By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Minority children often lag behind their peers in language development when they start preschool. According to a new study, some of that disparity in school readiness may be due to differences in the frequency of “book sharing” among families. The study found that parents in Hispanic or Asian immigrant families in California were less likely to read or look at picture books with their young children than non-Hispanic white parents. “I think there’s enough research that reading to children early on prepares them better for school,” senior author Dr. Fernando Mendoza told Reuters Health. “Early reading enlarges vocabulary and becomes a tool for many other kinds of learning later on in school.” Mendoza worked on the study at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. “There is a difference in the reported reading in immigrant households, but we have a long way to go in understanding what is behind that,” added Natalia Festa, who also worked on the study at Stanford. The researchers looked at data from statewide telephone surveys of households in California in 2005, 2007 and 2009. The surveys asked almost 15,000 parents of children under age six how often anyone in the household read stories or looked at picture books with the child. About half of the children in the study had two U.S.-born parents, with the other half having at least one foreign-born parent, which qualified as an immigrant family. As a whole, 67 percent of kids shared books with their parents on a daily basis, and another 22 percent did so almost daily, according to the surveys. Seven percent of kids shared books with parents one or two days per week, and the remaining four percent never shared books, the researchers reported in Pediatrics. Parents with low education levels or a low household income were less likely to book share with their kids. But even when those factors were taken into account, immigrant parents were less likely to share books than native-born parents. “This paper just says there is a difference, and not because they’re poor, but because they are immigrants,” Mendoza said. More than two thirds of parents in English-speaking households reported daily book sharing, compared to half of parents in non-English-speaking homes. “Findings like this are really important, they continue to document the ways that immigrant families are at risk,” said Dr. Alan L. Mendelsohn, who studies child development at the New York University School of Medicine. He was not part of the new research. Reading or storytelling in early life predicts how well children will do when they enter preschool, which translates to how they do when they start kindergarten, which is incredibly predictive of achievement later in school and in life, Mendelsohn said. Since economic differences don’t explain the trends seen in the study, cultural differences in child rearing might, according to pediatrics researcher Dr. Barry S. Zuckerman of the Boston University School of Medicine. “Most immigrant parents, particularly those from rural areas of their native countries, grew up where their parents didn’t read to them,” Zuckerman told Reuters Health. He also didn’t participate in the new study. What’s important about book sharing, he said, is that it’s an interactive experience between parent and child. “We do know that input into the brain system changes the brain architecture, and not reading specifically, but exposure to words,” he said. “Children learn words and language when it’s a response to them.” With picture books, parents help the child name an animal or elaborate on the stories in the pictures, he said. Many immigrant parents may have two jobs or work long hours, leaving less time for book sharing, Mendoza said. The experts agreed that it is likely not an issue of available children’s books in languages other than English, since telling a story based on a picture book requires almost no actual reading for the parent. “What this work really highlights is the importance of engaging families early in life,” Mendelsohn said. The study authors highlight programs that promote childhood literacy and center on family visits to the pediatrician, like Reach Out and Read, which Zuckerman founded. Reach Out and Read provides books in the family’s preferred language and involves taking some time out of regular pediatric visits for the doctor and parent to discuss the importance of reading. A language barrier between the doctor and parent in that setting could make reading advocacy programs less effective for immigrant families, but that’s a question that needs further investigation, Mendoza said. More than half of children born in California today are Latino, and investing in their future is investing in the future of the country as a whole, he said. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1iLGDBH Pediatrics, online June 2, 2014.
- NBC News
Analysis: Biden had nothing to gain and everything to lose from fighting a quixotic war over the filibuster just days into his presidency.
- The Telegraph
The leader of the Proud Boys extremist group has been unmasked as a "prolific" former FBI informant. Enrique Tarrio, 36, worked undercover exposing a human trafficking ring, and helped with drug and gambling cases, according to court documents. Tarrio's documented involvement with law enforcement related to the period 2012 -2014. There was no evidence of him cooperating after that. But the revelation raised further questions over why police did not take further steps to secure the US Capitol ahead of the riots on Jan 6. At least half a dozen members of the Proud Boys were arrested over involvement in the riots. Tarrio denied ever being an informer, telling Reuters: "I don’t know any of this. I don’t recall any of this."
