Child casualties of immigration enforcement

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In stepping up control of immigration American states are putting millions of children at risk of being separated from their parents and entering the US child welfare system -- perhaps permanently, according to a Washington DC advocacy group. This is something to weigh seriously in the intensifying debate over illegal immigrants.

In a report released last month, First Focus estimates that “over 5 million children in the United States with at least one undocumented parent are at risk of unnecessarily entering the child welfare system when a parent is detained or deported.” A large majority would be citizens by birth.

The report, quoted by Truthout, says:

When a child enters the child welfare system, immigrant parents face huge obstacles in reuniting with the child. For example, if a parent is detained or deported, they cannot take part in child welfare proceedings like family… click here to read whole article and make comments



Generation text: always talking, but what’s the goal?

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As young people turn increasingly to texting and instant messaging to communicate with their friends, psychologists worry that they are missing out on the intimacy and depth of friendship that face-to-face communication allows, reports the New York Times.

In a recent post I noted research amongst college students in which a number of them admitted to being “addicted” to social media, particularly texting on the cellphone.

A new Pew study shows that there has been an explosion in texting recently:

Daily text messaging among American teens has shot up in the past 18 months, from 38% of teens texting friends daily in February of 2008 to 54% of teens texting daily in September 2009. And it's not just frequency – teens are sending enormous quantities of text messages a day. Half of teens send 50 or more text messages a day, or 1,500 texts… click here to read whole article and make comments



Girls ‘lean, mean and resilient’ - and that’s before birth

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Here is another study that sorts the girls from boys. Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia have found that, faced with issues like a mother smoking, drinking alcohol, suffering from asthma or having an infection, girls appear more resilient and better able to cope with multiple events before birth.

But the news isn't all bad for boys, with the research also showing they do better than girls if the mother only faces a single stress, like asthma, or a single infection.

"Basically, what we see, when mum has a stressful event during pregnancy, is that boys make themselves as big as they possibly can and ignore what is happening in mum's body," Associate Professor Vicki Clifton told reporters.

"Girls make themselves just a little bit smaller and that means that they have a greater chance of surviving if something else goes wrong in the pregnancy.

click here to read whole article and make comments



Students admit: ‘I’m addicted to my cellphone’

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People often speak loosely about youths being “addicted” to their cellphones or iPods but research carried out at the University of Maryland had students using the word themselves when they wrote about how they felt while abstaining from all media for a day.

Their accounts were peppered with terms associated with drug and alcohol addictions: In withdrawal, Frantically craving, Very anxious, Extremely antsy, Miserable, Jittery, Crazy. Many admitted they were “incredibly addicted”.

"I clearly am addicted and the dependency is sickening," said one person in the study. "I feel like most people these days are in a similar situation, for between having a Blackberry, a laptop, a television, and an iPod, people have become unable to shed their media skin."

The study, “24 Hours: Unplugged”, was carried out by the university’s International Centre for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA) amongst 200 students aged 18… click here to read whole article and make comments



Millennials lukewarm towards abortion advocacy

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Fetus at 18 weeks.A revealing article in Newsweek shows the abortion rights movement in the United States painfully aware of its ageing leadership and lack of traction amongst young adults. NARAL president Nancy Keenan and others concede that they have failed to address the “moral complexity” of abortion, something that even pro-choice young people now take on board.

The article, by a Newsweek writer and in a style one could only describe as abortion advocacy, notes the movement’s “waning influence” in Washington and its heavy dependence on the original Roe generation.

These leaders will retire in a decade or so. And what worries Keenan is that she just doesn't see a passion among the post-Roe generation—at least, not among those on her side. This past January, when Keenan's train pulled into Washington's Union Station, a few blocks from the Capitol, she was greeted… click here to read whole article and make comments



The Pill’s deadly affair with HIV/AIDS

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Why does HIV/AIDS strike more women than men globally? Why is sub-Saharan Africa the home of the world’s largest heterosexual HIV/Aids epidemic? Why does Thailand have an HIV infection rate of over one-in-100 adults, while Japan’s rate is 0.01 per cent and the Philippines’ 0.02 per cent? One answer to these questions can be found in an article published this week by the Population Research Institute deeply implicating hormonal contraception in the AIDS epidemic.

