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President Obama is taking a prudent step in deciding to send military support to Syrian rebels after a two-month investigation produced near certainty that the regime of President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons in its fight for survival. Nevertheless, no one should doubt the significant risks to the Middle East and potentially the United States as this country lend…

It should have been surprising when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would require 60 votes for his house of Congress to approve immigration reform. After all, the Constitution requires only a majority of votes in each chamber of Congress to pass legislation.That it wasn’t surprising opens a window on how far Congress has strayed from the form of …

And, once again, the students in Buffalo take it on the chin. The city’s schoolchildren continue to be denied the educations they deserve and to which they are legally entitled.Bad becomes worse as the district makes deep cuts to its music program which, for many students, doesn’t lag far behind reading, writing and arithmetic in its role in producing well-rounded stud…

And just like that, it’s over. Years of acrimonious accusation, nonpayment of revenues and stubborn refusal came to a sudden and fair end on Thursday when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder settled their differences over casino gaming in Western New York.With their agreement, the financial gun aimed in Niagara Falls was lowered and the threat t…

Here’s a top 10 list we’re glad to have avoided. The FBI has released its newest crime statistics and based on it, 24/7 Wall St. identified the nation’s 10 most dangerous cities with populations of 100,000 or more. Three of the 10 are Great Lakes cities and two others are East Coast cities. The list appeared in USA Today. In descending order they are: Cleveland, Ohio…

It is, in some sense, the worst of all possibilities. Not only is the federal government farming out ever more of its most sensitive responsibilities, but it is doing so without the means to supervise those civilian workers.Whatever anyone thinks of Edward Snowden’s decision to disclose top-secret information about Washington’s telephone and Internet surveillance progr…

This is the story that won’t go away. In one of the most disturbing stories pulling back the curtains on Albany’s seaminess, a former leader of the New York State Assembly has been fined $330,000 in a shocking case of chronic and pervasive sexual abuse that his leaders tried to cover up.The State Legislative Ethics Commission hit former Assemblyman Vito Lopez with what…

Now what? The State Legislature on Wednesday easily approved legislation that could end the corporate structure of the Peace Bridge Authority. It's a move that could put the authority out of business, but which seems designed, instead, to produce a new way of doing business by the authority.Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has quietly supported – if not instigated – the bill …

Now what? The State Legislature on Wednesday easily approved legislation that could end the corporate structure of the Peace Bridge Authority. It’s a move that could put the authority out of business, but which seems designed, instead, to produce a new way of doing business by the authority.Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has quietly supported – if not instigated – the bil…

It’s time for Eric Holder to go, but for that to happen, something else needs to occur first: Rep. Darrell Issa needs to stop talking. The kook from California can’t be taken seriously, and when he rattles on about Holder and the Justice Department’s assault on a free press, he only makes the attorney general a more-sympathetic figure.Holder doesn’t deserve it. His…

Most Americans, we suspect, would agree that U.S. border agents need broader latitude than other law enforcement officials in their ability to conduct searches. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution generally prohibits searches without probable cause and, even then, a judge must issue a warrant. Customs officers, by contrast, require the ability to search vehicles and i…

Farmworkers in New York, and most other states, have a raw deal. The State Legislature is now considering a bill to reform an intolerable lack of legal protection. It should approve the bill, which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo also supports.Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights – named for her late father – is a leader in the fight…

The official end of the 2013 session of the New York State Legislature arrives in nine days. Lawmakers have a lot of work to do before then. Here are some of the most important measures on the Legislature’s docket – issues that have shown themselves to be important to the state.Campaign finance/ethics reformAlbany remains a cesspool of corruption. Every year, it seems,…

Call it Bloomberg's War. The mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has launched a frontal assault on ill health in his town. His intentions are important and admirable, although there are legitimate questions as to how far government should go in regulating private behavior. Bloomberg raised eyebrows six years ago when his city became the first in the nation to ban ar…

A group of determined citizens has been working to save a bit of Western New York's green space, and now it's time for the New York State Parks to build on that work with a $279,000 grant to help purchase 60 acres of farmland. The group has been working for the better part of a couple of years to raise the $630,000 needed to develop the Mill Road Scenic Overlook vista in t…