Today's Top Stories

Bloomberg Agrees to Buy Bureau of National Affairs for About $990 Million

Bloomberg LP, the closely held news and financial information provider, has agreed to buy the Bureau of National Affairs for about $990 million to add legal, tax and regulatory research and analysis. BNA shareholders, who are current and former employees, will get $39.50 a share in cash in a transaction that is expected to be completed this year. BNA employees are represented by the Newspaper Guild; Bloomberg employees are not.

Germany discovers that boosting unions reduces unemployment

Germany, with a 6% unemployment rate, relatively low by economic measures both in Europe and USA, has found that strengthening unions is an important way for reducing unemployment. It is also an important policy for reducing economic inequality. Moreover, Germany has a smaller deficit than the U.S. -- not because it spends less but because its tax policies take a heavier toll from huge corporations.

September 11 victims ask US attorney general to widen inquiry to computers

Relatives of September 11 victims have asked the US attorney general, Eric Holder, to widen the criminal inquiry into possible phone hacking by journalists from Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to include computer hacking. Holder told relatives during a meeting Wednesday that he was “outraged” at the “disgusting and unconscionable” allegations that their loved ones may have been victims of the tabloid phone hacking scandal, according to one who attended the meeting.

Fighting the Firings

After years of ‘silent raids’ and federal workplace audits, unions and community allies are going on the offensive.

When the current wave of mass firings of immigrant workers started three years ago, they were called “silent raids” in the press. The phrase makes firings seem more humane than the workplace raids of the Bush administration. No delegations of immigrant rights activists have traveled to Washington D.C. to protest. Unions have said little, even as their own members were fired -- and, in fact, the workplace enforcement wave is focusing not on low-wage employers, but on high-wage, and often unionized ones.

Labor power AFL-CIO to form super PAC to engage beyond unions

The AFL-CIO is forming a super PAC to engage nonunion members ahead of the 2012 elections, the federation said on Tuesday. AFL-CIO Political Director Michael Podhorzer said the 12.2 million-strong group was creating the political action committee to expand its communications, not to raise unlimited campaign funds for pro-labor candidates. The super PAC will be formally launched shortly after meetings this month.

Philadelphia Inquirer And Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Form News Alliance

The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said they are formalizing a news alliance that will include sharing print and online content, working on joint projects, and providing comprehensive statewide coverage. The two publications also will partner on key advertising and promotional initiatives, coinciding with those collaborative editorial programs resulting from the alliance.

Staff Cartoonists Make a Comeback

As print competition declined, many editors cut their staff cartoonists, choosing cheaper syndicated material to fill the slot. Unfortunately, this short-term thinking hampers them now as newspapers once again find themselves in an ultra-competitive market where content, especially visually compelling original content, is king -- so several news organizations have gone back to the well.

Libya, BART and tethering: Understanding the web’s weak points

If access to broadband is a human right, or even a First Amendment right, then it pays to understand where those rights can’t be taken for granted. From this weekend’s news over Libya’s battle to access the web to last week’s drama over San Francisco’s public transportation agency shutting down wireless access during a protest, knowing where the web is at its weakest can help citizens and consumers agitate for change or protect their rights.