Father of school shooting victim says he's on a mission to improve school safety


The father of a student killed in the Feb. 14 shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is determined to make sure such a tragedy never happens again — and he’s heading to the Florida state legislature to ensure just that.

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In an interview with ABC News, Andrew Pollack — whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was one of 17 students and faculty members gunned down at the Parkland, Florida, school — said he does not want any parent to experience the pain and suffering he and his family have over the last few weeks. Meadow Pollack was set to graduate in the spring.

PHOTO: A memorial for Meadow Pollack, one of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, sits in a park in Parkland, Fla., Feb. 16, 2018.Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images, FILE
A memorial for Meadow Pollack, one of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, sits in a park in Parkland, Fla., Feb. 16, 2018.

Pollack explained that he’s helping to work on a bill with state lawmakers that will focus on reinforcing schools to make them safer, while giving police officers more rights when dealing with someone who is mentally ill.

The bill would also include a provision for a volunteer marshal program, in which teachers could sign up for police training to be certified to become a marshal, Pollack said.

“It’s not about just giving some teacher a gun,” Pollack said, adding that it’s a volunteer-only program for teachers who are comfortable enough to undergo the training.

Pollack was among the dozens of people outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday who came to welcome students back to class for the first time since the shooting. He described the experience as “emotional.”

PHOTO: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School staff, teachers and students return to school greeted by police and well wishers in Parkland, Fla., Feb. 28, 2018.Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School staff, teachers and students return to school greeted by police and well wishers in Parkland, Fla., Feb. 28, 2018.

“I liked seeing the kids going back to school,” he said. “That’s what they should be doing — going to school to learn, about science, history, having a good time with their friends.”

Pollack said that kids shouldn’t have to worry about “getting shot when they go to school.”

The Long Island, New York, native will be traveling to the White House on Thursday to meet with President Donald Trump and then to Tallahassee on Friday for two days of meetings about the proposed bill, which Florida Gov. Rick Scott has worked on himself, Pollack said. There, he will meet with lawmakers to decide whether the bill should be passed or not.

PHOTO: Students gather during a vigil at Pine Trails Park for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Feb. 15, 2018.Brynn Anderson/AP, FILE
Students gather during a vigil at Pine Trails Park for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Feb. 15, 2018.

Pollack also called on the nation to remain united in its quest to make schools safer. The conversation cannot veer toward the polarizing topic of gun control, he said, because the country will never come to an agreement on it.

“Nothing political. We love our kids,” he said. “Let’s get together as a country and fix it.”

Some of the school safety measures placed in the bill by the governor include the installation of bulletproof windows, new locks and security systems as well as assigning a school resource officer per every 1,000 students in attendance, Pollack said.

“I’m going to make sure every school is safe when you drop your kid off,” he said.

Pollack made headlines days after the shooting for his impassioned speech during a listening session at the White House with the president.

“All these school shootings, it doesn’t make sense. Fix it!” Pollack said. “We should have fixed it And I’m pissed. Because my daughter … She’s not here. She’s not here. She’s in Fort Lauderdale [Star of] David cemetery, that is where I go to see my kid now.”

PHOTO: Andrew Pollack, father of slain Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Meadow Jade Pollack, joined by his sons, speaks during a listening session with President Donald Trump, students, teachers and others at the White House, Feb. 21, 2018. Carolyn Kaster/AP
Andrew Pollack, father of slain Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Meadow Jade Pollack, joined by his sons, speaks during a listening session with President Donald Trump, students, teachers and others at the White House, Feb. 21, 2018.

Pollack was on a Valentine’s Day picnic in the Everglades with his wife when he received a text message that there was a shooting at the school. They were on mile 7 of a 15-mile bike ride and “pedaled so fast” to get to the car, he said.

Pollack’s wife, an emergency room physician, went room-to-room in a Broward County hospital looking for Meadow. At first, Pollack was relieved that his daughter wasn’t at the hospital. But when he hadn’t heard from her by 6 p.m., he knew something was wrong.

