HondurasAmericas 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies News May 13, 2021 Find out more News RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” April 27, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Honduras RSF_en November 16, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist’s work ban takes effect, setting bad precedent in Honduras Reporters Without Borders condemns the outragous ban that has prevented Globo TV presenter Julio Ernesto Alvarado from working as a journalist for the past two weeks and reiterates its support for all the journalists who have been targeted by the authorities since a coup in 2009.The host of the Globo TV programme “Mi Nación,” Alvarado was handed a written notification of the ban by a sentence enforcement court official on 29 October. It is the first time that a journalist has been formally notified of such a ban in Honduras.It is hard to say why Alvarado’s work poses such a threat to President Juan Orlando Hernández’s government. What did he do?The ban is the result of a December 2013 criminal defamation prosecution in response to a complaint filed against Alvarado in 2006 by Belinda Flores Mendoza, the former dean of the economics faculty at the Autonomous National University of Honduras, after he reported on his show that she was the subject of charges before the supreme court.Ordered at the time of Alvarado’s conviction in December 2013 without taking immediate effect, the ban was condemned in November 2014 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which asked the Honduran authorities to suspend the proceedings as “precautionary measure” while it examined the case.Although the authorities did not comply with the request to suspend further proceedings in the case, the IACHR’s intervention had the effect of allowing Alvarado to continue working.Alvarado’s last possible appeal against his conviction, filed in October 2014, was rejected by the supreme court on 4 September 2015, creating a bleak precedent for freedom of expression in Honduras.Throughout these drawn-out proceedings, it has been clear that the authorities were determined to use all possible means to prevent Globo TV and its sister radio station from functioning.“The Honduran government’s persecution of Radio Globo y TV is unacceptable,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk.“It is time to end Julio Ernesto Alvarado’s ordeal and to let Honduran journalists work. This work ban is unprecedented in Honduras. We urge the sentence enforcement judge to quash the sentence. This is the only possible solution for Alvarado. We also urge the authorities to comply with the undertakings they have given to the IACHR.”This new twist in the Alvarado case is the latest of many Honduran rebuffs to the IACHR. On 21 October, just eight days before the written notification was delivered, the government had undertaken to maintain the stay on implementing the ban. But the day before, the same authorities had prevented Alvarado from travelling to Washington to plead his case at an IACHR hearing.Alvarado naturally refused to sign a copy of the document when he received the formal ban on 29 October. His Globo TV colleagues have since then tried to keep his programme going, with Alvarado providing help from a far, but the situation is becoming too complicated to manage.Although courageous, he has no other solution but to stop presenting the programme for while.Honduras is ranked 132nd ouf of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Reports Organisation News Help by sharing this information RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America HondurasAmericas to go further Receive email alerts December 28, 2020 Find out more
Top StoriesPlea Filed In SC Seeking Exemption For All Advocates From Paying Monthly Rent For Their Rented Office Spaces During Lockdown Period [Read Petition] Akshita Saxena20 April 2020 11:27 PMShare This – xA Delhi based lawyer, Advocate Aljo K. Joseph has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Government to formulate an appropriate scheme to support advocates from paying their rent, exclusively for the professional premises. The plea points out that many lawyers pay “exorbitant rents” for their professional spaces for the sake of remaining close to Courts of law. However,…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA Delhi based lawyer, Advocate Aljo K. Joseph has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Government to formulate an appropriate scheme to support advocates from paying their rent, exclusively for the professional premises. The plea points out that many lawyers pay “exorbitant rents” for their professional spaces for the sake of remaining close to Courts of law. However, since lockdown, many lawyers who depend on regular incomes are suffering due to loss of work and as such it has become difficult for them to pay the rent for their office premises. “All the professionals except a privileged few in this country, especially lawyers earn their livelihood on a day-to-day basis and are left hardly with any savings. Most of the advocate office/ professional office are there in city or premises close to the Court. Due to the close down, most/majority of the Advocates were able to work or earn any amount of money during all this locked period. It is pertinent to mention here that most of the Courts were also not functioning during this period. As it is stated above, unlike a common person, especially a professional he won’t be able to earn anything for his livelihood. Hence, in the circumstances it will not be proper in the part of any professional to pay the respective rent for the tenancy period when the lockdown was continuing,” the Petitioner avers. In this backdrop, the Petitioner has urged the court to direct the Central government to frame beneficial policies for the lawyers, as it has done for students and labourers. “The petitioner and the members of the bar are having no income in the past weeks due to the lockdown which has been declared without any consultation or deliberation with the professionals. The Government has declared many schemes