Bits and Pieces

(~ part of the Reformer802 blogging community ~)

John McCain, senators witness woman cross US border illegally – San Jose Mercury News

Posted on | March 27, 2013 | No Comments

John McCain, senators witness woman cross US border illegally – San Jose Mercury News.

Long lines at parks, landmarks bring sequester home

Posted on | March 18, 2013 | No Comments

By Brian Wingfield

WASHINGTON — Andy Foyil, a fifth-grade social studies teacher in Tulsa, Okla., is taking 30 students on a field trip to Washington this month. A White House tour was to be the highlight.
“Their faces just dropped,” Foyil said as he described the reaction of 11-year-olds being told federal spending cuts will keep them out of America’s most famous home. “The White House is always one of our hope-fors.”

With spring vacations looming, popular destinations from Florida’s Gulf Stream waters to California’s redwood forest are now implementing mandatory spending cuts, known as sequestration, that started this month. The failure of Congress and President Barack Obama to agree on reducing the deficit triggered $85 billion in cuts by Sept. 30 that are to be split between defense and non-defense spending.
Across the nation, 54 percent of Americans polled in late February wanted Congress to delay the cuts and give the economy more time to recover, and 3 in 5 backed tax increases along with spending cuts, according to the Bloomberg News poll. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Bradford DeLong, a University of California at Berkeley economist, in a study found increased spending would help revive growth and boost tax revenue by more than the cost of the expenditures.
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Wednesday: Five years in, Obama makes it to Israel

Posted on | March 18, 2013 | No Comments

Sebastian Scheiner/AP Photo

President Barack Obama arrives this week in Tel Aviv for a diplomatic trip to Israel amid turmoil in the region. Although he has had ongoing diplomatic communications with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this is his first time he has visited Israel since his 2008 election, according to Foreign Policy magazine. That might make the trip seem historic and important, but Middle East analysts say the odds any significant developments will come out of this trip are low, according to USA Today. The Guardian describes the visit as a “maintenance trip” mainly consisting of showing America’s interest in the region, rather than hammering out issues such as the ongoing Israeli-Palestine conflict, violence in Syria or Iran’s pursuance of nuclear warheads.

Despite evidence, parents of teen girls increasingly fear HPV vaccine

Posted on | March 18, 2013 | No Comments

By Genevra Pittman, Reuters

More parents of teen girls not fully vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) are intending to forgo the shots altogether — a trend driven by vaccine safety concerns, new research suggests.

That’s despite multiple studies showing the vaccine isn’t tied to any serious side effects but does protect against the virus that causes cervical cancer, researchers said.

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Newtown parents turn to technology

Posted on | March 15, 2013 | No Comments

[View the story “My collection” on Storify]

My collection

Collect around the web and social media sites elements to tell your stories

Storified by · Fri, Mar 15 2013 12:22:40

Newtown parents push Silicon Valley leaders for tech to curb gun violenceSAN FRANCISCO — Three months after their children were slaughtered, parents of Sandy Hook Elementary School students joined forces with Silicon Valley to find high-tech solutions to the nation’s epidemic of gun violence. The parents have already testified to Connecticut’s legislature and to Congress in favor of stricter gun-control laws — including the federal assault-weapons ban that the U.S.
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A Minute With: R&B singer Miguel in the spotlight after Grammys

Posted on | March 14, 2013 | No Comments

Recording artist Miguel poses for a portrait backstage before his performance at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

A Minute With: R&B singer Miguel in the spotlight after Grammys

By Piya Sinha-Roy, Reuters

With two critically acclaimed albums and a Grammy award under his belt, American R&B singer/songwriter Miguel is starting to hit the mainstream.

The Los Angeles native, born Miguel Jontel Pimentel to a Mexican father and African-American mother, was thrust into the spotlight at the Grammy awards last month, delivering a soulful rendition of his hit single “Adorn,” which won Best R&B song.

His second album “Kaleidoscope Dream” debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 album chart last October and he kicked off his tour supporting Alicia Keys on her North American dates last week.
Miguel, 27, told Reuters about his Grammy moment, his love for throwback R&B, and gearing up to perform on “Saturday Night Live” next month.

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New pope must deal with divided church in United States

Posted on | March 14, 2013 | No Comments

New pope must deal with divided church in United States
By Mary Wisniewski
CHICAGO – Pope Francis will face a divided Church in the United States, with the faithful at odds over issues like contraception, same-sex marriage and married priests.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was chosen to lead the Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, a role that will leave him with the daunting task of helping unite a U.S. Church caught in a tug-of-war between traditionalists and progressives.
“The bishops of the United States thank God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the inspired choice of the College of Cardinals,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement.
U.S. Catholics interviewed seemed largely optimistic about the new pope – but some are taking a “wait and see” approach to a church leader known to be a strict traditionalist on issues like contraception.
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Give John Elway credit for landing Wes Welker

Posted on | March 14, 2013 | No Comments

Kiszla: Give John Elway credit for landing Wes Welker for Peyton Manning

By Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post

John Elway is 52 years old, walks on an artificial left knee and hasn’t played football since Bill Clinton was president.
But Elway can still beat the snot out of New England quarterback Tom Brady.

In fact, Elway just did. Hurts, doesn’t it, Mr. Brady?

Touchdown, Broncos.

Wes Welker scored on a post route so deep it took the five-time Pro Bowler all the way from New England to Denver. He agreed Wednesday to join the Broncos as a free agent. Welker was rewarded for switching teams with a two-year, $12 million deal the Patriots were reluctant to give him.

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Under construction

Posted on | March 6, 2013 | No Comments

This blog is currently being re-vamped and will return in April featuring all-new content.

Curating a social conversation using letters to the editor

Posted on | July 13, 2012 | No Comments

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