Joan Claire Robinson’s resume of a larger report yet to be published shows that evidence has been piling up for two decades. She writes:

More than 50 medical studies, to date, have investigated the association of hormonal contraceptive use and HIV/AIDS infection. The studies show that hormonal contraceptives—the oral pill and Depo-Provera—increase almost all known risk factors for HIV, from upping a woman's risk of infection, to increasing the replication of the HIV virus,… click here to read whole article and make comments



Love and Fidelity movement spreads in US colleges

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Frannie Boyle Image: CNN

CNN has run a story on the movement among college students to shun the hook-up culture prevalent on campuses and encourage dating and abstinence.

Since its inception in 2007, the Love and Fidelity network has gained a presence in at least 20 schools, including Princeton and Harvard.

"A majority of college campuses, when it comes to discussing marriage and sexual relationships, tend to be very one-sided," said Cassandra Hough, founding director of the Love and Fidelity Network. "We feel that it does add to pressures for young men and women to participate in a certain type of culture."

CNN features a Vanderbuilt junior, 21-year-old Frannie Boyle, who says she gave up the drink-fuelled routine hooking-up because it left her feeling “empty” and unhappy.

Casual sexual activity carries a physical as well as emotional… click here to read whole article and make comments



P-word sees kiddie bras vanish from shelves

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Another 'pedo' product.The P word, used indiscriminately in recent weeks of Catholic priests who sexually molested minors, has scared a British retailer into withdrawing bikinis with padded bras aimed at seven-year-olds from sale.

The retailer acted within hours of a front-page article in The Sun denouncing the product as a "pedo (pedophile) bikini".

Now we know how to get rid of this stuff. Good.

Primark, a popular discount chain, is not the first retailer to draw criticism for offering padded bras for kids younger than 10. But the outcry of protest is prompting a growing number of companies to pledge support for Mumsnet's "Let Girls Be Girls" campaign.

As Mumsnet says, such items "encourages a culture in which children are viewed as sexually available". And with politicians joining the chorus of condemnation -- “completely disgraceful” said… click here to read whole article and make comments



Forced sterilisations for thousands in southern China crack-down

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Anyone who thought China was softening its one-child policy will have to think again after news that one local government in southern China is forcing thousands of couples to undergo sterilisation -- and, in many cases, holding their parents hostage to ensure they comply.

Nanfang Rural News -- a paper that reputedly sails close to the wind of official censorship -- reported that the government in the city of Puning has drawn up a list of nearly 10,000 people suspected of intending to have a second or third child. Around half that group has agreed to sterilisation.

But hundreds of senior citizens are being held captive to encourage the others:

The 1,377 detained people include some of those who have so far refused, but mostly consist of their parents. Witnesses said that they were being held in cramped, damp conditions, including one group of 200 which… click here to read whole article and make comments



Maternal deaths: not stalled but ‘persistently’ improving

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The number of women dying in childbirth, widely believed to be stalled at around half a million worldwide, has actually fallen by one third over the past three decades, according to research published in The Lancet this week.

As recently as last May the World Health Organisation said that mothers and newborns are no more likely to survive now than 20 years ago. But others have pointed out that there is a lot of guesswork in the statistics used to estimate maternal deaths.

Now, Dr Christopher Murray of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington (in Seattle) and his colleagues at the University of Queensland (Australia) estimate that such deaths dropped from 526,300 in 1980 to342,900 in 2008 -- a drop of 35 per cent. The researchers “took every bit of data they could find on deaths of women from records in 181 countries… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

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