Onasill ~ Bill Badzo / Flickr

Tax on rich contentious part of new state budget

One of the chief arguments over the state budget will be whether to renew an income tax surcharge on New York’s wealthiest. The state is facing a $3.5 billion deficit, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to add a billion dollars to the state’s public schools. He also wants to offer free tuition at public colleges for families making less than $125,000 a year.

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The main players in Syria's long-running civil war are meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, Monday for talks that were arranged by Russia. The discussion seeks to bolster a cease-fire agreement that hasn't ended violence in Syria — but officials say they don't expect a breakthrough.

As Congressional Republicans begin work on repealing the Affordable Care Act, many of the nation's governors want to make sure that their state budgets don't take a hit during the dismantling process.

They're most concerned about Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor that's run jointly by the states and federal government. As a result of a Supreme Court decision, states were allowed to decide whether they would expand Medicaid under the ACA. 14 million people have gained health insurance coverage through Medicaid since eligibility for the program was expanded.

Samsung announced the results of a months-long investigation into why its Galaxy Note 7 phones spontaneously caught fire last summer, pinning the blame on faulty batteries.

The bungled launch led to a recall of 2.5 million devices and losses totaling more than $2 billion. The root cause, according to an internal investigation conducted with the help of outside experts, was battery short circuits.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

New York's colleges are concerned about retaining students. 

Only about a quarter of New York's community college students get an associates degree in three years. That statistic doesn't include part-timers, students who transfer, or students who take a break between semesters. But still, it's a problem.

Educators are using data and analytics to figure out what to do, but it can be a struggle to turn data into action.

Onasill ~ Bill Badzo / Flickr

One of the chief arguments over the state budget will be whether to renew an income tax surcharge on New York’s wealthiest.

The state is facing a $3.5 billion deficit, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to add a billion dollars to the state’s public schools. He also wants to offer free tuition at public colleges for families making less than $125,000 a year.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Syracuse Fire Department will begin using data to try to prevent fire fatalities.

The fire department will work with Sam Edelstein, the city’s chief data officer, to figure out an algorithm to determine what houses might not have working smoke detectors, which can save lives and prevent injuries. Edelstein says it starts with statistics showing the most likely victims of a house fire.

"Generally populations that have old or young residents in the houses are more likely to die in a fire because they need more time to get out of the house,” Edelstein said.

Emboldened by Donald Trump's win and inauguration, several of Europe's top populist leaders gathered in Germany this weekend to strategize on how they might help each other in their upcoming national elections.

Marine Le Pen, who heads France's far-right National Front, proved especially popular with the largely German crowd that packed a convention hall yesterday in the historic western city of Koblenz, nestled between the scenic Rhine and Mosel Rivers.

President Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone Sunday, in what was one of Trump's first conversations with a foreign leader since taking office.

The discussion was "very nice," Trump said after a ceremony to swear in senior White House staff. The White House later put out a statement saying the president invited Netanyahu to visit in February.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Women’s rallies were held in Syracuse and Watertown over the weekend in protest of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, but perhaps the most symbolic in the region was the one in Seneca Falls where thousands gathered outside the National Women’s Rights Historical Park.

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