The idea of taking a child to prison for a week may bring to mind visions of "Scared Straight" programs. But the Father to Child Summer Camp Behind Bars does just that — and the goal is to let kids bond with their fathers, who might be incarcerated far from their families.
The Geronimo Hotshots are one of seven elite Native American firefighting teams in the U.S. The pay is good, and firefighting jobs are one of only a few ways for many young men on the reservation to earn a living. And it turns out that much of the community there is dependent on the fire season.
Shipping companies are starting to make some money after a couple of years of very rough waters. One important indicator of the industry’s health, the Baltic Dry Index, is up, and so is the cost of shipping goods like grain and coal.
Those commodities include grain, coal, and especially iron ore, most of which goes to China’s steel industry. The index is up more than 60 percent from a year ago, with much of that growth in the past couple of months.
“In a period of time where most people would say we’re in a global economic malaise or we’re worried about China, the exports of iron ore into China from both Brazil and Australia have been very strong,” says David Beard, managing director of shipping research at Iberia Capital Partners.
Walter Kemmsies, chief economist with the engineering firm Moffatt & Nichol, is a bit cautious. “It’s a tentative positive sign,” Kemmsies says, adding that the index doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, he says, a lot of orders for a few big ships can drive up the numbers, even as smaller ships sit idle.
The Baltic Dry Index doesn’t take into account oil tankers, either. Beard says companies in that line of work are struggling.
“I don’t think it’s down because the global economies are weak, although that’s part of it,” he says. “It’s really down because the U.S. is importing less oil.”
Americans are getting their oil closer to home –- from Canada -– and from the upper Midwest.
In the summer of 1963, Donald Cash Sr. was 18 years old and living at home with his parents in Washington, D.C. He was working fulltime in the warehouse of a women’s clothing store, called Frank R. Jellef Co., earning $1.15 an hour. He says, even then, his wages didn’t afford him much.
“Matter of fact, I remember I used to save everything I could,” Cash said. “I used to walk to 14th and Columbia Road -- it’s about 20-plus blocks -- just to save the bus fare. It was about 20 cents each way.”
On August 28th, he’d started work at 5 a.m., so when he finished his shift early that afternoon, Cash joined the crowd of people headed to the Lincoln Memorial. He says he can still remember the oppressive humidity, and the sea of faces. “It was the first time I had ever seen that many different colors of people. Blacks and whites in harmony, walking together -- I had never seen that before.”
Cash only stayed a few hours, but he was struck by the marchers’ demands for racial and economic equality. Fifty years later, he returned to the National Mall to celebrate the anniversary of the March on Washington with his son and grandson, Donald Cash Jr. and Donald Cash III.
In 1965, Cash become one of the first black meat cutters at Giant, a chain of grocery stores. He started out as an apprentice, earning $95 a week with full benefits -- a huge step up. Cash says, at the time, the only jobs available to African Americans in supermarkets involved loading groceries into cars or cleaning up spilled product in the aisles.
Cash entered the middle class about five years later when he became the first black union organizer for the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America.
“When I was able to buy a house in 1973, I remember the feeling I had,” Cash said. “There is no feeling like that accomplishment. It was the American dream. I thought I had made it.”
Cash was able to give his four kids more than he had growing up, sending two of them to Catholic school and later on, to college.
He would bring his son, Donald Cash Jr., now 43, to labor actions. Cash Jr. remembers one time in particular, when employees were protesting low wages at a furniture store.
“Management just thought they could treat them any kind of way,” Cash Jr. said. “It was really educating me that I had to finish school but also… to try to do my part to help people.”
Cash Jr. ended up following in his fathers’ footsteps -- he’s a union rep for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400.
Cash Jr. says his biggest concern for his kids is that they get a good education and learn to be independent and productive citizens.
Eight-year-old Donald Cash III said his favorite subjects are math and science because he “likes the experiments.”
Cash III wants to be a basketball player when he grows up. When pressed by his father and grandfather to come up with a backup plan, he said, “I like football, but I don’t want to get injured.”
As a grandfather, Cash Sr. says he is concerned for future generations. He’s not sure his grandkids will have the opportunities that he did. And as a longtime labor organizer, he’s also concerned about the gap between the rich and the poor and the poverty rate.
“Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed of, you know, everybody being equal, and race not being an issue,” Cash said. “That sounds great, but in reality, we’re still dreaming. Yes, there has been progress, but there’s a long way to go.”
The nation with the worst HIV epidemic on the planet is finally turning the corner on the disease. South Africa is simplifying AIDS care and giving antiviral drugs to nearly 2 million people every day.
There's no evidence of benefit for many of the procedures surgeons subject patients to. A few hospitals are getting rid of time-honored practices, like fasting before an operation, because studies have found that patients come out stronger and happier without them. But traditions are hard to change.
If punishment is the objective, said Clark, the mission can be short. The most appropriate parallel, he added, is a 1993 U.S. strike against Iraq.
Sen. Patrick Leahy is asking the Justice Department to clarify its policy on state marijuana laws that clash with stricter federal rules. Leahy's been seeking answers ever since Washington and Colorado voters approved marijuana for recreational use last year.
The crisis in Syria deepens as reports arise that the government is using chemical weapons against its civilians. Syria denies the allegations, but that hasn't stopped the international community from making swift response.
President Obama has not made a final decision on military intervention in the country, but senior American officials say that missile strikes could be ordered as early as Thursday.
"There needs to be a signal sent to the international community that the use of these types of weapons are beyond the pale and that there would indeed be consquences as a result of using them," says Steven Cook, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Although military intervention would be a dramatic move for the U.S. administration, the airstrikes would probably only last two or three days.
Cook says the time constraint is meant to signal to the American people that the United States is not getting too heavily involved in the Middle East again. But Cook says, the Obama administration also doesn't want to get too deeply entrenched.
"This is a brutal, terrible civil war with many different factions fighting and it's clear that the President has put restrictions on the military operations in hopes of not being drawn further into the conflict," Cook says.
Governments in 74 countries wanted information on 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, according to a report released by the social media giant.
Many Syrians believe a U.S. military strike is coming, but few believe it will alter the course of the war in a country that has already been ravaged by more than two years of fighting.