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For 112-year-old veteran's daughter, care is a labor of love
11/3/2021 6:30:09 PM

By Leah Willingham   Vanessa Brooks was gentle as she held the face of her 112-year-old father in her hands. She patted the shaving cream carefully on his cheeks and along his jaw before sliding the razor across his face to make a clean strip. Lawrence Brooks sat quietly in his big armchair in their double shotgun house, a New Orleans Saints blanket draped over the back. The oldest living U.S. veteran's arms were clasped together in his lap and his eyes were closed. Around him were banners from the National World War II Museum and the Veterans Affairs hospital...

Medicaid issues, not Medicare's, get fixes in Biden budget
11/3/2021 6:26:01 PM

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar   WASHINGTON (AP)—Medicaid issues are turning up as winners in President Joe Biden's social agenda framework even as divisions force Democrats to hit pause on far-reaching improvements to Medicare. The budget blueprint Biden released Thursday would fulfill a campaign promise to help poor people locked out of Medicaid expansion across the South due to partisan battles, and it would provide low-income seniors and disabled people with more options to stay out of nursing homes by getting support in their own homes. It also calls for 12...

A chance to close the gulf
11/3/2021 6:18:54 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   For many American families the COVID-19 pandemic brought significant new challenges, and more than half of all households with children have lost income since the pandemic began. But a new report by Americans for Tax Fairness—a campaign of more than 420 endorsing organizations, including the Children’s Defense Fund, united in support of a fair tax system that works for all Americans—shows total U.S. billionaire wealth has increased $2.1 trillion, or 70 percent, during the pandemic. As...

I can never have too much ice cream
11/3/2021 5:48:59 PM

By Dr. James L. Snyder   It was one of those hectic weeks that flew by, and I didn’t know it until the end of the week. I had come to the point where I had enough. Enough is enough; let’s get on with life. You can’t get enough of some things in life, and then there are other things that you can have too much. If only we could choose one at our discretion. That evening supper was quite good, and I had, like always, stuffed myself. I don’t blame my over-eating on myself, rather on the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. If she were not such an...

Let computers do it: Film set tragedy spurs call to ban guns
10/27/2021 3:05:02 PM

By Jocelyn Noveck   NEW YORK (AP)—With computer-generated imagery, it seems the sky's the limit in the magic Hollywood can produce: elaborate dystopian universes. Trips to outer space, for those neither astronauts nor billionaires. Immersive journeys to the future, or back to bygone eras. But as a shocked and saddened industry was reminded this week, many productions still use guns—real guns—when filming. And despite rules and regulations, people can get killed, as happened last week when Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins after...

Film crew voiced complaints before fatal on-set shooting
10/27/2021 2:59:57 PM

By Cedar Attanasio, Morgan Lee and Michelle L. Price   SANTA FE, N.M. (AP)—Hours before actor Alec Baldwin fired a fatal gunshot from a prop gun that he had been told was safe, a camera crew for the movie he was filming walked off the job to protest conditions and production issues that included safety concerns. Disputes in the production of the Western film “Rust” began almost from the start in early October and culminated with seven crew members walking off several hours before 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed. The crew members...

Florida's top doctor refuses mask, is told to leave meeting
10/27/2021 2:55:44 PM

MIAMI (AP)—Florida's top health official was asked to leave a meeting after refusing to wear a mask at the office of a state senator who told him she had a serious medical condition, officials have confirmed. Florida Senate leader Wilton Simpson, a Republican, sent a memo to senators Saturday regarding the incident at the office of Democratic state Sen. Tina Polsky, asking visitors at the building to be respectful with social interactions. Polsky, who represents parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties, had not yet made public her breast cancer diagnosis. Polsky told The...

Moderna says its low-dose COVID shot works for kids 6 to 11
10/27/2021 2:51:45 PM

By Lauran Neergaard Moderna said Monday that a low dose of its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and appears to work in 6- to 11-year-olds, as the manufacturer joins its rival Pfizer in moving toward expanding shots to children. Pfizer’s kid-size vaccine doses are closer to widespread use. They are undergoing evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration for youngsters in nearly the same age group, 5 to 11, and could be available by early November. The company’s vaccine already is authorized for anyone 12 or older. Moderna hasn’t yet gotten the go-ahead to offer its...

A new chance for child care
10/27/2021 2:46:09 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   As Congress debates over critical early childhood investments, I am reminded of 1971 when earlier efforts to enact a comprehensive child care system were toppled by regressive politics and am determined not to allow our nation to repeat the mistakes of the past. Fifty years ago a national moral commitment to children and families almost became the law of the land for young children. What a different country we would be today had millions of children received the carefully conceived high-quality early childhood...

I didn’t do it my way
10/27/2021 2:18:05 PM

By Dr. James L. Snyder   I don’t think I’ve learned very much during my life. I just bounce from day to day and take what comes. The one thing I did learn as I look back is, for the most part, I didn’t do it my way. I have learned that I don’t have to have everything my way. That was the first thing I learned as a husband. If I get everything my way, somebody in the house is not happy. Thinking along this line, a memory flashed back. I remember rushing my wife to the hospital to deliver our first baby. I’m not sure who was more...