As European Barriers Fall, Bulgarians Feel West’s Tug

As European Barriers Fall, Bulgarians Feel West’s Tug
Ervin Ivanov, a fourth-year medical student, is sure he’ll leave Bulgaria, and he is sure that most of his classmates will too

Quesadilla With Mushroom Ragoût and Chipotles

Quesadilla With Mushroom Ragoût and Chipotles
Mushroom ragoût accepts chipotles willingly

Google TV redo might be tagged 'Nexus'

Google TV redo might be tagged 'Nexus'
ndroid-based Google TV has struggled to find its footing













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U.S. airlines want to stay cell phone free

The Federal Communications Commission could soon allow inflight cell phone use, but U.S. airlines aren't eager change their own rules - or equipment - to enable such calls.

The five largest U.S. airlines, which account for about 90% of the nation's air travel, all say their current plans do not include allowing for calls, even though they will look at the rules once they are passed.

"A clear majority of customers who responded to a 2012 survey said they felt the ability to make voice calls on board would detract from -- not enhance -- their experience," said Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Air Lines last week.

Police Salaries and Pensions Push California City to Brink

Emerging from Los Angeles’s vast eastern sprawl, the freeway glides over a narrow pass and slips gently into the scrubby, palm-flecked Coachella Valley.

Turn south, and you head into Palm Springs with its megaresorts, golf courses and bustling shops. Turn north, and you make your way up an arid stretch of road to a battered city where empty storefronts outnumber shops, the Fire Department has been closed, City Hall is on a four-day week and the dwindling coffers may be empty by spring.

The city, Desert Hot Springs, population 27,000, is slowly edging toward bankruptcy, largely because of police salaries and skyrocketing pension costs, but also because of years of spending and unrealistic revenue estimates. It is mostly the police, though, who have found themselves in the cross hairs recently.

“I would not venture to say they are overpaid,” said Robert Adams, the acting city manager since August. “What I would say is that we can’t pay them.”

Though few elected officials in America want to say it, police officers and other public-safety workers keep turning up at the center of the municipal bankruptcies and budget dramas plaguing many American cities — largely because their pensions tend to be significantly more costly than those of other city workers.

Central Falls, R.I., went bankrupt in 2011 because its police and firefighters’ pension fund ran out of money. Vallejo, Calif., went bankrupt after more than 20 police officers suddenly retired from its force of 145, fearing that if they waited they would lose their contractual right to cash out their unused sick leave and vacation time; the payouts totaled several million dollars, and Vallejo did not have the money. Miami weathered such a run in September 2010, when 154 police and firefighters retired en masse after city commissioners voted to make it harder to retire before age 50, use intensive overtime to raise pensions, and earn cash payouts.

A Computer Error Lets Travelers Book Rock-Bottom Airfares on Delta

Some lucky fliers capitalized on a computer error Thursday to buy inexpensive flights on Delta Air Lines.

From about 10 a.m. to noon Eastern, certain Delta fares on the airline’s website and other booking sites were showing up incorrectly, offering some savvy bargain hunters incredible deals.

A round-trip flight between Cincinnati and Minneapolis for February was being sold for just $25.05 and a round trip between Cincinnati and Salt Lake City for $48.41. The correct price for both of those fares is more than $400.

Trebor Banstetter, a spokesman for the Atlanta-based airline, said that the problem had been fixed, but that “Delta will honor any fares purchased at the incorrect price.”

New Department of Transportation regulations, aimed at truth in advertising, require airlines to honor any mistake in fares offered.

Jackie Fanelli, 27, learned about the fares from a friend’s Facebook page. She tried to buy a $98 round-trip first-class ticket from her home city, Baltimore, to Honolulu on but the transaction did not process.

For ESPN, Millions to Remain in Connecticut

The governor of Connecticut arrived at ESPN’s expansive campus here to celebrate the groundbreaking of the sports media giant’s 19th building, a digital center that would be the new home of “SportsCenter.” It was August 2011, and this was the third visit in a year by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, whose first was about three weeks before his election.

This time, Mr. Malloy brought a hard hat, a shovel and an incentive package for ESPN potentially worth $25 million.

ESPN is hardly needy. With nearly 100 million households paying about $5.54 a month for ESPN, regardless of whether they watch it, the network takes in more than $6 billion a year in subscriber fees alone. Still, ESPN has received about $260 million in state tax breaks and credits over the past 12 years, according to a New York Times analysis of public records. That includes $84.7 million in development tax credits because of a film and digital media program, as well as savings of about $15 million a year since the network successfully lobbied the state for a tax code change in 2000.

For Mr. Malloy and other public officials in Connecticut, the conventional wisdom is that any business with ESPN is good business. After all, ESPN is Connecticut’s most celebrated brand and a homegrown success story, employing more than 4,000 workers in the state.