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22 February 2008

NPR: Credit Woes Seep into Student Loan Market

Credit Woes Seep into Student Loan Market

Morning Edition, February 22, 2008 · The student loan market is feeling the pinch of the faltering credit market.
Students still have access to loans for college, but it's costing them more to borrow. David Wessel, economics editor
for The Wall Street Journal, talks to Steve Inskeep about what's in store for American students...MORE

Sub-Prime and Suburbia


Sub-Prime and Suburbia
As the “sub-prime” mortgage crisis winds its way across the United States (and impacts the lives of everyone else) we are left wondering how this real estate tsunami will affect the future of home-buying, suburbia, and urbanism. The suggests that the shuttering of the suburban dream is being fiscally hastened by financial crises, and that the McMansions of today will be the shoddy slum-apartments of tomorrow...MORE

BBC NEWS | UK | UK prisons now 'over-capacity'

UK prisons now 'over-capacity'
Prison officers accuse ministers of "total mismanagement"

Prisons in England and Wales have exceeded their normal capacity for the first time, officials have confirmed.
The Ministry of Justice said that as of Friday morning there were 82,068 inmates in jails - 96 over the Prison Service's normal operational capacity.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw has asked magistrates to jail fewer people while officials attempt to manage the crisis.

Some 358 inmates are in police or court cells in an attempt to ease pressures.

According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Justice the population breached its current capacity of 81,972 on Thursday evening.

The breach comes despite a year of efforts to reduce pressures by releasing more prisoners and building more cells.

21 February 2008

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraqi police detain street people
Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 February 2008, 15:35 GMT
Iraqi police detain street people
Officials said the measures were to protect people living on the streets
Iraqi security forces have been ordered to detain beggars and mentally ill people found on Baghdad's streets who could be exploited by militants.
The Iraqi interior ministry confirmed the order went into effect on Tuesday and that a handful of such people had been picked up from the streets so far.
Those detained will be sent to mental institutions or back to their families...SOURCE

Education Week: More Time for Math and Reading Equals Less for Other Subjects, Study Finds

Published Online: February 20, 2008
More Time for Math and Reading Equals Less for Other Subjects, Study Finds
By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo
Most of the nation’s elementary schools have added at least 75 minutes of instruction time in reading and mathematics each week—and often twice that amount—in the five years since the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act, but many did so by skimming that time from the teaching of science, social studies, the arts, recess, and physical education.

jim reid--BBC NEWS -- Minister of Parliment pelted after confronting gang

MP pelted after confronting gang
The MP said the youths were astonished to be approached
An MP is urging people to confront anti-social behaviour after a gang of youths pelted him with stones when he challenged them about their behaviour.
Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, confronted the group on the Townsend Estate, in his constituency, when they urinated in someone's garden.

He said the gang verbally abused him and threw stones at him when he threatened to call police.

He said more people should be prepared to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Mr Ellwood, a Conservative MP, told the BBC: "Unless more people come forward and try to prevent this sort of behaviour it will continue to grow.

"There is a generation growing up now that are not used to being challenged. Unless we do challenge them, then these sort of youths will be carrying knives in a couple of years...SOURCE - On Black Violence
On Black Violence
No one can doubt there is an excess of violence in Black America. The U.S. is a violent place, in general. We all feel the need to deal with the problem. 
But, like all problems, it can only be solved through patient and intelligent analysis. What lies at the core of the problem?...SOURCE

Education Week: Stable Prekindergarten Funding Proves Challenging for States

Published Online: February 21, 2008
Published in Print: February 27, 2008
Stable Prekindergarten Funding Proves Challenging for States
By Michele McNeil
San Antonio
Even though state spending on prekindergarten has grown $1 billion nationwide over the past two years, a report says, state policymakers looking to sustain and expand their programs—especially in tough budget times—are still scrounging for more money....MORE

Whole grains help deflate belly rolls

*Whole grains help deflate belly rolls*
*Cutting calories helps people lose weight, but doing so by filling up
on whole grains may be particularly heart-healthy, new research suggests.

In a study of obese adults at risk of heart disease, researchers found
that those who trimmed calories and increased their whole-grain intake
shed more belly fat and lowered their blood levels of C-reactive protein
or CRP.

CRP is a marker of chronic, low-level inflammation in the blood vessels,
and both abdominal fat and CRP, in excess, are linked to heart attack
and stroke.

19 February 2008

Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings: Independent Lens - PopMatters Television Review


The fable goes that, "Yes, there were unfortunate things that happened,
yes, some blacks were threatened, but we bought the land from those
people who left and so there really was no injury. It's not a true
story, but it's a comforting story.
—Elliot Jaspin

"When you start to read these things, you're just… you're stunned by
it," says Elliot Jaspin. "It's so unexpected, the accounts of what took
place. It says, 'Negroes flee from Forsyth. Enraged white people are
driving blacks from county.'" Jaspin is looking at newspaper headlines
on microfiche, that pre-digital archival form, here put to dramatic and
even musical use, as its signature whooshing sound alludes to the
process of digging into history long repressed.

