Quote of the day:
To accuse others for one's own misfortunes is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one's education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one's education is complete. ---Epictetus
Some items worth looking at today...
Teen births are partly to blame, the report says — echoing other research that has shown this. The U.S. has the highest teenage birth rate of any industrialized country. “Teenage mothers in the U.S. tend to be poorer, less educated, and receive less prenatal care than older mothers. Because of these challenges, babies born to teen mothers are more likely to be low-birthweight and be born prematurely and to die in their first month. They are also more likely to suffer chronic medical conditions, do poorly in school, and give birth during their teen years (continuing the cycle of teen pregnancy),” the report says. “Poverty, racism and stress are likely to be important contributing factors to first-day deaths in the United States and other industrialized countries.”
Most of the language in the immigration package, created by a bipartisan group of eight senators, applies equally to citizens of any foreign nation. It calls for tougher border security and a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants in the United States. It also increases the number of visas for high-skilled workers to at least 110,000 annually from the current 65,000 and eases the way for those already here to seek a permanent resident visa, known as green card. With uncertain support in the Senate and tough opposition in the House, the fate of the bill is far from clear. But with access to the United States a prize coveted across much of the world, the push for special favors has been intense, according to Congressional and Justice Department records.
In the first major Pakistani court ruling on the legality of the CIA’s drone campaign in the country, a Peshawar High Court judge said this morning that strikes are ‘criminal offences’. Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan ordered Pakistan’s government to ‘use force if need be’ to end drone attacks in the country’s tribal regions. He ruled that US drone strikes in Pakistan constitute a ‘war crime’ and are a ‘blatant violation of basic human rights’, killing hundreds of civilians. He ordered the government to ‘forcefully’ convey to the US that it must end drone strikes and called on the UN Security Council to intervene. The Pakistani government should also gather data on those affected by drone strikes, and offer redress to the victims, Khan added. At present the only data systematically released on drone strikes comes from independent monitoring organisations such as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which has been investigating drone strikes and tracking reported casualties since 2011. The ruling comes two days ahead of national elections marking Pakistan’s first-ever transition from one civilian administration to another. The new government will have to decide between implementing the court’s orders or appealing to the Supreme Court.
Republican Scandal-Mongering on Benghazi and the Bush Embassy Attacks (plus Daily Show video) | Informed Comment
[do Republicans]consider attacks on US embassies a sign that an administration’s foreign policy is blowing up in our faces? For instance, if if the US embassy in Athens, Greece, was attacked in 2007,, would that have been an indictment of George W. Bush’s foreign policy? What about if the US embassy in Serbia was burned down early in 2008? If the US embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, were attacked in September 2008? If the US consulate in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, was attacked in 2004? What if thousands of anti-American Iraqis were regularly demonstrating and even shelling the Green Zone in Baghdad where the US embassy is, in 2008? Did all that mean that Bush’s foreign policy, the most recent foreign policy outing of the Republican Party, blew up in our faces...