December 1-7 Weekly News Round Up

A round up of current news stories on the state and national level, with a focus on feminist issues

By Tess Koenigsmark

Anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South African president Nelson Mandela passed away on Thursday at the age of 95.  While our nation’s political leaders mourn his passing, it’s easy to forget that not a decade has passed since the US government branded Mandela a terrorist. ThinkProgress offers an interesting article on some of Mandela’s more radical (and, I think, most interesting) political views.

Republicans in Congress are proposing a budget that would end federal long-term unemployment benefits, which the White Houses says would affect 85,100 Connecticut residents. Connecticut Democrats  are fighting the cuts, standing with other Democrats who claim they will not accept a budget that eliminates the benefits.

On Thursday, fast food workers and supporters protested in cities across the country for higher wages. The protests, part of a movement demanding a $15 an hour wage for fast food workers, were planned for Connecticut as well. The lack of a living wage for fast food workers is an especially salient issue for women, who make up two thirds of the industry’s workers.

It’s unacceptable for UConn officials to receive substantial raises when the university’s tuition continues to rise.

A European company which produces a chemically identical drug to the morning-after pill (also know by the brand name Plan B) produced in the US is changing its labels to reflect that it is not effective on women who weigh over 176 pounds, and begins losing effectiveness in women over 165 pounds. As the FDA considers whether US manufacturers must change their labels, the news should serve as a reminder of the importance of diversity in medical research.

Homelessness has increased in the past year in Connecticut, even as homelessness nationwide decreased. Connecticut recently received $18 million in grants and loans to increase available affordable housing. Hunger also remains high in Connecticut, as highlighted at a symposium called “Rich States, Empty Plates” hosted by the organization End Hunger Connecticut!, which discussed potential long-term solutions for ending hunger.

Male GOP candidates are receiving lessons on how to talk to women. Oh man, what I would give to be a fly on the wall in that workshop!

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