(CNN)A couple in Utah told police they gave their newborn daughter a pain medication in the hospital to cover up the fact that the child was born addicted to drugs.
(CNN)A couple in Utah told police they gave their newborn daughter a pain medication in the hospital to cover up the fact that the child was born addicted to drugs.
(CNN)In today’s political climate, catty politicians claw for every vote, but the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, was different. His ability to unite through cuddles and his fondness for naps made him remarkable, and this mayor — Stubbs the cat — also proved that opposable thumbs aren’t necessary for success in politics.
The UK government is considering plans to make the process of changing legal gender easier.
Currently, people must be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition where a person’s biological sex and identity does not match.
The equalities minister says she wants to reform the 2004 Gender Recognition Act to make the process less intrusive.
LGBT campaign group Stonewall says the current system is “demeaning and broken”.
The 2004 law says people wanting a change of gender to be legally recognised in the UK need to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate.
This is issued by the Gender Recognition Panel, a judicial body which legally determines what gender an individual defines as.
As well as a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, the person applying must provide evidence that they have been in transition for at least two years.
The most recent figures, for the three months between January and March 2017, show that 112 people applied to change their gender, with 88% of those being granted the certificate.
Equalities Minister Justine Greening said when it was first introduced, the Gender Recognition Act was “cutting edge” but now it needs to be updated.
The consultation on the law will begin in the autumn, she said.
“This government is committed to building an inclusive society that works for everyone, no matter what their gender or sexuality, and today we’re taking the next step forward.
“We will build on the significant progress we have made over the past 50 years, tackling some of the historic prejudices that still persist in our laws and giving LGBT people a real say on the issues affecting them.”
The proposals come ahead of the 50th anniversary of Parliament voting for the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967.
The Sexual Offences Act 1967 made private homosexual acts between men over the age of 21 legal.
Suzanna Hopwood, a member of the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group, said reform was a key priority for removing “huge inequalities” for trans people.
“It’s vital that this reform removes the requirements for medical evidence and an intrusive interview panel, and finally allows all trans people to have their gender legally recognised through a simple administrative process.”
Ms Greening also launched a survey to get LGBT people to help shape government policy in the future.
The government wants people to share their experiences of the health service, in education and at work.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40692782
(CNN)Eden Carlson’s story might be one in a million.
(CNN)It’s a tragic day for the music industry. The lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, was found dead in his Los Angeles home at 41. Sadly authorities were treating the case as a possible suicide. Eerily, Bennington died on what would’ve been his dear friend Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday — the Soundgarden frontman hung himself on May 18, 2017. Both men are now part of a long, disturbing history of rock and roll and untimely death.
(CNN)At least four people will determine Thursday whether OJ Simpson will soon be released from prison.
Yes, she will preside over the hearing. Was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing
Associate warden of programs for the Nevada Department of Corrections Judicial services director in northern Florida until 1999, US Air Force
Associate warden of programs for the Nevada Department of Corrections
Judicial services director in northern Florida until 1999, US Air Force
Yes, was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing
Associate warden of programs at Northern Nevada Correctional Center, 2 years Correctional officer, classification analyst at Department of Corrections
Associate warden of programs at Northern Nevada Correctional Center, 2 years
Correctional officer, classification analyst at Department of Corrections
Yes, was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing
Associate warden of programs at Ely State Prison, 8 years Correctional officer, caseworker III, and associate warden of programs, 18 years total
Associate warden of programs at Ely State Prison, 8 years
Correctional officer, caseworker III, and associate warden of programs, 18 years total
Yes, was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing
Senior investigator with the Nevada Department of Public Safety, 15 years Agent with Nevada State Gaming Control Board; senior investigator with the Attorney General’s Office
Senior investigator with the Nevada Department of Public Safety, 15 years
Agent with Nevada State Gaming Control Board; senior investigator with the Attorney General’s Office
No, will watch from Las Vegas
Parole board case hearing representative, 14 years US Air Force and US Civil Service
Parole board case hearing representative, 14 years
US Air Force and US Civil Service
No, will watch in Las Vegas
Southern Nevada Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Service
Public services intern, case manager, teaching parent, clinical social work intern, clinical social worker, supervisor, psychiatric emergency services director, inpatient administrative coordinator, clinic director, and services coordination director, all with state of Nevada.US Army veteran.
NEW YORK Al Gore called for single-payer health care on Tuesday, one day after a revolt by GOP senators dashed Republican hopes of passing a bill to repeal Obamacare.