for the students, migrant workers etc. but insofar as lawyers are concerned, nothing at all has come about,” the Petitioner submitted. He has contended that the inaction of the government in supporting lawyers has ultimately affected their right to livelihood protected under Article 19 of the Constitution, in so far as they are being forced to vacate their office premises. “As stated in part III of constitution of India right to life and practice any profession is a fundamental right And such a situation if it arose due to the pandemic and continuing lock down if the professionals are forced to vacate the professional premises and or pay the rent during this pandemic continuing lock down, it would also affect the constitutional guarantee under part III of the constitution of India,” the plea states. Inter alia, the Petitioner submitted that they cannot even invoke the clause of “non-payment due to a Force Majeure event” since they do not provide blanket waiver from payment of lease rentals on occurrence of every Force Majeure event. It was submitted that the plea of Force Majeure is available only if there is a damage or destruction of the property leading to its unavailability for use by the lessee, not being the case herein. “As a matter of right, invoke non-payment due to a Force Majeure event in the absence of a supporting clause and/or a specific rent waiver agreed under the contract is not possible. If the lease agreement does provide for stoppage of rent or suspension of all obligations during a Force Majeure period without any qualifications or riders, then the lessee should immediately exercise its right by issuing a letter to the lessor invoking Force Majeure event and intimating cessation of its obligation to pay lease rental during the period the Force Majeure event continues. In the present situation the lessee was not in a position to issue any letter to the lessor nor was in a position to pay the payment to the Landlord,” the Petitioner submitted. In these circumstances, the Petitioner has urged the court to direct the GoI to formulate appropriate scheme to support the Advocates and other professionals of the country for paying their rent exclusively for the professional premises which is used for practice or office purpose. Additionally, he has prayed the court to declare that the lockdown period will be treated as ‘Force Majeure’ period, hence forth all the advocates are exempted from paying rent during that period. “A person who was especially carryout professional activity won’t be able to earn anything For his livelihood unless he works. As stated in part III of Constitution Of India right to life and practice any profession is a fundamental right And such a situation if it arose due to the pandemic and continuing lock down, if the professionals are forced to vacate the professional/office premises and or pay the rent during continuing lock down period, it violates constitutional guarantee under part III of the constitution of India,” the Petitioner has submitted. The petition is drawn and filed by Advocates Sachin Sharma. Pertinently, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had issued an advisory last month, restraining all landlord from forcing labours & student to vacate their premises in case they fail to pay rent during the lockdown period.Click here to download the Petition[Read Petition] Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
Top Stories[Order 8 Rule 1A(3) CPC] Court Should Take A Lenient View While Considering Defendant’s Application To Produce Additional Documents: SC [Read Judgment] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK27 Oct 2020 6:45 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court has observed that the courts should take a lenient view when an application is made by defendant for production of the document which he was not able to produce along with the written statement.The court was considering an appeal against a Madras High Court judgment which dismissed the revision petition filed by the defendants in a suit challenging the refusal to entertain…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court has observed that the courts should take a lenient view when an application is made by defendant for production of the document which he was not able to produce along with the written statement.The court was considering an appeal against a Madras High Court judgment which dismissed the revision petition filed by the defendants in a suit challenging the refusal to entertain an application under Order 8 Rule 1A(3) of the Code of Civil Procedure seeking leave of the court to produce additional documents. It was stated by defendants that they had recently traced these documents related to the suit property and that was why they could not produce them along with the written statement.Referring to Rule 1A of Order 8 of C.P.C, the bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna noted that it mandates the defendant to produce the documents in his possession before the court and file the same along with his written statement. The court said:”He must list out the documents which are in his possession or power as well as those which are not. In case the defendant does not file any document or copy thereof along with his written statement, such a document shall not be allowed to be received in evidence on behalf of the defendant at the hearing of the suit. However, this will not apply to a document produced for cross-examination of the plaintiff’s witnesses or handed over to a witness merely to refresh his memory. Subrule (3) states that a document which is not produced at the time of filing of the written statement, shall not be received in evidence except with the leave of the court. Rule (1) of Order 13 of C.P.C. again makes it mandatory for the parties to produce their original documents before settlement of issues.”The court said that the sub rule (3) provides a second opportunity to the defendant to produce the documents which ought to have been produced in the court along with the written statement, with the leave of the court.”The discretion conferred upon the court to