Author Archives | Monika Pasawana

British Govt Cuts Affect Single Mothers the Most

A new research said single moms will be most affected by the government’s plan to cut benefits and increase taxes. The group will lose about 8.5 percent of their total earnings after tax by the year 2015.

Reduction in public services will also affect single parents worst than any other households since it will cost them the corresponding 18.5 percent of their net earnings. This outcome is more than twice the effect on couples with kids, according to a report made by the Fawcett Society and the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

The study “Single Mothers: Singled Out” investigates the effect of changes in the emergency budget announced by Chancellor George Osborne in June 2010 during the March Budget and Comprehensive Spending Review.

According to the report, lone mothers will be affected by those changes, which include housing benefit cuts, limitation of maternity grants to the eldest child, a 3-year standstill on child benefit, as well as childcare element cut on working tax credit.

The research found that single moms will lose about 8.5 percent of their net earnings in comparison to 7.5 percent for lone fathers, 6.5 percent for couples with kids and around 2.5 percent for couples with no children.

Anna Bird, Fawcett Society’s acting chief executive, said the results of the research are clear that women are suffering the impact of the government cuts. Single mothers are expected to lose one month of their earnings a year once the entire cuts are implemented.

Posted in Nation and World

Physician Guilty of Raping Child Patients

A pediatrician from Delaware was found guilty Thursday on all counts of sexually assaulting and raping child patients; some are as young as three years old.

Dr. Earl Bradley of Lewes, Delaware, was found guilty by Judge William Carpenter on all 24 counts of sexual exploitation, sexual assault, and rape during a non-jury trial in Sussex County Superior Court.

Bradley was accused of sexually attacking dozens of his patients between 1998 and 2009. All except one of those children are girls. Bradley even made a total of 86 videotapes on the attacks with the use of hidden cameras, according to a state police who investigated the rape case.

The courtroom was crowded with spectators and journalists; several of them even shed tears while the judge spoke. There were also 20 armed officers inside the courtroom.

58-year old Bradley sat silently and conveyed no outward emotions while the verdicts were read.

The police officer who testified during the trial said that Bradley had an inclination to sexually abuse toddlers who could not yet speak; an average age of three years old. Another officer said that Bradley often gave his victims colored popsicles to cover up possible bruising and blood whenever he forces their mouths open.

During the June 7 trial, the prosecutors presented two police officers while the defense did not bother presenting any case.

Dr. Earl Bradley faces life in prison without the possibility of parole on his 26th of August sentencing. There is a gag order prohibiting attorneys from both sides to talk about or to comment on the case and it will remain in effect until August 26th.


Posted in Nation and World

Indiana’s Planned Parenthood Drops Medicaid Patients

Indiana’s Planned Parenthood stopped tending for all Medicaid patients due to an Indiana law that has cut their funding. Betty Cockrum, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN), said that their over 9,300 Medicaid patients will be cut off from their clinic.

PPIN is the largest reproductive health care provider in Indiana and they perform abortions. When the Indiana law against abortion was passed, the Federal money that was used to fund Medicaid patients was cut off. PPIN insists that even before the law was in place, Medicaid patients cannot use their government insurance for abortion. The Medicaid funding to PPIN also covers many other reproductive health services like cancer screening and contraception.

Medicaid funds to PPIN already stopped last May 11 after the law was submitted and PPIN was just running on donations to pay for their Medicaid patients. Now, the donations have all been used up and Medicaid patients will not be seen unless they pay for it.

Also, according to a statement from PPIN, two if their disease intervention specialist will have to be laid off and many of their employees will not be paid on Wednesday.

PPIN went to court a month ago to stop Indiana from cutting their Medicaid funds. U.S District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said that a decision will be made regarding the issue on the 1st of July. Until then, many Medicaid patients will have to be turned down by PPIN.

PPIN already announced that if the judge does not favor them by July 1st, they will be left with no choice but to close down clinics and lay off many of their workers.


Posted in Health

Gabrielle Giffords Discharged from the Hospital

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was cleared by her doctors to go home from the Houston hospital on Wednesday. Giffords has been staying in the said hospital since January, recovering from the gunshot wound she acquired during a meeting with her constituents in Arizona.

Hospital officials said in a statement that Congresswoman Giffords will begin her outpatient treatment really soon at the TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital. The hospital officials added that Gifford’s physical strength and cognitive abilities have markedly improved since she was first hospitalized.

