Michelle Touts Breastfeeding; Logan Attacked in Egypt

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(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

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First lady Michelle Obama touched on a breastfeeding strategy at a lunch with 10 print reporters who have covered her during her second year of "Let’s Move," an anti-childhood obesity campaign, reported Politics Daily Feb. 15.

"We also want to focus on the important touch points in a child’s life,” Obama said. “And what we’re learning now is that early intervention is key. Breastfeeding. Kids who are breastfed longer have a lower tendency to be obese.”

Last year, Obama was urged by advocates to use breastfeeding in her anti-obesity campaign because she could share her own experiences having breastfed her daughters.

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • A report on the role of UN Women will be launched at the Commission on the Status of Women meeting in New York on Feb. 23, a day ahead of the official launch of UN Women, the new U.N. super entity for women’s projects.
  • In one of several protests throughout Washington state, about 90 supporters gathered in Seattle Feb. 15 to show support for Planned Parenthood and women’s access to health care, reported the Seattle Times.
  • In light of Valentine’s Day’s big business for restaurants, Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards announced the WAGE Act in a national audio phone conference Feb. 14, a bill to address the inequality created by freezing the minimum wage for workers who receive tips. Many restaurant employees earn a base salary of $2.13 per hour–the current minimum wage for tipped workers.

 

 


 

Jeers

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Lara Logan, CBS News correspondent, was sexually assaulted in Egypt on the day the country’s former president Hosni Mubarak resigned, reported ABC News Feb. 15. Logan was covering the events in Tahrir Square for “60 Minutes” when she was separated from her crew and then physically and sexually assaulted by members of the crowd. A group of women and Egyptian soldiers saved Logan from the assault and she is now in the United States recovering in a hospital, according to CBS News.

In the Daily Beast, Howard Kurtz said Feb. 15 that the assault on Logan "underscores that the Middle East remains a dangerous place for women." In response, Women’s eNews editor Corinna Barnard argued that sexual assault is a risk for women everywhere and that all reporters, male and female, are at risk of assault.

In a show of solidarity, ABC’s Ann Compton along with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie gathered messages from fellow female reporters at the major networks for Logan and sent them to CBS, reported the Huffington Post Feb. 17. Well-wishers included ABC’s Martha Raddatz and Claire Shipman, as well as NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • A state bill to expand the definition of justifiable homicide in South Dakota to include killing someone in the defense of an unborn child was postponed indefinitely after an uproar over whether the legislation would put abortion providers at greater risk, The New York Times reported Feb. 17.
  • The House passed an amendment Feb. 18 that would eliminate all federal funding to Planned Parenthood, reported the American Civil Liberties Union. Before the House floor Feb. 17, Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier talked about her own abortion in response to the bill that would cut $70 million in annual funding, reported the Huffington Post Feb. 18. Planned Parenthood President Cecil Richards said, "We’ve been here for the past 95 years, and we’ll be here for the next 95,” reported the AP Feb. 13, in response to the bill and the undercover videos that depict the organization’s staff members assisting sex traffic workers.
  • Afghanistan’s top female official went on a sustained verbal assault about women’s shelters on Feb. 15, accusing them of corruption and mismanagement, The New York Times reported. An open letter by the Afghan Women’s Network, a Kabul-based coalition of human rights groups, is challenging the government’s allegations that women’s shelters are corrupt and should be taken over, the BBC reported Feb. 17.
  • Syrian blogger Tal al-Mallohi was sentenced to five years in prison, Feb. 15, on state security charges alleging that she acted as a spy for a foreign power, according to Al-Jazeera. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the trial.
  • National and local government funding decisions in the U.K. have hit women’s support services hard, reported the Guardian Feb. 15.
  • An Iowa subcommittee of the House Human Resources Committee approved legislation Feb. 17 banning abortion in the state, even in cases of rape and incest, The Chicago Tribune reported Feb. 18. The bill will now go to the full committee for more debate.
  • One in four women surveyed by to the National Domestic Violence Hotline said a partner sabotaged birth control or pressured them to have unprotected sex, reported the Newser Feb. 15.
  • A judge ruled in the U.K. that women must continue to take abortion pills at the clinic and not at home, reported the Guardian Feb. 14, unless the health secretary stipulates otherwise.
  • A deranged man killed four people, including a female neighbor he claimed to love and her mother, and left four others wounded in a 28-hour rampage across New York City, reported the New York Post Feb. 13.
  • The rates of sexually transmitted disease–chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV–in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Saint Croix are among the highest in the nation, reported the Virgin Islands Daily News Feb. 11.
  • Asian American teenage girls have the highest rate of depressive symptoms of any racial, ethnic or gender group, according to a report released Feb. 15 by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a nonprofit organization based in Arlington, Va., reported PR Newswire Feb. 15.
  • Researchers from the University of Michigan conducted a study finding that women who drank alcohol got fewer hours of sleep and woke at more frequent intervals for longer periods of time than did men who also imbibed a few drinks, Health News reported Feb. 16.
  • A draft bill aimed at boosting low female representation on Italian company boards is under threat from a barrage of amendments and opposition from big business and banking lobbies, Reuters reported Feb. 17.
  • A Texas law proposal is sparking national controversy because it would require women to have a sonogram at least 24 hours before an abortion, reported The Star-Telegram in Ft. Worth, Texas, Feb. 17.

Noted:

  • A group of U.S. veterans filed a federal class-action lawsuit Feb. 18 alleging instances of rape and abuse overlooked or unreported by the military, the Associated Press reported Feb. 18.
  • Millions of people, many of them women, protested Feb. 13 to demand that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resign, reported Sky News.
  • The American Heart Association has released a study and new set of guidelines for women’s heart health, U.S. News reported Feb 15.
  • Sixteen-year-old Canadian pop star Justin Bieber caused a stir in a soon-to-be-released interview with Rolling Stone Magazine by saying he is anti-abortion, PopEater.com reported Feb. 16.
  • The Food and Drug Administration announced Feb. 16 that it has approved the wider use of Allergan’s Lap-Band stomach-restricting device to some people who are just barely obese. Critics have noted how Lap-Band walks a fine line between providing health benefits and cosmetic results, as noted in previous reports by Women’s eNews.
  • A group of Japanese citizens filed a lawsuit Feb. 17 challenging a civil law that effectively stops women from keeping their surnames when they marry, the Associated Press reported Feb. 17.

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