Four years after scores of rescue workers were injured in the smoldering wreckage of the World Trade Center, the federal government plans to rescind $125 million that was allocated to help them, and many of those who requested compensation are finding their claims being disputed at 10 times the rate that typical workers face.
The money, included in a $20 billion aid package the federal government gave to New York in late 2001, was part of $175 million that was earmarked for the state's workers' compensation program. So far, only $50 million of the part set aside for trade center workers has been spent, and a provision in the Bush administration's budget for fiscal 2006 would reclaim the remaining $125 million.
But yesterday, lawmakers called on the White House to withdraw its proposal, saying the money was still badly needed by ground zero workers who are fighting for lost wages and facing the prospect of long-term health problems that doctors are only beginning to understand.
The above is from Anahad O'Connor's "Bush 2006 Budget Would Reclaim $125 Million of 9/11 Aid" in this morning's New York Times. File it under the Bully Boy giveth and the Bully Boy taketh away.
Molly e-mails to note Erik Eckholm's "Case Against a Times Researcher Goes to Chinese Prosecutors:"
After more than eight months of investigation, state secrets and fraud cases against a Chinese researcher for The New York Times have been turned over to prosecutors for indictment, Chinese authorities said yesterday.
This important legal step suggests that the authorities plan to bring the researcher, Zhao Yan, to trial in the coming months despite protests by international rights groups, which say he is being punished for his journalism, and an appeal for his release by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The formal referral of charges to prosecutors occurred on May 20 but was only revealed yesterday, by a Foreign Ministry spokesman at a regularly scheduled briefing. In China, indictment and conviction generally follow such a referral, though the prosecutors still have discretion over whether to try Mr. Zhao and on what charges.
Eli e-mails to note "2 Sergeants Charged in Iraq Prison Abuse:"
Two American soldiers who said that high-ranking officers authorized them to use dogs to intimidate Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison were charged yesterday with abuse. They are the latest to face courts-martial in the scandal.
Note: The above is from a three paragraph brief is credited as "by The New York Times."
Brad e-mails to note Sharon LaFraniere's "AIDS, Pregnancy and Poverty Trap Ever More African Girls:"
Flora Muchave's cautionary tale is nothing new; Africa claims the world's highest adolescent birthrate and the world's lowest share of girls enrolled in primary school.
But for the last 25 years, the trends had been positive. African girls, like girls elsewhere, were marrying later, and a growing percentage were in school.
The AIDS epidemic now threatens to take away those hard-won gains. Orphaned and impoverished by the deaths of parents, girls here are being propelled into sex at shockingly early ages to support themselves, their siblings and, all too often, their own children.
KeShawn e-mails to note the Associated Press' "A Ruling on W.T.O. Protests:"
A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that during the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting here, the police may have erred by keeping some protesters out of a restricted zone based on their beliefs.
The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found, however, that the city had the right to block off part of downtown Seattle after about 50,000 protesters swarmed the area.
Larry picks the quote of the week. It comes from Todd S. Purdum's "Three Decades Later, 'Woodstein' Takes a Victory Lap." In the overview of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward's careers (which fails to mention a very important piece Bernstein did for Rolling Stone in the seventies -- but then the Times wasn't big on the story in real time), Robert Redford is given the last word. Here's Larry's pick for the quote of the week:
"I'm personally sad, because I feel I stumbled into a high point of journalism and had to watch it slide away when suddenly glamour became the main attraction of getting into journalism. It became a very sad thing for me to watch. I'm glad the real meaning has come back, at least for a day."
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