“Yes, I think the county is ready for it. It’s just a question of who’s the best person out there.” First Lady Michelle Obama when asked by Parade Magazine on whether there will be a female president in her lifetime on August 15, 2013
WEEK OF AUGUST 12, 2013
Nation: Bradley Manning says he’s sorry.
Pfc. Bradley Manning, the guy who’s facing up to 90 years in prison for leaking 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, says that while he believed in what he was doing at the time, he realizes now that it was wrong. Defense lawyers have moved on from their original portrayal of Manning as a whistleblower, to a defense focused primarily on Manning’s mental state and struggles with his gender identity at the time of the leaks. “Although a considerable difficulty in my life,” said Manning, “these issues are not an excuse for my actions. I understood what I was doing and the decisions I made. However, I did not fully appreciate the broader effects of my actions. Those factors are clear to me now.”
World: Violence in Egypt is escalating.
On Thursday, Egypt’s Health Ministry raised Wednesday’s death toll to 638 people with 3,994 injured (the deadliest day since 2011) due to extreme violence in response to the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi on July 3. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood have called for the former president to be reinstated and asked the people to protest, raising the specter of renewed violence; Egyptian authorities have retaliated, authorizing police to use deadly force to protect themselves and key states from attacks. Worldwide condemnation of the situation has widened and President Obama has responded by calling for a suspension of European economic aid. All eyes are on Egypt as the devastation continues.
Politics: Jesse Jackson Jr. will do his time.
Jesse Jackson Jr. received his sentence for spending $750,000 of his campaign money on personal items this Wednesday, and it wasn’t a light one. Jackson will spend 30 months in prison, with three years of supervised release and no parole. His wife, Sandi, will serve an additional 12 months for omitting $580,000 from the couple’s tax returns. Jackson took medical leave from Congress last summer and was later treated for bipolar disorder, an illness he blames in part for his misdeeds. The couple, who have two children, will serve their sentences at separate times.
Business: Feds block major airline merger.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways, which would create the world’s largest airline. The reason? It would hurt competition, inhibit service to many airports and increase prices for consumers by leaving four airlines in control of more that 80 percent of the United States air-travel market. “Today’s action proves our determination to fight for the best interests of consumers by ensuring robust competition in the marketplace,” said Eric H. Holder Jr., the U.S. attorney general. At least someone is looking out for us weary travelers.
Health: Breastfeeding impacts cognitive development.
New research has found that the longer a mom breast-feeds her baby, the greater the benefit could be to the child’s brain development. In the study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers followed 1,312 women and their children from birth to seven years and discovered that for each additional month a baby was breast-fed, their verbal ability tested higher at age 3, and their verbal and nonverbal I.Q. scores were higher overall at age 7. Variable factors were accounted for such as the parents’ intelligence and the child’s home life. The findings on cognitive development point to the nutrients in breast milk and how they benefit a baby’s developing brain. “We see how much extra they gain with each additional month they continue to breast-feed,” states Dr. Mandy Brown Belfort, a neonatologist at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Women’s Affairs: Good news! More women with jobs in technology.
An executive summary prepared for Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce states that women represent 23% of workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics professions (STEM). But overall, women make up 48% of workers in all occupations across the board. Still, gender demographics in STEM professions are shifting as women increasingly take on jobs that deal with technology. Even with these advances a gender gap still exists in both employment and compensation, but strides are being made. “Being in technology is a great career path for women. It is still a male-dominated industry, but that’s changing. And it’s an exciting time to be in technology,” says Connie McGee, CEO of Evolve Women, a women’s entrepreneurial center. Thinking about a job in the tech space? Go for it!