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WMC Daily News Brief: Couric, Sebelius, Betancourt

July 7, 2008

Couric Gets Murrow's Blessing 7/6/08 TV Week: "The CBS Evening News With Katie Couric" has been a lightning rod for discussion ever since Ms. Couric sat down in the anchor chair in September 2006, particularly for the  low ratings. Then the Radio-Television News Directors Association named "Evening News" the best newscast when it announced its annual Edward R. Murrow Awards. Obama Veepstakes: The Other Woman 7/7/08 Kathleen Sebelius -- the silver-haired two-term Democratic governor of mostly ultra-Republican Kansas -- has been a tireless campaigner for the Illinois senator. Obama pulled out all the stops when asked last week about Sebelius as a possible running mate. Betancourt, in France, Details Her Captivity 7/5/08 NY Times: Two days after her rescue, six years after being captured by guerrillas in the Colombian jungle, Ingrid Betancourt arrived in Paris on Friday to thank the joyful nation that had championed her cause and to begin to share some of the painful details of her long ordeal. Social Networking Site Put into Action: Darfur Blog on MySpace Encourages Awareness 7/5/08 Women's International Perspective: By maintaining a blog, one woman has found an online community of people interested in staying informed on Darfur and has given them perspectives that are often missed in the mainstream. Obama, Clinton to Help Each Other During Fundraisers 7/6/08 AP via NY Newsday: Now that they're allies, Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton will help each other raise money in a series of fundraisers in New York this week. Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Democratic nominee-in-waiting and Clinton will hold three fundraisers.   Michelle Obama Ties Black, White Women? 7/5/08 Baltimore Sun: Gina McCauley's blog on African-American women in pop culture has never attracted this kind of attention. But she launched a new Michelle Obama Watch blog in June to monitor and critique media coverage of the potential first lady, and since then, feminists of all colors have been linking and commenting. U.S. Mom in Dutch Haven Told Face Trial, Cede Kids 7/7/08 Women's eNews: A U.S. woman granted asylum in the Netherlands because she couldn't be protected from domestic violence is suddenly in the spotlight after quietly living underground. She faces charges in Minnesota and fears she will lose custody of her son. On Day Care, Google Makes a Rare Fumble 7/5/08 NY Times: Two months ago, Google held a series of secret focus groups with employees who have children in Google's day care facilities. The purpose was to gauge their reaction to the company's plan to raise the amount it charged for in-house day care by 75 percent. How To Really Help Pregnant Teens 7/7/08 CS Monitor: Online statements refer to the 17 young pregnant high school women in Gloucester, Mass., as "sluts, idiots, harlots, and immoral." To move beyond name calling, let's support candidates (and elected officials) who want to break cycles of destructive behavior. Volunteer for mentoring programs that work with young people in at-risk situations, especially girls. Family Courts Come Under Volunteers' Watch 7/04/08 Women's eNews: A family court activist in Michigan is training volunteers to observe family courts. The goal is to reform a system that many women who lose custody consider unjust. Latest story in our "Dangerous Trends, Innovative Responses" series. Global Summit to Hear Billions Needed for Moms 7/06/08 Women's eNews: At this week's world summit, advocates will call for billions to reduce maternal mortality. After 40 years of stagnation, efforts are mounting against the leading killer of young women in developing nations, but the U.S. is far from the front lines.   Zimbabwe Youth Militias Accused of Holding Women As Sex Slaves 7/7/08 LA Times: She has to call the young men for which she cooks and cleans her "comrades." And whenever any of the comrades want sex, she is raped. Asiatu, 21, is a prisoner of the comrades at a command base of the ruling ZANU-PF party, one of 900 such camps set up to terrorize Zimbabweans into voting for Robert Mugabe. Despair Drives Suicide Attacks by Iraqi Women 7/5/08 NY Times: Wenza Ali Mutlaq was the 18th female suicide bomber of the war to strike in Diyala Province. Women who become suicide bombers often have lost close male relatives - a husband, a brother, a son - in fighting, because they became suicide bombers themselves or because they were detained by American or Iraqi security forces. Departing Rights Official Raised Volume on Issues 7/6/08 NY Times: She has been doing a job with a mandate that many would call impossible: to safeguard human rights around the globe. Yet as Louise Arbour steps down after four years as the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, she is not entirely pessimistic. Women Using 'Unreliable' Contraception 7/7/08 au: One in 10 Australian women in their late 20s routinely use the notoriously unreliable withdrawal method to avoid pregnancy, a national survey reveals. The Myth of the Elective C-Section 7/7/08 RH Reality: Cesarean sections have been hitting headlines a lot lately. We've been hearing about the rising c-section rate, now above 30% and rising, for months, and in early June we learned that women have been denied health insurance coverage because of previous cesareans. A few days later, the March of Dimes reported that 92% of preterm births were delivered by c-section. The 'Mamma Mia!' Factor, Times Three 7/6/08 NY Times: But like the women starring in their play, Catherine Johnson, Phyllida Lloyd and Judy Craymer radiated a spirit of fun and camaraderie that they call "the 'Mamma Mia!' factor." And on July 18 the "Mamma Mia!" factor comes to the screen, with Meryl Streep. Twisted Sisters 7/6/08 NY Times: The music of is most often categorized by critics as "freak folk," placing sisters Sierra and Bianca Casady in a new wave of 20-something singer-songwriters like Devendra Banhart or the harpist Joanna Newsom, who have revived the '70s culture of homemade authenticity with at once more wholesomeness and more joyous perversity. Natalie Portman on Her New Role: Giving Women Hope 7/4/08 Huffington Post: In this exclusive interview, Natalie Portman talks about her work for FINCA International, how she balances her activism with her career as an actress, and her advice on making a difference. A Classic Woman 7/6/08 Birmingham News: Women's Bassmaster Tour angler Kim Bain, a native of Brisbane, Australia, and an Alabaster resident is now on track to become the first woman to compete in bass fishing's most prestigious event. Huntsville's Margaret Hoelzer Sets World Record 7/5/08 Huntsville Times: Huntsville's Margaret Hoelzer broke the world record in the 200 meter backstroke Saturday night in the finals of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials and has qualified for two events in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in August. At Age 41, Torres Qualifies for Fifth Games 7/5/08 NY Times: Dara Torres, a 41-year-old mother, locked up a fifth Olympic berth with a victory over the American-record holder, Natalie Coughlin. All-Williams Wimbledon Final Is All Venus 7/6/08 NY Times: Despite a ferocious start from Serena, Venus absorbed the shock and gradually imposed her long-limbed presence on her favorite tennis court. Her 7-5, 6-4 victory gave her a fifth Wimbledon singles title, leaving Serena with two.