Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Man of the People's Inauguration Costing a Royal Fortune

Barack Obama's inauguration is set to cost more than £100m making it the most expensive swearing-in ceremony in US history. The President-elect will take less than a minute to recite the oath of office in front of an estimated two million people in the US capital next week. But by the time the final dance has been held at one of the many inaugural balls the costs for the day will be a staggering £110m.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Divided and United

China: No Human Rights Improvement in 2008

China failed to enact democratic reforms in 2008 despite promises to do so, a private democracy watchdog organization said Tuesday. The statement from the Washington, D.C.-based Freedom House came as the group unveiled its 2009 "Freedom in the World," report, an analysis on levels of freedom in almost 200 countries around the globe. Asia researcher Sarah Cook called China's progress toward freedom in 2008 "disappointing," particularly following its promises to expand opportunities for free expression in connection with the holding of the summer Olympics.

Illegal Fetal Age Deception Scheme at Abortion Site

Operation Rescue announces the release of results from an undercover investigation it recently conducted at George R. Tiller's late-term abortion clinic, Women's Health Care Services. Those results show compelling evidence that WHCS routinely underestimates the fetal age and viability of pre-born babies in order to avoid having to comply with Kansas law. "The evidence shows there is no doubt that fetal ages and viability are being intentionally misstated by WHCS in order to do abortions that would otherwise be illegal," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

Court Orders Prayer Stopped at Schools

A federal judge has ordered the Santa Rosa County School District to stop promoting religion and prayer in the classroom and at school events. U.S. District Court Judge Casey Rodgers ruled Friday after school officials admitted allegations in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU sued the district, Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and former Superintendent John Rogers on behalf of two unnamed Pace High students.

Planned Parenthood U.S. Lays Off Staff

Hit with declines in funding from the economic crisis and the Madoff scandal, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America is laying off around 20% of its staff. Roughly 30 people were let go earlier this week, according to a source who works for the nonprofit. Executives at Planned Parenthood confirmed the layoffs, but declined to give more details.

Oral Contraceptives' Link to Breast Cancer

Oral contraceptive (OC) use has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, largely on the basis of studies conducted before 1990. In the Case-Control Surveillance Study, a US hospital-based case-control study of medication use and cancer, the authors assessed the relation of OC use to breast cancer risk among 907 case women with incident invasive breast cancer ... These results suggest that OC use is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer diagnosed in recent years.