The New York City Department of Education is making the morning-after-pill available to high school girls at 13 public schools. Some of these girls will be injected in advance.
Making the practice even more controversial is that parents are not notified when the school nurse gives girls emergency contraceptives. Girls as young as 14 are given pills when they ask for them.
The birth control is supplied by CATCH (Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health). Health Department doctors write prescriptions that enable school nurses to give out the drug. This fall, students can receive birth-control injections every three months.
A student must simply inform a school nurse that she has had unprotected sex. If the girl passes a pregnancy test, she can be given the pill.
Last year in five schools, 567 students received Plan B tablets and 580 students were given Reclipsen, according to theNew York Post.
Parents can opt out in advance by signing a form stating that their daughter cannot be given contraceptives. But according to the Department of Education, only 1-2 percent of parents have opted out.
The city says about 7,000 girls get pregnant by the time they reach the age of 17. It says more than half choose to get an abortion.
While NYC high schools have long supplied free condoms to sexually active teens, this is the first time city schools have dispensed hormonal birth control and Plan B, which can prevent pregnancy if taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.
About 28 percent of city students entering ninth grade have already had sex, and more than half are sexually active before completing high school, according to city data.
Former Democratic New York Mayor Ed Koch recently expressed disappointment in President Obama’s treatment of Israel, telling a Jewish crowd last weekend that no one “can rightfully say that President Obama is the best president” for Israel.
“I hope to move the president in further support of Israel,” Koch told a largely Jewish audience on Sunday during The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies’ national conference in New York City. “I hope to change him.”
Koch, a frequent critic of the Obama administration’s policies toward Israel, said Obama could allay the Jewish community’s concerns by simply stating that the United States will no longer tolerate Iranian aggression.
“All of this could be wiped out in terms of bitterness if the president were just to say an attack by Iran on Israel will be perceived by the U.S. as an attack on the U.S., and we will respond militarily,” Koch said, according to video of the event.
A respected Democratic voice on the Jewish speaking circuit, Koch’s comments indicate that the White House has failed to woo one its principal Jewish critics as Election Day draws near.
With the Jewish community poised to play a critical role in several key swing states, Koch’s public attacks on the president could become a thorn in Obama’s side.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with the Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan and other religious leaders Tuesday, according to an English translation of the Iranian president’s Web page posted Wednesday.
In a photo seen here, Farrakhan — who is known for making brutally anti-Semitic assertions, and calling President Obama a “murderer” for the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi — is seen smiling as he sits at a table with the Iranian president.
According to Ahmadinejad’s Web page, the night before his address to the UN General Assembly, Ahmadinejad, Farrakhan and seven other leaders of “Abrahamic religions” listened to the Iranian president’s desires for a new world order.
Ahmadinejad made his case again for the regime’s nuclear program, arguing that Iran has a right to develop clean energy and stressing that “US animosity” against the Iranian government and its nuclear program is due to America’s desire for the Middle East’s energy resources, the Iranian government claimed on their webpage.
“He further pointed to the Western countries contradictory approach regarding their opposition to the atomic bombs and said if they are true with their claims why they do not destroy their own nuclear bombs first,” the Iranian government wrote of Ahmadinejad’s comments.
The Iranian president went on to demonize Israel, saying that the “Zionist regime” demonstrates their weakness by threatening Iran. Ahmadinejad’s website notes he added that the “Zionist regime is suffering from mental disequilibrium.”
Ahmadinejad claimed that America is seeking to reestablish itself as an empire but that the “Iranian nation is scared of nothing and will confront all bullying powers,” and that the American system and its two political parties leads to “discrimination.”
The report below about the incredible loss of American airpower that was lost happened last week. Sadly, even in the media, there was no reporting of the incident. It seems that the news was hidden for political reasons, not because it was not known. However, John Hudson with The Atlantic broke the story.
