Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

1. Big Idea: 'I did it all on my own': Calif. undocumented students get first grants
NBC Nightly News Online

Following the 2011 passage of Assembly Bill 131, undocumented students in California are now eligible for state-funded financial aid. In this article and video, Berkeley students and former Chancellor Robert Birgeneau are interviewed. Full Story

2. Family of slain U.S. ambassador to Libya announces UC Berkeley fund
Los Angeles Times

The family of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, who was slain in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year, has established a fund honoring him at UC Berkeley, his alma mater. The $100,000 endowment for the school's Center for Middle Eastern Studies will “support research and travel to the Middle East and North Africa for students who demonstrate a high level of distinction and are pursuing a degree in or related to Middle Eastern studies,” the campus announced. Chancellor Nicholas Dirks called it a “wonderful gift” and said there “could be no better way to honor his legacy than enabling future generations of students to follow in his footsteps.” Ambassador Stevens earned his bachelor's degree at Berkeley in 1982. Related stories appeared in the San Jose Mercury News and KGO TV--link to video. Full Story

3. 5 years after crash, wealthy are better off
San Francisco Chronicle

A new study coauthored by economics professor Emmanuel Saez has found that the wealthiest Americans earned more than 19 percent of the country’s household income in 2012 -- their biggest share since 1928 – and that they have also enjoyed 95 percent of the income gains generated between 2009 and 2012. Professor Saez also reports that in spite of an improving economy, it's unlikely that income inequality will ease much in the near future. Full Story

4. Reich: Inequality approaching a tipping point
CBS MoneyWatch

A new documentary called "Inequality for All," directed by Jacob Kornbluth, features Berkeley public policy professor Robert Reich explaining the risks of surging income inequality in the U.S. "Almost all of the gains, certainly since the recession, but really most of the gains over the last 30 years, have gone to the very top," he said in an interview. "One very practical problem as we get to in the film is that it's very hard for an economy to grow when [most people don't have money to spend]. ... The purpose of the film is to give people a deeper understanding of what's going on and therefore let them be active participants in change. ... The real question, it seems to me, is whether we will succumb to the demagogues -- scapegoating of the rich or of the poor -- and find ourselves in a more divided and polarized society or whether we will roll up the sleeves and make the changes in the economy." Link to trailer. Full Story

5. Black workers embody the new low-wage economy
Al Jazeera America

In an article about African Americans in the low-wage economy, labor policy specialist Steven Pitts comments on the difference between workers' rights attitudes among immigrants and African Americans. “With immigrants, the dominant pull was jobs -- that was essential -- but with African-Americans, it was about the elimination of rights, the suppression of humanity. The freedom struggle is around a lot of things,” he says. Full Story

6. Study Touts Timely Reporting of Income Changes Under ACA
California Healthline

A study led by Ken Jacobs, chairman of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, has warned that some families may have to refund the government some of the money they received to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Jacobs recommends several ways the exchanges in Califoria and elsewhere can help consumers understand the tax credits and avoid surprises. Full Story

7. Battle for nomination to top job at Federal Reserve heats up
Washington Post

President Obama is expected to announce his choice for a successor to Ben Bernanke as head of the Federal Reserve in coming weeks, and the race reportedly has narrowed to two candidates – Janet Yellen and Lawrence Summers. Yellen is a Berkeley economics professor emeritus, and one of the questions coming up is whether the Fed could lose more women if she were not picked and stepped down. “Any time gender is raised as an issue, it doesn’t matter if you say it’s irrelevant or not,” says Berkeley business professor Laura Tyson. “It’s raised.” Professor Tyson was among more than 400 economists who signed a letter sent to Obama, urging him to nominate Yellen and calling her “superbly qualified.” Another signer was Berkeley economics professor Christina Romer of Berkeley. Full Story

8. Israel lobby, Congress allies lack unity on Syria
San Francisco Chronicle

Political science professor and Middle East policy expert Steve Weber comments on whether or not the pro-Israel lobby is influencing the Syria debate in Congress. "It's hard to be effective right now because the issue is such a moving target," he says. "This issue is really of its own kind, and there are so many intersecting sectors of interest that it's hard to say one is the most influential." Full Story

9. Bike path flaws add millions to Bay Bridge bill
San Francisco Chronicle

Civil and environmental engineering professor emeritus Bob Bea comments on new and costly problems with the bike path on the newly constructed span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. "It's symptomatic of a systemic problem," he says. "The bridge and the bike path, they are complex elements -- I think it's becoming clear that the required level of scrutiny and checking has been deficient." Full Story

10. International Educators Debate the Future of Student Mobility
Chronicle of Higher Education

An article about the growing popularity of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, discusses the international debate over whether the trend will affect the future of student mobility. Noting that MOOCs make it possible for a student in Bangalore, India, to take the same class as a peer at Berkeley, the author asks: "Will that student from Bangalore not come to study at the University of California at Berkeley if he can just take Berkeley courses online?" Full Story

11. Hundreds gather in 9/11 ceremonies in Union City, Pleasanton
Contra Costa Times (*requires registration)

A memorial ceremony in Union City Wednesday honored United Airlines Flight 93 passengers and crew who died on September 11, 2001, when their San Francisco-bound plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Mark Bingham, a UC Berkeley alum and former Cal rugby player, was on board that flight and he is credited with banding together with other passengers to prevent the terrorists from crashing the plane into the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Full Story

12. Fall 2013 classical music events include notes of protest
Los Angeles Times

A Fall arts preview highlights the Cal Performances presentation of the Kronos Quartet's 40th birthday concert at Zellerbach Hall on December 7. The concert will include the premiere of a new work by Terry Riley, as well as George Crumb's "Black Angels," the Vietnam War protest piece that launched the quartet. Full Story

13. Looking back at filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini
San Francisco Chronicle

A retrospective of the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini will be shown at the Pacific Film Archive September 20 - October 31. The openly gay Pasolini made often-controversial films between 1961 and 1975 before he was murdered near Rome at the age of 53. "He had a vision of literature and art and politics and social life that no one else in Italy had in the second part of the 20th century," said Paolo Barlera, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in San Francisco. "Whether you agreed or not, whenever he said something it was interesting -- and it would always trigger a discussion." Full Story

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