Should B. C. Surviving Sextuplets Be Transfused Blood?

B.C. government social workers seized three of four surviving sextuplets on the weekend so they could receive blood transfusions over their parents’ religious objections and Supreme Court of Canada precedent, the family’s lawyer says.

But the province abruptly handed control of the infants back to the parents Wednesday when they challenged the seizure in court.

The parents, who cannot be identified under a court-ordered publication ban, are Jehovah’s Witnesses whose beliefs forbid blood transfusions even to save a life.

The sextuplets were born the first weekend in January almost four months premature and two had died before the province’s director of child, family and community service stepped in last Friday.

Lawyer Shane Brady said the parents did not oppose “mainstream” medical treatment. But they expressly ruled out blood transfusions for the struggling babies, indicating they wanted to seek medical alternatives.

The government got a provincial court judge to issue an unchallenged seizure order for one of the babies Friday at B.C. Children’s Hospital.

Social workers seized two others over the weekend after doctors indicated they too should receive blood transfusions, according to a court affidavit by the babies’ father.

“The family is very upset that the government treated them in the way it did,” Brady said outside court. “It’s like a hit and run.”

The family got wind of the government’s plans last week. The babies were seized in spite of the parents’ pleas for a hearing, Brady said after Wednesday’s hearing in B.C. Supreme Court.

The government withdrew the seizure order at the hearing but the court has scheduled another hearing Feb. 22-23 so the parents can challenge province’s conduct.

“The family appealed what the government did and has brought an application for judicial review, saying that the government violated what the Supreme Court of Canada said 10 years ago,” said Brady.

He said a Supreme Court of Canada decision in 1995 gave parents the right to present evidence at a hearing in such matters. In 1999, the high court affirmed that, saying it is a fundamental right of Canadian society.

“Parents are entitled to a fair hearing,” said Brady. “It may be abridged but they’re entitled to a fair hearing.

Children and Families Minister Tom Christensen refused to discuss the case specifically, citing privacy law.

But he said doctors have an obligation to go to ministry authorities when they believe a child is in danger.

“We don’t take any such action without a great deal of forethought, recognizing that it’s a significant step for the state to interfere in a family,” Christensen said.

“But we want to ensure in every case that children are receiving the attention they require.”

A child’s welfare trumps a family’s religious beliefs, Christensen indicated.

“Our obligation to protect children is paramount,” he said in Victoria.

Apprehending a child is a last resort, Christensen said.

“The ministry will always take the least intrusive option that we have,” he said.

Brady said the transfusions made little difference in the medical state of any of the children, who remain in stable condition.

Brady has represented several Jehovah’s Witness children in the courts in recent years, including 17-year-old Bethany Hughes of Calgary, who died of leukemia in 2002 after her father battled his daughter and her mother for her to have blood transfusions during her treatment.

The first of the six B.C. babies were born Jan. 6 with the rest born Jan. 7. They were premature at 25 weeks and each was not much bigger than an outstretched hand.

Hospital president Dr. Liz Whynot said at the time the babies were in fair condition after their births.

Doctors said babies born at that stage have an 80-per-cent chance of surviving to leave the hospital and still could face major health problems due to the immature development of their organs and immune systems.

Brady said the government’s action in recent days was even more inexplicable given the babies’ odds of survival.

In his affidavit, the father said doctors suggested early in the pregnancy that the fetuses could be selectively aborted.

And just before they were born, doctors told the parents to decide if they wanted the infants to have help breathing — that without resuscitation they would die.

“The parents respect the sanctity of life — that’s their religious views — and they chose resuscitation,” said Brady.

“Two weeks later the government completely turns around and says we’re going to take the children away from you.

“Two weeks ago, if the parents were so inclined, they could have refused resuscitation. It was their choice. Today, the government wanted to interfere. It doesn’t make sense.”

Ultra-Tough Nanotech Materials

Researchers have used clay nanoparticles to modify a polymer material, making it 20 times stiffer, 4 times tougher, and able to withstand temperatures that are more than twice as hot. The new materials could eventually be used in rugged lightweight fabrics, less-bulky packing materials, and much lighter car parts.

The work is part of a growing effort to design materials with nanoscale structures that mimic those found in nature, such as those in ultra-strong seashells. (See "Silicon and Sun.") In the current work, researchers at MIT's program in polymer science and technology greatly improved the properties of an elastic polyurethane used in biomedical applications by dispersing tiny clay particles throughout it.


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Even Grandma had premarital sex, survey finds

More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past.

“This is reality-check research,” said the study’s author, Lawrence Finer. “Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades.”

Finer is a research director at the Guttmacher Institute, a private New York-based think tank that studies sexual and reproductive issues and which disagrees with government-funded programs that rely primarily on abstinence-only teachings. The study, released Tuesday, appears in the new issue of Public Health Reports.
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The study, examining how sexual behavior before marriage has changed over time, was based on interviews conducted with more than 38,000 people — about 33,000 of them women — in 1982, 1988, 1995 and 2002 for the federal National Survey of Family Growth. According to Finer’s analysis, 99 percent of the respondents had had sex by age 44, and 95 percent had done so before marriage.

Even among a subgroup of those who abstained from sex until at least age 20, four-fifths had had premarital sex by age 44, the study found.

Sex stable since the '50s
Finer said the likelihood of Americans having sex before marriage has remained stable since the 1950s, though people now wait longer to get married and thus are sexually active as singles for extensive periods.

The study found women virtually as likely as men to engage in premarital sex, even those born decades ago. Among women born between 1950 and 1978, at least 91 percent had had premarital sex by age 30, he said, while among those born in the 1940s, 88 percent had done so by age 44.

“The data clearly show that the majority of older teens and adults have already had sex before marriage, which calls into question the federal government’s funding of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs for 12- to 29-year-olds,” Finer said.

Under the Bush administration, such programs have received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.

