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PA Ministry of Prisoners confirms PMW report on salaries to terrorists

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PA to Jerusalem Post: PA "policy had always been to pay salaries to prisoners and their families 'regardless of their political affiliations.'"

The following is the Jerusalem Post front page story on PMW's report about the new Palestinian Authority law that all terrorists in Israeli jails are to be paid salaries by the PA. The PA Ministry of Prisoners confirmed to the Jerusalem Post the PMW report that they indeed pay these salaries, and added that they recently raised the salaries. They stated however that they have always paid salaries to prisoners. PMW notes that since it was their own official daily that reported on the new legislation, it seems that the PA practice of paying salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons has now been formalized through new the PA law. 

'New PA law to grant 
all convicted terrorists monthly pay'
By Jerusalem Post Staff (Page 1 story)
A new Palestinian Authority law grants a monthly salary to all Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terrorism, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) says in a report being released on Friday.

While Palestinian car thieves in Israeli prisons will not receive a salary, Hamas and Fatah terrorist killers will, the report says. Those serving sentences of more than 20 years will receive higher salaries, according to the new PA law. Salaries are to be paid from the day of arrest until release.

The PMW report points out that more than 6,000 Palestinians are currently serving time in Israeli prisons for terror- related offenses. Among those now eligible for salaries are Abdullah Barghouti, serving 67 life sentences for acts that include planning the Sbarro restaurant (2001) and Moment cafe (2002) suicide bombings in Jerusalem; Hassan Salameh, serving 38 life sentences for offenses that include planning a series of 1996 bus bombings; and Jamal Abu al-Hijja, serving nine life sentences for planning 2005 bombings in Hadera and Netanya.

The new PA law stipulates that payment "will be implemented...on the basis of available sources of funding." Accordingly, when the PA is short of cash, salaries to the prisoners will be cut, said PMW. Direct foreign aid to the PA could be part of the "available sources" for terrorist salaries or could free money elsewhere in the PA budget that could be used for these salaries, the report says.

The new law was enacted before the recent Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement and was published in the official PA Registry on April 13, 2011.

The law includes:
· A monthly salary "to provide for the needs of prisoners within Israeli prisons"
· Additional benefits for released prisoners
· Additional benefits for prisoners' families
· Funding "for the prisoners' legal needs."

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are serving multiple lifesentences for murder and will receive a PA salary, which goes directly to the terrorist or the terrorist's family. All of these prisoners, no matter what their crime or affiliation, will receive the same base salary. Married prisoners will also receive additional pay, as well as those with children. Arabs from Jerusalem and Israeli-Arabs imprisoned for terror offenses will get an additional supplement of NIS 300 and NIS 500, respectively.

The PMW report quotes an article in a PA newspaper that explained that the new law offered prisoners a series of privileges, including exemption from tuition fees at government schools and universities, if the inmate serves five years or more in prison. In addition, the law states that a prisoner's children will be exempt from 80 percent of their academic tuition fees if the prisoner was sentenced to at least 20 years and has been in prison for at least five. Every released prisoner will be exempt from government health insurance if he served at least five years in prison, while female prisoners will be exempt for serving at least three, according to the law.

PMW warned that funding to the PA by donor nations could enable the payment of the salaries.

"This is not just about funding," Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik of PMW said in a statement. "This is about what the PA is, and what they stand for. We feel the US and EU should be reevaluating not just their funding, but their entire relationship with the PA."

Marcus and Zilberdik said that while donor countries have "carefully created laws to prevent their money from supporting PA incitement and terror," they have been lax in adhering to these laws. "Paying salaries to imprisoned terrorists is just one example of how the PA uses its budget to support and glorify violence, thereby violating the intentions of its donors," they charged. "As long as the donor countries continue to support the PA budget - ignoring what the budget as a whole is funding - they are directly responsible for the continuation of PA hate incitement and terror glorification."

In 2004, the PA defined by law exactly who would be considered a prisoner as "anyone imprisoned in the occupation's [Israel's] prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation."