Russian President Vladimir Putin told the virtual “Davos Agenda” conference on Wednesday that recent events in the U.S. had underscored the danger of “public discontent” combined with “modern technology.”The big picture: Putin, a late addition to the speakers' list, is facing protests at home over the arrest of opposition figure Alexey Navalny. Several experts and activists criticized the World Economic Forum for inviting him, with chess champion and Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov tweeting that Putin’s appearance showed he was “desperate to reassure his cronies he's still acceptable in the West despite his brutal crackdown.”Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What he’s saying: Putin said growing inequality and “systemic socio-economic problems” were “splitting the society,” adding: “This pressure shows through even in those countries which seem to possess well-established civic and democratic institutions.” * He said Big Tech firms had established monopolies, and questioned whether their services were serving “the public interest” or further contributing to the divide. * “We have seen all of this quite recently in the United States, and everybody understands quite well what I’m talking about," he said.Between the lines: This could also be read as a self-serving argument from Putin, who has sharply curtailed freedoms online and was only yesterday forced to respond to a viral YouTube video in which Navalny claimed he owned a “billion dollar palace."The other side: Putin’s style diverged sharply from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who addressed the conference on Monday. * Xi appeared polished and camera-ready, breaking his speech into four themes and speaking in sweeping terms about international cooperation. * Putin was late to start, sat in a slouched position and peppered his speech with economic statistics in a tone that alternated between combativeness and disinterest.Worth noting: Putin also contended that countries facing internal divisions were seizing on “external enemies,” particularly “countries that do not agree to become docile, easy to control satellites.” * He argued that the increasing the use of tools like sanctions would only increase the risk of future “military force.”Go deeper: Biden's Russia challengeSupport safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- Associated Press
One day after the deadly insurrection in Washington, a Pennsylvania school district announced it was suspending a teacher who, the district asserted, “was involved in the electoral college protest that took place at the United States Capitol Building.” Three weeks later, Jason Moorehead is fighting to restore his reputation and resume teaching after he says the Allentown School District falsely accused him of being at the Capitol during the siege. The district says Moorehead’s social media posts about the events of Jan. 6, and not just his presence in Washington that day, are a focus of its probe.
- Associated Press Videos
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Democrats are prepared to push ahead with President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, even if it means using procedural tools to pass the legislation without Republicans. (Jan. 26)
Treating China as a "strategic rival" of the United States is a misjudgement that could lead to mistakes, China's ambassador to the United States said in a speech to an online forum. Since the Trump administration defined China as a strategic rival in 2018, Washington and Beijing have frequently clashed over issues ranging from trade to Beijing's handling of the coronavirus, and the new administration of President Joe Biden is expected to maintain pressure on China. In the first major speech by a Chinese official on relations between the world's two biggest economies since Biden took office, Ambassador Cui Tiankai reasserted China's long-standing position of seeking peaceful coexistence with the United States, while warning it not to cross China's red lines.
- The Independent
Jill Biden spent her first week as First Lady reshaping the role. Melania Trump spent hers isolated in a tower
New first lady signals she will be an active and constant presence in the White House - drawing stark contrasts to her predecessor
A man in Portland, Oregon has been charged with bias crimes after allegedly kicking and racially attacking an Asian American woman last week. The incident, which left the victim with “some trouble walking,” occurred on a TriMet bus in the area of Southeast 52nd Avenue and Foster Road at 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 22. Eschright also allegedly used racial slurs during the encounter, mentioning the coronavirus in regards to the victim’s race and skin color.
President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.Keenan spent 14 years writing for Obama, including working alongside Biden for eight of those years. He acknowledged being embittered by his own experience, especially after Sen. Mitch McConnell pledged to make his former boss a one-term president. * "Until the Republican Party steps up and tells their own voters what's really happening with the truth, it's going to be elusive," Keenan said. "It's not up to (President Biden) alone to deliver. He can't."Keenan helped Obama with the first volume of his memoir, "A Promised Land." He stopped working with the former president on New Year's Eve and has taken a full-time role at Fenway Strategies. The firm is run by another ex-Obama speechwriter — Jon Favreau — and presidential aide, Tommy Vietor. * "It just seemed like a natural spot after the book and the elections and, you know, [Obama] is not going to do a ton, especially with Biden in office," Keenan said.Keenan is also writing a book, titled "Grace," about the 10 days from the 2015 shooting at a historic Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, to the eulogy Obama delivered for Rev. Clementa Pinckney. * Obama ended by singing "Amazing Grace." * The title also nods to Keenan's newborn daughter, named Grace.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Telegraph
A doctor with terminal cancer killed a female pediatrician and then himself after taking hostages at a children's clinic in Austin, Texas. Dr Bharat Narumanchi held hostages in a five-hour siege before killing Dr Katherine Lindley Dodson. Narumanchi had applied for a volunteer position at the clinic a week ago and was declined. He later came back carrying a pistol, a shotgun and two duffel bags. Police spokesman Jeff Greenwalt said Narumanchi had recently been given "weeks to live" after a cancer diagnosis. He said: "The case as far as who did this is closed. We know who did it. And we know that there's no longer a threat to the public. But we really, really want to answer the question of why." Dr Lindley Dodson, 43, was beloved by patients and their families. Karen Vladeck, whose two children were among her patients, told the Austin American-Statesman: "You saw her at your worst when your kid was sick, and she just always had a smile on her face. "She made you feel like you were the only parent there, even though there was a line of kids waiting." During the siege a SWAT team used a megaphone to communicate with the armed doctor. A hostage negotiator shouted: "Your life is very important to me. And I know life is very important to you. "You don't deserve to go through this. For all you have done for others. That is why I want to help you work through this. You have saved a lot of lives." Police first sent in a robot and then officers went into the medical office where they found two bodies. They did not comment on how the two doctors died. A police spokesman said: "The SWAT situation has ended. Two subjects have been located and were pronounced deceased."
