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NEWS
August 7, 2014
Your headline "Fetuses show signs of learning at 34 weeks" (July 27) was inconsistent with the content of the story accompanying it. The author admitted that the findings were "not statistically significant. " In layperson's terms, "not statistically significant" means that the evidence is not strong enough support a conclusion one way or the other. Scientist Carl Sagan famously said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. To claim that fetuses show evidence of learning three weeks earlier than previously thought, the authors would have to show convincing evidence that the earlier work was mistaken.
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NEWS
August 7, 2014
Your headline "Fetuses show signs of learning at 34 weeks" (July 27) was inconsistent with the content of the story accompanying it. The author admitted that the findings were "not statistically significant. " In layperson's terms, "not statistically significant" means that the evidence is not strong enough support a conclusion one way or the other. Scientist Carl Sagan famously said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. To claim that fetuses show evidence of learning three weeks earlier than previously thought, the authors would have to show convincing evidence that the earlier work was mistaken.
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BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | December 26, 2011
If you own mutual funds outside a retirement account, you likely have heard from the investment companies asking you to choose your math. The companies want you to select the method they should use to calculate your "cost basis" — how much you paid for the shares. What you decide can make a difference in your tax bill when you sell. The fund companies are acting on legislation passed in 2008 that requires brokerages and investment companies to report cost-basis information to the Internal Revenue Service when securities are sold.
SPORTS
By Jeff Zrebiec and Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | June 16, 2014
Veteran cornerback Aaron Ross, who won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants but has had trouble staying healthy, said on Twitter that he's heading to Baltimore to participate in the Ravens' mandatory minicamp this week. According to a source, the Ravens haven't officially signed the free agent cornerback. Ross is taking part in the minicamp on a tryout basis, per a source. Veteran cornerback  Drayton Florence told The Sun's Aaron Wilson that he will also have a tryout for the team this week as the Ravens continue to look to upgrade their cornerback depth.
BUSINESS
By Neil Downing and Neil Downing,THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL | February 17, 2002
When my mother died Sept. 4, 1988, she left me some stock in both Bethlehem Steel and Polaroid. As you're probably aware, both these stocks have gone belly up. ... I'm trying to find out what the prices of those stocks were on that date of Sept. 4, 1988, and if I can claim a capital loss, since I need to do that for my income tax. Let's take the points you've raised one at a time: Stock price: For determining how much of a profit (or loss) to report for tax purposes, you must know the "basis" of the stock.
BUSINESS
By Robert Nusgart and Robert Nusgart,SUN REAL ESTATE EDITOR | May 16, 1999
Although the phone calls have slowed from a tidal wave to a trickle, lenders, county and state officials are still sorting out the nuances as thousands of Marylanders elected to pay their property taxes on a semiannual basis.On Thursday, Gov. Parris N. Glendening signed into law legislation that flipped the way homeowners pay their property taxes, making semiannual the standard and annual payment an option, starting with the tax year that begins July 1, 2000.The idea was to lower closing costs in Maryland, which are among the highest in the nation.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Victoria A. Brownworth and Victoria A. Brownworth,Special to the Sun | December 21, 2003
In the delightful new film Love Actually, one of the characters notes that when the planes flew into the twin towers on Sept. 11 people called each other with messages of love. In the midst of a tragedy so immense, anger, pettiness and resentment receded and people embraced, regardless of difference. By reaching out with pure motives, they achieved a moment of spiritual ascendancy. In a pre-Sept. 11, world the holiday season tended to create its own spiritual momentum, re-igniting humane concerns dormant through the rest of the year.
BUSINESS
December 26, 1999
Mortgage delinquencies nationwide continued to decline in the third quarter of 1999, falling to the lowest level since 1995.According to the National Delinquency Survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA), the delinquency rate fell three basis points to 4.10 percent during the third quarter.The decline continues a trend that has seen the delinquency rate fall by 32 basis points beginning in the second quarter of 1998."The delinquency situation continues to benefit from the prolonged refinance boom experienced from 1998 to early 1999 and the influx of new mortgages associated with the record levels of home sales in recent quarters," said Paul Reid, executive vice president of the MBA.The percentage of loans 30 days past due decreased by 2 basis points to 2.88 percent and the percentage of loans 60 days past due decreased 1 basis point to 0.63 percent.
BUSINESS
September 15, 2002
Late mortgage payments increased in the second quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America reports. The increase in late payments was lower for conventional loans than for FHA and VA loans, according to the association's quarterly survey. The overall late-payment rate for residential loans was 4.77 percent, up 12 basis points from the first quarter, according to the survey. For conventional loans, the late-payment rate was 3.1 percent, up 6 basis points. For FHA loans, the rate was 11.81 percent, up 58 basis points, and for VA loans, 8 percent, up 19 basis points.