The PA's Ministry for Prisoner Affairs said Thursday that its policy had always been to pay salaries to prisoners and their families "regardless of their political affiliations."

The ministry said it was unaware of any new law concerning salaries of prisoners and their families. It said, however, that the PA government had in recent years taken a number of decisions to raise the salaries of the prisoners and their family members.

The ministry pointed out that the PA had been paying salaries to prisoners since its establishment in 1994.

IMF Has Culture of Harassment

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At I.M.F., Men on Prowl and Women on Guard

WASHINGTON — It is an international island in the midst of the American capital, a sharp-elbowed place ruled by alpha male economists. The days are long, and employees are regularly pressed together for weeks on end during overseas “missions.” It is a climate in which romances often flourish — and lines are sometimes crossed.

Some women avoid wearing skirts for fear of attracting unwanted attention. Others trade whispered tips about overly forward bosses. A 2008 internal review found few restraints on the conduct of senior managers, concluding that “the absence of public ethics scandals seems to be more a consequence of luck than good planning and action.”

This is life at the International Monetary Fund, the lender of last resort for governments that need money and, under the leadership ofDominique Strauss-Kahn, an emerging force in the regulation of the global economy.

But with Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arrest earlier this week and indictment on Thursday on charges that he tried to rape a New York hotel housekeeper, a spotlight has been cast on the culture of the institution. And questions have been revived about a 2008 episode in which the I.M.F. decided that Mr. Strauss-Kahn had not broken any rules in sleeping with a female employee.

What may draw even more attention to the culture of the fund is the revelation of an affair involving a potential successor to Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who resigned as managing director on Wednesday. Kemal Dervis of Turkey had a liaison while working at the World Bank years ago with a woman who now works at the I.M.F., according to a person with direct knowledge of the relationship.

Interviews and documents paint a picture of the fund as an institution whose sexual norms and customs are markedly different from those of Washington, leaving its female employees vulnerable to harassment. The laws of the United States do not apply inside its walls, and until earlier this month the I.M.F.’s own rules contained an unusual provision that some experts and former officials say has encouraged managers to pursue the women who work for them: “Intimate personal relationships between supervisors and subordinates do not, in themselves, constitute harassment.”

“It’s sort of like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’; the rules are more like guidelines,” said Carmen M. Reinhart, a prominent female economist who served as the I.M.F.’s deputy director for research from 2001 to 2003. “That sets the stage, I think, for more risk-taking.”

In 2007, officials at the fund declined to investigate a complaint by an administrative assistant who had slept with her supervisor, and who charged that he had given her poor performance reviews to pressure her to continue the relationship. Officials told the woman that the supervisor planned to retire soon, and therefore there was no point in investigating the charges, according to findings by the I.M.F.’s internal court.

The official, who is not named in the records, told investigators that he also had a sexual relationship with a second employee, and that he did not believe he had acted improperly.

In another case, a young woman who has since left the I.M.F. said that in 2009, a senior manager in her department started sending her increasingly explicit e-mails seeking a relationship. She complained to her boss, who did not take any action.

“They said they took it seriously, but two minutes later they were turning around and acting like everything was O.K. to the person who had done it to me,” said the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she still works in the international development community. “He wasn’t punished. Not at all.”

Virginia R. Canter, who joined the I.M.F. last year with responsibility for investigating harassment claims, said the institution recently took a series of strong steps to protect employees. A new code of conduct adopted on May 6 specifies that intimate relationships with subordinates “are likely to result in conflicts of interest” and must be disclosed to the proper authorities.

“It’s recognizing that sometimes relationships grow in the workplace,” Ms. Canter said. “But it doesn’t mean we’re not sensitive to this issue and we will investigate if there is evidence to suggest harassment.”

She also said that the fund would not again brush aside an employee complaint like the one from the assistant who was sleeping with her boss. “Absolutely that wouldn’t have happened today,” she said. “We would investigate the matter.”

