Category "World News with a Local Emphasis"

July 29, 2005

Coleman to propose stem cell bill, breaking with Bush

the Pioneer Press,July 26, 2005
by Frederic J. Frommer

Since this article on July 26, another republican politician has come forward in support of federal funding for stem cell research.

“Because harvesting embryonic stem cells destroys embryos, Bush and many other conservatives equate the process with abortion and view it as immoral.” (Frommer). Norm Coleman, like many in the Republican Party, opposes legalized abortion. This is why his proposal involves the use of embryos that have already been destroyed. The Bush administration, however, does not intend to lift the ban of federal funding for stem cell research it enacted four years ago.

Personally, I’m for stem cell research, and I have every confidence that our next president, Republican or otherwise, will lift the ban.

Posted by at 9:56 PM | World News with a Local Emphasis

Category "World News with a Local Emphasis"

July 15, 2005

A true "frog to prince" fairy tale

The Pioneer Press featured an story of an Iowa banker discovering his royal roots on its July 5 edition. Marty Johnson was adopted by his Iowa family after living in a Catholic orphanage at St Paul until 4. Now 41, Johnson started his search for his biological parents in 2001, and soon got in touch with his mother in California, who told him that his father is the chief of a small Nigerian village. Johnson's father, John Ogike came to visit Johnson and his family in April — his first visit to America since he left school in the '60s. In the span of one year, Johnson's sibling count jumped from one to nine, with two new sisters on his mom's side and six siblings on his father's. The mortgage banker from Eagan became the prince of Aboh, a small village in Nigeria, and first in line to become its chief.

I was touched by the humanity side of the story. When I shared this with a friend, who was adopted from Vietnam at 18-month, she laughed, saying "too bad there isn't any village in Vietnam that I might be the Princess of."

Posted by at 3:27 PM | World News with a Local Emphasis

Category "World News with a Local Emphasis"

June 21, 2005

Human trafficking

Young women from all over the world are lured to away from home with promises of freedom and enough money to support themselves and send home to their families. But hundreds of thousands of them get just the opposite. Instead of freedom and money they endure slavery and sexual abuse. The story of just one of these women is found in the Minnesota Women’s Press, June 15th issue, in an article entitled "Human trafficking isn't somebody else's problem anymore".
Like so many others, Salima was promised a job and a good life in America. She spoke no English and knew no one in this country, except for her captors. One of them got her pregnant after abusing her. Now she moves form shelter to shelter in fear of being found by her captors and losing her child.
This kind of slavery occurs all over the world. I was surprised to find, however, that the Twin Cities is deemed a “high intensity human trafficking region” by the U.S. Department of Justice.
I was also surprised to read that as of August 1, “…it will be a felony…to knowingly destroy, conceal, remove, confiscate, or possess any passport or immigration documents of another person to prevent his or her liberty…” Why so late? It seems to me that this kind of law has applied to the mail in one’s mailbox for a very long time, and slavery isn’t such a new concept, either. Until our immigration laws catch up with the flow of immigrants, I’m afraid there will be many more Salimas.