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WMC Daily News Brief - Couric, Sexuality Bias, Baghdad

July 29, 2008

Couric to Lead CBS News' Convention Coverage 7/29/08 Broadcasting & Cable: As expected, Katie Couric will lead CBS News' coverage of the political conventions later this summer. Sexuality Bias Seen At Justice Department 7/29/08 LA Times: On Monday, the Justice Department's internal watchdog hinted at perhaps the most sensational justification yet -- perceived homosexuality. In a series of reports on the tenure of former Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, the department's inspector general found that two former Justice aides used sexual orientation as a litmus test in deciding whom they would hire or fire. Tight Security For Baghdad Pilgrimage 7/29/08 Reuters: Security forces have put female guards around Kadhamiya to search women, but all Monday's blasts happened in central Baghdad, an area many pilgrims pass through to reach the shrine. Iraqi men are also reluctant to search women, prompting al Qaeda increasingly to use females who easily hide explosives under their flowing black robes. China Rebuffs Human Rights Report 7/29/08 CNN: China has rejected a new report which claims it has broken a promise to improve its human rights situation.The report by Amnesty International, entitled The Olympics Countdown: Broken Promises, outlines particular areas of concern including the death penalty, detention without trial, the persecution of rights activists and the lack of media freedom. Mark Whitaker to Lead NBC News' Washington Bureau 7/29/08 LA Times: One half of Tim Russert's job has been filled. NBC News announced Monday that Mark Whitaker, a former Newsweek editor who joined the news division as its No. 2 executive last year, would replace Russert as Washington bureau chief. Democratic Party Maybe Presumes Too Much - About Women 7/29/08 SF Gate: While I and many other women in my demographic (older, professional, liberal) are likely to vote for Obama in November, our feelings about his party (and ours) are not so clear. We remember the perpetual misogyny and sexism of the media during the primary campaign - misogyny aimed less at Hillary Rodham Clinton herself than at "uppity women" (like ourselves) in general. And many of us feel that the Democratic Party is even more to blame than the media. Obama-Clinton Ticket Is Seen as Unlikely 7/29/08 NY Times: When Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton abandoned her bid for the presidency and endorsed Senator Barack Obama in June, she made clear that she was interested in becoming his running mate. But there is mounting evidence that Mr. Obama's interest in Mrs. Clinton for the post has faded, if, in fact, she ever really was a strong contender to be on the ticket with him. Obama Seeks To Overcome Doubts Among Women 7/29/08 AP via Seattle Times: But many of Clinton's supporters aren't so willing to embrace Obama, at least not yet. Independents and moderate Republican women remain a question mark, too. So Obama is working fiercely to win their votes. He has put out a report explaining what his economic plans would mean for women. Laura Bush Dings Congress on Reading Funds 7/29/08 LA Times: Laura Bush, in an appearance today before the fifth annual Reading First conference, actually criticized Congress. Mrs. Bush, who has long championed the cause of literacy, dinged appropriators for slashing funding for the program. Nancy Pelosi Airs Some Clean Laundry in 'Power' 7/28/08 Washington Post: In her new book "Know Your Power," Nancy Pelosi explores the route to becoming the first female speaker of the House, including growing up in Baltimore (where her father and brother both served as mayor), her years organizing in Democratic politics in California and her decision to run for Congress at 47. Peru's Women Unite In Kitchen - And Beyond 7/28/08 CS Monitor: The kitchens have become a vehicle for collective action, giving women the self-esteem to denounce government shortcomings and demand change. They have risen as one of the most significant women's organizations in Latin America, and today are on the forefront of protests demanding solutions. Haiti: Mud Cakes Become Staple Diet As Cost Of Food Soars Beyond A Family's Reach 7/29/08 Guardian, UK: In a dusty courtyard women mould clay and water into hundreds of little platters and lay them out to harden under the Caribbean sun. In Haiti's most notorious slum,  these platters are not to hold food. They are food. These are "mud cakes." More Mexican Women Infected by AIDS in Recent Years 7/29/08 The number of Mexican women affected by AIDS has been on the rise in recent years, said Mexico's health authorities and experts on Monday. Mexican women accounted for about 20 percent of the new AIDS cases found in Mexico, and AIDS mortality rate among Mexican women have also witnessed a hike, said Jorge Saavedra, director of the National Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV-AIDS. N.Y.C. Maternal Death Review Struggles for Life 7/29/08 Women's eNews: Eleven major hospitals in New York City do not participate in a state initiative to review maternal deaths, although the city has the highest number of maternal deaths in the nation. The lead manager of the reviews says that could be fatal for the effort. Hour's Exercise 'To Lose Weight' 7/29/08 BBC News: Women who want to lose weight - and keep it off - need to be exercising for almost an hour, five days a week, according to US experts. The University of Pittsburgh study found the 55-minute regime was the minimum needed to maintain a 10% drop in weight. Only a quarter of the 200 women in the study managed to lose this amount. Filmmakers' Point: Putting Women In Charge 7/29/08 SF Chronicle: Filmmakers Amy Sewell ("Mad Hot Ballroom") and Susan Toffler decided to make Wilson and six other smart, ambitious young women the focus of their new film, "What's Your Point, Honey?" A feminist film, it looks at the political gender gap through the lives of these ethnically diverse women. Exploring the Bozo Mystique, and Defining Funny on Their Own Feminine Terms 7/29/08 NY Times: Kendall Cornell founded Clowns Ex Machina in 2005. In her own 22-year performance career, Ms. Cornell said, she continued to hit the glass ceiling of clowning: She was always pushed to be the female sidekick, had few female role models and could not find a space to explore her particular brand of humor. Beijing Olympics: Women Athletes Face Gender Tests 7/29/08 Telegraph, UK: "Suspected athletes will be evaluated from their external appearances by experts and undergo blood tests to examine their sex hormones, genes and chromosomes for sex determination," said Professor Tian Qinjie. Gender tests have been carried out at the Games since Mexico in 1968.