The I.M.F., created in 1945, has 2,400 employees evaluating the economic health of nations from a pair of huge Washington buildings and on regular trips abroad. When nations borrow money from the fund, they typically must agree to adopt economic reforms, and employees are sent to watch their progress.

In recent years the fund has tried to diversify by hiring more women, Even so, only six of the I.M.F.’s 30 senior executives are women. Only 21.5 percent of all managers at the fund are women, compared with 32 percent at its sister institution, the World Bank, and 26 percent at the United Nations secretariat.

Some women say the fund is a welcoming work environment.

“I haven’t met any cases in my career of sexual harassment,” said Teresa Ter-Minassian, who spent 37 years at the I.M.F. and retired last year as director of the fiscal affairs department.

Some issues arise from cultural differences. In one case, a married Muslim woman complained when her European boss paid her a compliment that was innocuous but unrelated to work, the only subject she considered permissible.

“Culturally, there are a lot of people thrown together,” said Susan Schadler, who spent 32 years at the fund, rising to deputy director of the European department before leaving in 2007. “There’s a lot of scope for misunderstanding, misreading signals. I think that’s a particular vulnerability for the fund.”

The new relationship policy is a response to the 2008 case in which a Hungarian economist, Piroska M. Nagy, had a relationship with Mr. Strauss-Kahn.

Ms. Nagy described herself in a letter to investigators as “damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.”

An independent investigation found that Mr. Strauss-Kahn had not abused his power. Though he apologized publicly, many women at the I.M.F. were dismayed by the outcome.

“What are we supposed to make of this when we go into Strauss-Kahn’s office?” Ms. Schadler said, recounting conversations with former colleagues. “Do we sit there and think, ‘He’s sizing me up as a potential sexual object?’ ”

“There is this implicit culture that this wasn’t really seen as something that the fund is going to worry about,” she said, “and I think that’s what bothered women.”

Botox Mom Loses Her Daughter

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ABC News has learned that the Bay Area mother who was giving her 8-year-old daughter Botox injections has had her child taken away.
According to a source very close to the case, 8-year-old Britney Campbell was taken out of the home over the weekend. The girl is reportedly "doing well."
Britney's mother, Kerry Campbell, is being investigated by Child Protective Services. The Campbells were interviewed last week by 'Good Morning America.'
Kerry Campbell is a part-time aesthetician and buys the Botox online from a "trusted source." Campbell has been entering her daughter in beauty pageants and said she got the idea from other moms.
The mother who was giving her child Botox injections has had her daughter taken away from her. Britney Campbell is only eight years old, and her mother, Kerry, has been sticking needles in to her face (and waxing her legs) in order to prepare for an upcoming beauty pageant.
It was announced Monday morning that Britney was taken away from her mom and placed into protective custody. People have so many different opinions about Kerry losing her daughter, because she wasn't doing anything to harm her intentionally. Clearly the mother is obsessed with her daughter winning the pageant, but surely she can't be the first person to take things to another level, right?
A lot of people feel that Britney should not have been taken away from her mother, but disqualified from the beauty pageant instead. It's not like Britney was in danger or her mother was an unfit parent (to an extent). It seems as though Kerry just let things get to her head. She injected Botox in to her daughter's face because she wanted her daughter to look flawless - and to win. While this isn't "okay" by any standards, is it something so terrible that she deserved to lose custody of her daughter?

What do you think?




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Tate, date will go to the prom


Shelton, Conn. (WTNH) - He gets to go after all.

On Saturday, Shelton High School Headmaster Beth Smith finally bowed to what she called "international pressure" and reversed her decision, allowing James Tate to take his date to the prom.

That pressure came from hundreds of thousands of people on Facebook and Twitter, as well as media stories from all over the world. The headmaster stood firm on Thursday, but reversed herself Saturday and said Tate and his two friends could go to the prom after all.

In case you've somehow missed all this, Tate and two friends snuck on to school property in the middle of the night and taped big cardboard letters to the side of the school that said "Sonali Rodrigues, will you go to prom with me?"

