04 21 2015
  1:18 am  
     •     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
    Read More
  • A number of the bills now before the Oregon State Legislature protect parties who have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault  
    Read More
  • Some lawmakers, sensing a tipping point, are backing the parents and teachers who complain about 'high stakes' tests   
    Read More
  • Watch Rachel Maddow interview VA Secretary Robert McDonald  
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Gov. John Kitzhaber speaking at a business industry event

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber speaks during the annual Oregon Business Summit in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. The state's business community has outlined a legislative wish list centered on improvements in education, infrastructure and natural resource policy. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon public high schools have to start picking up the pace if they are to achieve Gov. John Kitzhaber's demand for a 100 percent graduation rate by 2025.

The state said Thursday that the on-time graduation rate increased to 72 percent in 2014. It's a jump of 3.3 percentage points from a year ago, but that gain is largely because of a new calculation procedure.

In previous years, special education students awarded modified diplomas were not counted in the graduation rate. This year, they are. The new calculation also includes students who met the requirements for a diploma after four years, but chose to stay in high school for a fifth-year program offered by some districts.

Oregon education officials say other states include such students in their tallies, so this year's rate makes for a better comparison than in 2013, when the state's graduation rate ranked last in the nation. National rankings for 2014 aren't available yet, but an extra 3.3 percentage points last year would have pushed Oregon ahead of four states.

Still, 72 percent leaves Oregon a long way from the governor's "40-40-20" goal. The governor expects 40 percent of students to receive a bachelor's degree or higher, 40 percent to get an associate degree or certificate and the other 20 percent to at least get a high school diploma.

"How (72 percent) strikes me is that we've got to go for 40-40-20 by 2025, and we've got work to do," Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden said.

Though no U.S. state has a graduation rate of 100 percent, or even 90 percent, most exceed 80 percent. Data released by Oregon education officials this week shows that 86 percent of Asian students graduated in four years, but white, black, Hispanic and American Indian students all fell well short of 80 percent. Only 68 percent of boys graduated in four years compared with 76 percent of girls.

As for improving the dropout rate, Golden said the state can make dramatic strides if it continues its push to have kids reading proficiently by the third grade and finds a way to get all students to show up regularly.

"We need to have a laser focus on chronic absenteeism," she said.

Despite the poor graduation rate, positive trends appeared in some districts. Hispanic students in the Woodburn School District, which is heavily Latino, had a graduation rate 23 percent higher than Hispanic students statewide. State officials credited a districtwide dual-language program.

Hispanic students in the Stanfield School District had a similarly strong performance. The state chalked it up to the Eastern Promise program, a partnership between Eastern Oregon high schools and Eastern Oregon University and local community colleges.

The state has nearly 200 school districts, most of them small. The districts representing the three largest cities — Portland, Eugene and Salem — had graduation rates near the state average.

Excluding districts with fewer than 20 students, the Eastern Oregon school districts of Imbler, Enterprise and Pilot Rock had the highest graduation rates, all topping 96 percent. The worst rates were in Crook County, Estacada and Elkton. All graduated between 20 percent and 30 percent the students who enrolled in 2010-11.

 

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Carpentry Professionals

PHOTO GALLERY

Calendar

About Us

Breaking News

The Skanner TV

Turn the pages

Portland Opera Showboat 2