“I knew in my heart that she was gone,” he said.

Pollack found it hard to speak of Meadow, saying that he’s channeled all of his emotions into working with lawmakers to make the country a safer place. He described her as the “toughest” of his kids, even tougher than her two older brothers, as well as humble, kind and “always friendly.”

“It’s not a reality that she’s gone,” he said. “I can’t explain it.”

Op-Ed Columnist: The Growing College Graduation Gap


The picture is very different for people who grew up in the wealthiest one-fifth of families, according to the study, by Fabian Pfeffer of the University of Michigan. The number going to college fell slightly over the same time period (which may just be statistical noise, given how high their attendance rates already were). But many more of them emerged with degrees.

This growing gap has big consequences, because the benefits of college come largely from graduating, not merely attending some classes. Graduation allows students to complete a program and be prepared for a job. Graduation has intangible benefits, too.

Degrees Matter Even More

The hourly wage for those with a bachelor’s degree has risen, while those with only some college have seen little change.


You can think of college as adulthood’s first obstacle course. People who complete it learn how to overcome other obstacles as they go through life. People who don’t finish suffer a blow to their confidence. They also typically have to repay college debt without the extra earning power of a degree. It’s the worst of both worlds.

If anything, the consequences of failing to complete college seem to be increasing, as the economy becomes ever more technologically advanced. Since 2000, the average inflation-adjusted wage of workers with some college credit but no degree has actually fallen, by 2 percent, according to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute. The average wage of college graduates is up 6 percent.

There are surely multiple reasons that the college-graduation gap is growing. For one thing, neighborhoods have become more economically segregated, which probably increases gaps in the quality of K-12 schools — and, by extension, academic preparation. Many colleges that serve poor and middle-class students have also suffered cuts in state funding. And tuition has risen.

Whatever the causes, the gap makes the United States a less fair country. Thousands of students who work hard, overcome tough neighborhoods or family situations and do well in school are nonetheless falling by the wayside. They’re not failing so much as the rest of society is failing them.

Doing right by them would require a lot of changes, in tax policy, housing policy and other areas. The Trump administration clearly has no interest in these changes. Instead, it’s pushing an agenda that will worsen inequality.

But improving college graduation rates does not, for the most part, depend on the federal government. It’s an area where people who want to help fix our economy — people in the nonprofit sector, in state and local government and, obviously, on college campuses — can play a meaningful role.

Already, some colleges have started to make impressive changes. Georgia State has raised its six-year graduation rate sharply. A network of 11 universities, including Kansas, Michigan State and the University of California, Riverside, are working together — imagine that — to share student-success strategies. In New York, community colleges in the CUNY network have created a program that nearly doubled graduation rates.

I’m convinced that the college-graduation problem is one of the big barriers to economic mobility — and yet also one on which we can make real progress. In the coming months, I will be telling some of the unknown success stories in higher education. I’ll also look at campuses that should be doing better.

There are few things I find more inspiring than listening to teenagers from difficult backgrounds talk about their future, usually with optimism and ambition. The rest of us owe them a little urgency.

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Orange-tinted snow makes ski resort look like Mars


The snow that fell on a mountainous ski resort in Russia last week had an unusual hue — and made the getaway destination look like a scene from Mars.

PHOTO: margarita_alshina posted this photo to Instagram, March 23, 2018 showing orange snow in Sochi, Russia.margarita_alshina/Instagram
margarita_alshina posted this photo to Instagram, March 23, 2018 showing orange snow in Sochi, Russia.

The Rosa Khutor Resort in Sochi — home to the 2014 Winter Olympics — was covered in orange-tinted snow. The slopes, which looked more like desert dunes, made for some apocalyptic-looking photos, prompting people on social media to claim the photos had a sepia filter on them.

