Cash Assistance Boosted Infants’ Brain Development, Study Shows

When mothers with low incomes received just over $300 in monthly cash assistance during the first year of their children’s lives, their infants’ brains displayed more high-frequency brain waves when they reached 12 months old, a major new study by a team of investigators from six U.S. universities and released this week by the National Academy of Sciences shows. These types of brain waves are associated with higher language and cognitive scores and better social and emotional skills in children as they grow older.

The expanded Child Tax Credit, which Congress enacted in 2021 and which expired last month, provided support very much like the cash assistance described in the new paper. The paper is a pathbreaking combination of social science and neuroscience, is methodologically rigorous, and adds heft to the substantial evidence about the difference that extending the Child Tax Credit expansion would make in children’s lives.

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Shining Light On The Dark Age Of The Tulalip Boarding School

From 1857 to 1932, hundreds of Native youth from across the state and as far as Alaska were taken to the Tulalip Boarding School. There, they were beaten for speaking their Native languages. They began industrial jobs as elementary age students. They didn’t get to see their parents for ten months of the year, and many of them never came home. The school closed in 1932, and for many families, the wounds are fresh.

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Ruth Etzel Speaks Out Ahead Of EPA Whistleblower Hearing

The US Environmental Protection Agency is failing to protect children by ignoring poisons in the environment and focusing on corporate interests, according to a top children’s health official who will testify this week that the agency tried to silence her because of her insistence on stronger preventions against lead poisoning.

“The people of the United States expect the EPA to protect the health of their children, but the EPA is more concerned with protecting the interests of polluting industries,” said Ruth Etzel, former director of the EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection (OCHP). The harm being done to children is “irreparable”, she said.

A hearing will be held on 13 September in which several internal EPA communications will be presented as evidence, including an email in which EPA personnel discuss using press inquiries about Etzel as “an opportunity to strike” out against her. Among many witnesses to be called to testify are several former high-level EPA officials.

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Unsafe School Reopenings In US Fuel Surge Of COVID-19 Among Children

The US reported 180,000 child COVID-19 cases in the week ending August 19, a 50 percent increase in just one week, according to the latest report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. There were 120,000 child cases the prior week, and less than 10,000 just two months ago.

Even worse, 24 children died of COVID-19 in the same period, twice the previous record set in the week ending August 5.

The reopening of schools, more than 60 percent of which have already resumed classes, has led to outbreaks in K-12 institutions throughout the country.

Metro Atlanta school districts have reported thousands of cases of COVID-19 among students and staff just weeks into the school year. Gwinnett County, Georgia’s largest school district, reported over 800 active cases of the virus Friday.

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Show Children The Green Fields And Let The Sunshine Into Their Minds

Exactly two years ago, I walked with my colleagues from Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research through the Camp Marielle Vive (‘Marielle Lives’) outside of Valinhos in the state of São Paulo, Brazil with a great sense of déjà vu. The camp resembles so many other communities of the desperately poor on our planet. The United Nations calculates that one in eight people on our planet – one billion human beings – live in such precariousness. The homes are made of a jumble of materials: blue tarpaulin sheets and bits of wood, corrugated iron sheets and old bricks. A thousand families live in Camp Marielle Vive, named after the Brazilian socialist Marielle Franco, who was assassinated in March 2018.

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Highlighting The Too-Often Invisible Labor Of Mothers, Who Protect Us And Lead Us

This week two major publications were released that highlight public health impacts on people living next to oil and gas operations. The Environmental Health News released their investigation looking at how chemicals associated with oil and gas are present at levels 90 times higher than the average in families’ urine, including samples from children. The New Yorker published “When the Kids Started Getting Sick” by Eliza Griswold, a deep dive on the increase in rare bone cancers in the region. 

These articles highlight the reality of so many in our communities, and because they reflect that lived reality, they hit home. For that reason, this blog goes a bit beyond simply providing information. 

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‘This Is Hell’: UN Food Chief Visits Yemen

The head of the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) visited Yemen and described the conditions he saw in the country to reporters as “hell.” His visit comes as the UN is warning 400,000 Yemeni children will starve to death in 2021 if conditions do not change.

David Beasley described what he saw in a visit to a Yemeni hospital to The Associated Press. “In a children’s wing or ward of a hospital, you know you normally hear crying and laughter. There’s no crying, there’s no laughter, there’s dead silence,” he said. “This is hell. It’s the worst place on earth. And it’s entirely man-made.”

The suffering in Yemen is a direct result of the US-backed Saudi-led war that has been raging since March 2015. Besides a vicious bombing campaign that frequently targets civilian infrastructure, including food supplies, the US and Saudi Arabia have been enforcing a blockade on Yemen.