Speaking at an event to promote his new climate change documentary, the former vice president said health insurance companies have failed to offer cost-effective coverage, even under the Affordable Care Act. A government-run, single-payer system would provide taxpayer-funded basic health care coverage for everyone.
The private sector has not shown any ability to provide good, affordable health care for all, Gore told a packed auditorium at Borough of Manhattan Community College. I believe we ought to have single-payer health care.
The statement makes the 2000 presidential nominee one of the first high-profile Democrats to advocate the so-called Medicare-for-all option since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) failed yet again this week to rally at least 50 of 52 Republican senators to pass a bill to repeal President Barack Obamas signature health care law. Lacking the votes to flat-out repeal the law without a replacement, President Donald Trump vowed to stand by and allow Obamacare to collapse without the support needed from his agencies.
Gore blamed what he called the morass surrounding the passage of Obamacare in 2009 for tanking a cap-and-trade bill at the time in the Senate. The legislation would have established a limit on planet-warming carbon emissions and a system in which big companies could trade permits to pollute.
In 2009, President Obama passed it in the House and he succeeded, but it was different when it came to the Senate, Gore said at the 90-minute talk hosted by The New York Times to publicize his new movie, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. I think we could have passed it in the Senate in 2009, and we could have gone to the climate negotiation in Copenhagen with a stronger hand, but thats water under the dam.
Gore did not include a universal government health care option in his platform during his unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2000. But, in 2002, indicated he favored such a policy.
I think weve reached a point where the entire health care system is in impending crisis, Gore said at an ABC News panel at the time. I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we should begin drafting a single-payer national health insurance plan.
Progressives, backed by strong grassroots support from the partys base, moved swiftly to embrace single-payer proposals as the long-anticipated Republican assault on Obamacare began this year. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) launched a Medicare for all push in March. In June, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called it the next step for Democrats. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) endorsed the policy last month, declaring, we should have Medicare for all.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), widely considered a contender for the 2020 presidential race, said earlier this month that as a concept, Im completely in support of single pay, but insisted, weve got to work out the details, and the details matter on that.
Others on the establishment wing of the party have been more reluctant. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) ducked questions about universal government care, saying only that he was looking at Sanders bill, which hasnt yet been publicly released. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has refused to sign on to Ellisons bill, and flatly said no when asked in May if single-payer health care should be part of the partys 2018 platform.
Republican Mitch McConnell calls for vote on clean repeal, after senators Mike Lee and Jerry Moran come out against latest effort to replace Obamacare
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has announced that the Senate will vote on a clean repeal of Obamacare without any replacement, after two Republican senators broke ranks to torpedo the current Senate healthcare bill.
Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas came out on Monday night in opposition to McConnells Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate version of the controversial healthcare reform bill that passed the House in May.
Senate Republicans hold a bare 52-48 majority in the Senate and two members of the GOP caucus, the moderate Susan Collins of Maine and the libertarian Rand Paul of Kentucky, already opposed the bill, along with all 48 Democrats. The announcement from Moran and Lee made it impossible for Republicans to muster the 50 votes needed to bring the BCRA bill to the floor.
Instead, McConnell announced late on Monday night that the Senate would vote on a bill to simply repeal Obamacare without any replacement in the coming days.
The Kentucky Republican said in a statement: Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.
He added that in the coming days the Senate would vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act with a two-year-delay. The Senate passed a similar bill in 2015, which was promptly vetoed by Barack Obama.
McConnells plan echoes a statement made by Donald Trump in a tweet on Monday night, in which the president urged a repeal of Obamacare with any replacement to come in the future.
Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in! Trump wrote.
The announcement from Lee and Moran came as Trump was having dinner at the White House with a number of senators who support the bill. Trump talked to several conservatives on the phone over the weekend, including Lee, in an attempt to win their support.
In a tweet, Lee noted that he could not support this version of the bill. Moran used the same language on Twitter. Both voted for a clean repeal of the Affordable Care Act in 2015, albeit with the expectation that it would be vetoed by Obama and not become law.
In an op-ed in The Resurgent, a conservative online publication, Lee cited the fact that the current bill did not incorporate an amendment that he introduced with Ted Cruz to allow insurance companies to offer bare-bones insurance plans. In Lees argument, the mandate that insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions resulted in a hidden tax which meant that middle-class families are being forced to pay billions in higher health insurance premiums to help those with pre-existing conditions.