PHOTO: margarita_alshina posted this photo to Instagram, March 23, 2018 showing orange snow in Sochi, Russia.margarita_alshina/Instagram
margarita_alshina posted this photo to Instagram, March 23, 2018 showing orange snow in Sochi, Russia.

Meteorologists say the reason behind the orange phenomenon is dust that blew into the atmosphere from the Sahara and Arabian Deserts to the south. It then made its way toward Russia.

That dust in the atmosphere, mixed with the already forming snow, gave it the orange appearance, meteorologists added.

Meanwhile, yesterday at Mount Elbrus, more than 100 miles from Rosa Khutor, an avalanche of orange snow was cleaned up after it buried 15 cars in a nearby parking lot.

Even with the discolored snow, Rosa Khutor’s slopes remained open and made for an unusual skiing experience.

Op-Ed Contributors: America’s Warped Elections


But our research shows that a similar margin of victory in 2018 would most likely net Democrats only 13 seats, leaving the Republicans firmly in charge. Just to get the thinnest of majorities in the House, Democrats would need around an 11-point win in the national popular vote. They haven’t come close to winning by that much in a midterm election since 1982.

Of course, every election is shaped by local circumstances. There can be upsets. But because we know that the results in any given district tend to move in tandem with a party’s statewide share of the vote, we can reliably measure how likely it is that Democrats will win a district — and how “responsive” a map is to electoral shifts. The differences among the states are striking.

Consider California, which now has its lines drawn by an independent redistricting commission. Free of partisan gerrymandering, its responsive maps ensure that as a party wins more votes, it steadily wins more seats, in an almost perfect version of what democracy should look like. Ditto New York, where a court-appointed special master drew a map in 2012 after the Legislature and governor failed to agree on one.

By contrast, consider big purple battlegrounds like Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina. Voters are closely divided. But in 2011, Republicans had sole control of the map-drawing process. The extreme gerrymanders they produced ensure that Democrats will need a nearly unprecedented electoral earthquake to take any additional seats.

Where It’s Tough to Flip Even One House Seat

Democrats in these five states would need a big — and in recent years, rare — surge in their share of statewide votes to take a single House seat from Republicans this year.






Increase needed over 2016 share:

STATEWIDE

DEMOCRATIC

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Arizona and California have maps drawn by commissions, not the party in power.

A rise of just one or two percentage points in the Democratic vote could be enough to flip a seat.

STATEWIDE

DEMOCRATIC

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Pennsylvania’s new maps, drawn by the state Supreme Court, all but wiped out the Republican advantage from districts drawn by the state’s Republican-

majority legislature.

STATEWIDE

DEMOCRATIC

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Increase needed over 2016 share:

STATEWIDE

DEMOCRATIC

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Arizona and California have maps drawn by commissions, not the party in power. A rise of just one or two percentage points in the Democratic vote could be enough to flip

a seat.

Pennsylvania’s new maps, drawn by the state Supreme Court, all but wiped out the Republican advantage from districts drawn by the state’s Republican-

majority legislature.

STATEWIDE

DEMOCRATIC

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In Ohio, Democrats would win their four current congressional seats with around 26 percent of the statewide vote. Our projections show they wouldn’t compete for another seat until their vote share reached nearly 55 percent, a total that they haven’t attained in any of the last six elections.

In Michigan, Democrats would win their five current seats with around 38 percent of the statewide vote, but wouldn’t compete for a sixth seat until they reached 55 percent, a level they rarely reach in midterm years.

In North Carolina, our research shows that Democrats would win their three current seats with around 30 percent of the vote, but would need to win an extra 23 percent of the vote to compete for an additional seat. They obtained a share of the vote this high only in the Obama wave of 2008.

None of this means Democrats can’t win the House. This election could prove very unusual. Republican enthusiasm, fund-raising and candidate recruitment could collapse, while Democratic enthusiasm might push through the roof. But that will be cold comfort to Democrats if 2020 proves to be a more normal year and artfully drawn maps come back to bite with a vengeance.