“It would be more effective,” Finer said, “to provide young people with the skills and information they need to be safe once they become sexually active — which nearly everyone eventually will.”

Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, defended the abstinence-only approach for teenagers.

White House: Wait longer, please
“One of its values is to help young people delay the onset of sexual activity,” he said. “The longer one delays, the fewer lifetime sex partners they have, and the less the risk of contracting sexually transmitted disease.”

He insisted there was no federal mission against premarital sex among adults.

“Absolutely not,” Horn said. “The Bush administration does not believe the government should be regulating or stigmatizing the behavior of adults.”

Horn said he found the high percentages of premarital sex cited in the study to be plausible, and expressed hope that society would not look askance at the small minority that chooses to remain abstinent before marriage.

However, Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, a conservative group which strongly supports abstinence-only education, said she was skeptical of the findings.

“Any time I see numbers that high, I’m a little suspicious,” she said. “The numbers are too pat.”

Essential Tips to Help Your Kids Ride the School Bus Safely

Samantha Wilson

School buses and their safety has been a topic of concern for parents for years. It is hard to understand why children are required to wear seat belts on almost every other motor vehicle but not on a school bus.

This is the rationale. School buses have been designed to protect their passengers by using the "compartmentalization system." This system professes to confine children within the padded compartment in the event of a crash. Bus compartments high-backed seats that are anchored to the floor, stuffed with energy-absorbent material, and are positioned close together to create "compartments."

Transportation experts claim that in the event of crash, traveling by school bus is the safest form of transportation for kids. Children are more at risk of traffic-related injuries while they are getting on and off the bus than while actually riding it. However, there are other risks to school bus safety that parents need to be concerned about.

Children are being bullied, assaulted, and sometimes injured while riding the bus. Some school buses will carry upwards of thirty children at one time and often the only adult is the driver, who is busy controlling the vehicle. This leaves children vulnerable to bullies, injury, or even accidental death, as in the tragic case of four-year-old Allyceea Ennis. She was killed while riding a school bus to day care, and while the cause of her death is still unknown, there is evidence of pressure to her neck. It is believed that she fell off her seat, her balaclava catching on the seat in the process, and that she was strangled. School buses were designed for older children, not for toddlers, who need to be restrained in their seats for safety.

If your children ride a school bus, there are ways to stay safe. Here are a few tips you can teach your kids:

Be a few minutes early for the bus and don't run after one.
# Walk on sidewalks facing approaching traffic.
# Take five giant steps back when the school bus is approaching.
# Establish eye contact with the bus driver and other drivers before crossing the street.
# Stay at least five giant steps away from the front, side, and back of a school bus .
# Do not attempt to pick up anything that you drop near or under the bus.
# Use the handrail as you walk up the steps.
# Take your seat immediately and remain seated throughout the ride.
# Teach your child to sit during the bus ride, and to respect other passengers. The bus ride is not the time to play.

These are some ways that your kids can increase safety on and near the school bus. You should also ride the bus with your child at least once to get a better idea of what they are facing along the way. Get to know the bus driver. Let them know if you have any concerns for your child's safety while in their care.

'Baby-making' vacations - Family planning takes a detour

Amrita Biswas

This is just what the doctor prescribed for Manisha & Ravi. "I had a problem conceiving and in the first 7 years of my marriage I had already gone through four miscarriages!" looks back Manisha. "Living under the constant stress was taking its toll and both me and my hubby were quietly sinking into depression. The doctor realised this and she adviced us to take a break from our normal routined life and go away for a week long vacation to some quiet place...far away from home and office.

Baby basics
The doctor said that the most important thing to bear in mind was not to think of 'making a baby' but to enjoy each other's company in seclusion. We planned to spend a week at Coorg and as I knew my most fertile days we coincided that period with the holiday," she continues. And flash forward to next month, " I was bang on as I missed my period and the doc confirmed my pregnancy and after eight months my daughter was born!" she gasps.

No baby
Today it is increasingly being felt that the daily grind of hectic lives and work pressure is adding to the rising graph of infertility among couples. In an urban set up it is not uncommon to find the husband and wife meeting each other only on weekends. They hardly get time to enjoy each other's company and when they start thinking of creating a family, the pressure to hit the right cord just in time proves to be a dampener.

Priyanka and Shubhayu Two incomes...less sex?
Such was the case with Priyanka and Shubhayu too who live in Dubai, far away from their hometown Kolkata. After two years of marriage when they planned to welcome a mini member in their family, they found to their dismay that the process of procreation was becoming more like a chore than pleasure. Added to that was the tension of having a baby in a foreign land where they hardly knew a good doctor or any close family or friends to take care of the baby and the mother. All these tensions at the back of the mind somehow hindered Priyanka from conceiving. Fed up with their trials they planned to fly down to Kolkata for a break. In Kolkata, when they were enjoying themselves among friends and family, away from the work pressure and with a completely relaxed and chilled out mind, to their surprise they discovered that they are soon to be parents!

Stress and infertility: A co-relation?
Infertlity specialist Dr Malpani agrees that such situations are common among couples nowadays. "If the reason for the 'infertility' is that the couple has been too busy or stressed out to have sex, we ask the couples to go for a vacation and spend more time with each other."

Take a break!!
This trend, which is already very popular abroad, is fast catching up in India. "Often, many working couples are too busy and tired to even find time to have sex. They come back from work exhausted, and go straight to sleep! So when they find that the stress levels are getting out of hand, such short breaks are recommended. Such holidays allow the couples to focus on their relationship and rekindle love and intimacy," he adds.

There are two types of procreation vacations, says Dr Malpani. One when normal fertile couples take a holiday so they can spend more time together; de-stress; and have baby-making sex. And second when infertile couples travel to IVF clinics outside their own city to take IVF treatment to plan a baby. Such trips can be as short as 2 days - if it is planned around the "fertile time".

