In a ceremony marking several "firsts," Jean Quan, a former labor organizer and school board and city council member, was inaugurated Oakland's 49th mayor Jan. 3.
A new draconian law in Arizona went into effect banning classes statewide, k-12, that promote the teachings of civil rights leaders such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez.
With their two-thirds GOP majority in the Texas House, the right wing hopes to curtail the right of Texas workers to join unions.
Republican plans to cut taxes for the rich and social spending for working families may threaten food safety, say supporters of a law passed in the lame duck session of Congress and signed into law this week by President Obama.
Jamie and Gladys Scott received the news on December 29 that their 16-year prison ordeal was over at last: Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour commuted their double-life sentences and ordered them out of prison. They were originally accused of having taken part in an $11 robbery!
On a different planet, perhaps, an incoming Congress would now be plowing its way through the pages of jobs plans - but not this one.
Guess what: this year is stacking up as one of the hottest since we humans started keeping thermometer-based temperature records 160 years ago.
The South Central Neighborhood Council joined other groups calling for an end to the impoundment of unlicensed drivers' cars at traffic stops, charging that the practice targets poor, minority and immigrant communities.
The GOP finally relented and allowed 9/11 first responders funding for health care and other needs - but only after nine years and an intense grassroots campaign.
The 71-26 vote marked a significant foreign policy achievement for the Obama administration during the lame-duck Congressional session.