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Archive: November 2009

November 4, 2009

Gay Marriage Fight Continues Despite Maine Setback

gaymarriage1.jpgOn Tuesday, voters in Maine repealed a state same-sex marriage law, but gay marriage proponents vow to continue their fight.

“We will not allow the lies and hate – the foundation on which our opponents built their campaign – to break our spirits. We are on the right side of history and we will continue this fight with even more vigor,” Joe Solmonese, president of Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights organization, said after the defeat in Maine.

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November 5, 2009

Fort Hood: A Closer Look at Soldiers and PTSD

Fort Hood, the site of Thursday's horrific attack on U.S. soldiers, was the focus of a NOW on PBS report about American troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Many of the thousands of U.S. troops discharged from the Army each year suffer from PTSD and say they lack the vital care they need. The Army claimed these soldiers were let go due to pre-existing mental illnesses or because they were guilty of misconduct. But advocates argue this was a way for the Army to get rid of "problem" soldiers quickly, without giving them the treatment and benefits to which they're entitled.

In our online coverage, NOW interviewed two Fort Hood soldiers about the personal trauma they experienced while fighting in Iraq.

NOW will air a new report about caring for injured veterans, including those suffering from PTSD, on November 20.

November 13, 2009

A Meltdown Over Glaciers and Global Warming in India

India is in hot water with some leading environmentalists after its government claimed there’s no evidence that climate change has shrunk glaciers in the Himalayas.

“There is no conclusive scientific evidence to link global warming with what is happening in the Himalayan glaciers,” said Jairam Ramesh, India’s environment minister, following a newly released report on the glaciers.

This directly contradicts what NOW’s David Brancaccio and environmentalist Conrad Anker personally witnessed on their trip to the Gangotri glacier, as featured in the NOW hour-long special “On Thin Ice.”

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November 18, 2009

Will Goldman Sachs’ Apology Lead to Forgiveness?

After being criticized for plans to pay out billions of dollars in bonuses this year, Goldman Sachs has offered an apology for the mistakes it made that led to the financial crisis.

The bank also announced Tuesday that it will spend $500 million to help thousands of small businesses dig their way out of the recession.

“We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret,” Goldman’s chairman and chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein said. “We apologize.”

Elizabeth Warren, who heads up the congressional panel overseeing how the bailout money is being spent, has been vocal in her criticism of big bonuses, especially in a time of high unemployment.

Warren, in an interview with NOW last week, said companies such as Goldman take “taxpayer money and then, while people are unemployed, lard [themselves] with pay.”

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November 19, 2009

Who's Helping Our Wounded Vets?

On Thursday, the Senate passed legislation that will provide monthly stipends and medical benefits to family members who stay home to care for severely injured veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Senate’s bill also includes training for the caregivers, money to cover their travel, and nearly $1 billion for veterans’ medical facilities. The House has passed similar legislation and the next step is for a meeting of a House-Senate conference committee to resolve differences between the two bills.

This Friday on NOW (check local listings), we visit families caring for wounded vets who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, many of which require round-the-clock attention. The Pentagon estimates that as many as one in five American soldiers are coming home from war zones with traumatic brain injuries.

See a description of the show, as well as resources for injured soldiers and their families.

November 20, 2009

Lynne Stewart Loses Terrorism Appeal, Sent to Prison

Lynne Stewart was sent to prison this week, after an appeals court upheld her conviction in a 2005 terrorism case.

Stewart, 70, began serving a 28-month sentence for smuggling out messages from her client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. He is serving a life sentence for plotting to bomb a number of targets in New York City.

In 2006, NOW’s Maria Hinojosa spoke to Stewart about her conviction. The ex-lawyer said she would still defend Rahman if she had the chance to do it all over again.

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