Issue XCVI

21 OCT 2016

Miscellaneous

06/28/2014

US reassures South Korea as it makes step toward joining international anti-personnel landmines ban

Misc1

Differing points off main story

The United States Friday reassured South Korea that its tentative step toward joining the international ban on anti-personnel landmines did not mean it would reduce its commitment to defending South Korea. "Let me just be clear that the announcement today in no way signals a reduction in our commitment or our ability to assist in the defense of our allies in South Korea," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden announced in Washington that the US "will not produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel landmines in the future, including to replace existing stockpiles as they expire" while it considers joining the treaty.

The US ambassador to Mozambique, Douglas Griffiths, said in Maputo that the US was "diligently pursuing <...> solutions that would be compliant" with the 1997 treaty and which would "ultimately allow us to accede" to it, according to a statement from Human Rights Watch. Griffiths made the remarks at a conference in the southern African country of Mozambique to review the Mine Ban Treaty.

The White House acknowledged that the move could raise questions about "defenses that are in place" in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Defense of South Korea is one of the main reasons the US has given for not agreeing to destroy all its anti-personnel mines - a step it would have to take if it signed the treaty.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the US was "working very closely" with South Korea on the issue. The US wants to find a way that will allow it to "continue the robust defense" of South Korea "while eventually acceding to the Ottawa Convention," Earnest said.

But US officials made clear that the commitment made Friday was not a definitive statement on the outcome of an ongoing five-year review of US landmine policy. The US is in the midst of carrying out a "high fidelity modeling and simulation effort" to find out how the military can compensate for the loss of the weapons, Hayden said.

Since the treaty went into effect in 1997, the US has only rarely used landmines and it has not produced more landmines. Harf said that she was aware of only one deployment of a single munition in Afghanistan in 2002. The US is the only NATO member that has not joined the pact. China and Russia have also refused to join.

The US stockpile is estimated...


U.S. plan to join treaty banning land mines draws fire

Misc2

Differing points off main story

The United States Friday reassured South Korea that its tentative step toward joining the international ban on anti-personnel landmines did not mean it would reduce its commitment to defending South Korea. "Let me just be clear that the announcement today in no way signals a reduction in our commitment or our ability to assist in the defense of our allies in South Korea," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden announced in Washington that the US "will not produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel landmines in the future, including to replace existing stockpiles as they expire" while it considers joining the treaty.

The US ambassador to Mozambique, Douglas Griffiths, said in Maputo that the US was "diligently pursuing <...> solutions that would be compliant" with the 1997 treaty and which would "ultimately allow us to accede" to it, according to a statement from Human Rights Watch. Griffiths made the remarks at a conference in the southern African country of Mozambique to review the Mine Ban Treaty.

The White House acknowledged that the move could raise questions about "defenses that are in place" in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Defense of South Korea is one of the main reasons the US has given for not agreeing to destroy all its anti-personnel mines - a step it would have to take if it signed the treaty.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the US was "working very closely" with South Korea on the issue. The US wants to find a way that will allow it to "continue the robust defense" of South Korea "while eventually acceding to the Ottawa Convention," Earnest said.

But US officials made clear that the commitment made Friday was not a definitive statement on the outcome of an ongoing five-year review of US landmine policy. The US is in the midst of carrying out a "high fidelity modeling and simulation effort" to find out how the military can compensate for the loss of the weapons, Hayden said.

Since the treaty went into effect in 1997, the US has only rarely used landmines and it has not produced more landmines. Harf said that she was aware of only one deployment of a single munition in Afghanistan in 2002. The US is the only NATO member that has not joined the pact. China and Russia have also refused to join.

The US stockpile is estimated...



06/21/2014

HOPE SOLO JAILED AFTER ALTERCATION

Misc1

U.S. gold medal-winning goalkeeper Hope Solo was arrested early Saturday morning on investigation of two counts of domestic violence assault, police told the Seattle Times.

Solo, 32, is being held without bail at the SCORE misdemeanor jail in South King County.

Hope Solo was arrested and is being held without bail after an altercation at her home, according to police.

Solo allegedly got into an argument with relatives at a family party at the home she shares with her husband, former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, in Kirkland, Washington. At some point during the altercation, according to police, Solo physically struck her sister and nephew. 

"There were visible injuries on them," Kirkland police lieutenant Mike Murray told the Seattle Times. 

Officers were called to the home because of an assault and a noise disturbance. 

"There was a big party going on at her house. It was an out-of-control situation," Murray told the newspaper.

It is not Solo's first brush with domestic violence. Her then-boyfriend Stevens was arrested in November 2012 for allegedly assaulting Solo. He was never charged and they were married the next day.


Hope Solo arrested on domestic violence charge

Misc2

Olympic gold medalist and soccer star Hope Solo is being held without bail for investigation on two counts of domestic-violence assault at the South Correctional Entity Regional Jail in Des Moines, Wash.

Kirkland police Lt. Mike Murray told The Seattle Times that Solo was arrested overnight, accused of striking her sister and nephew at her home in Kirkland, Wash., and said both suffered "visible injuries."

Murray told The Seattle Times that officers were called to the home, which Solo shares with husband and former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, because of an assault and noise disturbance.

"There was a big party going on at her house. It was an out-of-control situation," Murray said.

The 32-year-old Solo is listed as "Hope Amelia Stevens" on the registry list at the county jail. No release date was noted.

Solo is the goalkeeper for the Seattle Reign FC.



06/14/2014

NBC's Matt Lauer will remain on the show after his 'Today' contract is extended for two more years

Arts1

Lauer described hosting the Today show as 'the best job in broadcasting'
The 56-year-old has been with the popular NBC show since 2004
He replaced Bryant Gumbel three years after joining the programme

NBC star Matt Lauer signed a two-year extension on his contract with the 'Today' show admitting it 'was the best job in broadcasting'. 