The Taliban attack on an air base in southern Afghanistan on Friday drew coverage for the way the insurgents cloaked themselves in U.S. army uniforms to gain a tactical advantage, but few have taken note of the historical proportions of the damage inflicted. John Gresham, at the Defense Media Network, has published a detailed account of the attack on Camp Bastion, in which two Marines were killed, six U.S. Marine Corps jet fighters were destroyed, and two more “significantly” damaged. Those facts were all carried in most reports, but if that just sounds like a typical damage report from a decade-long war, you’re wrong. Gresham explains the devastating damage done to VMA-211, the name of the Marine Corps attack squadron that was most affected last week, noting that it is “arguably the worst day in [U.S. Marine Corps] aviation history since the Tet Offensive of 1968.” Or you could go back even further. “The last time VMA-211 was combat ineffective was in December 1941, when the squadron was wiped out during the 13-day defense of Wake Island against the Japanese.”
The attack on Camp Bastion began at around 10:00 PM local time, when about 20 Taliban fighters approached the perimeter, disguised in U.S. battle dress uniforms. One of the Taliban used his explosive suicide vest to blow a hole in the perimeter fence, which reportedly allowed three five-man sapper squads into the secured areas of the base. Armed with AK-47s, RPG-7s and explosive suicide vests, the Taliban fighters flooded into the U.S. area known as Camp Barber.
As they began to attack the flightline areas, however, the RAF security force began to react within just 12 minutes, when they established an MQ-9 Reaper UAV orbit over the camp. This was followed by the launch of a British Apache helicopter that immediately engaged the insurgents, killing several. In addition, the British ground security force began to fight its way toward Camp Barber over the main runway, reportedly expending around 10,000 rounds of ammunition in the process. It took five hours to secure the base and police up the insurgents.
The only “good” news about the attack was that Prince Harry was unharmed. He appears to have been one of the targets of the Taliban attack (his birthday was Sept. 15), and was taken to a “safe area” of the base and given extra security.
Whatever the organizational outcome, the Sept. 14, 2012 attack on Camp Bastion is arguably the worst day in USMC aviation history since the Tet Offensive of 1968. The last time VMA-211 was combat ineffective was in December 1941, when the squadron was wiped out during the 13-day defense of Wake Island against the Japanese.
It just goes to show how desensitizing a decade of war can be. With casualty counts streaming in the news every day, it’s easy to miss historically devastating milestones that crop up. As an aside, if you want to see a really smart visual recreation of the attack, watch Brian Todd’s CNN segment on the attack here.
This has nothing to do with “desensitization” — if that’s even a word. If the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating to this point and to the point where we’re no longer able to protect our servicemen from our supposed Afghan allies during joint operations, I think the American people want to know this. Either we’re there to win this thing or we are not, and if we’re not, let’s get the hell out.
But the way in which the media told the story of this wildly successful Taliban attack isn’t about perspective, it’s about context — context extremely damaging to an Obama Administration that’s puffed out its chest as National Security Heroes.
Not only is it reprehensible that the national media didn’t alert the American people, but if the case is that they did it to protect Barack Obama from a bad political outcome, then it is all the more sinister.
In an interview this week on CBS’s 60 Minutes, President Barack Obama referred to Israel’s concern over Iran’s march toward a nuclear program as “noise.”
“When it comes to our national security decisions — any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out — any noise that’s out there,” Obama says, according to AFP.
Here’s the transcript:
STEVE KROFT: “How much pressure have you been getting from Prime Minister Netanyahu to make up your mind to use military force in Iran?”
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Well—look, I have conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu all the time. And I understand and share Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence that Iran should not obtain a nuclear weapon, because it would threaten us, it would threaten Israel, and it would threaten the world and kick off a nuclear arms race.”
STEVE KROFT: “You’re saying, you don’t feel any pressure from Prime Minister Netanyahu in the middle of a campaign to try and get you to change your policy and draw a line in the sand? You don’t feel any pressure?”