Democrats Gerrymander Too






Maryland’s congressional districts are drawn to the disadvantage of the Republican Party. In order to flip a single seat from Democrats this year, Republicans need their statewide vote share to increase by seven percentage points over 2016.

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Republicans should be worried, too. That’s because there’s no guarantee they will be in control of the next redistricting, in 2021 — particularly if President Trump’s popularity continues to flag and Democrats succeed in making the 2018 and 2020 elections a referendum on the sitting president the way Republicans did in 2010 and 2014. If Democrats do replicate the Tea Party wave in reverse, Republicans will find themselves in a world in which Democrats are in the driver’s seat.

All of this should serve as a warning to the Supreme Court, as it again takes up partisan gerrymandering. Our findings add to the abundant evidence showing the degree to which technology and data-fueled 21st-century gerrymanders warp democracy.

There is good reason to hope the court will finally set bounds on partisan gerrymandering. But states can provide their own solutions — as California did when it went from being one of the most gerrymandered states to one of the least, after its voters chose by referendum in 2010 to make the process nonpartisan. Either path would guarantee that millions more Americans would get the government they want.

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Slow roller coaster stops and no one notices



The “slowest rollercoaster in Japan” derailed this week – and passengers didn’t notice.

A wheel on one of the cars is thought to have disengaged from the rail, causing the Family Coaster at Arakawa Amusement Park in Arakawa Ward, Tokyo, to grind to a halt on Friday.

With seven adults and 12 children trapped on the ride five metres (16 feet) above the ground, the situation could have sparked panic.

However, thanks to the leisurely pace of the ride, the passengers initially weren’t bothered.

“The coaster was moving so slowly, I didn’t notice it had stopped,” a woman in her 30s and her six-year-old son who were on the ride at the time of the accident explained to local media.

The ride is billed on the park’s website as “the slowest roller coaster in Japan” and is around 140 meters long.

Bemusement eventually turned to concern when workmen began to hit the train with hammers and staff attempted to push the train without explaining the situation to those still on board.

Customers called the emergency police number 110 and rescue crews arrived at the scene to help evacuate those stuck on the ride.

Those involved in the incident are calling on investigators to examine the incident and find the cause of the malfunction to prevent the same problem occurring in the future.

No injuries were reported.

Declan Donnelly and wife expecting first child



Declan Donnelly and his wife Ali Astall have announced that they are expecting their first child.

Donnelly, 42, and Astall, 40, met when she worked as his talent manager. They married in 2015, with the presenter’s Saturday Night Takeaway co-host Ant McPartlin as best man.

They announced their pregnancy on Twitter using the Ant and Dec account.

Donnelly wrote: “Just wanted to say thank you for all the lovely messages.

“The news has sneaked out a little earlier than we had hoped but Ali and I are delighted to be expecting our first child.

“Thanks for all the love, we really appreciate it.”

A source told The Sun: “This has come at a difficult time for them both, given everything that Ant is now going through and the pressure that has put on Dec in the past week.”

However, now that Astall passed the 12-week mark, the pair decided to go public with the pregnancy.

Their announcement follows the news that both Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly were dropped over an advertising campaign by car company Suzuki over McPartlin’s drink-driving charge.

Donnelly previously announced he would present the two remaining shows of Saturday Night Takeaway by himself. The show was postponed this weekend.

McPartlin, 42, was charged with drink-driving following his arrest earlier this month, when his black Mini collided with two other cars in Richmond, London.

A child passenger in one of the cars – a green Mini – was taken to hospital as a precaution. She is believed to be a three-year-old girl.

Others involved were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

McPartlin’s publicist has said the presenter is taking time out from his TV commitments, while the remaining episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway will be hosted solo by Declan Donnelly.

McPartlin will appear in court on 4 April.

At Least 37 Die as Fire Sweeps Through Siberia Shopping Mall


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Smoke rising from a multistory shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo on Sunday.

