NEWS ROUNDUP
7:56 am
Thu May 12, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

Thursday weather: Sun is back! Highs upper 50s.

In the headlines around the Northwest:

 

  • U.W. Students Arrested in Sit-In Protest Over Campus Vendor
  • Gregoire Signs Legislation to Pave Way for Federal Health Care Overhaul
  • Popular Seattle High School Principal Fired
  • Microsoft Antitrust Settlement Expires Today

 

A University of Washington sit-in to protest the food services company that supplies the concessions at UW athletic facilities has led to the arrests of about 25 students.

Protest organizer Morgan Currier says the students were cited Wednesday evening for trespassing and released.

The sit-in took place first in the office of Interim UW President Phyllis Wise, then in a conference room.

Students are demanding that Wise sever a contract with Sodexo.

They allege the global company has a history of abusing workers' rights, something Sodexo denies.

UW spokesman Norm Arkans says Sodexo has a five-year contract expiring in June 2012. He says there are insufficient grounds for terminating the contract.

The Seattle Times says about 50 students initially entered Wise's office Wednesday afternoon, presenting her with their demands.

 

State Bills Prepare Washington for Federal Health Care Law

Governor Chris Gregoire has approved several proposals that will prepare the state for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The bills signed Wednesday include a plan to create a health insurance exchange, making Washington the fourth in the nation to prepare such a system.

Obama's health care law requires states to have exchanges operating by 2014. The federal government will create one for states who do not do so.

Gregoire's approval comes as Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna challenges the constitutionality of the federal law.

Gregoire disagrees with McKenna's legal challenge and says the nation can't afford its current health care system.

The exchanges will allow consumers and small employers to shop for insurance coverage.

 

Principal of Seattle's Ingraham High School to be Replaced

The superintendent of Seattle Public Schools has terminated a popular principal despite efforts by parents and teachers to keep him.

Supporters say Martin Floe pushed Ingraham High School forward since he took the leadership post in 2004, but the superintendent told the Seattle Times the school could be doing better. Under Floe’s leadership, Ingraham developed its rigorous International Baccalaureate  program and made Newsweek’s list of the nation’s top high schools in 2009.  

Interim superintendent Susan Enfield called the decision a “personnel matter” that wasn’t made lightly or quickly.  Floe has 10 days to decide if he will appeal the dismissal.  Either way, he will finish out the remainder of this school year.

 DOJ antitrust settlement with Microsoft to expire

The technology industry advances at lightning speed. So perhaps it's no surprise that the expiration of the Justice Department's historic antitrust settlement with software giant Microsoft is passing with little fanfare Thursday.

In an age of Apple iPhones, Google Web searches and Facebook friends, Microsoft Corp.'s control over the computer desktop through its Windows operating system might seem like last decade's monopoly.

But in a statement released Wednesday, the Justice Department said it believes the landmark case that it brought against Microsoft in 1998 helped open the computer market to greater competition and drive innovation across the technology industry.

The government credits a settlement reached after years of courtroom battles with challenging Microsoft's powerful Windows franchise.

Microsoft says the case "shaped how we view our responsibility to the industry."

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