grant such leave is to be exercised judiciously. While there is no straight jacket 5 formula, this leave can be granted by the court on a good cause being shown by the defendant…….It is often said that procedure is the handmaid of justice. Procedural and technical hurdles shall not be allowed to come in the way of the court while doing substantial justice. If the procedural violation does not seriously cause prejudice to the adversary party, courts must lean towards doing substantial justice rather than relying upon procedural and technical violation. We should not forget the fact that litigation is nothing but a journey towards truth which is the foundation of justice and the court is required to take appropriate steps to thrash out the underlying truth in every dispute. Therefore, the court should take a lenient view when an application is made for production of the documents under subrule (3).”The court said that, in the present case, the defendants have filed an application assigning cogent reasons for not producing the documents along with the written statement, and therefore the court ought to have granted leave.Case: SUGANDHI (DEAD) vs. P. RAJKUMAR [CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3427 OF 2020]Coram: Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv KhannaCounsel: Adv Anand Padmanabhan, AOR Shashi Bhushan Kumar and AOR S. MahendranClick here to Read/Download JudgmentRead JudgmentSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
Vanderburgh County Recent Current WarrantsFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
A tree topples over onto a car and blocks the roadway at 331 Wesley Ave. in Ocean City during Tropical Storm Isaias on Aug. 4. By MADDY VITALETropical Storm Isaias made its way up the coast Tuesday and into Ocean City, leaving property damaged, a lot of downed trees and utility wires, loss of power and debris in its wake.There were no reported injuries in Ocean City, officials said.And something else good about the tropical storm for coastal communities: Unlike in some tropical storms, this one took an inland track.“Because of the inland track, Ocean City was fortunate in many ways. We were spared the heaviest rainfall, and the island experienced virtually no flooding,” explained Ocean City Public Information Officer Doug Bergen.Not all communities in the area were so lucky.Video courtesy Michael and Christina TolsonAccording to the National Weather Service, a tornado touched down Tuesday morning in Marmora, leaving significant property damage, including to a Coca-Cola plant.Bergen said Ocean City was fortunate, but that the storm definitely was powerful.“It was a wind event here,” he noted.Winds peaked between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. with sustained speeds greater than 50 mph and a couple gusts as high as 72 mph, he said.“The storm downed trees, limbs and utility wires. Some homes and buildings experienced exterior damage, and there are about 2,000 homes without power,” Bergen said.On Tuesday night, Mayor Jay Gillian said in a weather statement that people should continue to use caution when going out, and that the surf conditions are “extremely rough.” People are to stay out of the ocean and follow guidance from the Ocean City Beach Patrol on Wednesday, he added.The storm passed, “But winds that gusted as high as 72 mph have left a lot of damage. Please use absolute caution on the streets, as downed wires may still be live,” Gillian said.He continued, “Do not walk or drive past the cones marking these hazards. Use caution when driving, as our Public Works crews are still working to clear trees, limbs and other obstructions.”This home at 59th Street and Central Ave. lost its roof.The mayor said that officials from the utility company have told the city that “storm damage region-wide is comparable to what we experienced after Superstorm Sandy.”Throughout town, trees, leaves, branches and debris were strewn in the roadways, on yards and on sidewalks.A large tree was unearthed and on its side in front of the Ocean City Tabernacle, located at 550 Wesley Ave.At 331 Wesley Ave., another massive tree fell. It toppled over onto a car before landing into the roadway.This large tree on the Ocean City Tabernacle grounds doesn’t survive the storm.Alannah Daly and her family tried to guess which tree would go down Tuesday morning in front of their vacation home on Wesley Avenue.“We have big ones in front of the house,” Daly said. “We were placing bets on which one would fall first.”No one appeared to win that bet.“The one that fell wasn’t the one we thought would,” Daly said. “I think the others will fall by the end of the week.”By late afternoon, the sun came out and the winds began to die down.Video Credit: Alannah & Sinead DalyWhile the city has been moving steadily on a beach replenishment program, the project was temporarily halted ahead of the storm.It is unclear how much beach erosion occurred due to the storm. The city saw flooding and erosion from the July 10 Tropical Storm Fay, but it had 50 mph wind gusts as opposed to more than 70 mph from Tropical Storm Isaias.“It’s still too early to assess beach erosion,” Bergen said. “But the system moved by relatively quickly, so we’re hoping for the best.”Third Ward City Councilman Jody Levchuk, co-owner of the Jilly’s Boardwalk stores, said some of the Boardwalk stores lost power Tuesday.“We delayed our staff until further notice,” Levchuk said of opening some of the Jilly’s stores. “I’m having everyone come in still at 5 p.m. and we will see.”Levchuk said he was philosophical about it.If for some reason the power does not return, he will go out into the community and help clean up, he noted.“There are branches and leaves everywhere. I am confident the town will do a good job cleaning up, but it doesn’t hurt to help,” Levchuk pointed out. “The sun is out now. It would be a good community-minded thing for all of us to go outside and help pick up leaves and branches after the storm.”Plenty of trees are down heading south toward Strathmere.Central Ocean City Union Chapel at 32nd Street and Central Avenue loses its steeple in the storm.
