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Jack Diehl

High School Students Need Someone to Talk to About Sex Without Shame

(También en Español) News of Note: High School Students Need Someone to Talk to About Sex Without Shame The other day, as a reward for finishing their state tests, I was letting my students talk quietly in groups and do word games. I sat next to three of my ninth graders (three girls and a boy) and quickly joined in on their discussion. They were talking about teenage pregnancy, noticing the high number of girls in the school who were currently pregnant. The tone of the conversation started playful, but the students were asking some very serious questions.  The sole male ...

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Engineered stem cells seek out, kill HIV in living organisms

(También en Español) News of Note: Engineered stem cells seek out, kill HIV in living organisms (Medical Xpress) -- Expanding on previous research providing proof-of-principal that human stem cells can be genetically engineered into HIV-fighting cells, a team of UCLA researchers have now demonstrated that these cells can actually attack HIV-infected cells in a living organism. Sexually transmitted diseases are an unfortunate, but very real obstacle for the sexual freedom movement, one that often reinforces fears and insecurities that lead to further sexual repression. While many people think of HIV as an "incurable" disease, that may not always be the ...

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Taking exception to the concept of ‘American exceptionalism’

(También en Español) News of Note: Taking exception to the concept of 'American exceptionalism' "It's a curious thing how the notion of American exceptionalism has been twisted and turned into a bludgeon, not only to assert American superiority but also to employ as a test of allegiance. The Republican presidential candidates have wielded the concept with great enthusiasm, both as a way to stress their patriotic fervor and cast doubt on President Barack Obama's belief in the pre-eminence of -- even love for -- the country he leads.... His pride in America, Obama said, "does not lessen my interest in recognizing ...

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Incarceration Nation

(También en Español) News of Note: Zakaria: Incarceration nation "Here are the facts. The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That’s not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and ­Britain - with a rate among the ­highest - has 153.... "Drug convictions went from 15 inmates per 100,000 adults in 1980 to 148 in 1996, an almost tenfold increase. More than half of America’s federal inmates today are in prison on drug convictions. In ...

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The Death of Copyright

(También en Español) News of Note: You Will Never Kill Piracy, and Piracy Will Never Kill You Now that the SOPA and PIPA fights have died down, and Hollywood prepares their next salvo against internet freedom with ACTA and PCIP, it’s worth pausing to consider how the war on piracy could actually be won. It can’t, is the short answer, and one these companies do not want to hear as they put their fingers in their ears and start yelling. As technology continues to evolve, the battle between pirates and copyright holders is going to escalate, and pirates are ...

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U.N. summit focuses on how to improve global happiness

(También en Español) News of Note: U.N. summit focuses on how to improve global happiness The United Nations turned its attention to happiness — and just how it might be achieved on an international scale. "Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal" and "recognizing that the gross domestic product ... does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people," a U.N. resolution invites member states to discuss "the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to guiding their public policies." Tom Barefoot, the founder and co-coordinator of Gross National Happiness USA, an ...

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Catholic church abuse: at least one youth castrated for ‘homosexuality’

(También en Español) News of Note: Catholic church abuse: at least one youth castrated for 'homosexuality' At least one boy under the age of 16 was castrated to 'help' his homosexual feelings while in Catholic church care in the 1950s, the NRC reported on Saturday. But there are indications at least 10 other boys were also castrated, the paper said. The claims were not included in the Deetman report on sexual abuse within the Catholic church published at the end of last year. The paper says the one confirmed case concerned a boy - Henk Heithuis - who reported being ...

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The Unwelcome Mat

(También en Español) News of Note: The Unwelcome Mat: How America Scares Away Tourists Imagine that you’re the citizen of a prosperous, democratic ally like Britain, Spain or Japan, and you’d like to visit America. Before traveling, you must pay $14 to complete an online United States government form called ESTA, short for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. ESTA asks for basic personal data, like your name and birth date. It also asks whether you are guilty of “moral turpitude,” whether you’re planning crimes or “immoral activities” and whether you suffer from “lymphogranuloma venereum” (don’t ask). If you’re involved in ...

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White House Proposes Online Privacy Bill of Rights

(También en Español) News of Note: White House Proposes Online Privacy Bill of Rights the Obama Administration released a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights for online users, including the ability for browser users to opt out of being tracked by advertisers and others. The proposed document was described by the White House as "part of a comprehensive blueprint to improve consumers' privacy protections," while maintaining the Internet's growth and innovation. The Administration said the intent is to give users "more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet," and to help businesses grow while maintaining consumer ...

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U.S. Teen Birthrates Are Down, But Still High in Bible Belt

(También en Español) News of Note: U.S. Teen Birthrates Are Down, But Still High in These States In 2009, a landmark study found a strong correlation between religion and teen pregnancy. The CDC's newest data suggests not much has changed. Teen pregnancy closely follows the contours of America's Bible belt, according to the map (above) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It's quite clear that teenagers want to have sex and no amount of discouragement or abstinence-only sex education is going to stop them. The religious idea that sex should only exist for procreation has no business denying ...

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