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Longer safe-haven times for moms might have kept babies safe from harm


Two recent stories captured headlines and broke hearts across the nation. A 7-month-old baby was abandoned in a New York subway station and another baby died, allegedly suffocated by his mother at just 11 months old. Though the stories had different endings, both are tragedies, and in each case, the babies were being brought up by young mothers who were in over their heads and – in acts of apparent desperation – made choices that will haunt them the rest of their lives.

My point isn’t to condone the alleged actions of these two women. But it is to raise a question: If we as a society accept that there are people who become parents every day who aren’t ready for parenthood, why don’t we provide more options to help keep their children healthy and safe?

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Nadine Gordimer, novelist who took on apartheid, dies at 90

south African Writer Dies
Nadine Gordimer, the South African writer whose literary ambitions as a watchmaker’s daughter led her into the heart of apartheid to create a body of fiction that brought her a Nobel Prize, died Sunday in Johannesburg, Reuters reported. She was 90.

Debt settlement programs are misleading

You’ve probably heard the advertisements on urban radio urging consumers with at least $10,000 in debt to call a number right away for a financial rescue. Promising to end debt troubles by getting creditors to somehow accept less money than what is owed can sound really appealing. In reality, however, consumers mired in debt may often find debt settlement programs to be costly, misleading, and far less helpful than the radio ad promises.
In the newest chapter in the research series titled The State of Lending, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) finds that debt settlement is a risky strategy that can leave consumers more financially vulnerable and still laden with debt years after they enroll in such programs.
Regardless of how well consumers follow the instructions of their debt settlement firm, they may ultimately be unsuccessful because many creditors simply refuse to deal with debt settlement companies.

‘I was there, for that first issue’

(This letter from Christopher Brooks, a former Memphian now living in Los Angeles, was written to The New Tri-State Defender President/Publisher Bernal E. Smith II. In it, Brooks, who helped birth The Tri-State Defender, bridges the gap between then and now.)
Dear Mr. Bernal E. Smith II,
Sir, first, you don’t know me, so please allow me a brief introduction. I was rambling through some of my old collections of documents, books, etc. I came across a November 10th, 2011 edition of the Tri-State with a front page, 2-column spread with a caption, “The ‘Defender’ at 60.” I remember that day (of the first edition) and have recalled it many times in that span between then and now.