Friday, August 24, 2007


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Deal boosts Broward teachers' pay an average of 5.59%
By Jean-Paul Renaud
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 23, 2007

Broward school officials early Wednesday struck a long-awaited deal with theteachers union on raises and benefits for the county's 16,600 public schooleducators.

On average, teachers will receive a 5.59 percent raise, the starting salarywill be raised by $1,500, to $38,500 - the highest in the tri-county area -and the school district will increase its contribution to health carebenefits. The previous contract expired Aug. 15. The new contract now headsto teachers for approval, then to the School Board.

Officials hoped to come to an agreement before the start of school, but astalemate on the average raise, among other issues, led to teachers headingto their classrooms this week without a contract. The first day of schoolwas Monday.

"We did everything we could," said Superintendent Jim Notter. "We have ateacher contract that puts the beginning teacher salary at the top. Thosemetrics alone say enough about the quality of this School Board."

The top base salary for teachers will be $70,000.


Edwards Goes On Offensive - Takes On Clinton, Obama
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 23, 2007 - 7:30 am ET

(Concord, New Hampshire) Voters shouldn't pick a presidential candidate onthe basis of either "change rhetoric" or a yearning for the past, JohnEdwards says, seeking to draw clearer lines between himself and rivalsBarack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In a speech prepared for Thursday morning in New Hampshire, Edwards pointedout what he suggested were important differences between himself and hisbetter-polling opponents.

Obama's campaign has portrayed his relatively new arrival in Washington andhis pledge for change as an asset. Clinton spent most of the 1990s in theWhite House as the country's first lady and has touted that as invaluableexperience to change the way President Bush has run the country.

Edwards said voters shouldn't accept any of that.

"Small thinking and outdated answers aren't the only problems with a visionfor the future that is rooted in nostalgia," Edwards said in the preparedremarks. "The trouble with nostalgia is that you tend to remember what youliked and forget what you didn't. It's not just that the answers of the pastaren't up to the job today, it's that the system that produced them wascorrupt - and still is."


The New York Times

August 23, 2007
Religion News in Brief
Filed at 12:01 p.m. ET

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) -- The Rev. Jerry Falwell had life insurance policies worth $34 million and the money has been used to erase the debt of Liberty University, the school he founded.

The televangelist's son, Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr., said his father had named the university and the Thomas Road Baptist Church as beneficiaries to protect their future.

The policies left $29 million to Liberty; its debt had reached $82 million in 1992, but the school had succeeded in paying off a significant amount before the elder Falwell's death.

Another $5 million went to the 22,000-member Thomas Road congregation, which Falwell had led, according to the News & Advance of Lynchburg.

Falwell Jr. said his father used to joke that when he ''kicked the bucket'' the school would get a windfall. Falwell, a founder and leader of the Moral Majority, died last May.


The New York Times

Louisiana College to create a Christian law school

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Louisiana College plans to establish a law school with a ''biblical worldview'' that aims to train defenders of conservative Christian values.

Louisiana College, a 1,000-student school in Pineville, expects to hire a law dean next year and enroll up to 40 students in 2009, eventually building enough capacity to enroll 300 students. The school will seek accreditation from the American Bar Association.

Other conservative Christian law schools include Liberty University School of Law, founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, and Regent University School of Law, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson. Both those schools are in Virginia.

The Louisiana College law school will be named for Judge Paul Pressler, a leader in the conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention over the last few decades. He served in Texas on the state's district court and appeals court.


The Washington Post

The Pragmatic Obama
He's Shaping the Debate on Foreign Policy
By David Ignatius
Thursday, August 23, 2007; A19

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sen. Barack Obama is getting polite applause at best when he tells the delegates at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention here this week that in running for president, "I know I am running to become commander in chief." And then he tries to convince this intensely skeptical audience that he's the right man for the job.

Obama reminds them that he opposed the war in Iraq, even though most of the delegates doubtless supported it. He lauds the soldiers fighting there even as he criticizes the Bush administration civilians who have managed the war. He says that we have "no good options in Iraq" and that the United States must be careful about how it withdraws. He warns that when a president sends soldiers to war next time, the country must be united enough to sustain the fight.

The vets certainly aren't cheering wildly when Obama is done, but to judge from the dozens who rush up to meet him, he seems to have reassured this onservative audience that he's not a left-wing devil. When a local reporter asks him if he's surprised by the "warm response" he got, Obama displays the almost eerie self-confidence that has marked his rise as a candidate.


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