School district officials toured the high school and other schools to review the safety protocols that are in place. Ocean City High School will be moving to a modified hybrid schedule, with adjustments starting Thursday, Dec. 3, the school district announced.This change comes after the Cape May County Department of Health advised the Southeast region, which includes the Ocean City School District, that it moved into a high-risk level for community COVID-19 transmission just last week.The goal is to continue with in-person teaching, but with added safety precautions due to the added risk of COVID transmission. One of the major changes includes removing lunch periods, according to a press release Tuesday.In addition, on Dec. 3 and 4, the schedule will include eight modified periods. Beginning Monday, Dec. 7, periods will go down to six until further notice. For further details on the schedule, click the link: https://ocnjdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Modified-Cohort-C-Schedule-Letter.pdf The ultimate goal is to not have to move into full remote learning, but in order to do this the entire community must follow the recommended precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the release says. The district urges community members to consider this while making holiday plans. Updates will be posted via SwiftK-12 messaging, social media, as well as the Ocean City School District website. Additional COVID-prevention guidelines can be found on the district website at oceancityschools.org.More information on next week’s scheduling will be released via email on Thursday.
In the wake of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings, experts across Harvard University analyzed the puzzle and potential of the attack’s aftermath.An urban planner saw the tragedy as a challenge to openness and freedom in public spaces. An analyst suggested that there may soon be increased video surveillance in cities. A terrorism expert who grew up in Israel saw parallels with that country’s responses. A social worker talked about explaining major violence to children. And a dean reminded us that the human spirit can, and must, triumph.Here are their thoughts:RULES REFLECT LAW ENFORCEMENT, NOT WARGabriella BlumRita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian LawHarvard Law School (HLS)The bombing’s horrors were familiar to Blum, who grew up in Israel, where terrorist explosions at popular cafes and on crowded buses were a regular occurrence. When she heard of the Boston attacks, it seemed “all too foreign, as belonging to a different place in some way, not here. I always think this is not Jerusalem, Boston is not Jerusalem, so it was eerie in that sense.”Blum, who served in the Israeli military, was a member of the Israeli National Security Council, and now co-directs the Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security, said she was surprised that President Obama at first hesitated to label the attack as terrorism. “I think hedging the fact that it was probably terrorism, that was going too far.”Still, Blum acknowledged the administration’s initial reluctance was likely due in large part to “this current social association of terrorism with extreme, Muslim terrorism.”“I think officials were very careful not to go there before they had more information,” she said. “So they wanted to make sure that they keep an open mind, the public keeps an open mind about possible perpetrators, about possible motivations, without prejudging the event.” She said she agreed with the president’s later statement that any intentional, indiscriminate attack on civilians is terrorism.Blum said there is frequently tension between officials who want to classify terrorism as a criminal act and those who say it is a crime of war. In Boston, she said, officials have clearly decided to label the bombings a crime, “meaning that any search they perform is a lawful search … and there is a chain of evidence that is well recorded, that interviews are conducted lawfully, that everything … has to be done by the rules, and the rules are those of law enforcement. They are not rules of war.”As is the practice in Israel, she said Boston officials are wise to encourage people to embrace some normalcy. “You can’t possibly diminish from the gravity of what has happened,” she said. “The message does need to be that people should try to resume their normal lives as much as possible, as quickly as possible, if you haven’t been personally affected by these events.“My humble impression, looking from the sidelines, is I think they have handled it very well so far. The message is one of resilience,” she said. “Something terrible has happened, but Boston is a strong city, it has a long and rich, important history in the history of the United States. … There is going to be a cordoned-off area … and there’s going to be an increased police presence. But other than that, we expect you to resume your normal life as much as possible.”