Explainer: Why Trump's post-presidency perks, like a pension and office, are safe for the rest of his life
The impeachment proceeding against Donald Trump on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has fueled speculation online that he could lose some of the benefits extended to former presidents. But according to legal experts, under the laws currently in effect, Trump will retain perks including a pension, office space and security detail even in the unlikely event that he is convicted by the Senate in its impeachment trial. Trump can thank a relatively obscure law, the Former Presidents Act.
President Biden's plan to replace the government’s fleet of 650,000 cars and trucks with electric vehicles assembled in the U.S. by union workers is easier said than done. Why it matters: The populist "Buy American" message sounds good, but the vehicles Biden wants are still several years away and his purchase criteria would require an expensive overhaul of automakers' manufacturing strategies, not to mention a reversal of fortune for labor organizers long stymied by Tesla and other non-union companies.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.Reality check: Right now, not a single model fits the president's criteria: battery-powered, made in America, by union workers. * Tesla produces the vast majority of EVs in the U.S., and all of its models contain at least 55% American-made parts, according to federal data. But Tesla doesn't have a union and CEO Elon Musk has run afoul of federal labor laws. * General Motors' Chevrolet Bolt is the only U.S.-built EV made by union labor. But it's made mostly with parts imported from Korea. Just 24% of the content is considered domestic. * The Nissan Leaf, another popular EV, is made in Tennessee. But the factory is non-union and only 35% of the parts are domestic. "Made in America" itself is confusing, because current rules governing "domestic" content include parts made in both the U.S. and Canada. * Under the American Automobile Labeling Act, passed in 1992, every car requires a label disclosing where the car was assembled, the percentage of equipment from the U.S. and Canada combined, and the country where the engine and transmission were built. * The newly passed US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement adds another layer of rules about the origin of parts.Biden wants to change the whole system of determining whether a federal vehicle is "American." * Today, the government requires federal vehicles to have at least 50 percent of their components made in America, but loopholes allow the most valuable parts like engines or steel to be manufactured elsewhere, Biden told reporters Monday. * He wants a higher threshold and tighter rules that would directly benefit American workers. Be smart: It's all doable, but definitely not within Biden's four-year term in office. * "It just doesn't add up," said Joe Langley, a forecasting analyst for IHS Markit. "The product is still a few years away." * And replacing 650,000 federal vehicles with EVs would require an increase in U.S. investment through the whole supply chain, including electric motors, batteries and vehicles — all of which will take time, Langley said. * Union leaders are glad Biden is focused on the industry's future. "He sees new technology as a way to grow our industry and our economy," a spokesperson for the United Auto Workers told Axios.Some of that investment is already happening. GM, for example, is overhauling several factories to produce electric vehicles in Tennessee and Michigan. Ford will make its upcoming e-Transit van in Missouri. * But GM, Ford and Stellantis (the newly merged FiatChrysler and Peugeot) just recently committed to build more EVs at union factories in Canada. * And Ford is ramping up production of its highly anticipated Mustang Mach-E in Mexico. What to watch: There could be some surprise winners from Biden's plan. * A handful of well-funded EV startups such as Lordstown Motors, Rivian and Workhorse are developing plug-in commercial vehicles like vans and trucks — things that are often needed in government fleets. * "This could put wind in the sails of a lot of new startups," said Langley.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- The Independent
Grandmother ‘overjoyed’ to be outside after receiving Covid-19 vaccine killed in Portland vehicle attack
Police have not released a motive in the attack
- Associated Press
The city of Minneapolis has settled the first lawsuit by a demonstrator injured by a police projectile in violent protests that followed the death of George Floyd. Graciela Cisneros, 22, will receive a payment of $57,900 for injuries to her face when a police officer fired a non-lethal round at her May 29 as she walked home from a demonstration. Cisneros' cheekbone was broken and her injury required stitches.
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday stuck to his stance that Tehran must resume complying with the Iran nuclear deal before Washington, which abandoned the pact under former President Donald Trump, would do so. Making his first public comments on Iran as the chief U.S. diplomat, Blinken reiterated President Joe Biden's policy "that if Iran comes back into full compliance with its obligations under the JCPOA, the United States would do the same thing."
The move could save the service millions of dollars and provide wearers with better protection in the field.
- The Independent
Biden tells Fox News reporter he talked to Putin about ‘You’ when asked about his call with Russian president
Leaders reportedly discussed Ukraine tensions, a massive cyberattack and Russia’s poisoned opposition leader
A 19-year-old Tibetan monk has reportedly died after battling two months of alleged mistreatment under Chinese authorities. Tenzin Nyima, also known as Tamay, served at Dza Wonpo monastery in Wonpo township, Kandze prefecture, a Tibetan area in the Sichuan province of China. Nyima was first arrested in November 2019 after distributing leaflets with three other monks according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
- Associated Press
The bureau reported that about 5,300 survivors of the World War II-era mass murder of European Jews and other groups by the Nazis were infected in 2020 with the coronavirus. About 17% of those Holocaust survivors died of the virus, similar to the percentage of others of the same age. All Holocaust survivors are at least 75 years old and COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, is especially lethal to seniors.