National briefs: More students to get Internet

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved a plan to spend $2 billion to boost wireless Internet connectivity in U.S. schools and libraries during the next two years.

The move will phase out funding under a program known as E-rate for old technologies like pagers and dial-up phone service in order to subsidize broadband and wireless Internet connections in classrooms and libraries.

The proposal seeks to modernize the E-rate program in order to make good on President Barack Obama’s directive last year to expand broadband access to 99 percent of U.S. students. The E-rate program is paid for by fees that telecommunications providers are required to charge customers in their monthly bills.

College credit ratings

WASHINGTON -- Howard University’s credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service fell this month for the second time in the past year, largely because of concerns about money troubles at its hospital.

But the historically black university in Washington has plenty of company: Moody’s has downgraded three dozen other four-year colleges and universities since July 2013, a sign of continuing financial fragility in higher education. By contrast, nine of about 500 higher-ed institutions that Moody’s analyzes were given credit rating upgrades in the past year.

Ninety-three schools — including Howard — were considered to have moderate risk. Among them was Pittsburgh‘‍s Point Park University.

Managers on Facebook

A study by researchers in Norway, published recently in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, surveyed more than 11,000 employees about their views on cyber-slacking at work.

It found that top-level managers were more likely to disapprove of looking at social media sites during office hours, despite research that has shown its advantages. Yet they also reported spending significantly more time on such sites at work than those who sit lower on the pecking order.

Researchers speculated in a piece posted on an Association for Psychological Science blog that it could be because top managers have relatively longer working hours, may be more interested in social media as a way of promoting their careers than those who are in non-managerial roles, or they’re less fearful of losing their jobs.

Plot to kill judge?

BALTIMORE — The founder of an embattled Maryland-based insurance company appears to have been plotting to kill a Delaware judge overseeing the liquidation of his business, recording himself on a trip to scout out his targets and acquiring a cache of weapons, federal authorities allege in court filings.

Jeffrey B. Cohen, 39, of Reisterstown, Md., was arrested last month after he was indicted on charges that he schemed to make it appear that his company, Indemnity Insurance Corp., which insured bars and nightclubs, had millions of dollars in cash it did not possess.

Felony murder charge

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Authorities in Cobb County, Ga., have charged Justin Ross Harris, 33, with felony murder in the death of his son, 22-month-old Cooper Harris, in a hot car on June 18.

A prosecutor said last week that officials believed Mr. Harris had wished to be free of the burdens of parenting.


-- Compiled from wire reports


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