Credit
Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations

MOSCOW — At least 37 people died when a fire burned through a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo on Sunday, the Russian authorities said.

Many of the victims were children, and at least 29 people were still missing after the blaze in the industrial city of about half a million people, over 2,000 miles east of Moscow, the Interfax news agency reported. The missing had little chance of survival, it said, citing a source in the rescue team.

The fire started around 5 p.m. on the fourth floor of the mall, which includes a three-screen cinema complex, a skating rink and an entertainment center for children.

Speaking to the relatives of the missing, Vladimir Chernov, a deputy governor of the Kemerovo region, said the fire had started in the children’s entertainment room, where there was a trampoline with foam rubber.

“The preliminary version is that one of the children had a lighter,” Mr. Chernov told the relatives, according to Interfax. “The fire started from the trampoline pool, filled with foam rubber, which got lit up as gunpowder.”

Mr. Chernov said that the fire alarm then did not work and that the cinema hall’s doors were shut.

The Investigative Committee, Russia’s equivalent to the F.B.I., said it had opened a criminal investigation into the cause of the fire.

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Corbyn sorry for 'pockets' of anti-Semitism in Labour


Jeremy Corbyn has said he is “sincerely sorry” for pain caused by anti-Semitism which occurred in “pockets” within the Labour Party.

In a statement on Sunday, the Labour leader said he “utterly” condemns anti-Semitism and that as leader he “will not tolerate any form of anti-Semitism that exists in and around our movement”.

He said: “We recognise that anti-Semitism has occurred in pockets within the Labour Party, causing pain and hurt to our Jewish community in the Labour Party and the rest of the country.

“I am sincerely sorry for the pain which has been caused.”

Earlier on Sunday, senior Labour figures defended Mr Corbyn amid the row over his apparent support for an anti-Semitic mural.

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald told Sky News’ Sunday with Niall Paterson that the Labour leader “hasn’t got an anti-Semitic bone in his body”, while deputy leader Tom Watson said Mr Corbyn had expressed “deep regret”.

Jeremy Corbyn is facing questions by his own MPs over his apparent support for an artist's anti-Semitic mural on a street in east London .
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Jeremy Corbyn seemed to post on Facebook in support of an anti-Semitic mural

The mural, made by street artist Mear One, depicted a group of Jewish financiers and white businessmen playing a Monopoly-style game on a board balanced on the backs of people.

Included in the portrait, which was removed by Tower Hamlets Council after a number of complaints were made, was an activist holding a banner which read: “The new world order is the enemy of humanity.”

Mr Corbyn left a comment on a Facebook post by Mear One, real name Kalen Ockerman, in 2012 after the artist revealed his work was set to be whitewashed.

The Labour MP wrote: “Why? You are in good company. Rockerfeller (sic) destroyed Diego Viera’s mural because it includes a picture of Lenin.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
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Mr Corbyn said he now ‘whole-heartedly’ supports the mural’s removal

Mr Corbyn was criticised for initially expressing “sincere regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on, the contents of which are deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic” rather than issuing an apology.

Before his apology on Sunday evening, his statement read: “In 2012 I made a general comment about the removal of public art on grounds of freedom of speech. My comment referred to the destruction of the mural Man at the Crossroads by Diego Rivera on the Rockefeller Center.

“That is in no way comparable with the mural in the original post. I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on, the contents of which are deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic.

“I wholeheartedly support its removal.

“I am opposed to the production of anti-Semitic material of any kind, and the defence of free speech cannot be used as a justification for the promotion of anti-Semitism in any form. That is a view I’ve always held.”

As a result of the concern regarding Mr Corbyn’s apparent support of anti-Semitism, the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) has called on members of the Jewish community to gather in Parliament Square on Monday ahead of a Parliamentary Labour Party meeting.