In a statement, Moran took a slightly different tack. He said: There are serious problems with Obamacare, and my goal remains what it has been for a long time: to repeal and replace it. This closed-door process has yielded the BCRA, which fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address healthcares rising costs. The Kansas Republican also warned that the current legislation leave[s] the federal government in control of everyday healthcare decisions which Moran said made it more likely that our healthcare system will devolve into a single-payer system, which would require a massive federal spending increase.
The announcement came shortly after a Senate vote on the healthcare bill was delayed due to the hospitalization of John McCain. The Arizona senator had a blood clot removed from above his left eye on Friday night and was unable to fly to Washington as a result. On Saturday, McConnell said the Senate would defer consideration of the bill while McCain recovered. A number of other moderate Republican senators have yet to take positions on the bill, most notably Dean Heller of Nevada.
Although a repeal of Obamacare without providing for a immediate replacement has long been popular with conservatives, many other Republicans have been skeptical of this approach because of the potential political cost.
In contrast, McCain said in a statement that Republicans should start the process of passing a health care bill over. Congress must now return to regular order [and] hold hearings, said the Arizona Republican.
In a statement, the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, said: This second failure of Trumpcare is proof positive that the core of this bill is unworkable.
He added: Rather than repeating the same failed, partisan process yet again, Republicans should start from scratch and work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long-term stability to the markets and improves our healthcare system.
Lauren Gambino contributed reporting
The number of children doing an hour of exercise a day falls by nearly 40% between the ages of five and 12.
Figures suggest that by the final year of primary school, just 17% of pupils are doing the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
A spokesman for Public Health England described the drop in activity levels as “concerning”.
More than a third of children in England are overweight by the time they leave primary school.
A new survey from Public Health England and Disney looked at the effects of physical activity on children’s emotional wellbeing
More than 1,000 children aged five to 11 were questioned, with their parents acknowledging that being active made their children feel happier (79%), more confident (72%), and more sociable (74%).
But the survey also found that children’s overall happiness declined with age, with 64% of five-and six-year-olds saying they always felt happy, compared with just 48% of 11-year-olds.
“Children’s physical activity levels in England are alarmingly low, and the drop in activity from the ages of five to 12 is concerning,” said Public Health England’s Eustace de Sousa.
“Children who get enough physical activity are mentally and physically healthier, and have all-round better development into adulthood – getting into the habit of doing short bursts of activity early can deliver lifelong benefits.”
Currently, just 23% of boys and 20% of girls, between the ages of five and 15, meet the national recommended level of activity, according to an NHS report published last December.
“Not being very good” was cited by many children as the reason they did not take part in some physical activities, with older children more likely to be self-conscious than their younger counterparts: 29% of 11-year-olds compared with 17% of five-year-olds.
As part of the Change4Life campaign, Sport England and Disney have joined forces to launch a 10 Minute Shake Ups programme, encouraging children to take part in accessible activities across the school holidays.
“The 10 Minute Shake Ups provide a load of fun activities to get kids moving more,” said Olympic marathon swimmer Keri-anne Payne, who is backing the campaign.
“Being active is not just for Olympians, it’s for everyone. “
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40609517
American society is dominated by an elite 20% that ruthlessly protects its own interests
When I was growing up, my mother would sometimes threaten my brother and me with electrocution. Well, thats not quite right. In fact, the threat was of lessons in elocution, but we wittily, we thought renamed them.
Growing up in a very ordinary town just north of London and attending a very ordinary high school, one of our several linguistic atrocities was failing to pronounce the t in certain words. My mother, who was raised in rural north Wales and left school at 16, did not want us to find doors closed in a class-sensitive society simply because we didnt speak what is still called the Queens English. I will never forget the look on her face when I managed to say the word computer with neither a p nor a t.
Still, the lessons never materialised. Any lingering working-class traces in my own accent were wiped away by three disinfectant years at Oxford University. (My wife claims the adolescent accent resurfaces when I drink, but she doesnt know what shes talking about shes American.) We also had to learn how to waltz. My mother didnt want us to put a foot wrong there either.
In fact, we did just fine, in no small part because of the stable, loving home in which we were raised. But I have always been acutely sensitive to class distinctions and their role in perpetuating inequality. In fact, one of the reasons I came to the United States was to escape the cramped feeling of living in a nation still so dominated by class. I knew enough not to think I was moving to a socially mobile utopia: Id read some of the research. It has nonetheless come as something of a shock to discover that, in some important respects, the American class system is functioning more ruthlessly than the British one I escaped.