Procreation packages
Javed Akhtar, CEO of Travel Port says, "Procreation holidays can be as hit as a honeymoon and we are thinking of starting a holiday package for it too! It's already selling like hot cakes in the West where travel agencies are organising fertility camps for as long as two months so that they can get more time for relaxation. But since it is a bit improbable in our country we are thinking of making it a package of a week or two." Some international tours book an igloo suites for couples because they believe it is auspicious for conceiving a baby while some packages in the Carribean islands include unlimited glasses of sea moss elixir (a marine plant mixed with milk, sugar and spices) for males and bowls of pumpkin soup, rich in vitamins for women. It's the Caribbean answer to Viagra, says some and are believed to promote conception!

Pampered to buy "pampers"
As a part of this trend hotels around the world are luring couples who are trying to have a baby. These 'baby-making packages' offer luxurious massage therapies that are devised to be aphrodisiacal which include: on-site sex doctors, romantic advice and candle light dinners. All of which are calculated to put lovers in the mood to try for a baby. Beaches, hill stations and spa treatments are also on the list for such a package. "In India virgin hill stations like Coorg and Mukteshwar or the beaches of Lakshadweep and Goa would top the charts. Also with the boom in international holiday packages, couples can go to South East Asian destinations like Thailand and Maldives," added Mr Akhtar.

Designer babies n' designer pregancies
It's about 'getting pregnant in style.' And in their efforts to 'make a baby' Gen X-ers are leaving no stone unturned in making it a big moment out of creating their offspring and doing it in a way that will be memorable.

The Ultra-Honest Resume - How to Write a Resume That Passes the Verification Test

When it comes to resumes, most job seekers know that honesty is the best policy. Never say you graduated from college when you didn't or make a job last a year longer than it really did. But the verification process many employers use for resumes can trip up even workers who aren't trying to fool anyone. All it takes is a little carelessness, a poor memory of what happened eight years ago, or the acquisition of a former employer to turn a resume into a liability.

Many companies hire outside background checkers to verify resumes and job applications. These companies note every inconsistency and piece of information they can't confirm -- even the difference between starting a job on April 1 and April 5 -- although some problems are treated more seriously than others by employers.


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Gestures In The Art Of Lovemaking

Priya Devi R

Gestures carry forth the thoughts rather more profoundly than verbal expressions in the art of lovemaking. In the language of love, gestures perform a vital role in unraveling the secret desires of the heart that seeks to assuage the ravenous cravings of the body, kindling the flame to flare up into easy gesticulation. It works wonders for a woman when she gets into the mood to capture the attention of her spouse to indulge in that amorous play. Here are a few tips to get him into a tireless engagement with you.

Innovations keep your sex life alive. A shift from the regular place would aid in breaking the monotony. Invite him to a sofa or a couch. For a more romantic twosome the kitchen table or the bathtub or a veranda enclosed within roller shades could help in creating the mood. Always keep stock of two to three new sensuous nightwears and lingerie out of his sight to pull in his attention when those moods spring up. Run him a hot shower after a day's work and can also use the opportunity to step in to the shower with him. Keep the place where you have chosen clean and fragrant with a mild room spray. Have a dim light on or for more romantic moments you can opt for scented candles and not to miss out on some mild soft music playing in the background.

Gestures Commence with small but sensuous kisses at the end of his dinner to provoke him to a lengthy night or opt to stroke his hair lightly. Run a hand through his shirt to stroke his chest gently to turn on his attention or to get him started. Let love lurk in your eyes as your eyes are the windows of your heart. Keep your bedroom door unbolted during his absence when you are in the shower. So when he steps in let him find you wrapped in a short towel and your body pampered with a mild sweet smelling body lotion to turn him on. Hide short love notes in the things that are frequently used by him like the book that he is currently reading, his shoes, in between his clothes, shaving kit or his wallet.

If your spouse is an adventurous lover and his temperament allows you to indulge in more a daring advance you could surprise him by grabbing him by his shirt and indulging in an enduring kiss. A naughty nibble at his ear would get him alerted. A sudden embrace from behind with a shower of kisses could set him into action. Encourage him in small whispers his actions that sets you rocking. This would aid him in discovering new pleasures for you. Reciprocate the same in entertaining him. Keep your self-updated with a novel way each time so that each time is a fresh experience. Refrain from drifting into a sleep as soon as you are done. Words of love and care would form the basis for the next time, who knows the next session also for true love is the platform that stages your amorous play.

Things That Can Ruin Your Sex Life

Poonam Deviah

Lovemaking is beautiful, also sensuous and sensitive. It is beyond carnal pleasure and for those who see farther, it is a divine union of Shiva (Lord Shiva, Indian Deity) and Shakti (Mother of Creation).

An active sex life is an ingredient for a good marriage and healthy living. Many a times sex life can be ruined and most times one would not realize what is going wrong. Here are a few pointers and remedies to balance out your love life.

Did you ask your partner what he/she enjoys and worked on it? Nothing kills a sex life faster than a partner who refuses to try something new or caters to the needs of his/her partner. Unintentionally you might be sending 'don't care,' signals, "Your pleasures and needs are not important to me, I' am happy, so I don't care."

Ask your partner what he/she likes. They might have some hidden fantasies waiting to be explored. Don't shy away from trying them. If you think the whole idea is beyond you, speak your mind to your partner. Do not make nasty comments, for, these are very sensitive issues and once hurt, it might take a very long time to heal, or may not heal even. So watch out!

When was the last time you ventured out of your sexual comfort zone? Did you ever? Eating the same dinner every night, would bore you, wouldn't it? The same applies to your love life. Doing the same things over and over again, first leads to boredom, then slowly the fire dies and finally extinguishes. From here, then begins a whole turmoil of frustrations and emotional upheavals.

Get innovative. Talk to your partner, see how both of you can work a whole new world of love. Try new ways. If you can't think of anything, get hold of a good book. Both of you can explore together and if you can invent something new, nothing like it. Work at it, and you'll see long-term results.