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Will Biden End America’s Global War On Children?

Most people regard Trump’s treatment of immigrant children as among his most shocking crimes as president. Images of hundreds of children stolen from their families and imprisoned in chain-link cages are an unforgettable disgrace that President Biden must move quickly to remedy with humane immigration policies and a program to quickly find the children’s families and reunite them, wherever they may be.
A less publicized Trump policy that actually killed children was the fulfilment of his campaign promises to “bomb the shit out of” America’s enemies and “take out their families.” Trump escalated Obama’s bombing campaigns against the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and loosened U.S. rules of engagement regarding airstrikes that were predictably going to kill civilians. 

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Record Number Of Children Infected With COVID-19

More than 61,000 children in the U.S. were diagnosed with Covid-19 last week — more than in any other week during the pandemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association reported Monday.

In all, 853,635 children have been diagnosed with the virus this year, representing 11.1 percent of all U.S. cases. The percentage of pediatric cases has risen steadily since mid-April, when children accounted for just 2 percent of Covid-19 cases in the country.

“This is a stark reminder of the impact this pandemic is having on everyone…

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Manitos Children’s Fund To Support Venezuelan Children Despite Sanctions

Manitos Children’s Fund grows out of the decades old Latin America solidarity movement which has worked to change US policies toward Latin America for over 60 years. Because of our history we are most focused on the effects of sanctions on the children of Latin America, with Venezuela being the most targeted by illegal sanctions currently.

Democratic and Republican administrations have both issued sanctions against the democratically-elected government of Venezuela, but since taking office in 2017, President Trump has ratcheted up the pain factor with an aggressive attack on the Venezuelan economy. In August 2019, President Trump issued an Executive Order imposing a full economic blockade on Venezuela.

It is not government officials who suffer when the US imposes illegal sanctions! It is children.

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Number Of Homeless Students In The US Surges 15%, Now Topping 1.5 Million

The number of homeless students enrolled in public school districts and reported by state educational agencies (SEAs) during school year (SY) 2017-18 was 1,508,265. This number does not reflect the totality of children and youth experiencing homelessness, as it only includes those students who are enrolled in public school districts or local educational agencies (LEAs.) It does not capture school-aged children and youth who experience homelessness during the summer only, those who dropped out of school, or young children who are not enrolled in preschool programs administered by LEAs.

Key findings of this report include the following:
• The number of identified, enrolled students reported as experiencing homelessness at some point during the last three school years increased 15 percent, from 1,307,656 students in SY 2015-16 to 1,508,265 students in SY 2017-18.

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The IDF Spokesman Announces: Continue To Shoot Palestinian Children

February 15, 2020 “Information Clearing House” –  Israeli soldiers shoot children. Sometimes they wound them and sometimes they kill them. Sometimes the children wind up brain dead, sometimes disabled. Sometimes the children have thrown rocks at the soldiers, sometimes Molotov cocktails. Sometimes by chance they wind up in the middle of a confrontation. They almost never put the soldiers’ lives in danger.

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Palestinian Child Prisoner Reveals Horrible Details About His Detention

A Palestinian child prisoner revealed horrible details about his detention to the Committee of Prisoners.

17-year-old Ishaq Abu Hitteh from Hebron (Al-Khalil) was arrested near the Ibrahimi mosque on January 18, while he was heading to the mosque to pray. Abu Hitteh told the Committee that he was assaulted by a group of Jewish settlers, who surrounded and threatened him, before a large number of Israeli soldiers arrived and brutally beat him, claiming that he had tried to stab the settlers.

The soldiers forced Abu Hitteh to sit on his knees and left him for three hours in the freezing weather.

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Seven Activists Arrested Mourning Children Killed By Drones

Seven peace activists walked onto the base at Volk Field today, wearing black veils, carrying limp dolls and posters of children killed by drones, and reading a statement. They were arrested by Juneau County officers, handcuffed and taken to the station in Mauston, where they were cited for trespassing and released. The action was organized by the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars. This group of dedicated activists have been vigiling monthly at the gates of Volk Field since 2011.

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Seven Arrested Mourning Children Killed By Drones

Wisconsin – Seven peace activists walked onto the base at Volk Field today, wearing black veils, carrying limp dolls and posters of children killed by drones, and reading a statement.  They were arrested by Juneau County officers, handcuffed and taken to the station in Mauston, where they were cited for trespassing and released.

The action was organized by the Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.  This group of dedicated activists has been vigiling monthly at the gates of Volk Field since 2011.  This is the sixth action leading to arrests at the base.

Volk Field is an Air National Guard base that trains personnel to operate the RQ-7 Shadow Drone, which is an integral part of the United States drone program and used for reconnaissance, surveillance, and acquisition. 

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