— Colleen WalshTIGHTER RESTRICTIONS FOR PUBLIC SPACESJerold KaydenFrank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and DesignHarvard Graduate School of Design (GSD)Kayden said the marathon bombings may reduce access to some public spaces, at least in the short term, and deepen public attitudes about the need for security in shared civic spaces, a trend that started after the 9/11 attacks. He added that the bombings will renew a challenge to architects and urban planners: How do you design public space to be secure, but in a way that preserves its accessibility?An internationally recognized expert on public space, Kayden is an advocate for what he calls “public-ness,” the expectation of accessibility in shared urban territory, whether in parks, plazas, atria, and other locales of transitory city life. He wrote the 2000 book “Privately Owned Public Space: The New York City Experience.” An urban planner and land-use lawyer, he teaches a GSD course on public space and recently organized a two-day international conference on the puzzle, power, and potential of public space.He said the first possible reaction to the attack is to revisit the lessons of 9/11. “Owners and managers of public space instituted new rules that, in the quest for greater security, necessarily reduced the public-ness of a space,” said Kayden. “That may mean reducing or eliminating access to a space, ID and bag checks, surveillance cameras, and greater presence of security guards.”Tightening or eliminating access can happen in privately owned public spaces, he said, which by law are required to be open to the public. “Everybody recognizes the hierarchy of concern, and that security is of course at the top of that hierarchy,” he said. “But it comes at a cost. The tension between security and openness will never leave us.“The security experts will review what happened and come up with new strategies for mitigating the risk of this sort of event occurring again,” said Kayden. But part of that discussion, he said, should include a voice for preserving the “public-ness” of such space. “That’s the real challenge.”— Corydon IrelandMAKING THE HUMAN SPIRIT SHINE THROUGH David N. HemptonDean of the Faculty of Divinity, Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies, and John Lord O’Brian Professor of DivinityHarvard Divinity School (HDS)When Hempton delivered the School’s convocation as a new dean last fall, he drew on memories of his years in Northern Ireland, where a brutal religious and ethnic conflict raged for decades before waning, to offer his audience a vision of hope.Speaking to his staff after Monday’s attack, he recalled how it felt for a city like Belfast to be brutalized by violence, and to weather “an attack on the human spirit.” At an event like the Boston Marathon, where people support and celebrate one another’s resilience and endurance, the bombings were “a dagger to the heart of all that human solidarity.”But Hempton urged caution and restraint as the facts are gathered, recalling how Northern Ireland had instituted a policy of internment without trials for terrorist suspects.“You can manipulate your own laws in ways that can make a situation worse rather than better,” said Hempton, “so I think we need to respond appropriately, in a free society, without in any way diminishing … the moral outrage at an act like this. But as a free society, we need to think of our response in a measured and mature way, because idle talk or revengeful thoughts aren’t going to undo this act.”He had words of hope for the Harvard community. Strong leaders, he said, “people with a degree of moral courage and clarity, can rise above the din and speak about these events with a degree of moral clarity that doesn’t suck you into a spiral of either revenge or of singling out people.”Amid the horror, Hempton said he was reminded of the goodness of the human spirit, “that wonderful sense of human togetherness as the first responders and the medical people with courage and compassion just took charge and helped people. These are awful incidents, but in the midst of this awfulness, that human compassion and spirit shines through in tremendously impressive ways.”Hempton said he also felt that “resilience of good people” very strongly in Northern Ireland, and its people’s “determination to build a humane and just society in the light of provocation and deep cruelty.”“The things we believe in today, we believed in two days ago. And we are going to go on believing, and no amount of nasty viciousness is going to deflect us from that. The people who did this need to be brought to justice, but our society will move on.”— Colleen WalshIMPACT ON CIVIL LIBERTIES DEPENDS ON ATTACK’S SCOPENoah FeldmanBemis Professor of International LawHarvard Law School (HLS)Feldman, an authority on civil liberties, says, “An individual event, if it turns out to be relatively isolated, and perpetrated by an individual or a small group of people not connected to a national network, is not likely to have a major impact on civil liberties. If there were repeated events that took place on a broader scale and they didn’t seem to be isolated, that would be a different kettle of fish.”Feldman said the Boston attack will continue “a trend toward scrutiny of public actions, such as video surveillance of public places. That’s already a major national and international trend.” A traveler in London “can barely go anywhere without being on closed-circuit television,” he said, and “New York is moving in that direction.” Boston had not embraced the