Dirty talking, not really sure how many enjoy this, but some do. You need to watch what you talk, because for some, this can be a complete put off. When you are on that high ski diving mode, a wrong word can land you flat on the face. If your partner does not enjoy this you can perhaps keep it to the minimum, so as to balance your needs as well as that of your partner's.

[Ruin sex life] While making love do you really pay attention? It is very important that you live through and receive the whole experience. Be aware of what you enjoy and what you don't. Pay attention to your partner's needs. In your pleasure don't ignore the pleasure of the other. Don't be the wild stallion running helter skelter, while your partner withers in pain.

Do you always wait for your partner to initiate? If you do, you might be missing out on a lot. Power can be a huge turn-on and can be very sexy for both. Initiating when that's not your usual style can jump-start the whole act. Your partner will be pleasantly surprised and you will be in control. Try it and see how it feels.

Do you have a diminished desire with very little or no fire? You might be one among the many who suffer due to stress or related problems. This might be physical, mental, or psychological. Get help. See this as a problem and seek help. It is very important to get at problem and nip them off at the bud. Don't let them grow into tall trees with firm roots. These can have long-term repercussions.

Lovemaking is a beautiful gift of nature and must be nurtured with care. Don't keep lovemaking for the dark hours of the night. Have you tried a passionate wake up call? Kick- start the day with a passionate act. Most couples restrict themselves to the bedroom. Whenever feasible grab a quickie on the couch, kitchen slab, under the shower, on the carpet, wherever. Try new ways. If you can't think of anything, get hold of a good book, both of you explore together and if you can invent something new, nothing like it.

Get rocking!

Fathers Can Be The Best Friends Of Teenage Daughters

Sharon Supriya

Father of teenage daughter "I loved my dad. I remember, as a child I used to jump on him as soon as he came back from his work. I told him every bit that happened in school, from my friend to my teachers. If I remembered something in the mid of the night that I forgot to tell him I would walk up and whisper it in his ears.

Things were the same until I stepped into my teens. When I experienced certain changes in my body and thoughts, I slowly started drifting away from my father. When he came to hug me after his work, I would shy off. I was shaping a body like my mother. It was an eerie feeling. And the creepiest thing was that I had weird dreams about nude people and dark rooms. My friends told me some strange and new stories. I wanted to know all about these changes. They were new to me. Now I moved to my mother just to see whether those changes where normal and wished if she could tell me that I was still the "same child."

The above situation is faced by most of the teenage daughters and fathers in the world. The toughest questions to solve at this period by fathers would be is how do I talk to her about the important things in life - changing body, first dates, money, sex, work, beliefs, being true to your values, pornography, death, alcohol, drugs and other things? Here are some useful guidelines for a father to develop a healthy relationship with teenage daughters. Read on to know how to maintain the same innocent and healthy relationship with your teenage daughter.

For Fathers
Remember that your daughter is having physical and a mental changes. She is not that innocent and sweet little baby that she used to be few years ago. That doesn't mean she is perverted and spoilt now. It just means that she knows fairly a bit of what you didn't tell her. She came to know about it all through her friends, TV, Internet or school. So, be calm and answer the questions she asks you about these new aspects of life. Make her believe that these changes are true, necessary and pure.

Writing Letters
Well! Now how will you tell her, if you are a shy person yourself and your daughter doesn't take the first step? Write letters. This is a very simple medium through which you can always maintain a close relationship with her. Do not jump into 'sex' topics in the beginning. She may even run away from you when you try to tell her something nice and clean the next time.

Write to her about your own teenage experiences. Tell her about your first crush, your first date and first love. Make her feel that these experiences are a part of nature. When she will know this she will surely come closer to you and tell her secret beliefs and experiences. Be a treasure of secrets for her. Anything that she discussed with you should be kept in the strictest sense of confidence. This will reinforce the trust.

Do not change channels when you see some lovemaking scenes in the TV. Watch it with her until it is moving to an extreme step and you think it is not safe for your daughter at this age. When you watch it with her she will understand that it is just a normal aspect and you are cool with it.

Father of teenage daughter If you cannot talk about sex, then present her factual books or novels related to sex. Remember to add a note in the first page, "I want you to know some other aspects in the world, for I want you to be safe---------- Love Papa". Remember if you don't tell her someone else will. This may get her in some worst situations and the bond you shared may just disappear some day.

Over protection
Fathers usually feel that the world holds danger for their daughters. However over protection may not work as it makes her feel that you do not trust her. To make her understand the dangers, work with other parents to demand an end to violence against females, pornography, women insecurities and all "boys are better than girls" attitude. These movements will ofcourse benefit many women in the world and at the same time you will acquire great respect from your daughter.

Get involved
Do not move her away from you physically as being physically active with her is a great investment. Listen to her carefully. Respect her views, opinions and suggestions. Urge her to love herself and accept herself the way she is. Get involved in her school activities; show her the same interests. Get physically active with her by playing catch, tag, basketball, hockey or anything that would bring her close to you. Experts say that physically active girls are less likely to get pregnant, drop out of school, or put up with an abusive partner.

Horrifying topics
When you have achieved a good mark on these topics move towards the rest, like death, war, drugs, her role in the society, ... etc. Most fathers may feel that this is not necessary. However these subjects are essential as they are a part of life. Do not scare her with the loss, pain and grief, but enlighten them with the reunion and faith of God.

Nurture her like a beautiful flower, protect her without a cage, and help her to love herself and the world with a change. Help her to move closer for an everlasting warmth and friendship.

