It's the time of year when world leaders converge at the United Nations headquarters in New York. And this year, there will be a lot of talk about multilateral diplomacy — a priority for the Obama administration since it came to office.
Obama's team has courted the world's rising powers, even publicly backing India's hopes to one day be a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. But now that India, along with South Africa and Brazil, have rotating seats on the council, U.S. officials and many human rights activists complain they're not living up to expectations.
Women inseminated with a donor's sperm used to be advised to tell no one. Go home, doctors said, make love to your husband and pretend that worked. But in a trend that mirrors that of adoption — from secrecy to openness — more parents now do plan to tell such children how they were conceived and are seeking advice on how best to do that.
Tina Gulbrandson understands the temptation of secrecy. She felt stigma and pain when she needed to use another woman's eggs to get pregnant.
Last year economist Lakshman Achuthan said he thought the United States had emerged from the depths of a recession, but today the picture looks a bit more grim. Unemployment is hovering above 9 percent and there were no new jobs created in August. On top of that, consumer confidence is at its second-lowest level of the year.
"We are skating on very thin ice," Achuthan tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.
Some New York cab drivers have complained that the companies they work for were putting racy ads — for strip clubs, for example — on their cars. And those ads were embarrassing and tested their ethical and religious beliefs.
Yesterday, the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission voted unanimously to allow cab drivers who own their cars to veto the ads put on top of their vehicles.
Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 4:17 pm
"Hacktivists" are hitting the streets.
The cyberguerrilla group Anonymous — known for high-profile computer attacks on corporate and government targets — is urging its followers to come out from behind their PCs on Saturday and occupy Wall Street.
The aim: an Arab Spring-style protest over the "abuse and corruption of corporations, banks and governments."
Time was when it took a fair amount of expertise to launch the kinds of illegal computer attacks that have become the hallmarks of "hacktivist" groups like Anonymous.
Today, just about anyone can download user-friendly software capable of crippling websites. One such tool is LOIC [Low Orbit Ion Cannon], which was used in Anonymous' attack on MasterCard, Visa and other companies late last year.
It's rumored that the group will release another weapon, called #RefRef, on Saturday.
One of the most popular sports in Ireland is the rough contact game of hurling.
It was created by ancient Celtic warriors, and now it's found a niche following among some soldiers in the U.S. A group of National Guardsmen in New Hampshire formed a hurling team to stay in shape after Middle East deployments.
Statistics released today by the Justice Department show that the number of violent crimes in the country continued their downward trend, dropping a surprising 12 percent in 2010.
The AP reports:
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported there were 3.8 million violent crimes last year, down from 4.3 million in 2009. Experts aren't sure why. The expectation had been that crime would increase in a weak economy with high unemployment like that seen in 2010.