Another Treaty To Ignore -- First there was the Kyoto Treaty on fighting global warming: The United States wouldn't join. Then there were the long-established Geneva Conventions governing behavior during wartime: The U.S. found parts of it "quaint." Now there's the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women, a worldwide effort to get more countries on board with gender equality, and... yep, we're against that one, too.
Just last week, the U.S. declared it would not join the non-binding, feel-good treaty because it could be construed as supporting women's "sexual rights," including the ability to get an abortion.
"[This] clearly demonstrates that this government has taken a 180-degree reversal from the U.S. government in 1995 and 2000," says Adrienne German, president of the International Women's Health Coalition.
Delegates still hope to get the United States on board, but for now the U.S. and the Vatican are sitting this one out.
21,000 -- That's how many United States citizens die each year as a result of breathing in diesel fumes, according to a new report from the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit devoted to cleaner skies. Their study relied on EPA statistics. They found that 100 times that many are made sick by the fumes.
You might file it under "something new to worry about," but researchers have blamed diesel fumes for health problems for decades. This news is leading some to advocate a diesel-free America, relying instead on less pollution-causing forms of fuel. But a recent study revealed that truck traffic in New Jersey alone is likely to increase 80 percent in the next 15 years, so making changes will not be easy.
800 -- That's how many active-duty recruiters the United States Army is adding to the 5,200 who currently serve by finding new enlistees. The Army is finding it more and more difficult to fill its ranks since the war in Iraq started, according to the Washington Post. The Army started its fiscal year in October lagging well behind its 2003-04 recruiting pace. The Marines missed their quota in January for the first time in more than 10 years.
Military leaders are saying it's not a crisis, but they are spending more money than ever on the effort; it costs nearly $16,000 to sign up each recruit, and some are given (well-deserved) bonuses of up to $20,000 for a four-year commitment. And the Army just announced it would spend $100 million on advertising over the next six months.
Publication date: 03/03/04