10 Crucial and Surprising Steps to Build Trust in a Relationship

1. Be predictable.
When do seeds of suspicion emerge? When one begins to think, What's up? Why is he doing that? He's never done that before. That is so unlike him. He loses 30 pounds, buys a new wardrobe and comes home late from work. He changes his patterns. His behavior becomes unpredictable. You get the picture? Any movement away from predictable behavior can become suspect and trust can deteriorate.
Focus on acting predictably if you need to build trust. Be consistent in what you do.
This doesn't mean you must be boring. If there is a twinkle in your eye and a dose of spontaneity every so often, for goodness sakes be spontaneous and fun loving. But, be spontaneous consistently! Be true to who you have always been and be that consistently, whoever you tend to be!
2. Inform your significant other when you become "unpredictable."
No one goes through life the same person. We all make shifts and changes. Frankly sometimes we may be fairly clueless about what is happening and where we are going. Those times may be very intense and we do some silly things or make some downright dumb decisions. Life can get very squirrelly and unpredictable. (I have a favorite phrase: Gold is refined through intense heat.) Growth in an individual, marriage or family often is accompanied by a little chaos.
Welcome these shifts, for there is a part of you searching for something better/different/richer/deeper, but for heaven's sake, inform your partner of what you are experiencing. Say, "I really don't know what is going on in me right now, but I'm moving in a different direction. Be a little patient with me while I figure this out. I might do some silly things, but my intent is not to harm you or scare you. Accept some of my wondering and wandering and please be there for me? I may need to run some of this by you every so often!"
3. Make sure your words match the message.
Mean what you say and say what you mean. When your partner hears one thing in your words but your tone of voice, body language and facial expressions are really saying something else, you open the relationship to some crazy making days. Which message is she to believe? This can waste a tremendous amount of energy and she learns not to trust part of what you are saying.
Here's a very simple but common example. You are getting ready to go to a formal dinner. Your wife comes to you and says, "How do I look?" (And she's wearing a dress you don't particularly like and her hair is pulled back in a way that turns you off.)
Not to spoil the evening you enthusiastically say, "You look great." You don't really mean it and a part of her knows you really don't mean it. But, you leave it at that.
This might not seem like a big deal - we all have done something similar - but if trust is shaky to begin with, it is even shakier now.
Here's how to match the words with the nonverbal: "I think you are a beautiful person. I want you to know that. I love you dearly and it will be wonderful to have you by my side tonight. Others will see your beauty. (As you say this, you look into her eyes as you put your hands around her waist.)
She's not concerned so much with how she looks but is expressing a need for affirmation. She's not talking about her dress or hair, but about wanting to know the evening is going to go just fine. You respond to the real message.
You can take this one step further, if you like. At some point you might bring up her need for affirmation and talk about that. Ask her is there is anything you can say or do so that need is met.
Trust is awareness of the intent beneath the obvious message and responding to that!
4. Believe the other person is competent.
I hear this phrase very often: "But, I don't want to hurt him." A couple things are at play here. First, she may not have the skill of confronting the other with the truth in a way that brings reconciliation and understanding. She believes truth telling is destructive or entails some sort of drama. Neither is true. The truth is never destructive and can be conveyed in loving ways. (With that said, what we believe to be the truth may indeed be a distorted perception that fits our personal needs.)
Or, she may see the other person as a wimp; someone she believes cannot handle rigorous personal confrontation. She doesn't trust that the other person has the internal strength or stamina or skills to be in a relationship of mutual respect and equality. The other person picks up on this mistrust and does what he does (feigns inadequacy and incompetence) to avoid the personal confrontation as well. A dance is acted out.
Believe and know in your heart that the other person, somewhere and somehow, beneath the games, has the internal strength and capacity to handle anything. Such trust builds trust in the other person and begins to pervade the relationship. "Hey, she thinks I can handle this! Hmmmm, this is mighty good! I CAN engage her and be truly intimate!"
5. Be very very careful of keeping secrets.
If he knows there is an elephant in the room and doesn't talk about it, the elephant takes up tremendous space in the relationship. It takes energy for him to walk around it. She may not see the elephant but knows he is bending his neck to look around something. She will be curious, mildly disturbed, have feelings but no words to wrap around them, might wonder if something is wrong with her or struggle with trusting her intuition (her intuition KNOWS an elephant is there.) And, when we can't trust the messages that come from within us, we find it very difficult to trust the messages of the other person.
Secrets demand tremendous energy and erode trust. The relationship is doomed never to experience wall-banging intimacy. This is why extramarital affairs are so damaging. She is not so much concerned about him having sex with someone else as she is about the betrayal, lack of trust, the secrets and deception that are crazy making and energy draining.
Now, please. I'm not saying that you sit your partner down and divulge the 23 secrets of your illicit past behaviors. If you have resolved those, i.e. forgiven yourself, understand those behaviors, learned from them and were able to use them to make the internal shifts necessary for your personal development, they do not qualify as an elephant. Hopefully, in the course of growing intimacy in your relationship you may want to share some of those events as you disclose to your partner where you were and where you are now. You do so without emotional charge.
However, if a secret takes up room, i.e. still has an emotional charge and holds you back from disclosing more and more of yourself in the growing stages of intimacy, you have a problem that needs to be addressed with your partner.
6. Let YOUR needs be known - loudly.
Be a little - no, be a lot - self-centered. (Be self-centered, but not selfish!)
