Sunday, June 12, 2005

The strike is over and other clippings from the LA Times

Union, Hotels Avert Strike, Lockout
In two late City Hall sessions, Villaraigosa acts as go-between to achieve a tentative pact. Both sides anticipate ratification this week.
By John O'Dell, Times Staff Writer

In a deal brokered by Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa, hotel operators and union leaders tentatively agreed on a new contract Saturday, narrowly averting a lockout of union workers at seven major Los Angeles hotels.

The agreement to end a 14-month dispute between Unite Here Local 11 and the Los Angeles Hotel Employer's Council was signed at 4:55 a.m., five minutes before 2,500 union workers were to be locked out of their jobs in retaliation for a strike called Thursday against one of the council's hotels.

This is a victory for the hotel employees and their union and good for the hotels too, since they were facing a lot of lost business if the strike continued. It is also a big victory for Mayor-elect Villaraigosa, who gets credit for bringing the two sides together.

Debtor Nations Freed of Burdens

The G-8 agreement wipes out $40 billion owed by 18 African and Latin countries. It is a victory for Britain, which led the effort.
By John Daniszewski, Times Staff Writer

LONDON — Building on an accord between Britain and the United States, finance ministers of the world's wealthiest nations agreed Saturday to wipe out $40 billion in debt owed by 18 of the world's poorest countries as part of a major assault on global poverty.

The decision by the Group of 8, the world's leading industrial nations and Russia, fulfilled a decades-old dream of anti-poverty activists, who have argued that payments on old loans drain the limited resources of the world's poorest nations, most of which are in Africa, keeping millions of people mired in poverty.


The 18 countries deemed to have qualified for the debt forgiveness are: Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Nine other countries are expected to qualify within the next 18 months: Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, and Sierra Leone.

Worst mother ever?
Mother Says She Put Son in Basement Before Mauling
From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — The mother of the boy fatally mauled in his Sunset District home said Saturday that she shut her son in the basement to protect him from the family's pit bulls before the attack.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Maureen Faibish said she ordered her 12-year-old son, Nicholas, to stay in the basement while she did errands June 3, the day he was attacked by one or both of the dogs.

"I put him down there, with a shovel on the door," said Faibish, according to the newspaper. "He had a bunch of food. And I told him, 'Stay down there until I come back.' Typical Nicky, he wouldn't listen to me."

Faibish said she was concerned that the male dog, Rex, was acting possessive because the female, Ella, was in heat.

Home alone, Nicholas Faibish apparently found a way to open the basement door. That's when his mom believes that he walked in on the dogs while they were mating and was attacked by Rex.

"It was Rex. I know it in my heart," Faibish said. "My younger dog [Ella] was in heat and anyone who came near her, Rex saw as a threat. He may have been trying to mate. It was a freak accident. It was just the heat of the moment."

Despite her concerns about Rex that day, Faibish told the newspaper: "My kids got along great with" the dogs. "We were never seeing any kind of violent tendencies."

Faibish returned midafternoon to discover her son's body.

She said she still loved Rex but said she would never want him back in her house.

"I told them I wanted him put down," she said. "I think of Rex as someone who molested my child, murdered my child."

So locking her kid in the basement is her defense? You shouldn't own killer dogs in the first place, but if you do, shouldn't you be locking the dogs--not your kids--in the basement? "Typical Nicky, he wouldn't listen to me." How often was she locking this kid up? Now she doesn't want the dog back in her house? She shouldn't be allowed back in her house until she spends some time in prison thinking about her screwed up priorities.


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