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During a pro-labor rally in the Maine State House on April 4, artist Rob Shetterly, a rally organizer, announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has communicated to the Maine Department of Labor that a mural depicting Maine’s labor history, with a panel featuring Frances Perkins, the first female U.S. labor secretary, must either be put back in the lobby of the State Department of Labor or Maine can return the $60,000 that was granted to the state to commission the art.

–Susan Feiner

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • Forty-one senators, made up of Democrats and Independents, announced they will filibuster any spending bill blocking funding to Planned Parenthood, reported Ms. Magazine April 6.
  • The U.S. Education Department issued 19 pages of new guidelines for how schools should respond to sexual-violence under federal Title IX regulations after WeNews columnist Wendy Murphy brought light to the importance of these new guidelines Jan. 31.
  • President Obama chose Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to chair the Democratic National Committee. Fellow Democrat, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, praised Obama’s choice andinvited others to congratulate the pro-choice Florida representative, who will be the third woman to hold this position.
  • Women-owned businesses in the United States are up 50 percent from 1997 and outperforming their male counterparts in all fields, Reuters reported April 7.
  • Yale University launched a new committee on sexual misconduct after a federal investigation occurred due to a series of sexually-based allegations, reported CNN April 7.
  • Women’s ski jumping and team figure skating are among six events added for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee said April 6, according to a Bloomberg News report.
  • England’s professional soccer association believes that creating a viable elite women’s league, which will be semi-professional, is vital for the sport’s credibility, according to an April 7 report from the Britain’s Guardian.
  • Using progesterone to treat high-risk pregnant women cut their rate of premature delivery by 45 percent, according to new research reported by Reuters April 6.
  • Robina Niaz, one ofWomen’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century, interviewed with theDaily Femme in an April 4 post about her organization, Turning Point, dedicated to helping Muslim women in New York City affected by domestic violence.
  • At least five NCAA Division I women’s college basketball coaches are making more than $1 million, led by Tennessee’s Pat Summitt at just over $2 million, USA Today ‘s first systematic survey of women’s coaching compensation shows.




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Continuous debate over the federal budget cuts for this year, with the risk of the federal government shutting down, focused around women’s health and Planned Parenthood, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Reid said congressional negotiators largely agreed to an amount of spending cuts April 7, but their talks were stymied by two Republican policy provisions on abortion and the environment, increasing the likelihood of a government shutdown beginning this weekend, according to the Washington Post.

On April 8 Reid said the budget battle that continued with the looming federal shutdown deadline less than 24 hours away, "all deals with women’s health. Everything has been resolved, everything . . . that is the only issue that was left undone when we left the White House last night," reported CBS News.

Read more at WeNews about the federal budget cuts.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • At least 20 residents, including four women, were killed and dozens wounded at Camp Ashraf, an Iranian refugee camp, April 8 when Iraqi forces attacked, reported PR Newswire.
  • Conservative David Prosser was declared the winner in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court election over liberal JoAnne Kloppenburg after a close call, reported UPI April 8. The swing election worried labor unions against Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who has passed legislation stripping workers of their bargaining rights. According to the Wisconsin State Journal April 8, Walker has already gone to the Supreme Court to lift the blocked implementation on his measure. For more on Wisconsin’s labor unions and Gov. Walker’s impact on women, see WeNews’ archives.
  • Thousands of women protesting in Yemen for the removal of President Ali Abdullah Saleh were attacked April 3 by police, setting off a fight between the police and male protestors, reported MSNBC, adding to a surge of violence in the last few days.
  • People fleeing the Ivory Coast, to avoid continued violence in the country, reported rape, sexual abuse and murder while trying to cross into Liberia, reported IRIN, a humanitarian news and analysis source.
  • Abortion bills this week provided one positive step forward in Montana for abortion rights but many steps back. Arizona and Arkansas signed abortion bills into law early this week, while other bills move through legislation in: Florida, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Idaho, Ohio and Virginia.
  • Police in Bangladesh broke up angry protesters blocking a main highway in the capital Dhaka over a new law giving women equal property rights, according to an April 4 report from the BBC.
  • The Office for National Statistics in Britain has found that female graduates earn 20 percent less than their male counterparts, according to an April 7 report fromWomen in Technology.


  • Eman al-Obeidy, who said the Libyan government of Col. Moammar Gadhafi victimized her twice, may not have been treated as badly as other women in that situation, the New York Times reported April 5. After al-Obeidy entered a hotel telling foreign press she was raped, she received publicity and interviews, which may have spared her years of confinement and mistreatment that many women experience, according to human rights advocates.
  • Israeli troops briefly detained about 100 women in the West Bank on April 7, as part of an ongoing investigation into the murder last month of a young Jewish settler family, Reuters reported.
  • International Honour Killings Awareness Day was April 7, on the anniversary of the public stoning of Du’a Khalil Aswad, reported the International Campaign Against Honour Killing.
  • Protestors covered up the anti-abortion billboards in Chicago featuring President Obama with the words, "Every 21 minutes our next possible leader is aborted," reported the Chicago Tribune April 3. For background on these billboards, check out WeNews’ recent story.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann made frequent trips to key early-voting states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, and announced she has raised $2.2 million in political contributions in the first 90 days of 2011, reported the Washington Post April 1, making her stand out as a potential presidential candidate.
  • A study of Spanish skulls spanning 300 years indicates that everyone’s heads have been getting bigger, but that the size difference between the crania of women and men is shrinking, Christian Science Monitor reported April 7.
  • The nonprofit Candies’ Foundation paid Bristol Palin $262,500 for promotional work but gave $35,000 in grants to teen pregnancy prevention programs, according to their 2009 tax information, reported ThinkProgress April 5.
  • Eight bodies discovered on a Long Island beach raise suspicion of a serial killer, reported AFP April 7. In December, four female prostitutes were found, who disappeared between 2007 and 2010, and this week four more bodies were discovered.
  • Los Angeles police detectives are investigating the possibility that eight additional women were victims of the man accused of being the Grim Sleeper serial killer, reported the Los Angeles Times April 5.
  • Arcidonna, an Italian women’s rights group, has asked the court overseeing Silvio Berlusconi’s sex trial for the right to seek compensation from the prime minister, claiming that he has offended the dignity of all Italian women, reported London’s The Telegraph April 7.
  • A 51-year-old man used an online dating service for millionaires to meet two of the three women he is convicted for sexually attacking, reported the San Francisco Chronicle April 7.

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