The JLC accused Jeremy Corbyn of a “systematic failure to understand and deal with antisemitism” and said that Jewish community leaders would hand deliver a letter to the PLP meeting.

Mr Corbyn has said that Labour must demonstrate a “total commitment to excising pockets of anti-Semitism that exist in and around our party” despite having launched an inquiry in 2016 into allegations of anti-Semitism in the party.

That followed high-profile comments by Labour Party members which were considered to be anti-Semitic and found that anti-Semitism was not more prevalent within the party that it was any other party.

How Should I Rewatch ‘Roseanne’?


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Glance at the current TV listings, and you may think you’ve time-traveled back to the ’90s, with “Full House,” “The X-Files” and “Will & Grace” all airing new episodes in the past year. On Tuesday, ABC’s era-defining family sitcom “Roseanne” joins the nostalgia fest with a two-episode premiere of its first new season since 1997. True to form, the revival looks to be very much of its time: Its acerbic matriarch, played by Roseanne Barr, is a Trump supporter; her grandson is gender-fluid.

“Roseanne” cranked out 222 episodes during its original nine-season run. So, the prospect of revisiting Roseanne and her clan in advance of their comeback can seem daunting. Luckily, it only takes a few episodes to understand what made this love letter to the working-class American family so special.

This selection of highlights represents “Roseanne” at its smartest, funniest, and most poignant, and you should easily be able to get through these 22-minute episodes before the show returns at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. All the original episodes are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Roseanne Barr and John Goodman in the “Roseanne” episode “Life and Stuff.”ABC, via Getty Images

Season 1

“Life and Stuff”

Great sitcoms don’t always start with great pilots. (See: “Seinfeld.”) But the first episode of “Roseanne” is wonderful, thanks to the immediate chemistry between Roseanne Barr and John Goodman, who plays Roseanne’s husband, Dan. There’s a lovely warmth to the Conners’ marriage, whether they’re flirting, fighting or just making each other laugh. The premiere also features a young George Clooney, in his first appearance as Roseanne’s boss at the plastics factory.

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“Let’s Call It Quits”

Roseanne isn’t a big fan of her boss — until a new supervisor arrives, jacks up production quotas and starts calling his female employees “sweetie.” When Roseanne confronts him about his unreasonable demands, he agrees to ease up if she’ll start respecting his authority. The episode, which could easily have aired in 2018, smartly tackles class and gender in the workplace without devolving into over-earnestness.

John Goodman in the “Roseanne” episode “BOO!”ABC

Season 2

“Inherit the Wind”

The Season 2 premiere has a very simple, very funny premise: Becky (Lecy Goranson), the eldest and most self-conscious Conner sibling, passes gas during a student council meeting. Of course, along with all of the other popular kids, the boy who’s supposed to take her out on a date that night is in attendance. Many inspired fart jokes follow, but the best thing about the episode is the way it balances that humor with empathy for teens and their fragile sense of self-esteem.

“BOO!”

Some family comedies are famous for their Thanksgiving shouting matches or their heartwarming Christmas specials, but the Conners aren’t your average sitcom clan. Roseanne and Dan are Halloween people, and in the show’s inaugural celebration of the spooky holiday, the kids look on in mild mortification as their parents take turns scaring the pants off each other.

“One for the Road”

When Becky mixes up a batch of cocktails to impress a study buddy, both girls end up very drunk. It’s up to Darlene (Sara Gilbert), Becky’s younger sister and primary antagonist, to cover for them — which she does, but not without unleashing a whole lot of teasing. The result is the first of many excellent episodes focused on the delicate bond between these two very different sisters.

“An Officer and a Gentleman”

This classic episode stands apart for two reasons: First, Barr barely made an appearance; second, it’s among the best in the series. With Roseanne off to visit her injured father, her daffy younger sister, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), steps in to play mom and finds herself bonding with Dan. Although the show certainly isn’t the same without Roseanne’s one-liners, it’s a different kind of treat to see two actors as talented as Metcalf and Goodman play off one another.

