In January, Los Angeles' massive school system got a new leader in Michelle King at a moment of truth for the LAUSD. King’s appointment comes as charter school forces push for a major expansion of those institutions in the city. Some fear the expansion will batter the struggling school district even more. King is a longtime LAUSD insider, and the jury is still out on how effectively she will deal with these challenges.
President Obama’s plan to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation was supposed to be one of the signature legacies of his administration — an attempt at immigration reform using executive power after Congress had failed to pass a comprehensive new law.
But the plan suffered a spectacular setback when the U.S. Supreme Court announced in June it was deadlocked in a case challenging the plan. Because a lower court in Texas had ruled against the president’s plan. The 4-4 tie meant Obama could not go forward with it. With Trump’s election, immigration policy will now move in a radically different direction.
A landmark climate change agreement approved by nearly 200 countries went into force in November, the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The agreement, negotiated in Paris in late 2015, sets out a global action plan to limit the average global temperature rise since pre-industrial times to well below 2 degrees Celsius, the threshold at which scientists say many of the worst effects of global warming could be avoided.
A crucial threshold was reached Oct. 5, when at least 55 nations that collectively account for 55% of global emissions had approved the Paris accord. That number had grown to 118 by mid-December, including the world’s top polluters, China, the United States, the European Union and India.
The Obama administration played a key role in bringing more than 20 years of difficult climate negotiations to a successful conclusion and pledged to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. But even as the agreement went into effect, there was concern among world leaders that the U.S. could ignore its commitments under the deal, or pull out entirely, once Donald Trump becomes president.
The equivalent of a political earthquake struck Europe on June 23, when in a referendum over the United Kingdom’s future in the European Union, 52% voted to leave.
The vote was a measure of widespread unease over immigration, unemployment and the perception that bureaucrats in Brussels were calling too many of the shots. It led to Prime Minister David Cameron’s immediate resignation, replaced by Theresa May, who set a timetable for extricating Britain from the EU by the summer of 2019.
But Britain wasn’t the only country roiling with newly energized populist sentiment. Nationalists across Europe — in Germany, Denmark, Austria, Hungary, Italy and elsewhere — were riding the same wave of populism that seemed to propel Donald Trump into power across the Atlantic.
Clearly, we feel awful about it. He's a good guy, he had a bad moment and it's just part of life and you have to deal with it.
Coach Doc Rivers
What was supposed to be a dinner among friends in Toronto's entertainment district took a horrific turn in January when Clippers star Blake Griffin, pictured right, repeatedly punched assistant equipment manager Matias Testi, leaving his longtime buddy with a severely swollen face and Griffin with a broken right hand.
With a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.
Donald Trump vanquished one GOP rival after another until, in the end, only Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio remained. Cruz bet his campaign on the possibility of beating Trump in May in Indiana, a state with a conservative electorate, heavy with evangelical Christian voters, whom he hoped would side with him. They didn’t. Trump’s victory forced Cruz out of the race, and despite much ineffective posturing, the #NeverTrump opposition never gained traction.
The United States became the latest frontier for the Zika virus when mosquitoes were found to be spreading the virus in a bustling neighborhood north of downtown Miami. Four infections diagnosed there in July were the first U.S. cases transmitted not from travel to an affected country or by intimate contact with an infected person, but by a local mosquito bite.
In a grim milestone, the World Health Organization declared in November that Zika no longer presents a “public health emergency” and should now be treated like other established infectious diseases. Not that it’s not serious, said Dr. Pete Salama, director of the WHO’s health emergencies program. “We’re sending the message that Zika is here to stay.”
No sober person in Latin America wants to adopt the Cuban system. But wherever he went in Latin America he received a raving ovation. Why? Because he stood up to the United States, told us where to go, and got away with it.
Wayne Smith, veteran U.S. diplomat
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro was the charismatic icon of leftist revolution who thrust his Caribbean nation onto the world stage by provoking Cold War confrontation and defying U.S. policy through 11 administrations. He was 90.
These Dodgers don’t do anything conventionally, don’t follow any old baseball code, do not adhere to any unwritten rules except the one that says you do everything it takes to win.
The Dodgers were leading in the decisive Game 5 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals, but their closer was struggling and the win looked in doubt.
Enter Clayton Kershaw, who offered to pitch on one day of rest and eventually walked in from the left-field bullpen at Nationals Park to the same incredulous gasps that accompanied Orel Hershiser when he pitched on consecutive days in October 1988. He retired the final two batters — and this wasn’t supposed to happen. Kershaw had not pitched as a closer in 10 years, since doing so for the Dodgers’ rookie league team in the Gulf Coast League, on a day when his catcher was — get this — a young Kenley Jansen.
The Dodgers won that Oct. 13 game against the Nationals, 4-3. They ended up losing in the NLCS to the Chicago Cubs, but for a short time in Washington, a World Series win seemed like a definite possibility.