In a first, census figures show minorities make up more than half of babies born in US
WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S., capping decades of heady immigration growth that is now slowing.
New 2011 census estimates highlight sweeping changes in the nation’s racial makeup and the prolonged impact of a weak economy, which is now resulting in fewer Hispanics entering the U.S.
“This is an important landmark,” said Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau who is now a sociologist at Howard University. “This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders.”
The report comes as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on the legality of Arizona’s strict immigration law, with many states weighing similar get-tough measures.
“We remain in a dangerous period where those appealing to anti-immigration elements are fueling a divisiveness and hostility that might take decades to overcome,” Harrison said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Mapping the way out of an unpopular war, the United States and NATO are trying to build an Afghan army that can defend the country after 130,000 international troops pull out. The alliance’s plans for arm’s-length support for Afghanistan will be a central focus of the summit President Barack Obama is hosting Sunday and Monday in Chicago.
The problem with the exit strategy is that someone has to pay for that army in an era of austerity budgets and defense cutbacks.
The problem for the United States is how to avoid getting stuck with the check for $4.1 billion a year.
“This has to be a multilateral funding effort,” said Pentagon spokesman George Little. “We think there should be contributions from other countries.”
That’s partly why so many non-NATO nations are getting invitations to the summit. About 60 countries and organizations are expected to be represented, including nations such as Japan that are far removed from the trans-Atlantic defense pact’s home ground.
Calif. woman apparently burned by rocks in pocket
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — A woman suffered third-degree burns after what appeared to be the spontaneous combustion of rocks that had been scooped up from a Southern California beach, a fire official said.
The 43-year-old woman’s children collected the rocks Saturday at San Clemente Beach, and she tucked them into the pocket of her shorts, according to the Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/JuVv9L ).
While the woman was standing in her kitchen Saturday after returning from the beach, the rocks somehow caught fire, burning the woman’s right thigh and knee, said Capt. Marc Stone of the Orange County Fire Authority.
The woman tried to stop, drop and roll but couldn’t extinguish the flames, Stone said.
The rocks are small, smooth, and orange and green in color. They eventually fell from the shorts onto the wooden floor where they continued to burn and fill the house with smoke, Stone said.