We kid you not


US maternity death rate doubles in 20 years

"Deaths from pregnancy and childbirth in the United States have doubled in the past 20 years, a development that a human rights group called 'scandalous and disgraceful' Friday ...

"[Amnesty Interational's] report, 'Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA,' notes that the lifetime risk of maternal deaths is greater in the United States than in 40 other countries, including virtually all industrialized nations ...

"The report also noted that severe pregnancy-related complications that nearly cause death — known as 'near misses' — have increased by 25 percent since 1998.

"Up to 40 percent of near misses are considered preventable with better quality of care, according to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology ...
"Minorities, women living in poverty, Native Americans, immigrants and those who speak little or no English are particularly affected, Amnesty International said ...

"White women have a mortality rate of 9.5 per 100,000 pregnancies, the CDC said. For African-American women, that rate is 32.7 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies.

— CNN.com March 3 report.

US general says Sbrenica genocide fault of gay soldiers

"The Netherlands has rejected a retired US general's claim that Dutch UN troops failed to prevent the 1995 Srebrenica genocide because their ranks included openly gay soldiers ...

"John Sheehan, a former NATO commander and senior Marine officer, made the remarks at a Senate hearing where he argued against plans by President Barack Obama to end a ban on allowing gays to serve openly in the US military.

"'The case in point that I'm referring to is when the Dutch were required to defend Srebrenica against the Serbs,' he said, referring to the UN peacekeeping force deployed to protect Bosnian Muslim civilians.

"Sheehan claimed that Dutch leaders, including the former chief of staff of the Dutch army, had told him that the presence of gay soldiers had contributed to the fall of Srebrenica.

"[Dutch defence ministry spokesperson Roger van de Wetering said:] 'I have never heard of a single statement by a Dutch political or military leader that drew a link between the fall of the enclave and the fact that there were Dutch homosexual soldiers.'"

— March 18 AFP report.

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