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Enlarge this image A report from the Washington Post said the health agency was issued a list of prohibited words from the Trump administration. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images hide captiontoggle caption Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reportedly been issued a mandate by the Trump administration to no longer use words and phrases including "fetus," "transgender" and "science-based."This directive was delivered to senior CDC officials responsible for overseeing the health agency's budget, according to theWashington Post, which broke the news Friday evening.The seven words that are to be stricken from official documents being drafted for the next year's budget, according to the Post are:diversityentitlementevidence-basedfetusscience-basedtransgendervulnerableAccording to an unnamed CDC analyst in the Post's write-up, the list of the prohibited words was unveiled at the agency's headquarters in Atlanta during a Thursday meeting that lasted 90 minutes. The meeting was reportedly led by Alison Kelly, a top official with CDC's Office of Financial Services. The Post adds that Kelly did not give a reason why the words were being banned, only that she was simply relaying the information. The Post adds:"In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of "science-based" or ­"evidence-based," the suggested phrase is, "CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes," the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered."If the report is true, it raises concerns about censorship under the Trump administration. As NPR's Rebecca Hersher reported last month, an NPR analysis found a decline in the number of grants awarded by the National Science Foundation with the phrase "climate change" either in the title or the summary.Hersher also reported:"The change in language appears to be driven in part by the Trump administration's open hostility to the topic of climate change. Earlier this year, President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, and the president's 2018 budget proposal singled out climate change research programs for elimination."The CDC has not issued a public statement or returned NPR's requests for comment. But according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, it is not uncommon for career staff at government agencies to self-censor in order to avoid being a political target."It is unclear whether the directive came from Trump administration officials or from career staff self-censoring to avoid falling into political traps. Career staff at government agencies often modify language to stop their work from being politicized.""Yet there's a fine line between necessary self-preservation and needless self-censorship."Let's block ads! (Why?) [...]
Sat, Dec 16, 2017
Source: Headlines -NPR Category: TOP NEWS
Enlarge this image The leader of Austria's conservative People's Party, Sebastian Kurz (right), and the country's far-right Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache (left) give a joint press conference in Vienna on Saturday. ROLAND SCHLAGER/AFP/Getty Images hide captiontoggle caption ROLAND SCHLAGER/AFP/Getty Images Austria finalized a deal late Friday to make the 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz Europe's youngest leader, and to form a new governing coalition that will include a far-right party with Nazi roots.Exactly two months after Austrians went to the polls, Kurz struck a deal to join his conservative Austrian People's Party with the right-wing Freedom Party, led by Heinz-Christian Strache. Strache, who was once arrested for "taking part in a Hitler Youth-style torchlit neo-Nazi rally" according to the U.K.'s The Telegraph, will serve as vice chancellor and minister for sports and public servants, and his nationalist Freedom Party will have members in several key leadership positions including the interior, defense, and foreign ministries.The Austrian People's Party will have seven ministers and one deputy, and the Freedom Party will have five ministers and one deputy, according to the Associated Press.On Saturday morning, left-leaning Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen did not object to the new governing coalition, reports NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi-Nelson.He "gave what looked like a forced smile in front of cameras," Nelson said, and cryptically told reporters "as much as a morning can be good, I bid you good morning."Austria is governed by a parliamentary republic. A president is elected every six years as chief of state, but the head of government is the chancellor, who is the leader of the majority party.The new government is expected to be sworn in on Monday. Austria will become the only western European country with a governing far-right party.Kurz is currently the country's foreign minister, and he has "stressed the importance of a pro-European direction" according to the AP, although the Freedom Party, which has control of the foreign ministry, has traditionally been Euroskeptic.Van der Bellen assured on Saturday, however, that in the party coalition negotiations it was agreed upon to support a "strong European Union."The People's Party received 31 percent of the votes in October's election, the most of any party. The Freedom Party, which was founded in the 1950s by a former Nazi minister, came in second place with 27 percent.Many have voiced concern over the Freedom Party having a prominent role in the country's government. "It is sad and distressing that such a platform should receive more than a quarter of the vote and become the country's second party," said Ronald S. Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, around the time of the election. "It is still full of xenophobes and racists and is, mildly put, very ambiguous toward Austria's Nazi past."Let's block ads! (Why?) [...]
Sat, Dec 16, 2017
Source: Headlines -NPR Category: TOP NEWS
A woman running for Congress as a Democrat in Kansas — a red state — says she will drop out following the revelation of a sexual harassment allegation lodged by a former employee whom she had fired.Andrea Ramsey, a retired business executive, was one of the Democratic candidates running to challenge Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District.Ramsey vehemently denied the allegations in a letter posted on her campaign's Facebook page."Twelve years ago, I eliminated an employee's position. That man decided to bring a lawsuit against the company (not against me). He named me in the allegations, claiming I fired him because he refused to have sex with me. That is a lie. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated the allegations and decided not to pursue the complaint; the man later decided to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit. Because I wasn't a named party, I didn't have any opportunity to participate in its resolution."Ramsey wrote that the "false allegations" were brought by a "disgruntled, vindictive employee" and that had the allegations been brought against her directly, she would have sued for defamation.As the New York Times reports, "Ms. Ramsey is the rare—perhaps the only—woman in public life to face consequences from a sexual harassment accusation in the weeks since journalistic exposés spawned the #MeToo movement."Ramsey was executive vice president of human resources at a company called LabOne in 2005. According to the Kansas Star, the company reached a settlement with the former employee who had made the allegation, Gary Funkhouser. He and the company eventually agreed to dismiss the case permanently in 2006.The state's 3rd District has been targeted by the Democratic Party in its effort to gain control of the House of Representatives because Hillary Clinton out-polled Donald Trump there in 2016.Ramsey had harsh words for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:"In its rush to claim the high ground in our roiling national conversation about harassment, the Democratic Party has implemented a zero tolerance standard. For me, that means a vindictive, terminated employee's false allegations are enough for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to decide not to support our promising campaign. We are in a national moment where rough justice stands in place of careful analysis, nuance and due process."In a statement, a spokeswoman for the DCCC, Meredith Kelly, "Members and candidates must all be held to the highest standard. If anyone is guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault, that person should not hold public office."Let's block ads! (Why?) [...]
Sat, Dec 16, 2017
Source: Headlines -NPR Category: TOP NEWS