News


 Pennsylvania's Ethics Commission has too few powers to properly monitor legislators' conflicts of interest.
Elizabeth Frantz/The Patriot-News
Pennsylvania's Ethics Commission has too few powers to properly monitor legislators' conflicts of interest.

Who polices legislative ethics in Pennsylvania?

The Ethics Commission is in charge of oversight, but it’s largely toothless. Are there solutions to prevent conflicts of interest?


 “There’s pent-up demand to go there,” Paul Busang, president of Gulliver's Travels, said of Cuba.

Cuba watchers in Pittsburgh cheer opening of trade relations, easing of travel restrictions

The easing of some restrictions will be “one of the best things to ever happen in the travel industry,” says one travel agent.



 Lyft cars line up in a parking lot at the Waterfront in Homestead.

Lyft leaves room for creativity

Lyft is is supposed to be quirky and counterculture, but is it “too cute” to take on the more corporate, better capitalized Uber?



Winter weather advisory posted for Allegheny County

The advisory was in effect until 9 a.m. with a possible accumulation of ice from freezing drizzle and a trace of snow.


World


Putin cites ‘external factors’ for Russia’s economic woes, tries to reassure public

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday faulted the global oil price drop and Western sanctions.



Pakistan grants bail to key suspect in 2008 Mumbai attacks

A court in Pakistan on Thursday authorized the release on $5,000 bail of the militant who coordinated the 2008 terror attacks.


 
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Transparency in government

The City-county Building on Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh.
Many public officials have pledged to make information about their administrations readily available to the public.

How are city, county and state governments doing on those commitments? This page helps track the answer.

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Portfolio


Holiday Herald: The bike that rode from Christmas miracle to family infamy

As a child in the 1950s, my brief possession of a 26-inch cobalt blue Schwinn Phantom was a signal event.



Random Acts of Kindness: Caring people helped counter water torrent

Plus: A fall in street didn’t spoil her theater trip and a plunge on icy steps revealed two angels.


 

Early Returns


Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

We hope you're hungry ??? today's breakfast is steak and eggs, not tea and a fruit cup. 1) We're not quite at the point when


Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Stevie Ray Vaughan rehearses for a 1986 appearance on Saturday Night Live. (Associated Press photo) Want some breakfast? Plan



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