Here's a problem I run into almost every day. He is backing away (perhaps attached to work, another person, etc.). She feels the trust and intimacy eroding, is scared and wants to "win him back." So she begins an all out effort to "work on the marriage." She invites him to do so as well. He may reluctantly agree. She blasts full throttle ahead trying to "be nice" and meet every need he ever said he had. She's going to "fill his tank with goodies."
Doesn't work. Her eyes are riveted on him. He feels "smothered" or maybe even resentful: "Why is she doing this NOW!" She's hopeful, but eventually that turns to resentment. Her underlying motive - if I meet his needs, he will feel good and meet mine - just doesn't work. It's perceived as manipulation, which it is. Of course, he doesn't say anything. After all, how do you get angry with someone who is so "nice and caring?"
Trust disintegrates under a blanket of quiet niceties.
Start with your eyes focused on YOU. What do YOU need? Explore your personal need system. Dig beneath the surface. And then say to him: "I need?x, y and z. I would like to talk to you about them. I would like us to work out a way so my needs are met. Are you open to that?"
He is empowered to say yes or no. Or, he may say, "What about my needs?" You respond, "I am very interested in hearing what is important to you, certainly."
Have you ever been around someone who stated clearly what they needed/wanted?
Didn't you respect that person?
Because you knew where he stood, and therefore where you stood, didn't that interaction move toward a trusting relationship?
7. State who YOU are - loudly.
It is very sad to see those in relationships of emotional investment hold back from letting the other person know who they really are.
You build trust in a relationship by entrusting your SELF to the other person.
This sounds easy but I find it difficult for most to pull off. Most of us have a difficult time declaring our SELF. For one thing, if you're like most of us, you haven't given much thought to what it is that makes YOU truly YOU. Don't you feel like you glide through life on autopilot, focusing on tasks, goals, accomplishments, problems and the external realities?
Don't you tend to focus on those things out there or that person out there? You're concerned about what he is thinking, how he is responding to you, whether he likes you, whether he will be an obstacle and where he will fit in your life?
Your conversations may be pleasant but fairly superficial and bluntly, boringly inane. You converse about things/relationships/events out there. You are reluctant to share your thoughts, values, and impressions or take a stand. This doesn't destroy trust. But it doesn't create it either.
And, if you do take a stand it may serve the purpose of protecting you or entrenching you as you react against someone. This more often than not creates trust barriers.
Take some time to reflect on your standards. What are your standards for a relationship? What standards do you hold for yourself? What do you order your life around? What are the 4 top values in your life? What are some themes that you live by? What are you known for?
And then? Begin letting significant people in your life know.
They will respect you. They will know you more deeply. They will thank you for the opportunity to know you. They will see you as a person of character.
They will trust you. They can count on you. They know exactly what is behind and within you.
8. Learn to say NO!
Sometimes you need to say NO! Often it is crucial to say NO!
Saying NO sets boundaries around you that protects you from being hurt or venturing into territory that will be destructive to your heart and soul. You draw a line. You stop tolerating that which drains energy and makes you less than YOU. You refuse to allow the destructive behaviors of others to destroy you. You build a moat around the core of your life.
You do this by informing the other person of what they are doing. You request they stop. If they don't stop, you demand they stop. If they don't stop you walk away without a snide remark, eye-roll or comment.
To some this seems harsh, but saying NO is RESPECTED.
Fear is the basis of mistrust. If you fear that someone will hurt you and believe you have no recourse but to endure that hurt, fear will prevail. How can you trust when you are in fear?
Saying NO, protecting yourself, sends a message to the other person that you will not live in fear. This usually triggers a response of respect from the other person. After all, if you can protect yourself and refuse subjugation to that which is destructive, will not the other person come to trust you and see you as a person who just might protect him/her from harm as well?
9. Charge Neutral.
When your significant other expresses something powerfully, charge neutral.
Most of us are afraid of strong feelings or points of contention in a relationship. I commonly hear people respond by defending themselves (to a perceived attack), explaining themselves, counter-attacking, shutting down, or walking away. Of course, the relationship remains stuck in this quagmire of mistrust and fear.
Rather than reacting and having your feelings flowing all over the place or shutting down, practice charging neutral.
Communicate calmness, not only in your tone of voice but also in how you carry your body. Don't speak with a charge to your voice. Control your voice! Say what you must say, state the truth and do it directly and calmly.
You can do this, once you master your fears. It will dramatically change the flow of the relationship.
You will be able to point out something big, without making a big deal out of it. You will be in control of you. This not only feels great, but your partner trusts that you won't fly or fall apart.
You will experience your personal power. This makes you very attractive. Don't people really trust someone who knows their personal power and how to use it for the welfare of themselves and others?
Your partner will love the fact that she can trust you consistently to operate from your "quiet center," remain engaged, not back down and speak the truth with conviction and calmness.
10. Dig into the dirt.
Relationships of emotional investment, by their nature, bring trials, tribulations, fears, chaos, turmoil, change, stretching and growth. They become the grist from which your life is shaped and formed.
Be fearless when faced with turmoil, upset, crisis, questions, and fears. When the time is right, seek them out. Move toward the frightening unknown. Dig into the dirt of your relationship and uncover the treasures. Do you really TRUST that this can happen?
The purpose of your relationship is not to make you happy. Do you realize this? Happiness may be an outcome, but your other is given to you to move you to where you really want to be.
Obstacles, trials and moments of pain are given as lessons on which you intentionally write the script of your life individually and together. Embrace the difficult. Trust that in this embracing you will find more of your true self.
Trust that you are given the resources and capacity to face what you and your significant other are to face.
Once you are able to believe and trust these ultimate purposes, trusting your significant other will be that much more easy.

