Obama pushes Congress to help states hire teachers – Your Houston News: News

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama wants Congress to help states rehire teachers and act on a key part of last year’s jobs bill. He says the last thing the U.S. needs is to have fewer teachers in our schools.

Obama says in his radio and Internet address Saturday that many states have been squeezed by the economic recession and have been forced to lay off teachers — about 250,000 across the nation.

Obama says Congress needs to act on part of last year’s jobs bill that would prevent more layoffs and rehire more teachers who lost their jobs.

Republicans say Obama’s policies stand in the way of a stronger economy. Minnesota congressman Erik Paulsen says House Republicans will push plans to boost domestic energy production and stop tax increases on small businesses.

Police: Pastor Dollar choked, hit daughter

ATLANTA — The 15-year-old daughter of megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar told authorities her father choked and punched her, and hit her with his shoe during an argument over whether she could go to a party, according to a police report.

Dollar’s 19-year-old daughter corroborated most of her sister’s story, but Dollar disputed it, telling a sheriff’s deputy he was trying to restrain her when she became disrespectful. When she began to hit back, he wrestled her to the floor and spanked her, according to the police report.

Dollar is one of the most prominent African-American preachers based around Atlanta. his World Changers Church International has 30,000 members in the Atlanta area, and the ministry has satellite churches across the U.S.

Dollar faces misdemeanor charges of simple battery and cruelty to children. He has been released from jail and his lawyer said he was expected to preach Sunday.

Dollar said in a statement Friday he loved his children and would never hurt them.

Public-employee pensions face a rollback in Calif.

SAN DIEGO — for years, companies have been chipping away at workers’ pensions. now, two California cities may help pave the way for governments to follow suit.

Voters in San Diego and San Jose, the nation’s eighth- and 10th-largest cities, overwhelmingly approved ballot measures last week to roll back municipal retirement benefits — and not just for future hires but for current employees.

From coast to coast, the pensions of current public employees have long been generally considered untouchable. But now, some politicians are saying those obligations are trumped by the need to provide for the public’s health and safety.

The two California cases could put that argument to the test in a legal battle that could resonate in cash-strapped state capitols and city halls across the country. Lawsuits have already been filed in both cities.

“Other states are going to have to pay attention,” said Amy Monahan, a law professor at University of Minnesota.

The court battles are playing out as lawmakers across the U.S. grapple with ballooning pension obligations that increasingly threaten schools, police, health clinics and other basic services.

Cost to lunch with Warren Buffett: $3.5 M

OMAHA, Neb. — The cost to dine with investor Warren Buffett has apparently spiked in value, with one deep-pocketed bidder forking over nearly $3.5 million during a charity auction.

The annual auction for a private lunch with the Nebraska billionaire closed following a flurry of activity in the final hours Friday night. in the end, the highest bid was a record-breaking $3,456,789.

The auction benefits the Glide Foundation, which helps the homeless in San Francisco. Buffett has raised more than $11.5 million for the group in 13 past auctions. The event provides a significant portion of Glide’s roughly $17 million annual budget that pays for social services to the poor and homeless.

“We just had a most amazing, shocking experience occur in our great city,” Glide’s founder, the Rev. Cecil Williams, said in a statement Friday night. “We are shouting, dancing, rejoicing and celebrating.”

The organization said Friday’s winner bidder wished to remain anonymous. Williams said 10 people actively engaged in bidding.

Holder appoints 2 US attorneys to lead probe

WASHINGTON — two U.S. attorneys are taking over separate FBI investigations into leaks of national security information that critics have accused the White House of orchestrating to improve President Barack Obama’s re-election chances, a claim Obama calls “offensive” and “wrong.”

Recent news articles contained details of U.S. involvement in a partially successful computer virus attack on Iran’s nuclear program and on the selection of targets for counterterrorism assassination plots. The leaked information generally painted Obama as a decisive and hands-on commander in chief.

“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong,” Obama told reporters at a news conference Friday. “And people I think need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people around me here approach this office.”

Obama promised investigations into the source of leaks about U.S. involvement in cyberattacks on Iran and drone strikes on suspected terrorists.

“We’re dealing with issues that can touch on the safety and security of the American people, our families or our military personnel or our allies, and so we don’t play with that,” he said.

Obama pushes Congress to help states hire teachers – Your Houston News: News


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