In the upper-middle-class America I now inhabit, I witness extraordinary efforts by parents to secure an elite future status for their children: tutors, coaches and weekend lessons in everything from French to fencing. But I have never heard any of my peers try to change the way their children speak. Perhaps this is simply because they know they are surrounded by other upper-middle-class kids, so there is nothing to worry about. Perhaps it is a regional thing.
But I think there is a better explanation. Americans tend to think their children will be judged by their accomplishments rather than their accents. Class position is earned, rather than simply expressed. The way to secure a higher status in a market meritocracy is by acquiring lots of merit and ensuring that our kids do, too. What ones parents are like is entirely a matter of luck, points out the philosopher Adam Swift. But he adds: What ones children are like is not. Children raised in upper-middle-class families do well in life. As a result, there is a lot of intergenerational stickiness at the top of the American income distribution more, in fact, than at the bottom with upper-middle-class status passed from one generation to the next.
Drawing class distinctions feels almost un-American. The nations self-image is of a classless society, one in which every individual is of equal moral worth, regardless of his or her economic status. This has been how the world sees the United States, too. Historian Alexis de Tocqueville observed in the early 19th century that Americans were seen to be more equal in fortune and intelligence more equally strong, in other words than they were in any other country, or were at any other time in recorded history. So different to the countries of old Europe, still weighed down by the legacies of feudalism.
British politicians have often felt the need to urge the creation of a classless society, looking to America for inspiration as, what historian David Cannadine once called it, the pioneering and prototypical classless society. European progressives have long looked enviously at social relations in the New World. George Orwell noted the lack of servile tradition in America; the German socialist Werner Sombart noticed that the bowing and scraping before the upper classes, which produces such an unpleasant impression in Europe, is completely unknown.
This is one of many reasons socialist politics struggled to take root in the United States. A key attraction of socialist systems the main one, according to Orwell is the eradication of class distinctions. There were few to eradicate in America. I am sure that one reason Downton Abbey and The Crown so delight American audiences is their depictions of an alien world of class-based status. One reason class distinctions are less obvious in America is that pretty much everyone defines themselves as a member of the same class: the one in the middle. Nine in ten adults select the label middle class, exactly the same proportion as in 1939, according to the pollsters Gallup. No wonder that politicians have always fallen over each other to be on their side.
But in recent decades Americans at the top of the ladder have been entrenching their class position. The convenient fiction that the middle class can stretch up that far has become a difficult one to sustain. As a result, the modifications upper or lower to the general middle class category have become more important.
Class is not just about money, though it is about that. The class gap can be seen from every angle: education, security, family, health, you name it. There will also be inequalities on each of these dimensions, of course. But inequality becomes class division when all these varied elements money, education, wealth, occupation cluster together so tightly that, in practice, almost any one of them will suffice for the purposes of class definition. Class division becomes class stratification when these advantages and thus status endure across generations. In fact, upper-middle-class status is passed down to the next generation more effectively than in the past, and in the United States more than in other countries.
One benefit of the multidimensional nature of this separation is that it has reduced interdisciplinary bickering over how to define class. While economists typically focus on categorisation by income and wealth, and sociologists tend more towards occupational status and education, and anthropologists are typically more interested in culture and norms, right now it doesnt really matter, because all the trends are going the same way.
It is not just the top 1% pulling away, but the top 20%. In fact, only a very small proportion of US adults 1% to 2% define themselves as upper class. A significant minority about one in seven adopts the upper middle class description. This is quite similar to the estimates of class size generated by most sociologists, who tend to define the upper middle class as one composed of professionals and managers, or around 15% to 20% of the working-age population.
As David Azerrad of the Heritage Foundation writes: There is little appetite in America for policies that significantly restrict the ability of parents to do all they can, within the bounds of the law, to give their children every advantage in life. That is certainly true. But then Azerrad has also mis-stated the problem. No one sensible is in favour of new policies that block parents from doing the best they can for their children. Even in France the suggestion floated by the former president, Franois Hollande, to restore equality by banning homework, on the grounds that parents differ in their ability and willingness to help out, was laughed out of court. But we should want to get rid of policies that allow parents to give their children an unfair advantage and in the process restrict the opportunities of others.