For trespassing, the three of them got suspended for a day, and anyone who gets suspended after April 1st is banned from prom. Those are the rules, but so many people thought the punishment didn't fit the crime that it got too distracting for the school to function normally and that is why the headmaster decided to relent.

On the internet, people were already raising money for an alternate prom, they are still selling T-shirts, and now there's a campaign to get Tate elected prom king. Tate says any money raised should go to charity.

Update: Tate told NBC's "Today" show Monday he woke up Saturday and heard headmaster Beth Smith was holding a news conference, but he didn't know what it was for, or if he was invited, so he went golfing.

He says the whole thing was "blown completely out of proportion" and he's willing to accept alternate punishment.

Rodrigues said the situation has been "weird" with one person asking for her autograph at the movies.

Updated: Monday, 16 May 2011, 8:33 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 16 May 2011, 5:49 AM EDT



Census data: Aging baby boomers help drive Connecticut's median age to 40 for the 1st time

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Census data: Aging baby boomers help drive Connecticut's median age to 40 for the 1st timealt



HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Aging baby boomers helped push Connecticut's median age to the 40-year mark for the first time, while the state saw a 32 percent increase since 2000 in the number of people 85 and older, according to census data released Thursday.

The oldest of the baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are turning 65 this year and are expected to fuel a large increase in the elderly population over the next two decades. Aging experts say greater numbers of older people will affect society in a variety of ways, including adding more strain to family and government budgets.

"As our older population grows and experiences unprecedented longevity, it will impact nearly every facet of society and state government is no exception," Julia Evans Starr, executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Aging, said in recent testimony before state lawmakers. "State Medicaid budgets and other safety net programs are strained at a time when the recession challenges the reliance on pensions and home equity."

A little more than 1 million of the state's 3.57 million residents are in their mid-40s to mid-60s, according to the new data from the 2010 census. That's a 29 percent increase from 2000 and a 56 percent increase since 1990. About half a million residents are 65 and older, and nearly 85,000 are 85 and older. About two-thirds of those 85 and older are women.

Connecticut's annual Medicaid spending for long-term care currently totals about $2.4 billion, representing about 13 percent of the state budget. Starr said the spending total could double by 2025 if no cost-savings measures are enacted.

The state's median age of 40 continues to be one of the highest in the country. The Census Bureau has so far released the new age data for 24 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, and Connecticut's median age is the fifth highest after Maine, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Florida.

In Connecticut, Litchfield County had the oldest median age at 44 years, while Tolland County had the youngest at 38 years. Of all the cities, towns and villages in the state listed by the Census Bureau, the Heritage Village retirement community in Southbury has the highest median age at nearly 75 years while the University of Connecticut's hometown of Storrs has the lowest at about 20.5.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he was concerned that too many young adults are leaving the state, where job growth is stagnant and the cost of living is among the highest in the country.

"We have to grow jobs so that the graduates of our public and private schools can start careers here," Malloy, who took office in January, said in a statement. "That's the job ahead of us and it's the job I ran for election to do."

The number of state residents ages 25 to 34 dropped 7 percent to about 420,000 from 2000 to 2010, while the number of people ages 35 to 44 fell 16 percent to about 575,600 during the same span, according to the new census data. The number of children up to age 9 also declined, falling 9 percent to about 424,700 over the decade.

The new census data also includes information on Connecticut households and housing occupancy:

- The number of households with husbands and wives remained about the same at 672,000 in 2010. But the number of husband-and-wife households with children under 18 dropped 6.5 percent over the 10 years to 287,000.

- The number of homes led by women with children and no husbands present increased 7 percent over the decade to about 97,650.

- The average household size remained steady at 2.5 people.

- The number of vacant housing units increased nearly 39 percent over the decade to about 117,000 amid the Great Recession and home foreclosure crisis

May 12, 12:02 AM EDT


Associated Press 


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