JERUSALEM (AP) — The son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says his father "went when he decided to go." The 85-year-old Sharon died today after spending the last eight years of his life in a coma following a stroke.
The hospital that had been treating him says Sharon had had "ups and downs" during his years in a condition defined as "minimal consciousness."
The hospital said last week that Sharon's health was declining as he began to suffer failure of vital organs including his kidneys.
The hard-charging Sharon was one of Israel's most iconic figures.
After a distinguished, and controversial, military career, he went into politics and held a number of Cabinet posts.
He was elected prime minister in 2001, and despite his hardline views, led Israel's historic withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Democrats want to make an increase in the minimum wage a major campaign issue in 2014, but in California a proposal to push the mark to $12 an hour is coming from a registered Republican who once tried to unseat Gov. Pete Wilson.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Unz says a wage jump would nourish the economy and lift low-paid workers from dependency on food stamps and other government aid.
Democrats in Congress are pushing a bill to raise the $7.25 federal minimum to over $10 an hour.
Unz is a former publisher of The American Conservative magazine with a history of against-the-grain political activity, including pushing a 1998 ballot proposal that dismantled California's bilingual education system.
His proposal has not yet qualified for the state ballot.