Chicago teachers extend strike, mayor seeks court order

Reuters – The confrontation between Chicago teachers and Mayor Rahm Emanuel escalated on Sunday when their union extended a strike and the mayor said he would go to court to block the walkout, risking more friction within President Barack Obama’s political coalition as the November 6 election nears.

There will be no classes in Chicago public schools on Monday and Tuesday, affecting 350,000 kindergarten, elementary and high school students.

The showdown left in doubt a deal on wages, benefits and education reforms for 29,000 unionized teachers that negotiators thought they had struck on Friday to end the biggest labor dispute in the United States in a year.

It also could widen a rift within the Democratic Party between education reformers such as Obama’s former top White House aide Emanuel, and organized labor Read more of this post


Luxury Home Builder Reports a Revenue Gain of 41%

Reuters – Toll Brothers, the largest luxury home builder in the United States, reported its highest revenue since the recession of 2008, underlining the recovery in the housing market and sending its shares to a five-year high.

The company, which focuses on affluent customers who typically make at least $100,000 a year and have spotless credit records, reported an increase in orders and forecast higher revenue for the full year.

“We are enjoying the most sustained demand we have experienced in over five years,” Toll’s chief executive, Douglas C. Yearley Jr., said in a statement. “The housing recovery is being driven by pent-up demand, very low interest rates and attractively priced homes.”

The housing market, which fell into a deep rut six years ago prompting a recession, has been recovering this year. Home sales have risen, helped by higher rental rates and low inventory. Read more of this post

On Web, a Fine Line on Free Speech Across the Globe

New York Times – For Google last week, the decision was clear. An anti-Islamic video that provoked violence worldwide was not hate speech under its rules because it did not specifically incite violence against Muslims, even if it mocked their faith.

he White House was not so sure, and it asked Google to reconsiderthe determination, a request the company rebuffed.

Although the administration’s request was unusual, for Google, it represented the kind of delicate balancing act that Internet companies confront every day.

These companies, which include communications media like Facebook and Twitter, write their own edicts about what kind of expression is allowed, things as diverse as pointed political criticism, nudity and Read more of this post

Brace Yourself, Your New Boss May be Younger Than You

Fox Business – Someone new is moving into the corner office and for current employees, there’s a good chance that person is younger than you.

It’s a scary realization for some, but nevertheless a reflection of how the workforce has changed in recent years as companies become more reliant on younger employees who tend to be cheaper but have the high-tech skills of a more-recent graduate.

About a third of U.S. workers say their boss is younger than they are and around 15% say they work for someone who is at least 10 years younger, according to a new CareerBuilder survey, highlighting a shift in the correlation between seniority and leadership. Read more of this post

Wall Street ends at multi-year highs on Fed

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose for a fourth straight session on Friday to close out the week at nearly five-year highs after the Federal Reserve took bold action to spur the economy, a move that could keep equities buoyed in the coming months.

Shares of Apple Inc, the largest U.S. company by market value, ended at an all-time peak, and Exxon Mobil, the second biggest, hit a four-year high.

Equities are in a run-up that has pushed the S&P 500 to end higher for four consecutive months. The extended advance has come mainly from actions by Europe’s and the United States’ central banks to keep interest rates low and stimulate their struggling economies.

The Fed said Thursday that it would keep up its aggressive bond-buying until unemployment falls. Read more of this post

Apple Wins Patent Ruling Against Samsung at Trade Agency

(Bloomberg) – Apple Inc.  won a round of a U.S. International Trade Commission case brought by Samsung Electronics Co.  over patented technology in the iPhone and iPad tablet computer, its second U.S. legal victory in a month over its largest smartphone competitor.

Apple didn’t violate Samsung’s patent rights, ITC Judge James Gildea said in a notice posted today on the agency’s website. The judge’s findings are subject to review by the full commission, which has the power to block imports of products that infringe U.S. patents.

The judge’s findings follow a federal jury’s ruling in San Jose, California, on Aug. 24 awarding Apple more than $1 billion in damages, after deciding that Samsung copies the look and some features of the iPhone. The California jury rejected claims that Apple infringed other Samsung patents. Read more of this post