This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Nov. 6, 2013 for week ending Nov. 15, 2013

lede

"If you take all the food done by all the food banks and all the churches all around the country, it's about $1 billion in a year. And so the $39 billion in cuts (proposed by the House of Representatives over the next 10 years) which is roughly $4 billion a year – if every food bank and every church doubled what they could do, and then doubled it again, they can make up for this difference. But they can't, and they know they can't and they've said they can't to the Congress."

– Interview with Michael J. Wilson, director, Maryland Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Research and Action Center


Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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Federal Cuts to Food Stamp Program Hurt Children, Seniors and Disabled Most

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Interview with Michael J. Wilson, director, Maryland Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Research and Action Center, conducted by Scott Harris

hunger

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the federal food stamp program suffered $5 billion in cuts on Nov. 1 when a post economic meltdown stimulus boost in funding expired. Nationally, about 47 million people who receive food stamps will see reductions in their monthly food subsidy. For an average family of three, the impact of the food stamp program’s first across-the-board cut in its history will result in $29 less each month, allotting $1.81 per meal – adding up to a loss of funds to buy 16 meals. Forty nine percent of food stamp recipients are children. And 87 percent of households that receive SNAP benefits are homes with children, seniors or the disabled.  Story continues

Despite Setbacks, Pro-Choice Groups Continue to Challenge Texas Anti-Abortion Law

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Interview with Gretchen Borchelt, director of state reproductive health policy at the National Women's Law Center, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

prochoice

During the most recent legislative session in Texas, a serious fight erupted over an omnibus anti-abortion bill that included many restrictions that would make it almost impossible for many women in the state to get an abortion. Despite protests by thousands of Texans, supporting pro-choice legislators like state Sen. Wendy Davis, the bill passed in a special session and was signed by GOP Gov. Rick Perry. Two of the provisions were challenged in court by Planned Parenthood and other groups. One measure in the law requires that doctors performing abortions get admitting privileges at a local hospital. Another measure mandates doctors use an outdated protocol when performing drug-induced abortions with RU-486, the so-called abortion pill. Initially, federal district court Judge Lee Yeakel struck down the admitting privileges requirement as unconstitutional, and partially struck down the medication protocol. But last week, a three-judge panel at the Appeals Court level – all women judges appointed by President George W. Bush – overturned the lower court ruling and permitted the controversial Texas law to go into effect. Now Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the earlier injunction blocking portions of the law concerning doctor’s admitting privileges.  Story continues

Campaign Launched to Restore NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden's U.S. Passport

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Interview with Norman Solomon, author and activist, conducted by Scott Harris

NSA

The latest revelations from documents collected by former NSA contractor turned whistleblower, Edward Snowden, include allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency had conducted surveillance on millions of Europeans in France, Germany and Spain, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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