Today's Top Picks: March 21, 2017

Disgraced former Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord underwent aggressive questioning at busissmena's trial on Monday.

Chester County businessman Richard Ireland may be the one on trial for attempted bribery, but it was the federal government’s star witness, ex-state Treasurer Rob McCord, who was on the hot seat Monday. And it was a federal prosecutor who put him there. Read more

At Norwood-Fontbonne Academy in Germantown, 16 eighth-grade students have just begun a rousing hour of learning to be news-literate, independent-minded critical thinkers. Working at their laptops, some ponder a question (“What is newsworthy?”); others answer a directive (“Briefly explain your rankings”). Read more

With hundreds of revelers sporting ornate headdresses, bearded masks, handstitched capes and replica muskets, El Carnaval de Puebla en Filadelphia has been a Mexican folk tradition and rite of spring in South Philadelphia since 2006. This year, however, organizers have canceled the festival, citing fears that a mass gathering of Mexicans could become a target for immigration enforcement action. Read more

Former Mayor Michael A. Nutter and a top aide took issue Monday with an Inquirer and Daily News report that the aide failed to fully account for $52,000 in spending in 2015 while serving as chairwoman of the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia. Read more

At the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago, Daniel and Naomi Berkowitz have a fresh message to pitch to housewares and gift-shop buyers — “Handcrafted in USA” is good, “Made in Pennsylvania” is even better. Read more