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President Obama proposes immigration reform

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11/22/14

On Thursday night, President Obama announced to the nation his executive order calling for changes in the way United States handles undocumented immigrants.

The President asked congress to pass a bipartisan bill but until that happens, he is plan includes:

– Increased resources for law enforcement agents on the border

– Give immigrants that are highly skilled, entrepreneurs or graduates a fast way to stay in the country

– Taking steps to deal with undocumented immigrants already living in the United States

The President promised that deportations would be prioritized. Criminals would be targeted and deported, not families.

The deal that the President offered applies to immigrants who have been here more than five years, have children here, are willing to register and pay taxes. Those fitting those categories can get temporary relief from fear of deportation. It does not apply to recent or future immigrants.

The President called for congress to pass a bill to make more permanent changes to policy.

Critics of the President call his actions unconstitutional. Congressional Republicans are weighing legal actions and cutting funding from agencies that would enact the president’s policies.

See video and text of the full speech here.

Enterovirus D68

EV-D68

With Ebola still in the spotlight another disease has come to the attention of health care professionals.

According to The Center for Disease Control, Enterovirus D68 was first identified in California in 1962. Until this summer, it was not commonly reported in the United States.

The symptoms are flu-like – sneezing, coughing, fever and body aches. Some patients, especially those with asthma or other respiratory problems, may need to be hospitalized. The enterovirus spreads through contact with respiratory secretions of the infected.

Anyone can get EV-D68 but infants and children are most likely to get ill from it because they are lacking immunity.

According to the CDC, as of Sept. 17, 140 people in 16 states have been infected. The CDC notes that testing samples is a complex process and as the backlog gets processed, there will likely be an increase in cases and states with cases. This does not mean that the enterovirus is now spreading more, just that more current cases are coming to light.

The first Connecticut case was confirmed on the 9/17. The patient, a 6-year-old girl who was treated at Yale/New Haven hospital, has since been released.

To protect yourself from EV-D68: wash your hands often, avoid direct contact with people who are sick and disinfect surfaces often.

More on Entrovirus D68 from the CDC

 

photo credit: CBS

The War Begins: 100th Anniversary of the Beginning of World War I

The Great War / World War I began 100 years ago. Because of alliances between different European Countries, the war began on different dates as each country declared war on its neighbor. On Monday, August 4th, Great Britain will commemorate their declaration of war on Germany with a “Lights Out” observance. At 10pm the country will go black for one hour and candles will be lit in remembrance.

All throughout Europe, different countries are planning different events. We must remember that the United States did not enter the war until 1918. Millions had lost their lives prior to the Yanks arriving on the scene.

 

Bring back our girls

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On April 14th, a militant group kidnapped around 200 girls from a school in Nigeria. The group, Boko Harem, said they planned to sell the girls.
In early May, a social media campaign, #bringbackourgirls, brought the plight of the girls to international attention. Up to that time, Nigerian military and government agencies had not been able to locate the girls.
Many countries, including the US , the UK and Israel , have offered their help.
Boko Harem, which means “Western education is forbidden,” does not believe the girls should be in school but should instead be married. They have since offered to return the girls in exchange for the release of imprisoned militants.

Here is a timeline of events.

Here are some news reports:

From the BBC

From the NY Times

The most recent video

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