Teen Sentenced For School Guns

Tiffany Cochran

A 17-year-old Fayette County honor student will spend the next couple of years in boot camp and a detention center after being sentenced for bringing an arsenal of weapons to school.

Robin Christopher Kittrell was arrested on the first day of class last August after authorities found the weapons in the trunk of his car at Whitewater High School.

District Attorney Scott Ballard asked the judge to sentence Kittrell to five years in prison, followed by five more years of probation. The defense just wanted probation.

In the end, the judge wanted to send a message, with time in an adult detention center, but not to prison.

“It’s hard to comprehend why this occurred, but it did occur,” said Judge Tommy Hankinson.

It was a situation that could have easily turned to tragedy. Fayette County authorities say Kittrell brought an arsenal of weapons to Whitewater High on the first day of school last August, including two handguns, two rifles, a ninja-style sword, and a switchblade.

The honor student pleaded guilty last November to all nine charges against him. Now was the time for sentencing, after a day-long hearing of testimony from the school resource officer and the defendant.

Judge Hankinson acknowledged that Kittrell did not have a prior record, but felt he should be punished for bringing the weapons to school.

“I sentence you to ten years, to be served as follows,” Hankinson said. “A complete probation boot camp. Following probation boot camp, you will serve two years in the probation detention center. Following your release from probation detention center, you will serve the remainder of your sentence on probation with the first year on intensive probation.”

D.A. Scott Ballard asked for five years prison time, but he says he is pleased with this sentence.

“I’ve got a strong feeling that he will stay in jail as long with this sentence as if he had gotten what I had asked for, because I think the parole board might have let him out, certainly before he completed the full five years I was asking for,” Ballard said.

Defense attorney Lee Sexton says he is also pleased with the judge’s decision.

“I truly have doubts he could have survived that sentence,” Sexton said. “I commend the judge for not letting us test that theory.”

Kittrell was escorted out of the courtroom, and will remain in the Fayette County Jail until a spot opens up for him at that boot camp. He is expected to spend about six months there, before heading over to the detention center for possibly another two years.

When asked why he brought the weapons to the school in the first place, he said that he had no intention of hurting any of his classmates.

Princess Diana Inquest Under Way

The British inquest into Princess Diana's death in a 1997 car crash in Paris resumed Monday with a plea from her sons that conclusions be reached quickly.

"It is their desire that the inquest should not only be open, fair and transparent but that it should move swiftly to a conclusion," according to a letter from Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, private secretary to the princes, which was read at the opening session.

Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, a retired senior judge and member of the House of Lords, presided at the preliminary hearings at the Royal Courts of Justice, which concentrated on procedural issues. She ruled that all sessions would be open to the public, and that the deaths of Diana and her friend Dodi Fayed would be examined together.

She also must decide whether to reach a verdict by herself or convene a jury.

Queen Elizabeth II sided with Fayed's father, Mohamed al Fayed, in urging that a jury — if called — should be made up of members of the general public. Because Diana was buried as a royal, normally an inquest jury would be made up of royal household members.

That would add to fuel to the conspiracy theorists' fire, reports CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar.

Fayed has accused the queen's husband, Prince Philip, of orchestrating a plot to murder Diana and Fayed. A police inquiry published last year concluded that there was no murder conspiracy, and that the deaths were accidental.

In a letter to the court, the queen's lawyer, Sir John Nutting, said that "in the particular circumstances of this case the public interest, it is submitted, would be best served by avoiding the course of (summoning) a 'royal' jury to avoid any appearance of bias in consideration of the issues which such an inquest would be bound to consider."

The full inquest, which was swiftly adjourned in 2004 shortly after it began, is expected to take place later this year, nearly a decade after the couple were killed in a car crash in a Paris tunnel. The inquest was put off until the French investigations were completed.

"The French procedure did not allow us to use their documentation until the main investigation was complete," Butler-Sloss said.

A two-year French investigation, a three-year Metropolitan Police inquiry and repeated legal action by al Fayed have delayed the inquests by nearly a decade.

Under British law, inquests are held when someone dies unexpectedly, violently or of unknown causes.

Diana's former private secretary, Patrick Jephson, said Monday that he hoped the inquest would put an end to conspiracy theories.

"At its best the inquest will show us that this sad matter is now settled and that we can concentrate on remembering the princess in an entirely positive light as Princes William and Harry obviously want us to," Jephson told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Al Fayed, who owns Harrods department store, pressed the British authorities to hold Monday's hearings in public and had threatened legal action if they did not.

Diana's sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale was in court, as was al Fayed.

The early hearings were originally going to be private, but Butler-Sloss decided otherwise, saying public interest in the case was overwhelming. Nearly 70 seats have been reserved for the media. An additional 50 seats have been set aside for the public, who will have to line up to see the early proceedings.

Late last year, a sweeping British police inquiry — which cost nearly $8 million — dismissed allegations that the princess was the victim of a murder conspiracy. The inquiry, headed by Lord Stevens, the former chief of the Metropolitan Police, said the chauffeur in the 1997 crash was drunk and driving at a high speed to elude pursuing photographers.

"On the evidence available there was no conspiracy to murder any occupants of that car. This was a tragic accident," he said.

Stevens' report largely confirmed previous findings by French investigators.

When the full inquest begins, Stevens' report "will assist in identifying the scope," according to the inquest's Web site, but Butler-Sloss will assess what evidence is relevant and which witnesses to call.

Diana, 36, and Fayed, 42, were killed along with chauffeur Henri Paul when their Mercedes crashed in the Pont d'Alma tunnel in on Aug. 31, 1997. The only survivor, bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, was badly hurt.

Al Fayed rejected Stevens' report.

"It's all baloney, it's all made up, as a cover-up, a hundred percent," Fayed said in an interview.

"For nine years I have fought against overwhelming odds and monstrous official obstructions. I will not stop now in my quest for the truth," he said in a statement.

"He believes that an establishment fix is already in, but he hopes that by good advocacy by his lawyers, he will be able to bring the truth out into the open," said his spokesman, Michael Cole Monday.

All the talk of conspiracies has served to obscure one very central fact, reports MacVicar: On the night she died, Diana was with Fayed's son, leaving a Fayed-owned hotel, with a Fayed driver, and a Fayed bodyguard, and with a plan made by the Fayed son.

Saddam execution video leads to arrests

Iraqi authorities reported the arrests Wednesday of two guards and an official who supervised Saddam Hussein's hanging and said the guard force was infiltrated by outsiders who taunted the former leader and shot the video showing his body dangling at the end of a rope.

The unauthorized video, which ignited protests by Saddam's fellow Sunni Arabs in various Iraqi cities, threatens to turn the ousted dictator into a martyr. Saddam was shown never bowing his head as he faced death, and asking the hecklers if they were acting in a manly way.

