International, National and Cornell Headlines: 9-21-11September 21, 2011 —
Afghanistan: Former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was appointed last year to head a commission trying to negotiate with the Taliban, was killed Tuesday in a suicide bombing, according to the Washington Post. The bomber claimed to come for a peace talk and hid explosives in his turban. Four others in the room were also killed. President Obama has called Rabbani’s death a “terrible loss” and praised his work.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Tuesday, the military repealed a ban on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a policy which prohibited openly gay men and women from serving in uniform. The policy had been effect for 18 years. Pentagon leaders have certified that the change in policy will not affect America’s ability to fight wars, according to the Associated Press .
Poverty: The number of young families with children living in poverty has increased in the US. One in three of these families, defined as under the age of thirty, is living in economic distress. The data is from an analysis of census data by Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. The rate had previously fallen from 36 percent in 1993 to 25 percent in 2000. It now rests at 37 percent. The reason for the decline is believed to be the economy. Many people in these families lack college degrees and with the loss of low-skilled jobs, are struggling, according to the New York Times.
Economics: Cornell has decided to consolidate economics professors into a single department. Previously economics professors were scattered in many departments, including the Economics Department in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and The Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. The consolidation has not led to any noticeable changes at the undergraduate level, yet.
Veggies: New fruits and vegetables may be coming to a supermarket near you. Cornell Professor Michael Mazourek in plant breeding has created new vegetable varieties, including the Habanada pepper, a mild habanero that is still flavorful, Farmer’s Daughter melon, which tastes a little like pear and slips off the vine when ripe; and the black-spined white Salt and Pepper cucumber, which has garnered awards for its unexpectedly sweet flavor.
Written by Jennifer Schlesinger for Wake Up Cornell! on 9-20-11