The news anchor is believed to be one of the highest paid people in TV news in America following his latest deal.

Lauer, 56, has been with the Today show since 1994 and his new deal will mean he will be the longest lasting host in US daytime TV history. 

Lauer signed his last contract extension in 2012 and was considering his future in recent weeks. However, according to NBC insiders, once he decided he wanted to stay the deal was quickly concluded. 

Speaking after the deal, Lauer said: 'I consider this the best job in broadcasting. I love the people I work with every day and I have such respect and gratitude for the people I work for. I couldn't be happier to be staying.'

NBC News President Deborah Turness said: 'We couldn't be more thrilled with Matt's decision. As I've said many times before, he's the best in the business, and there is nobody I would rather have in the 'Today' anchor chair than Matt.'

After three years on the Today show, Lauer replaced Bryant Gumbel as co-host. 

Over the past two decades he has worked alongside Katie Couric, Meridith Vieira, Ann Curry and is now joined every day by Savannah Guthrie. 

However, the popular show has been overtaken in the ratings by ABC's Good Morning America. 

Last week the NBC show averaged 4.6 million viewers to 5.4 on ABC.


Matt Lauer extends contract with Today Show despite poor ratings and behind the scenes turmoil

The anchor has struggled to maintain fan loyalty after the controversial firing of his co-host Ann Curry leading many to wonder, why renew his contract?

NBC announced on Friday that Today staple Matt Lauer would be sticking around a few more years. The news comes as a shock to some since the anchor’s popularity has dwindled just as much as the show’s ratings in recent years.

The terms of Lauer’s new contract were disclosed but it’s well-known that he’s one of TV’s most highest-paid anchors. It’s a wonder why NBC keeps shelling out the big bucks to keep around someone who just isn’t what the viewers want anymore. Ever since his drama surrounding the firing of co-host Ann Curry in 2013, it’s been an uphill battle to regain fans’ loyalty back.

Despite the low approval ratings for Lauer, NBC News President Deborah Turness said Lauer is “the best in the business.”

The anchor isn’t the only one suffering, the show as a whole isn’t doing too hot. Todaycontinues to come in second behind ABC’sGood Morning America. Maybe it has to do withToday keeping around a certain anchor that no one cares about anymore? The last time they got the upper hand on their rival was back in February, since then Today’s been struggling to keep up. Just this past week ABC pulled in 5.4 million viewers, while NBC garnered 4.5.



06/06/2014

Study: At-home dads down slightly since recession

Misc1

This Sept. 2, 2012 photo released by Sara Brandfon shows father Mike Brandfon...

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of U.S. fathers home with their kids full-time is down, from a peak 2.2 million in 2010, the official end of the recession, to about 2 million in 2012, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

The slight decrease in their ranks from 2010 to 2012 was driven chiefly by employment gains since the recession eased, the report said, defining stay-at-home fathers as those not employed for pay at all in the prior year and living with children 17 or younger.

The largest share of at-home dads, 35 percent, said they were home due to illness or disability. Roughly 23 percent said it was mainly because they couldn't find a job, and 21 percent said it was specifically to care for home or family, the researchers noted, relying on census and other government data.

By contrast, 1.1 million men were at-home dads in 1989, the earliest year reliable government figures are available for the sector.

Gretchen Livingston, a senior researcher who worked on the report, said fathers comprised 16 percent of parents at home full time in 2012, up from 10 percent in 1989.

The 21 percent who cited caring for home and children as the specific reason for being out of the for-pay work force was up from 5 percent in 1989 and 18 percent in 2007, the start of the recession, Livingston said.

While unemployment is a factor overall, Livingston said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C., that the "continuing convergence of gender roles" between moms and dads is key.

"It's becoming more acceptable for dads to be caregivers, and it's becoming more acceptable for moms to be responsible for breadwinning," she said.

But Livingston warned that affluent, highly educated dads at home to raise children remain a subset.

"It's important to note that a lot of these dads are actually not doing that well economically and they tend to have lower income levels, too," she said.

And despite a greater acceptance of dads staying home to raise kids, other Pew research shows 51 percent of the public believes kids are better off when the mother stays home, compared to 8 percent that cited dads.

"There clearly has been a lot of gender convergence in recent decades, but then at the same time, you know, some things haven't changed as far as people's perceptions of the roles," Livingston said.

Mike Brandfon, 48, of Chicago falls into the laid-off category. He lost his job at a...


Dads who stay home because they want to has increased four-fold

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Logo of the National At-Home Dad Network

The number of stay-at-home dads has doubled in the last 25 years, reaching a peak of 2.2 million in 2010 before dipping slightly to 2 million, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center. And although the Great Recession contributed to a sharp uptick, by far, the fastest growing segment of at-home dads say they’re home taking care of the kids because they want to be.

In 1989, only 5 percent of the 1.1 million at-home fathers said they were home to be primary caregivers. That share has increased four-fold now to 21 percent, a sign not only of the power of economics in reshaping traditional family structures, but of shifting gender norms.

“The assumption that a lot of people make is that the number of stay-at-home dads went up because of the recession. And while that’s absolutely true, even if you take out that trend altogether, the fact is, the number has been going up over time, regardless. And the biggest increase is in the share of fathers who want to stay home to take care of kids,” said Gretchen Livingston, author of the new report. “That’s very striking.”

At the same time, the share of fathers home because they themselves are ill or disabled has dropped from more than half of all at-home fathers in 1989 to about one-third. And the share of fathers who are home with kids because they’re in school, retired or for other reasons has dropped only slightly in the past 25 years, from 25 to 22 percent.



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