<\body> Stories in America: 12th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide, Republicans Fail to Pass Budget

Friday, April 07, 2006

12th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide, Republicans Fail to Pass Budget

"It still feels like yesterday that it happened. It's very close, very recent and I never think of it as something that happened a long time ago. The wounds that are inside me will, I guess, always be there. I am in the UK to have reconstruction surgery on my face - maybe it's going to be different after that. Maybe I will feel better when my face is redone. But I think we will always be haunted from the inside because we can't have back all the people we lost, my family, my friends, neighbours. We won't forget them and they won't be resurrected. I don't think much about my ambitions any more.I don't have many dreams. I used to dream but I never got to achieve any of the things I had wanted to. It's not something I dare to think of because I could die in an accident today. Maybe after the surgery, when I'm fine, I'll start thinking about it."
-Odette Mupenzi, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people were killed, speaking to the BBC. Today marks the 12th anniversary of the start of the killings.

Reproductive Rights

High court approves but limits informed consent abortion law - AP
A law requiring doctors to tell patients about abortion risks before performing the procedure won unanimous approval Thursday from the Florida Supreme Court, but the justices put some limitations on it. In an opinion written by Justice R. Fred Lewis, the high court rejected a challenge by a doctor and abortion clinic claiming a 1997 law was unconstitutionally vague and violated women's privacy rights. The high court interpreted the law to require that doctors discuss only medical matters, not economic, psychological, social, religious or other issues, even though the law does not use the word "medical."


New Miss. law affirms rights of breast-feeding mothers - AP
Getty Israel knows firsthand the benefits of breast-feeding: It's one of the ways she provided nutrition to her son when he was a baby. She hopes a new Mississippi law will help raise awareness of the health benefits of nursing, while also giving support to moms as they try to care for their infants and toddlers. The new law places requirements on child-care facilities, mandating that each of them provide a place - other than a toilet - for mothers to either breast-feed their babies or pump milk. The law says the designated area must have a comfortable chair, an electrical outlet and access to running water.


U.S. Will Not Join U.N. Rights Council - Washington Post
The Bush administration will not seek a seat this year on the new U.N. Human Rights Council, marking the first time in more than half a century that the United States has chosen not to pursue membership in the United Nations' principal rights organization.

Republicans fail to pass budget, tax bills - Reuters
Republicans in the U.S. Congress suffered two major setbacks on Thursday when their fiscal 2007 budget plan collapsed and they failed to put the finishing touches on $70 billion in tax cuts. The developments could not have come at a worse time as Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress and the White House, were hoping to shake election-year blues dominated so far by ethics scandals and sinking popularity. Now, instead of returning to their home districts for a two-week spring break touting tax cuts and the passage of a budget they hoped would trim huge budget deficits, Republicans will greet their constituents empty-handed.

Charon Asetoyer: A True Alternative - The Nation
Last February, South Dakota lawmakers approved the nation's most restrictive ban on abortion, setting the stage for new legal challenges that its supporters hope will lead to an overturning of Roe v. Wade. The measure, which passed the state Senate 23 to 12, makes it a felony for doctors to perform any abortion, except to save the life of a pregnant woman. This law is clearly illegal. And don't believe the hype that this new law is what most South Dakotans want. There are some very angry women in the state, and one of them, Charon Asetoyer, recently announced her candidacy for the South Dakota State Senate. Asetoyer, the Executive Director of the Native Women's Health Education Resource Center, is running against an opponent who compiled a zero voting rank on women's health and safety issues during his previous legislative term.

In the Workplace

Few women take pregnancy leave in California, study finds - UC Berkeley
Only one in three working women who qualify for pregnancy leave in California take advantage of the employee benefit, according to a new study by researchers at University of California, Berkeley. Those who do cite medical necessity, physical discomfort and stress or fatigue as the reason for taking time off from work before their baby is born. The study, one of the first to examine how women in California use their maternity leave benefit, was published online on March 31 by Maternal and Child Health Journal. It will appear in print later this month when the journal's delayed January 2006 issue goes to press. "What struck us most is that so few women do think about taking leave," said the study's lead author, Sylvia Guendelman, a professor of maternal and child health in UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. "And when they do, it's because they have to, not because they want to."

Young Women Face Culture Shock in First Jobs - Women's eNews
Spring is here and many female college grads will soon report to their first days of work. Even though they join an increasingly female work force, many young women say the transition from school to work is loaded with culture shock.


Genocide survivor can't forgive - BBC
Odette Mupenzi is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide in which an estimated 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. Now in the UK and awaiting reconstructive surgery, she tells the BBC on the 12th anniversary of the start of the killings that she is not willing to forgive and forget the people who murdered her family and shattered her mouth and jaw.

World 'lacks 4m health workers' - BBC
Four million health workers are needed to combat the "chronic shortage" around the world, a report from the World Health Organization has warned. Fifty-seven countries have a serious shortage of health workers, affecting children's jabs, pregnancy care and access to treatment, it said. Thirty-six of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sri Lanka banks on poorest women - BBC
Women's banks are flourishing in Sri Lanka but there are questions about whether they really make a difference to poverty. There is barely space to move in Philomena Aranasingham's front room. She lives in the Kirullapone slums in the heart of Colombo, moments away from a still waterway with sewage floating by.


At 4/07/2006 11:27 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

At the risk of sounding uncompassionate, there is good economic news -- unemployment down to 4.7% and 211,000 jobs created. (beating forcasts)


Consumer confidence up as well.


At 4/07/2006 11:47 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

"U.S. Will Not Join U.N. Rights Council"


The U.N. Human Rights Council has nothing to do with human rights.

North Korea has given the Council a ringing endorsement. That tell you anything?

At 4/07/2006 12:59 PM, Anonymous truthseeker said...

Really? I was under the impression the gap between the rich and poor is growing. Then again, I try to live in reality as often as possible. Plus, Bush doesn't have time to brag about the growing economy now does he:

At 4/07/2006 1:01 PM, Anonymous truthseeker said...

UN: You're right. The U.S., the country with the best record on human rights, shouldn't be involved.

At 4/07/2006 1:57 PM, Blogger storiesinamerica said...

The United States, which has been lambasted for human rights abuses both by members of its armed forces in Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad and by U.S. law enforcement officials in the Guantanamo detention facility in Cuba, has backed out of a hotly contested race for membership in the newly-created U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC).

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack Thursday confirmed Washington's decision not to run for a seat at the upcoming HRC elections scheduled to take place May 9.

The widespread speculation at the United Nations is that the U.S. decision may have been prompted by lingering fears it will not be able to muster the 96 votes needed in the 191-member General Assembly.

At 4/07/2006 3:34 PM, Anonymous timmy said...

So are you seriously going to compare the United States human rights record with the likes of Syria, Libya, China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Zimbabwe?




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