November 2009 Archives

Mother and daughter convicted of day care manslaughter

A Bloomington daycare provider and her daughter were both convicted of second-degree manslaughter, according to a Star Tribune report.

Doris Meeks, 48, and her daughter Harmony Newman, 22, neglected to watch over 22-month-old Demar Joseph-Amir Hicks who died of asphyxiation at their Bloomington home.

Meeks left the home to run an errand, leaving Newman alone to baby-sit 23 children.  This exceeded the daycare license limit of 14 children, and it also violated the requirement of two adults supervising at all times.

The child was left unsupervised in their basement when he was strapped into a playpen car, while Newman was upstairs watching television.  He was later found unconscious by one of the other children.

Paramedics arrived in time to get his heart beating again, but Hicks died two days later at Minneapolis Children's Hospital, according the Pioneer Press.

Meeks and Newman face up to 10 years in prison.

Obama to send more troops to Afghanistan

            The New York Times has reported that President Barack Obama will send as many as 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.

            The estimated 30,000 additional troops would bolster the 68,000 American soldiers already stationed in Afghanistan.

            The final troop numbers are still undecided, as Obama plans to announce his strategy for Afghanistan after Thanksgiving. has reported the troop increase is part of an effort to combat the activities of Al Queda in the bordering nation of Pakistan.

Having met with top advisors, Obama made it clear that his strategy would be different than previous President George Bush's, and he was confident in the American public's support of his plans.

Despite these talks, Obama did not specify any timetable for exiting Afghanistan.

Death toll continues to rise in wake of Philippine massacre

BBC News has reported the death toll for a recent devastating attack in the Philippines has reached 57 as of Wednesday morning.

President Gloria Arroyo has declared a state of emergency in two provinces on the southern island of Mindanao.

Electoral candidate, Ismael Mangudadatu, has suspected the local Ampatuan clan as responsible for the attack because of their family ties with incumbent governor, Andal Ampatuan.

Mangudadatu's wife was killed along with at least 13 journalists.

The New York Times reported the election violence is linked to warring clans vying for political power.

The Ampatuans are close allies of Arroyo, and have aided her in previous elections.

Political violence is not unprecedented in the Philippines.  Previous elections have seen much bloodshed, with 126 deaths in the 2007 elections and 189 in 2004.

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