Most of us want to do our best for our children. Wanting ones childrens life to go well is part of what it means to love them, write philosophers Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift in their 2014 book Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships. But our natural preference for the welfare and prospects of our own children does not automatically eclipse other moral claims. We would look kindly on a father who helps his son get picked as starting pitcher for his school baseball team by practising with him every day after work. But we would probably feel differently about a father who secures the slot for his son by bribing the coach. Why? After all, each father has sacrificed something, time in one case, money in the other, to advance his child. The difference is team selection should be based on merit, not money. A principle of fairness is at stake.
So, where is the line drawn? The best philosophical treatment of this question I have found is the one by Swift and Brighouse. Their suggestion is that, while parents have every right to act in ways that will help their childrens lives go well, they do not have the right to confer on them a competitive advantage in other words, to ensure not just that they do well but that they do better than others. This is because, in a society with finite rewards, improving the situation of one child necessarily worsens that of another, at least in relative terms: Whatever parents do to confer competitive advantage is not neutral in its effects on other children it does not leave untouched, but rather is detrimental to, those other childrens prospects in the competition for jobs and associated rewards.
The trouble is that in the real world this seems like a distinction without a difference. What they call competitive advantage-conferring parental activities will almost always be also helping-your-kid-flourish parental activities. If I read bedtime stories to my son, he will develop a richer vocabulary and may learn to love reading and have a more interesting and fulfilling life. But it could also help him get better grades than his classmates, giving him a competitive advantage in college admissions. Swift and Brighouse suggest a parent should not even aim to give their child a competitive advantage: It would be a little odd, perhaps even a little creepy, if the ultimate aim of her endeavours were that her child is better off than others.
I think this is too harsh. In a society with a largely open, competitive labour market, it is not creepy to want your children to end up higher on the earnings ladder than others. Not only will this bring them a higher income, and all the accompanying choices and security, it is also likely to bring them safer and more interesting work. Relative position matters it is one reason, after all, that relative mobility is of such concern to policymakers. Although I think Brighouse and Swift go too far, they are on to something important with their distinction between the kind of parental behaviour that merely helps your own children and the kind that is detrimental to others. Thats what I call opportunity hoarding.
Opportunity hoarding does not result from the workings of a large machine but from the cumulative effect of individual choices and preferences. Taken in isolation, they may feel trivial: nudging your daughter into a better college with a legacy preference [giving applicants places on the basis of being related to alumni of the college]; helping the son of a professional contact to an internship; a single vote on a municipal council to retain low-density zoning restrictions. But, like many micro-preferences, to borrow a term from economist Thomas Schelling, they can have strong effects on overall culture and collective outcomes.
Over recent decades, institutions that once primarily served racist goals legacy admissions to keep out Jewish students, zoning laws to keep out black families have not been abandoned but have been softened, normalised and subtly re-purposed to help us sustain the upper-middle-class status. They remain, then, barriers to a more open, more genuinely competitive and fairer society. I wont insult your intelligence by pretending there are no costs here. By definition, reducing opportunity hoarding will mean some losses for the upper middle class.
But they will be small. Our neighbourhoods will be a little less upmarket but also less boring. Our kids will rub shoulders with some poorer kids in the school corridor. They might not squeak into an Ivy League college, and they may have to be content going to an excellent public university. But if we arent willing to entertain even these sacrifices, there is little hope. There will be some material costs, too. The big challenge is to equalise opportunities to acquire human capital and therefore increase the number of true competitors in the labour market. This will require, among other things, some increased public investment. Where will the money come from? It cant all come from the super-rich. Much of it will have to come from the upper middle class. From me andyou.
This is an extract from Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That is a Problem, and What To Do About It by Richard V Reeves (Brookings Institution Press, 2017)
As parents, we naturally want our children to flourish. But that laudable desire slides into opportunity hoarding when we use our money, power or position to give our own children exclusive access to certain goods or chances. The effect is to strengthen class barriers.
1. Fix an internship using our networks. Internships are becoming more important but are too often stitched up privately. Its worse if theyre unpaid. Instead: insist on paid internships, openly recruited.
2. Take our own kids to work for the day. Children learn what work is from adults. Instead: try bringing somebody elses kid to work, perhaps by partnering with local charities.
3. Be a Nimby. By shutting out low-income housing from our neighbourhoods with planning restrictions, we keep less affluent kids away from our local schools and communities. Instead: be a Yimby, vote and argue for more mixed housing in your area.
4. Write cheques to PTA funds. Many of us want to support the school our children attend. This tilts the playing field, however, since other schools cant do the same. Instead: get your PTA to give half the donations to a school in a poor area.