NYC To Stop Paying Teachers

The city will end the practice of paying teachers to play Scrabble, read or surf the Internet in reassignment centers nicknamed “rubber rooms” as they await disciplinary hearings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the teachers union announced Thursday. The deal will close the centers, where hundreds of educators spend months or years in bureauratic limbo, costing […]

Iceland’s Volcanic Ash Halts Flights Across Europe

Civil aviation authorities say flights won’t start departing or arriving in Britain until at least Friday morning because of a huge ash cloud spewed by an Icelandic volcano. The National Air Traffic Service said Thursday that non-emergency flights won’t be permitted in British airspace until at least 1 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday. A statement from […]

Seacrest Out-Of-It

In past “American Idol” seasons, viewers looked to Paula Abdul to supply the show’s requisite loopy comedy and awkward moments. But now, with Paula gone, host Ryan Seacrest seems to have stepped into that buffoon role, exhibiting increasingly bizarre behavior all season long. Until this week, his oddest antics had occurred when sparring with Simon […]

10 Big Commercial Real Estate Busts

As acute as the pain has been in the U.S. housing market, commercial real estate has been no stranger to trouble. Here is a glimpse of some high-profile victims that have been claimed so far. 1. Stuyvesant Town & Peter Cooper Village Loan balance: $3 billion Size: N/A Location: New York, N.Y. It was the […]

‘American Idol’ Top 9 Results

Ryan Seacrest opened Wednesday night’s “American Idol” elimination show with this irritating, heart-palpitating tease: “Prepare yourself for a surprise or two. Shocking results!” What, more bagpipes? Maybe a xylophone, a triangle, a tissue paper and comb, or some other odd instrument accompaniment? Another heckler bumrushing the stage, hopefully this time with “SOY BOMB” Sharpie’d across […]

Billionaires Who Live Below Their Means

At least once in your life – maybe even once a week or once a day for that matter – you have fantasized about coming into a lot of money. What would you do if you were worth millions or even billions? Believe it or not there are millionaires and billionaires among us who masquerade as relatively […]

‘American Idol’ Top 9 Go Helter Skelter

It was a very daytrippy Tuesday when “American Idol” held its Lennon/McCartney Night. No, no one performed a song by the Plastic Ono Band or sang the backwards-masked “Tomorrow Never Knows.” That would’ve been cool. But there was a didjeridoo, a bagpipe player, an actual good performance by underdog Tim Urban, a (hopefully pre-screened) heckler […]

Pay Garnishments Rise as Debtors Fall Behind

When the bank sued Leann Weaver for not paying her credit card balance, her reaction was typical for someone in that situation. Personal and financial setbacks weighed her down, and she knew she owed the $2,470. So she never went to court to defend herself. She was startled by what happened next. When she swiped […]

‘Idol’ Castoff Has Critiques For Show’s Judges

Now that Didi Benami knows she won’t be the next “American Idol,” she has some criticism for the judges. “I would say be more consistent just like they told me,” the 23-year-old Benami said. Early in the competition the judges liked her unique singing style, but over time changed their tune. Last week, they panned […]