FROM David Callahan
How Much Money Do Universities Need? It’s graduation month. High school seniors are going off to college, and many parents are figuring out how they’re going to pay for an increasingly expensive education. The schools, on the other hand, aren’t all as cash-strapped. This week, USC got $25 million from trustee Rick Caruso to start a department of head and neck surgery. And Harvard, already the richest university in the world, received a $400 million donation from billionaire John Paulson. Where do big donations to already rich (and expensive) schools go?
Education Reform and the Power of Silicon Valley California's teacher-tenure laws are under fire in a Los Angeles court room. In Vergara v. California , nine students, backed by a millionaire from Silicon Valley, claim quality education is damaged because it's so hard to fire bad teachers and that poor and minority kids are disproportionately affected. If that's the verdict, it could radically change the way public education is conducted. It could also be a demonstration of how a single individual can amplify his or her own views by strategically spending big money.
Barclays, LIBOR and Banking Culture The latest global financial scandal may be the biggest of all, involving a benchmark used to set interest rates for contracts worldwide. It's the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR . As the world learns more about international banking, one public policy expert calls it a "cheating culture." We hear about the growing LIBOR scandal and what it might mean for $350 trillion in contracts -- from multi-national business and municipal government bonds down to mortgages and student loans. Photo: Bob Diamond, then-CEO of Barclay's UK, speaks at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2012.
The LIBOR and Why It Matters The London Interbank Offered Rate , or LIBOR, is what banks charge each other to borrow money, and it's not just for financial wonks and accountants. It's also used as a benchmark to set rates for $350 trillion in contracts: commercial loans, home loans, car loans and credit cards, including yours. Now it turns out that major banks may have manipulated the LIBOR for their own profit. Are they being run by a "cheating culture?" Would regulation of the latest global financial scandal help or should bankers be required to risk their own money, not everybody else's?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.