idea of widespread public surveillance, “but perhaps we’ll see an uptick in that,” said Feldman, “especially if surveillance turns out to be useful in finding the perpetrators, which seems to me very possible.”With increased video surveillance would come increased coordination, linking cameras on the street, say, to those “inside of stores or other places where it’s conceivable these bombs may have been placed. In some way, that does affect our sense of anonymity, but it doesn’t affect civil liberties in the classical sense, since it’s about your public actions. It’s already the case that people can see what you’re doing when you walk down the street. This just means there might be a video record of it.”The Boston attack also supplied a nudge that feels familiar. “At the level of public consciousness, this is a reminder that there is no — and there probably can never be any — guarantee of total security,” said Feldman. “It’s a reminder there will always have to be some degree of vigilance.”— Corydon IrelandHOW TO HELP CHILDREN COPE WITH VIOLENCEBetsy McAlister GrovesAdjunct Lecturer on EducationHarvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE)When it comes to discussing the marathon bombings with children, it is critical to be open and honest, while keeping in mind a child’s age, said Groves.The licensed clinical social worker is also the founding director of the Boston Medical Center’s Child Witness to Violence Project, which helps children cope with domestic or community violence and other traumatic events. Parents should tell their children the truth, she said, yet proceed cautiously.“This notion that kids are too young is one we have to be really careful about,” said Groves, who worked with preschoolers in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “Parents assumed then that 3- or 4-year-olds didn’t know anything about it,” she said. But at day care centers, kids were playing “buildings falling down.”While parents shouldn’t necessarily go into detail with 3-year-olds, they should take cues from their children, said Groves, and be willing to have sensitive conversations with them as the need arises. By simply sticking to the facts, parents can help ease children’s fears or correct misunderstandings, she said, as well as reassure them about their safety.“Children take cues from their parents about how to make sense of all kinds of events in the world,” said Groves. She urged parents to assess their own feelings, and then determine what they will say and how they will say it before having a conversation with their kids. “I think that parents need to just give themselves permission to collect their own thoughts.”Honesty is critical, she added, noting that opening a dialogue with children signals that it’s OK to discuss a difficult subject. “If parents take the initiative to bring it up, it makes the topic less scary to start with.’”Limiting teenagers’ exposure to graphic content on the Internet and television is difficult, but parents should try to shield younger children from a barrage of disturbing media images, said Groves.Most Massachusetts schools are in the midst of a weeklong spring vacation, so many teachers won’t have the chance to discuss the attack with their students until Monday. In the interim, Groves urged school administrators to develop action plans before returning from the break, “some plan for dealing with children’s questions and/or talking with them proactively.” In the absence of a plan, the message from teachers needs to be that talking about the attack in the classroom is fine, since, “It’s the indication that we are open.”One way to help students to cope with the news, said Groves, is to find a way for the students to give back, perhaps by contributing to a fund for a victim, or sending a letter of thanks to a local police department. “For all of us, this feeling of helplessness is the worst thing,” she said. Giving kids a way to contribute “counteracts helplessness.” — Colleen Walsh
Couples in supportive marriages appear less likely to gain weight and become obese in middle age, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.Researchers asked roughly 2,650 people who were married or in long-term marriage-like relationships about their levels of marital support and strain, as well as the overall quality of their partnerships. The researchers assigned numerical values to the couples’ relationships based on the responses, then tracked the participants’ weight gain over nearly nine years.They found that people with high levels of marriage quality and support were less likely to gain weight over time than couples in less supportive marriages. For example, for each step up on the “support” scale, people gained roughly 1½ fewer pounds and had a 22 percent lower risk of obesity.“This study…adds to the evidence that a positive social relationship is a health asset,” said Ying Chen, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard Chan School and lead author of the study, in a March 13, 2018 Time magazine article.Other Harvard Chan authors included Ichiro Kawachi, Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald, and senior author Laura Kubzansky.Read the Time article: A Good Marriage May Help Keep You Thin, Study Says Read Full Story