experts say, as transit officials — and perhaps law enforcement agencies given access to the systems — seem positioned to monitor audio communications without search warrants or court supervision.
“This is very shocking,” said Anita Allen, a privacy law expert at the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s a little beyond what we’re accustomed to.”
More and more white-collar criminals are being banned from the Internet, even if their crimes didn’t occur online. And some critics say the punishment outweighs the crime.
While sex offenders have long had their web-browsing rights heavily restricted, now everyone from teenage hackers and wayward tech CEOs to people engaged in mail fraud have been given this new-fangled punishment, which means they cannot access a job forum — let alone check Facebook — without first asking a parole officer.
“What you’re doing is telling somebody, ‘I’m going to lock you into 1964, but you live in 2012,’” said Mark Schamel, a criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C. “All you’re doing is forcing people to violate probation to live their lives in the 21st century.”
Legal experts and First Amendment advocates say that in today’s Internet-centric age — when people file taxes, get directions and keep in touch online — the punishment outweighs the crime. Worse, they say, such restrictions make it more difficult to reintegrate into society.
“What judges are doing here on the Internet is like saying to a shoplifter, ‘Not only can you not go into that store, you also can’t go on the road, the highway, or even back out of your driveway,’” said Jeff Ifrah, an attorney who specializes in white-collar crime. “It’s really draconian and overbroad.”
Care for a Crap-accino?
Coffee made from elephant dung actually sells for $50 a poop, er, pop at some luxe hotels.
Black Ivory Coffee, which was launched last month at luxury hotels in Thailand, the Maldives and Abu Dhabi, sells for a whopping $50 a serving, or $500 per pound.
But more noteworthy than the inflated price is the curious process behind this exotic new brew, which involves pure Arabica beans being eaten by elephants and then plucked a day later from their dung, resulting in what some say is the world’s smoothest cuppa.
“When an elephant eats coffee, its stomach acid breaks down the protein found in coffee, which is a key factor in bitterness,” said Blake Dinkin, who has spent $300,000 developing the coffee. “You end up with a cup that’s very smooth without the bitterness of regular coffee.”