6 SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — It didn't take long for abortion to re-emerge as a flashpoint in state legislatures. Less than a month into the 2022 legislative sessions, battles over the future of abortion already are setting up around the U.S. Republican lawmakers are proposing new restrictions modeled after laws in Texas and Mississippi that present a direct challenge to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, while some Democratic-led states are working to preserve or expand access. The activity in state legislatures was anticipated after the U.S. Supreme Court, with its conservative majority, signaled it was ready to make seismic changes to the nationwide right to abortion that has stood for nearly half a century. If the court overturns Roe v. Wade entirely, the decision on whether to keep abortion legal would fall to the states. More than 20 states already have laws on the books to ban or dramatically restrict abortion if Roe v. Wade is … [Read more...] about With Roe in doubt, states act on abortion limits, expansions
National institute medical research
15 WASHINGTON (AP) — Food banks across the country are experiencing a critical shortage of volunteers as the omicron variant frightens people away from their usual shifts, and companies and schools that regularly supply large groups of volunteers are canceling their participation over virus fears. The end result in many cases has been a serious increase in spending by the food banks at a time when they are already dealing with higher food costs due to inflation and supply chain issues. “Food banks rely on volunteers. That's how we keep the costs low,” said Shirley Schofield, CEO of the Food Bank of North Alabama. “The work still gets done but at a much higher expense.” The extent of the problem was highlighted this past week during the national holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when many food banks have traditionally organized mass volunteer drives as part of a day of … [Read more...] about Omicron wave leaves US food banks scrambling for volunteers
9 CHAMA RIVER CANYON, N.M. - Hidden in this canyon of crimson sandstone cliffs encompassed by miles of federally protected wilderness, the Monastery of Christ in the Desert seems like an ideal place to ride out a pandemic. For more than 50 years, a small community of Benedictine monks has quietly lived, worked and worshiped here in a cluster of off-grid adobe buildings along the banks of northern New Mexico's Chama River. Considered the most remote Catholic monastery in the hemisphere, it can be reached only by a 13-mile single-lane earthen road that winds through the canyon. Abiquiu, the closest village - population 151 - is 25 miles away. Groves of cottonwood and willows line the river where bald eagles hunt for rainbow trout. Black bears, coyotes and cougars prowl the pinyon- and sage-scented Santa Fe National Forest, which surrounds the monastery. Despite the difficult journey, outsiders have flocked to this … [Read more...] about Monks in New Mexico desert dedicated to hospitality reflect on two years without guests
5 WASHINGTON - In the eight years she has worked at nursing homes, LaToya Francis, 34, has been yelled at, kicked at and had feces thrown at her for little more than the minimum wage. She endured it because she loved being a certified nursing assistant, she said. But she's not sure she can hold out much longer. As the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus drives record staff shortages at nursing homes nationwide, Francis has increasingly found herself alone on her $19-an-hour overnight shifts at Bridgepoint Healthcare's skilled nursing facility in Southwest Washington, fighting off panic attacks as she tries to feed, clean and rotate more bed-bound residents than she can handle. Some nights, she retreats to a corner of the facility, where she calls her partner and sobs. Other nights, all she can feel is anger. "I've never, ever felt this disrespected," Francis said. Frustration is surging among the low-wage workers who make up … [Read more...] about Low-wage workers prop up the nursing home industry. They’re quitting in droves.
Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad reacts during an interview with Reuters in Kuala Lumpur in October 2020. (Reuters File Photo) KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is in stable condition after being admitted to a specialist heart hospital for the third time in just a few weeks, his daughter said on Saturday. The 96-year-old has been receiving treatment at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur for the past two days, Marina Mahathir said. Media descended on the hospital as news spread that Mahathir had been admitted again, and current Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob also paid him a visit. In a statement, Marina Mahathir said her father was receiving follow-up treatment after a procedure at the same facility about a fortnight ago. “His condition is now stable and he has been responding well to treatment,” she said. His family “requests that people pray for him to make a full recovery”, she added. Mahathir also spent several days at … [Read more...] about Mahathir ‘stable’ after hospital admission