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Oprah's £20m ($40m) school proves she's not all talk

Oprah Winfrey, the talk show star and media mogul, likes to make friends through generosity, famously once giving every member of her studio audience a free car to take home. Yesterday, however, she celebrated giving of a slightly less frivolous kind.

Surrounded by American celebrities, Winfrey, listed as the richest black person on the planet, presided over the opening of a school for disadvantaged girls just outside Johannesburg, South Africa, built with $40m (£20m) of her own money and set to begin classes on Friday.

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Independent Appeal: Children in slavery

Justin Huggler

It is now illegal in India to employ servants younger than 14. But enforcing that law and changing public attitudes to child labour is not proving easy.

Late one night in Madras, a passer-by found two girls huddled together for shelter under a bridge. They had been badly beaten. At first the passer-by thought they had run away from home, but when he questioned them, it turned out their story was more sinister.

They were child domestic servants, sent from their home miles away to work in the house of a rich family in Madras. Their employer had beaten them so badly the two sisters had decided to run away. They knew no one in the city, they didn't even speak the local language. But they were desperate. One was 12 years old, the other 14. When they were taken to hospital later, it was discovered they had severe burns on their legs.

They were lucky. The passer-by who found them took them to Arunodhaya, a non-governmental organisation that rescues child domestic workers, and is the local partner of Anti-Slavery International, one of the charities in The Independent's Christmas Appeal this year. Virgil D'Sami, the woman who runs Arunodhaya, immediately went to the authorities and had the children first taken into care, then reunited with their family.

It was one of the first successes under India's new child labour law. Until the law was passed recently, it was legal to employ children of any age as domestic servants in India. Now anyone employing a servant younger than 14 faces up to a year in prison. Getting the law passed was a victory for Anti-Slavery International which has been campaigning for years to have child domestic labour banned.

Still, the case was not a complete success. Although the two girls were rescued, their employer was well connected, and the case against him was quietly dropped by the police - a sign of the difficulties still facing the campaign against child labour in India.

"It has taken us a long time to overcome perceptions about child domestic servants in India," says Ms D'Sami. "People have traditionally thought that employers are doing these poor children a favour by giving them a job and letting them earn some money. And they tend to think of domestic work as safe for children, as opposed to working in a factory or outdoors. For years, even when we went to government officials this is what they were saying to us."

But working as a domestic servant is far from safe for a child. The story of another girl rescued by Arunodhaya, who can be named only as D, is ample proof of that. Aged just 12, she was repeatedly sexually abused by her employer. "When his wife found out, she didn't take any action against her husband," says Ms D'Sami. "Instead she took it out on the girl. She poured boiling water over her and beat her."

Neighbours heard the girl's cries for help and got her out of the house. She nearly died of her injuries. Today she is well, but badly scarred from the boiling water.

Another girl, Mamimegalai, was not so lucky. Accused of stealing her employers' jewellery, she was beaten to death before anyone could go to her aid. At first, her parents fought for justice for her. But they came under pressure from the rich employer, and eventually dropped the case.

Domestic servants are still widespread in India. Most middle-income households have a cook, and wealthy families employ retinues of five or six servants. Until the new child labour law was passed, the use of children as domestic servants was also widespread.

"When I was growing up, my family had a child servant, and I never thought there was anything wrong with it," says Ms D'Sami. "It wasn't until years later, when I got involved in this work, that I began to see the harm it does."

Even when they are not physically abused by their employers, the effects on their welfare are severe, says Ms D'Sami.

"Aside from the cases of abuse, the worst thing is often that the children are denied an education. They make a few hundred rupees a week - enough to buy food, but nothing else."

Child domestic workers divide into two groups: those who live in their employers' houses, and those who only work there by day and return home at night. Those in the first category are most at risk, and when Arunodhaya hears of cases it steps in to rescue them, alongside the Indian government's official child protection agency.

But non-resident child workers face problems too, and Ms D'Sami and her organisation have been heavily involved in trying to get them out of work and into school.

Archana is in her late teens. When Ms D'Sami first found her, five years ago, she was a domestic worker. She accompanied her mother to clean houses every day, and had no aspirations beyond earning a subsistence living as a servant for the rest of her life. Now, thanks to Arunodhaya, she has completed secondary school and won a place to study for a degree in lab technology at a teaching hospital.

She is just one of the girls - most of the child domestic servants are girls - who have benefited from Arunodhaya's local outreach programme. The charity's workers start by getting the girls to attend evening classes at a local community centre they have set up. It is a humble affair, a simple one-room hut, but it has changed many girls' lives. They stop those who are under 14 from working as domestic servants. The older ones are encouraged to enroll at school.

"Some of the employers are good about it, but some are against us going to school," says Mena, who is 15. "One is always telling me you are wasting your time going to school. She keeps me late at work and I am late for classes and get told off by the teachers."

It is a hard life for the girls, rushing from work to school and back, but they are making a future for themselves. For Sandhya, it is a welcome change from the days when she was made to take her employer's daughter to school, carrying the more privileged child's books for her. "She used to shout at me and call me a servant," says Sandhya. "I told my parents I could not live like that, being called a servant by a younger child."

As always in India, caste is an issue. The child domestic workers almost all come from the lower castes, many of them former Untouchables, while the employers are generally higher caste. For the child servants, this often means they are forced to endure further ignominy.

"The Brahmins are the worst," says Divya, 16. "We aren't even allowed to go through their front doors. If we do, they clean it with oil, because they're afraid we will pollute their caste. If we so much as touch their children they get angry. If we wash a dish, they wash it again after because we've touched it. How are you supposed to work when you can't touch anything?"

Thanks to Virgil D'Sami and Arunodhaya, these girls are now getting an education that means they and their children will no longer have to work as servants for the more privileged. In their simple hut in the Madras suburbs, Arunodhaya's workers are changing Indian society.