Roseanne Barr in the “Roseanne” episode “Home-Ec.”ABC

Season 3

“Home-Ec”

Roseanne holds plenty of jobs over the course of nine seasons. But she also spends some time as a stay-at-home mom, an undervalued role that she proudly explains to Darlene’s class in “Home-Ec.” Although her daughter finds the Career Day speech humiliating, Roseanne is such a hit that she gets permission to take the students on a field trip to the supermarket, where they get a pithy lesson in how a working-class mother keeps her family fed.

Sara Gilbert and John Goodman in the “Roseanne” episode “Darlene Fades to Black.”ABC

Season 4

“A Bitter Pill to Swallow”

I like to think of this season premiere as the origin story for Amy Sherman-Palladino (who went on to create the Golden Globe-winning “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”). One of the many big-name showrunners who got their start on “Roseanne,” she helped write this episode when she was still Amy Sherman. As in “Gilmore Girls,” Sherman-Palladino’s first hit, the mother-daughter bonding quotient here is high. When 17-year-old Becky asks her mom for help getting birth control, Roseanne struggles to reconcile her feminist beliefs with an instinct to protect her kid.

“Darlene Fades to Black”

TV has made great strides in representing mental illness in the past few years, but it wasn’t always so sensitive to those issues. In that respect, as in many others, “Roseanne” was ahead of its time with this 1991 episode about Darlene’s depression. Without getting too dark, the show paints a realistic portrait of a teen who suddenly loses her enthusiasm for school, family, sports and her social life — and two parents who desperately want to help her but don’t know how.

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“Aliens”

When “Roseanne” ended its fourth season, in May of 1992, the United States was recovering from a recession, and the unemployment rate was higher than it had been since the early ’80s. The show addressed that crisis with a wrenching finale that illustrates the real impact of economic flux on a family that’s trying to live the American dream while surviving from paycheck to paycheck. First, Roseanne loses her job as a diner waitress as Dan’s bike shop hemorrhages money. Then the Conners realize they don’t have the money to send Becky to college.

Roseanne Barr, left, and Laurie Metcalf in the “Roseanne” episode “Crime and Punishment.”ABC

Season 5

“Terms of Estrangement: Parts 1 and 2”

This two-part season premiere takes place in the aftermath of the episode “Aliens,” as Dan is forced to close his business, Roseanne combs the obituaries for job leads and Becky blows up at her father for leaving her boyfriend and his former mechanic, Mark (Glenn Quinn), unemployed. In their unflinching refusal to offer easy solutions to the Conners’ plight, these episodes use searing gallows humor to convey the pain of feeling responsible for your children’s broken dreams.

“Crime and Punishment” and “War and Peace”

In another great two-part story, the Conners reckon with violence against women — and the destructive cycles it can perpetuate. When Darlene discovers that Jackie’s boyfriend has been hitting her, a family-wide reckoning ensues. As Roseanne pressures Jackie to leave him, the sisters are forced to confront their very different responses to having grown up with an abusive dad.

“Wait Till Your Father Gets Home”

Roseanne’s and Jackie’s complicated feelings toward their father resurface in this emotional episode, which takes place in the aftermath of his death. After Jackie bristles at her sister’s lingering contempt for him, Roseanne searches for some sign that he regretted hitting his kids. What she learns raises poignant questions about how we mourn the people who hurt us.