BUSINESS
March 8, 1996
Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15.Q: My mother gave me a gift of 16 shares of stock this year which I sold a few days later. I sold them for about $1,000. How do I report this on my return?A: You must report your sale on Schedule D, capital gains and losses. The amount of gain or loss is the difference between the proceeds you receive from the sale and your basis in the stock.There are two possible bases that can be used -- one for determining gain on the sale and another for determining loss.
NEWS
May 23, 2014
The United States grants asylum protection to immigrants of special humanitarian concern who were persecuted in their home countries because of their membership in a particular group and who aren't barred from eligibility because of some past crime or potential danger. We typically think of asylum recipients as being refugees forced to flee religious, ethnic or political torment. But what about former gang members? A 33-year-old Baltimore County man who entered the country illegally from El Salvador in 2000 is seeking asylum as a defense against deportation.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2014
A Maryland school superintendent wouldn't ordinarily give local systems a pass on the requirement that public school students go to school for 180 days a year. But these have not been ordinary times. The seemingly endless winter, with its unusual number of snow days, has raised the specter of students going to school into the last week of June. On Tuesday, the State Board of Education offered a way out. As light snow fell outside their meeting room, board members voted to give Superintendent Lillian Lowery the authority to waive up to five days of school this year for public schools and two days for private schools.
NEWS
By Jonathan Pitts and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | February 1, 2014
When Darion Marcus Aguilar of College Park fatally shot two store employees at The Mall in Columbia and then killed himself, authorities said he did so with a Mossberg 500, a Connecticut-made pump-action shotgun that has been on the U.S. market since 1961. A 19-year-old with no criminal record, Aguilar bought the weapon in a legal December transaction from a Montgomery County gun store. The incident has caused some to take second look at the effectiveness of the high-profile gun control measures the state passed last year.
NEWS
January 26, 2014
I'm glad people such as Dr. Joe Black assume their individual experiences with a naturally occurring substance must necessarily be common to all users ( "Pot not same as tobacco, alcohol," Jan. 23). Certainly his specific peculiarities should serve as the basis for a social policy which impacts all Marylanders! Some people get flabby from drinking beer. Some people get violent from tequila. Some people can't abide the taste of red wine and get headaches from it. Some people become amorous after downing a Riesling.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | December 28, 2013
The 1970s corruption investigation known as Abscam, celebrated in "American Hustle," one of the holiday season's hottest movies, had its roots in Baltimore. It was in Charm City that the FBI tested the sting-style operation that marked Abscam as a particularly theatrical and effective form of undercover investigation. Baltimore FBI agents later trained those who carried out the Abscam sting. Abscam famously featured FBI agents posing as Arab sheiks, along with an accomplished con artist (played by Christian Bale in "American Hustle")
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | November 11, 2013
Neither Howard Cardin, the skillful criminal defense attorney from Baltimore, nor Steve Sachs, the best attorney general in modern Maryland history, could have predicted what Sachs now calls the "cosmic implications" of the Supreme Court decision that upheld Michael Lee Smith's purse-snatching conviction 35 years ago. None assembled at the court on the day of arguments, March 28, 1979, imagined that the ruling in the case would be used one day...
NEWS
By FRANK ROYLANCE and FRANK ROYLANCE,Sun Reporter -- Weather Blogger | January 11, 2008
Sam Jaffa of Parkton uses well water, so he pays attention to rainfall statistics. He wonders: "Why is precipitation measured on a calendar-year basis? I suggest it should be a rolling 12-month basis. The surplus which may be built up ... does not magically disappear come Jan. 1." True. But droughts and surpluses can extend beyond a rolling 12-month window, too. There is no official yardstick. The calendar year is just one option. Where rainfall is critical, people can invent their own.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | November 2, 2013
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette was fairly adamant last offseason that he would not sign a free agent who would require his club to give up its first-round draft pick. He didn't, and the Orioles selected high school pitcher Hunter Harvey with the 22nd overall pick of the 2013 amateur draft. This year, however, Duquette seems to have softened that stance, at least slightly. When asked whether he still would be hesitant to forfeit a pick for a free agent, Duquette said: “We'll have to evaluate that on a case-by-case basis.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2013
Giant Food's president, Anthony Hucker, will resign effective Friday after two years at the helm of the Baltimore area's biggest supermarket chain, Ahold USA announced Monday. The company, the parent of Landover-based Giant, said Hucker is stepping down "for another opportunity. " Bhavdeep Singh, executive vice president of operations for Ahold USA, will oversee Giant on an interim basis. Giant runs 169 supermarkets in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Washington. During his time leading the division, Hucker oversaw construction of several new stores; negotiated on behalf of the company to reach agreement on a new contract for unionized cashiers, meat cutters and produce and deli workers and advocated for store food drives to benefit the Maryland Food Bank.
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