Facts or Phantasies
Young Adults in the United States, 2005:
A Mid- Decade Profile by
Rubén G. Rumbaut and Golnaz Komaie
updates trends on living arrangements, work,
education, marriage, parenthood and more for young adults.
Fast Facts--

Parenthood, 2006
Age 18-24: 11% had children
Age 25-29: 37% "       "
Age 30-34: 57% "     "

Never married
45.3% women
56.3% men

8.5% women
7.7% men

Currently married
40.2% women
32.6% men

Divorced, separated, widowed
6.0% women
3.4% men

Has one or more children
39.9% women
24.1% men

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Sussex | Homeless man 'lived in airport'
Homeless man 'lived in airport'
An Asbo(court order) banned Delaney from the airport and its railway station
A homeless chef who ate, showered and slept at Gatwick Airport for more than
three years has admitted breaching an (court order) banning him from the site.

Anthony Delaney, 43, made the West Sussex airport his home in scenes
similar to the 2004 Spielberg-directed film, The Terminal, starring Tom Hanks.
Lewes Crown Court heard that he only left the airport's south terminal to collect his Jobseeker's Allowance
(unemployment comp check)

BBC NEWS--British Police --"Don't slap me Bro"
Pcs' 'squabble' over police van

Pc Byron Emerson-Thomas has been suspended since the attack.
A police officer punched a colleague in the face following a "petty squabble" over
who was going to drive a force van, Newport Crown Court has heard.
Pc Byron Emerson-Thomas, 37, wanted first go in the van at the start of a night shift
because it was fitted with a new radio, the trial heard.
He denies wounding Pc Aled Bartlett, who needed eight stitches after
the incident at a Cardiff police station.

Snack sleuth: What's in a Twinkie? - Inside Bay Area
Snack sleuth: What's in a Twinkie?
Author crosses globe to find natural sources of ingredients
By Suzanne Bohan, STAFF WRITER
Article Created: 02/18/2008 02:35:46 AM PST

.....Although Ettlinger chose Twinkies for his in-depth exploration of food additives, he's quick to point out that the book is a treatise on processed foods in general.

"This book is not just about Twinkies, I keep telling the lawyers from Hostess," he quipped to another crowd who gathered Wednesday at the University of California, Berkeley, to hear his talk. "All of these ingredients are in processed foods."
What he discovered continually astounded Ettlinger. "So many of the items are made directly from petroleum products, including natural gas or crude oil" he said. "That just blows my mind."
Tyler Shores, a Google employee who invited Ettlinger to speak, also expressed amazement after the talk. "It's not one of those things that you would ever think about until you're exposed to it," Shores said.
While eight of the ingredients in Twinkies come from domestic corn, and three from soybeans, others are derived from sources as divergent as rocks, trees and petroleum products (The latter are used to make niacin and food coloring, among other food products).
Still, despite the astonishing origins of many of these ingredients, he stops short of calling them a public health concern...SOURCE

Toyota tests satellite service facilities

Posted Feb 19th 2008 7:54AM by Chris Shunk
Toyota has so far resisted expanding its dealer body in the wake of the Japanese automaker's unprecedented climb up the sales charts.
In eight years, Toyota has gone from having 15 million of its vehicles on the road to 22 million today.
Toyota has piloted off-site service centers and oil change centers.
The early results show that the nine dealers in the pilot received significantly more customer pay (non-warranty) repairs than the average Toyota dealership...SOURCE

Magazine Roundup - signandsight

The New York Review of Books 03.03.2008 (USA)

History is being made in the USA, believes writer Darryl Pinckney. He first sensed it on the evening of the Democratic primary in New Hampshire while at the hairdressers in Harlem: America is on the verge of voting for a black president. "Though Obama has been praised by some for not making race an issue in his campaign, and for not coming off as the black candidate, his race most certainly is crucial to his broad appeal. Black people can appreciate as much as white people the inclusiveness of his mixed-race heritage and that his story is in part that of an immigrant. But this is not a color-blind election. People aren't voting for Obama in spite of the fact that he is black, or because he is only half-black, they are voting for him because he is black, and this is a whole new feeling in the country and in presidential politics. Forty years ago, Robert Kennedy was sharply criticized for saying that a black man probably could be elected president of the United States in fifty years' time. 'Victory tonight,' my barber, Mr. Sherlock, said as we shook hands."...SOURCE

Best You Can Be Without a Degree :: Inside Higher Ed

"A coalition of veterans’ groups, including IAVA and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, joined Sens. Jim Webb (D-Va.), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) on Capitol Hill Wednesday to advocate for a “GI Bill for the 21st Century.” Citing the lagging purchasing power of veterans’ educational benefits relative to increasing college costs – the American Association of State Colleges and Universities estimates that the $9,909 annual benefit for former active duty service members covers only about three-quarters of the average total cost of attendance at public four-year universities ($13,145) — veterans’ groups called for a dramatic re-envisioning of the current Montgomery GI Bill, passed in peacetime."

17 February 2008

The Next Crisis Will Be Over Food

The Next Crisis Will Be Over Food
"what is really catching the attention of Goldman Sachs now is the outlook for agricultural prices. Or as Jeff Currie, head of commodities research at the US bank, says with disarming cheer: "We think we could go into crisis mode in many commodities sectors in the next 12 to 18 months... and I would argue that agriculture is key here."..SOURCE


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