Dr. Gerard Francisco, chief medical officer of TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital, said that Giffords has shown steady and continuous improvement since she was admitted in their institution. Dr. Francisco also said that they are all thrilled that Congresswoman Giffords is in the second phase of her rehabilitative treatment as an outpatient. He said that there is not a single doubt in his mind that Giffords will successfully recover.

Congresswoman Giffords was shot in her head by a gunman who opened fire towards her and a crowd participating in the town meeting on January 8 in Tuczon, Arizona. In the same incident, six were reportedly killed – inclusing a young girl and a federal judge – and a dozen other people were wounded.

Jared Loughner, the 22-year old gunman, was just recently declared as mentally incapacitated to stand trial. He was then sent back to Missouri and was admitted to a hospital specifically catering to federal prisoners.

C.J. Karamargin, Congresswoman Giffords’ spokesperson, said that Gifford’s abilities are constantly improving and they are already discussing ways for Giffords to resume active duties in her congressional office.


Posted in Featured News, Nation and World

People Vote on New Education Laws in Idaho

The decision to continue new education laws in Idaho will depend on the votes of the people in November, the office of the state’s secretary said on Tuesday.

A group that seeks to abolish Idaho’s education reform has gathered enough signatures to put the law before the voters. Based on the given documents late Monday, Idahoans for Responsible Education Reform has gathered verified signatures more than the total number required.

The education overhaul, which is composed of three new laws, was recently approved by Republican leaders in Idaho. The group that led the petition needed more than 47,000 signatures from Idaho voters. However, they had come up with more than 74,000 signatures on each of the three laws, namely State Bill 1108, State Bill 1110 and State Bill 1184.

The Idaho Secretary of State’s office has already certified the referenda petitions on Tuesday. Chair for Idahoans for Responsible Education Reform, Mike Lanza said they are glad to see the petitions certified.

Despite the protests by some students and parents, as well as by the teachers union, the overhaul of education passed the legislature this year. Republican Governor Butch Otter and schools chief Tom Luna supported the education reform.

The overhaul removes the ability of the teachers to negotiate issues such as workload and class size, but provides them unfunded pay plan based on the performance of the student instead of seniority. Lastly, a law required high schools to provide mobile computing devices for students, shifting district funds from teacher to technology.

Posted in Nation and World

Learning Disabilities – Your Edge to College Admission

Most of us jump in to a conclusion that when a person has learning disabilities, he or she will have a particularly difficult time getting admitted to any college. David Montesano, however, insists that we are all clouded by the wrong assumption.

Montesano, a college admission strategist, said that based on years of experience in College Match Educational Consultants students who have learning disabilities actually have high chances of admission in colleges.

Montesano said that colleges want diversity; and a learning disability is some sort of diversity. Also, colleges are often lenient with an applicant’s test scores and grades if presented with an evidence of learning disabilities. Learning disabilities will push colleges to be more considerate of class rankings, low grades, and standardized test scores.

As an example, Montesano said that students with learning disabilities who get a GPA of 3.4 can compete with normal students with a GPA of 3.7; the same way that colleges are more impressed with applicants who have learning disabilities with a GPA of 3.4 than a normal applicant with the same grades.

Instead of hiding learning disabilities in college applications, Montesano said it should be highlighted. Aside from proving that you indeed have learning disabilities by showing medical records and reports, you should also point out that impact of your disabilities to your grades.

Before you do that, however, Montesano said that it is best to verify if your college of choice is open to diversity. You cannot directly ask a college about this as they will definitely deny that they judge students based on such medical conditions; instead, ask around campus or look it up online.


Posted in Nation and World

Man Accuses Ex-Girlfriend of Abortion, Expresses Fury through Billboard

A man, who said his ex-girlfriend underwent abortion, had expressed his anger through a highway billboard in New Mexico. The billboard, which shows a picture of Greg Fultz with a sketch of a baby in his arms, accuses the woman of killing their child.

Greg Fultz, 35-years-old, had bought a billboard in south-central New Mexico when he found out that his ex-girlfriend was no longer pregnant.

Fultz’s former girlfriend says the billboard is a form of harassment, as well as an invasion of privacy. She has taken Fultz to court under the Family Violence Protection Act in New Mexico.

However, Todd Holmes, an attorney for Fultz says he is just applying his First Amendment rights, which gives citizens the freedom of speech.

