Thursday, 12 January 2006

All the News that Fits

From a NYTimes e-mail to subscribers:
Here are the 10 Most Read Articles on from 2005.

* 1. Maureen Dowd: What's a Modern Girl to Do?
Published: October 30, 2005
Burning your bra or padding it. Demanding "Ms." or flaunting "Mrs." Splitting the check or letting him pay. Playing it straight or playing hard to get.

* 2. Maureen Dowd: United States of Shame
Published: September 3, 2005
W. drove his budget-cutting Chevy to the levee, and it wasn't dry. Bye, bye, American lives.

* 3. Through His Webcam, a Boy Joins a Sordid Online World
By KURT EICHENWALD, Published: December 19, 2005
A 13-year-old was drawn into performing sex acts for an online audience in a tale of the dark collateral effects of technology.

* 4. How Personal Is Too Personal for a Star Like Tom Cruise?
By SHARON WAXMAN, Published: June 2, 2005
Tom Cruise is puzzling associates and members of the public with his behavior while promoting the Paramount movie "War of the Worlds."

* 5. Officials Struggle to Reverse a Growing Sense of Anarchy
1, 2005
Bodies floated in stagnant floodwaters, and food and water supplies dwindled for thousands of trapped, desperate residents who had not yet managed to find a way out.

* 6. Thomas L. Friedman: Osama and Katrina
Published: September 7, 2005
If President Bush goes back to his politics as usual, Katrina will have destroyed a city and a presidency.

* 7. Macabre Reminder: The Corpse on Union Street
By DAN BARRY, Published: September 8, 2005
It is remarkable that on a downtown street in a major U.S. city, a corpse can decompose for days, like carrion, and that is acceptable.

* 8. Editorial: Waiting for a Leader
Published: September 1, 2005
George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life Wednesday, especially given the level of national distress and the need for words of consolation and wisdom.

* 9. Cheney Told Aide of C.I.A. Officer, Lawyers Report
Notes of a previously undisclosed conversation between the vice president and his chief of staff appear to differ from I. Lewis Libby's federal grand jury testimony.

* 10. Paul Krugman: A Can't-Do Government
By PAUL KRUGMAN, Published: September 2, 2005
America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job.
Yes, what Anti-Bush bias?

And in news that the NYT didn't think was so important, not enough to publish at any rate.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) joined President George W. Bush and other lawmakers in a bill signing ceremony at the White House during which the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (HR 972 or TVPRA) became law.

Smith authored the legislation to strengthen the nation's current trafficking law (which he also authored in 2000), authorize new funds for investigation and prosecution of domestic trafficking within the United States and to help the young women and children who are most often the victims of human trafficking operations. Trafficking is a $9 billion industry, the third largest source of income for organized crime and the second fastest growing criminal activity in the world, equal with illegal arms sales.

The TVPRA is now the third human trafficking law to be authored by Rep. Smith, who began investigating and working to end the human trafficking epidemic in the mid-1990's. According to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill will provide $361 million over the next two years to combat trafficking.

"The 2005 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act provides law enforcement with the necessary tools to continue the liberation of the unfortunate women and children who are forced into horrific, abusive conditions," said Smith, who was the author of that landmark trafficking law (Public Law 106-386). "Make no mistake, this law will protect women and young girls at home and abroad and is a victory for victims of this abhorrent crime."

Each year, an estimated 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders. It is estimated that millions more are trafficked internally within the borders of countries. In the past four years, twice as many people in the United States have been prosecuted and convicted for trafficking than in the prior four-year period. Worldwide, more than 3,000 traffickers were convicted last year -- an increase from the previous year. These numbers reflect an increasing number of countries acquiring the laws necessary to combat trafficking and having the political will to implement those laws.

Smith's bill reauthorizes and expands appropriations for anti- trafficking programs in the United States and abroad and offers solutions to specific scenarios where additional initiatives are needed to combat trafficking problems, such as in peacekeeping missions. For the first time, programs geared toward reducing the demand for commercial sex in the United States and preventing human trafficking of US citizens within our own borders are authorized, and new funding will be provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to combat both domestic and international trafficking.

Smith worked with Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) to craft an amendment creating a $25 million grant program for local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute human trafficking (and related offenses) including initiatives to attack the demand for prostitution, which fuels sex trafficking.

"We thought it was essential to target the criminals -- slaveholders -- who force these young children and women into unimaginable horrors," said Smith, whose original law was recently the focus of a Lifetime miniseries starring Mira Sorvino entitled 'Human Trafficking.'

The TVPRA, in its entirety, enables prosecution in the United States of trafficking offenses committed by federal employees and contractors and amends the United States Code to strengthen the use of money laundering, racketeering and civil and criminal forfeiture statutes against traffickers. In addition, the Department of Justice is directed to conduct a biennial analysis of trafficking and commercial sex acts statistics inside the United States.

"Contrary to common belief, human trafficking is not a criminal activity exclusive to foreign countries -- it happens within our own borders, within our own communities," said Smith, who noted that U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie in New Jersey has been a vigorous prosecutor of criminals involved in human trafficking. "It is essential that the United States takes the lead and that includes within our own borders, particularly with a crime as abhorrent as human trafficking."

Smith's bill also addressed the American and foreign victims of human trafficking and includes provisions to help reintegrate them to a normal life. It authorizes a grants program for non- governmental organization victim service providers, establishes programs for residential rehabilitation facilities and promotes access to information about federally funded services for victims.

"The 2005 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act strengthens and expands our efforts and allows law enforcement to continue to liberate the women and children who are forced and coerced into slavery and provide them with hope," said Smith, who has fought for human and victims rights since coming to Congress. "With this new law, the victims of this terrible crime know they are not forgotten."
Just Google on "Trafficking Victims Protection Act", there's lots of news on it. But not in the NYT. The image of Bush and a gaggle of Republican politicians being anti-slavery doesn't fit. Fictional accounts of cannibalism in New Orleans do.

No comments: