Violence and unrest spread across the Middle East today, from northern Africa to the Persian Gulf, according to this morning's New York Times.
"The protests convulsed countries across the Middle East on Thursday , with riot police launching a sudden crackdown on thousands of people challenging the monarchy in Bahrain, firing shot guns, tear gas and concussion grenades into a tent camp to send demonstrators fleeing under clouds of stinging fumes. At least five people were reported killed," the article says.
Students on Wednesday protested Gov. Scott Walker's budget solution of ending collective bargaining rights for most state workers, according to the La Crosse Tribune today:
"With a warning to stay out of the street, an estimated 700 to 800 students poured through the doors of La Crosse's Central High School and lined a block of Losey Boulevard, cheering to honks from passing cars and waving handmade signs proclaiming love for their teachers and invocations to "kill the bill," which is expected to come before the full Legislature as early as today," the story says.
"In addition to eliminating collective bargaining rights, the legislation also makes public workers pay half the costs of their pensions and at least 12.6 percent of their health care coverage - changes the Republican governor calls "modest" compared to those in the private sector."
And here's Minnesota Public Radio's take:
"Walker's budget repair plan has been called by some the most aggressive anti-union proposal yet to solve state budget problems. Wisconsin is one of at least 7 states with proposals stripping teachers of some of their collective bargaining rights," the story explains.
"If the legislature approves Walker's proposal, it would mark an unprecedented shift for Wisconsin, which has had a comprehensive collective bargaining law since the 1960s."
Minnesota students' voices
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, college students protested tuition costs, according to another MPR story:
"State Sen. John Carlson told the crowd about his effort to freeze tuition at MnSCU and the University of Minnesota. Carlson has introduced a measure that would hold tuition at current levels in the state’s public colleges for two years. After that tuition increases would be tied to the level of inflation," the piece says.
Rural air service
Subsidies to small airports could be eliminated if this bill gets passed:
"The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted 34-25, mostly along party lines, for a Republican-authored bill that establishes and renews Federal Aviation Administration programs through Sept. 30, 2014," the article says.
"The bill would eliminate most of the $200 million essential air service program, which pays airlines to provide scheduled service to 155 communities. It would phase out the program in the lower 48 states by 2013. After that, only subsidies for service to airports in Alaska - currently about $12.5 million a year - would be continued."
Winona Public Library's roof is leaking, and now the city is taking action:
"The City Council will consider the cost of repairing the leaky area or replacing the roof entirely. Two quotes are being prepared for the meeting, but until they are submitted, the total cost of repairs cannot be determined, said Chad Ubl, community services director for the city," according to today's Winona Daily News.
Making the most of their space
Students at Gilmanton High School have a tough time finding space to play music, but they do what they can. Read the feature at our site.