A petition was filed by Fultz’s former girlfriend and said that Fultz had a history of harassment and stalking. She wrote on the petition that Fultz posted some of her intimate shots from one of their cyber dates. Also, the petition calls for the removal of the billboard and put online harassment to a stop.

Fultz had the billboard installed in the middle of May. A judge ordered, last week, that the billboard be removed in the middle of June. But, Fultz’s attorney said he is planning to file a motion to put the highway billboard in place. He also said that his client is prepared to enter jail if necessary.

Holmes said Fultz suspected his girlfriend had an abortion. However, emails sent to the Right to Life Committee said Fultz’s ex-girlfriend had a miscarriage and not an abortion.

Posted in Nation and World

Abortion Showdown May Cost $4.3 Billion

An anticipated showdown over Indiana’s new law that cuts off funds for the Planned Parenthood organization may check just how far Republican states are willing to go in pushing their anti-abortion agendas. The stakes are high and the costs are even higher.

Indiana is the first state to cut off all funds to Planned Parenthood this year. This is in line with the Republican’s goal of weakening organizations that promote and provide abortion. Many other conservative states have already thought of doing the exact same thing but backed down due to the fear of losing federal money for all their Medicaid programs.

The eagerness of Indiana to stand up to federal government and risk billions of financial penalties could take this issue to uncharted political and legal territory. Republican leaders from other states are closely watching the looming confrontation as they device their own plans on abortion.

Christopher Arterton, a George Washington University professor, said that this is an example of an instance wherein a state is trying to go against national policy and in doing so; they are most likely to forego federal funding.

Is Indiana really willing to risk as much as $4.3 billion in Medicaid funds to stand-up for their right-to-life movement? Many Republicans believe that it is high time that they risk penalties to defend their principles.

On the other hand, many are questioning if the federal government – the Obama administration in particular – is willing to allow low-income families depending on Medicaid to suffer just to punish an insolent state?

Posted in Nation and World

Lawyer Says Mladic Underwent Cancer Sugery in Belgrade

A lawyer for Ratko Mladic on Thursday said that the former leader of Bosnian Serb military was treated in a Belgrade hospital for cancer while he was running away from genocide charges two years ago.

Milos Saljic, a lawyer based in Belgrade, said he has medical records that will prove Mladic was treated in 2009. The lawyer said Mladic has suffered from lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes, and that he went through chemotherapy and surgery in a Belgrade hospital.

The records were only acquired after Mladic was arrested and copies of them were given to the Serbian war crimes prosecutor, said Saljic. However, he refused to disclose the names of the doctors who had handled Mladic and the clinics where he had went.

According to Saljic, Mladic had two heart attacks and three strokes, the Belgrade daily Press reported Thursday. The publication released a document which showed Mladic’s name, his birth year, and other personal information. The document also revealed that Mladic was diagnosed with “non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.”

The report said that Mladic, 69-years-old, underwent surgery because of stomach ulcer complications, which was thought to be caused by the disease.

However, managers of the major hospitals that treat patients with cancer in Belgrade rejected the likelihood that Mladic was admitted and treated there three years ago, the daily Press said.

Mladic has been the most wanted man in Europe. He was arrested last Thursday in northeast Serbia and was deported on Tuesday to The Netherlands. He will be asked to plead before the UN Court to 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide on Friday.

Posted in Nation and World

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Causes Political Argument a Year Later

The response of the Obama administration to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has sparked political arguments between the members of the House of Representatives on Thursday, more than a year after the economic and environmental disaster occurred.

The Obama administration decided to give the owner of the well, BP PLC, the lead role to respond to the oil spill. However, a new report released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asserted that the federal government should have been responsible for the spill response, as well as the compensation of the victims.

U.S. House Republicans said letting BP PLC lead the oil spill recovery efforts is completely offensive to the residents in the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, disagreed with the recently released report.

Barbour, who is also a Republican, told the reform committee that BP was at times more responsive than the government to the requests made by state officials after the spill occurred in April 2010.

Still, some U.S. lawmakers believe that BP is not completing its obligations to the oil spill. They criticized President Obama for not taking control.

Darrell Issa, chairman of the committee, said failure to subsidize removal of debris, ambiguity in the services provided for mental health, as well as frustration related to the compensation process are just among the apprehensions of the residents affected with the spill.

An explosion on the drilling equipment killed eleven BP workers. It broke the vessel and spilled million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf Coast. President Obama banned deep-water drilling until October last year.

Posted in Nation and World