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January 28, 2009

World's first out Prime Minister

PageOneQ | World's first out Prime Minister to take office
Iceland's next leader will be an openly gay former flight attendant who parlayed her experience as a union organizer into a decades-long political career. Both parties forming Iceland's new coalition government support the appointment of Johanna Sigurdardottir, the island nation's 66-year-old social affairs minister, as Iceland's interim prime minister.

The Myth of Rampant Teenage Promiscuity

Well - The Myth of Rampant Teenage Promiscuity - NYTimes.com

While some young people are clearly engaging in risky sexual behavior, a vast majority are not. The reality is that in many ways, today’s teenagers are more conservative about sex than previous generations.

Today, fewer than half of all high school students have had sex: 47.8 percent as of 2007, according to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, down from 54.1 percent in 1991.

A less recent report suggests that teenagers are also waiting longer to have sex than they did in the past. A 2002 report from the Department of Health and Human Services found that 30 percent of 15- to 17-year-old girls had experienced sex, down from 38 percent in 1995. During the same period, the percentage of sexually experienced boys in that age group dropped to 31 percent from 43 percent.

The rates also went down among younger teenagers. In 1995, about 20 percent said they had had sex before age 15, but by 2002 those numbers had dropped to 13 percent of girls and 15 percent of boys.

January 26, 2009

Riots erupt in Iceland over poor government

Envious of Obama, Icelanders hurl yogurt and stage riots for new leaders | csmonitor.com

REYKJAVIK, Iceland – Protesters hurled dairy products and rage at their elected leaders here during increasingly violent demonstrations this week over the handling of the country’s collapsing economy.

Parliament was suspended Wednesday and the prime minister’s limousine was attacked with snowballs and eggs.

Demonstrators are calling for immediate elections, but the prime minister appeared on television Wednesday night, saying his government has no intention of stepping down.

January 25, 2009

Paging dave-o -- "Abandoned Places" LiveJournal

Courtesy everyone's favorite social networking disease. aBANDONED.jpg Abandoned Places
Description: The community is dedicated to capturing the beauty and character of everything abandoned.

January 24, 2009

Bill Moyers vs the ADL

Bill Moyers Journal: Exchange Between Bill Moyers and Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League

Earlier this week it was widely reported that the International Red Cross “was so outraged it broke its usual silence over an attack in which the Israeli army herded a Palestinian family into a building and then shelled it, killing 30 people and leaving the surviving children clinging to the bodies of their dead mothers. The army prevented rescuers from reaching the survivors for four days.”

When American troops committed a similar atrocity in Vietnam, it was called My Lai and Lt. Calley went to prison for it. As the publisher of a large newspaper at the time, I instructed our editorial staff to cover the atrocity fully because Americans should know what our military was doing in our name and with our funding. To say “my country right or wrong” is like saying “my mother drunk or sober.” Patriots owe their country more than that, whether their government and their taxes are supporting atrocities in Vietnam, Iraq, or, in this case, Gaza.

Contrary to your claim, I made no reference whatsoever to “moral equivalency” between Hamas and Israel. That is an old canard often resorted to by propagandists trying to divert attention from facts on the ground, and, it, too, is unworthy of the slaughter in Gaza. Contrary to imputing “moral equivalency” between Hamas and Israel, I said that “Hamas would like to see every Jew in Israel dead.” I said that “a radical stream of Islam now seeks to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth.” And I described the new spate of anti-Semitism across the continent of Europe. I am curious as to why you ignored remarks which clearly counter the notion of “moral equivalency.”

January 22, 2009

China sentences 2 men to death over Melamine poisonings

Melamine: China Sentences Two Men To Death Over Melamine Milk Scandal

One of the men sentenced to death was Zhang Yujun, who had made and sold over 600 tonnes of "protein powder" laced with melamine between October 2007 and August 2008, the official China Daily quoted prosecutors as saying earlier this month.

The powder was bought by middlemen who added it to pooled, watered-down milk from farmers that was then sold on to Sanlu. One of these men was also given the death sentence.

A third man was given a suspended death sentence, which usually means life in prison on good behavior. Other defendants received from five years to life imprisonment.