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “When it comes to our national security decisions—any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out—any noise that’s out there. Now I feel an obligation, not pressure but obligation, to make sure that we’re in close consultation with the Israelis—on these issues. Because it affects them deeply. They’re one of our closest allies in the region.And we’ve got an Iranian regime that has said horrible things that directly threaten Israel’s existence.”
AFP also reported that Obama said that “he understands and agrees with Netanyahu’s insistence that Iran not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons as this would threaten both countries, the world in general, and kick off an arms race.”
But, as the article points out, Obama will not be meeting with Netanyahu this week during the United Nations General Assembly.
Mitt Romney, who was also interviewed on 60 Minutes tonight, said, that Obama not meeting with Netanyahu “is a mistake and sends a message throughout the Middle East that somehow we distance ourselves from our friends and I think the exact opposite approach is what’s necessary.”
While the Israeli government and Obama administration debate the merits of a preemptive strike on Iran’s clandestine nuclear facilities, turns out the Iranians are considering making the first military move themselves, threatening to strike U.S. bases along with Israel – which a senior commander predicts could escalate to a new world war.
Aerospace commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, predicted to Iran’s Arabic language television Al-Alam on Sunday that Israel and the U.S. will not fight a war with Iran “independent from each other, meaning that either one of these two starts the war, it will be joined by the other one.” As translated by Iran’s Fars news agency, he said:
“We see the US and the Zionist regime standing fully on the side of each other and we cannot imagine the Zionist regime initiating a war without the US backup. Due to the same reason, if a war breaks out, we will definitely wage battle on both sides and will definitely be engaged with the US bases.”
“In case such conditions arise, a series of incidents will take place which will not be controllable and manageable and such a war might turn into a third world war. That means, certain countries may enter the war for or against Iran.”
The IRGC commander warned that in case such war is waged on Iran, the US bases in “those countries around us and inside the neighboring countries will be targeted and they will even be threatened by the nations of these very states.”
“There will be no neutral country in the region,” Hajizadeh said. “To us, these bases are equal to US soil.”
The general’s words follow a flurry of strident statements coming out of Tehran over the weekend. On Saturday, the head of the Revolutionary Guard Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said that war between Iran and Israel was inevitable, though he couldn’t predict when it would occur. He also said he believes that conflict will destroy Israel, which he called “a cancerous tumor”:
“If they [Israel] start something, they will be destroyed and it will be the end of the story for them,” Jafari said.
AFP writes that this is the first time a senior Iranian official has stated publicly his belief that war is likely. In mid-September, Jafari earlier made the annihilation threat, stating that “nothing will remain of Israel” should the Jewish state strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.
On Sunday, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy to Jafari, said that the Islamic Republic’s defense strategy assumes it “will engage in a war, a massive battle against a global coalition led by the US” which would provide “a historical opportunity for the Islamic Revolution to wipe them [Israel] off the world’s geographical history.” AFP further reports:
He said the Islamic republic had made preparations to “crush” the enemy by hitting “enemy bases in the region, the security of the Zionist regime (Israel) and the energy market, as well as the lives of enemy forces.”
Unlike his colleague Hajizadeh, who on Monday suggested the preemptive strike, Salami said Iran won’t fire the first shot: “We will not start a war. But if someone wages war against us, we will launch continuous offensives.”
A government minister in Pakistan has personally offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who kills the man behind an anti-Islam film as deadly riots continue throughout the Arab world.
“I announce today that this blasphemer, this sinner who has spoken nonsense about the holy prophet, anyone who murders him, I will reward him with $100,000,” Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour announced during a news conference Saturday, according to Reuters.
“I invite the Taliban brothers and the Al-Qaeda brothers to join me in this blessed mission,” he said.
Bilour, a member of the left-wing Awami National Party, told CNN he was speaking only on behalf of himself, not the Pakistani government.
“I am a Muslim first, then a government representative,” Bilour said.
At least 15 people have been killed in Pakistan during demonstrations, according to Reuters.