John Goodman and Roseanne Barr in the “Roseanne” episode “A Stash From the Past.”ABC, via Everett Collection

Season 6

“A Stash From the Past”

Many “Roseanne” highlights veer into “Very Special Episode” territory, so the show’s take on marijuana is refreshing. When Roseanne finds a bag of weed in the house, she assumes it belongs to Darlene’s boyfriend, David (Johnny Galecki), and gives him the standard sitcom “You’re ruining your life” lecture. Then Dan realizes that the bag is actually Roseanne’s from way back when, and … they relive their youth by getting high with Jackie. The scene in which Barr, Goodman and Metcalf are stoned in the bathroom is among the funniest moments in TV history.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

“Roseanne” helped break ground for L.G.B.T. representation with this episode from 1994, which was so provocative at the time that ABC almost didn’t air it. Roseanne and Jackie spend a night at the gay bar with their friend Nancy (Sandra Bernhard) and her girlfriend, Sharon (Mariel Hemingway, in a charming guest appearance). While Jackie worries people will think she’s a lesbian, Roseanne has a ball — until Sharon kisses her. Roseanne’s subsequent reckoning with her own internalized homophobia is years ahead of its time.

“Lies My Father Told Me”

Like Roseanne, Dan carries around plenty of baggage from childhood. So, when his beloved mother checks into a mental institution, he immediately blames the father who neglected, then left them when Dan was a kid. The story that develops from there is a remarkably generous meditation on how family narratives are shaped and whether it’s possible to repair a relationship that has been broken for decades.

From left, Fred Willard, Roseanne Barr and Martin Mull in the “Roseanne” episode “December Bride.”ABC, via Getty Images

Seasons 7-9

It is widely acknowledged that “Roseanne” exceeded its natural life span by approximately three seasons. But even though they’re pretty wacky, Seasons 7 through 9 feature their share of fun episodes. With that in mind, here’s a quick selection of late-period “Roseanne” highlights for every kind of fan.

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If you want to see the Conners reckon with racism, watch “White Men Can’t Kiss.”

If you wonder what “Roseanne” would look like as a 1950s sitcom, watch “The Fifties Show.”

If you like Jenna Elfman, “Thelma and Louise” or riot grrrl, watch “The Getaway, Almost.”

If you want to see television’s first gay wedding, watch “December Bride.”

If you want to watch Barr stick it to her Disney overlords, watch “Springtime for David.”

If you wonder what “Roseanne” would look like as a 1960s sitcom, watch “Call Waiting.”

If you’re an “Absolutely Fabulous” fan, watch “Satan, Darling.”

If you want to bawl your eyes out — and, potentially, have some context for the reboot’s inevitable jokes about the original two-part series finale — watch “Into That Good Night.”

Prezzo agrees deal to shut 94 restaurants



Restaurant chain Prezzo has won agreement from creditors on a rescue deal that will see it close 94 of its 300 restaurants.

The company did not say how many jobs would go but it was understood around 500 were affected.

Prezzo won the backing of 88% of creditors under a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) on Friday, details of which were first reported by Sky News last month.

It is the latest in a string of restaurant businesses to run into trouble, after upmarket burger chain Byron won approval for a CVA earlier this year and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain said it would close dozens of its outlets.

The sector has been hit by rising staff costs and lower footfall as well as the slump in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote which pushed up ingredient costs.

Prezzo chief executive Jon Hendry-Pickup said the move was a “tough decision”.

“While we continue to be profitable, the pressures on our industry have been well documented,” he said.

:: More pain ahead for struggling UK restaurants

Prezzo said the 94 restaurants to close were likely to shut in April and May, and staff would be made aware as soon as they have been confirmed.

The number includes all 33 of its Tex-Mex themed Chimichanga outlets.

Prezzo added that while there would be redundancies, efforts would also be made to redeploy workers.

The plan will also see rent reductions of 25% to 50% at 57 sites.

Prezzo, which currently employs 4,500 people, is owned by the private equity firm TPG Capital.

The announcement comes at the end of a dismal week for the high street, with a profit warning from Moss Bros, tough trading at B&Q and falling profits at Next.

Meanwhile, another CVA deal has seen creditors to fashion chain New Look agree on its plan to shut 60 stores with the loss of 980 jobs.

Elsewhere, Carpetright has said it is also exploring such a deal – one that it thought likely to mean the closure of about a quarter of its 400 stores.