having the federal government guarantee a job to anyone who wants one. Some economists support less ambitious policies, such as expanded benefits to help people who lose jobs in a recession. But there is little prospect that Congress would adopt either approach, or come to the rescue again with large relief checks — especially given criticism from many Republicans, and some high-profile Democrats, that excessive aid in the pandemic contributed to inflation today.

“The tragedy will be that our administration won’t be able to help the families or individuals that need it if another recession happens,” Ms. Holder said.

Morgani Brown, 24, lives and works in Charlotte, N.C., and has experienced the modest yet meaningful improvements in job quality that many Black workers have since the initial pandemic recession. She left an aircraft cleaning job with Jetstream Ground Services at Charlotte Douglas International Airport last year because the $10-an-hour pay was underwhelming. But six months ago, the work had become more attractive.

has recently cut back its work force. (An Amazon official noted on a recent earnings call that the company had “quickly transitioned from being understaffed to being overstaffed.”)

Ms. Brown said she and her roommates hoped that their jobs could weather any downturn. But she has begun hearing more rumblings about people she knows being fired or laid off.

“I’m not sure exactly why,” she said.

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Indiana Becomes 1st State To Approve Abortion Ban Post Roe

Under the ban, which takes effect Sept. 15, all abortion clinics would lose their licenses. The ban includes some exceptions.

Indiana on Friday became the first state in the nation to approve abortion restrictions since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, as the Republican governor quickly signed a near-total ban on the procedure shortly after lawmakers approved it.

The ban, which takes effect Sept. 15, includes some exceptions. Abortions would be permitted in cases of rape and incest, before 10-weeks post-fertilization; to protect the life and physical health of the mother; and if a fetus is diagnosed with a lethal anomaly. Victims of rape and incest would not be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to an attack, as had once been proposed.

Under the bill, abortions can be performed only in hospitals or outpatient centers owned by hospitals, meaning all abortion clinics would lose their licenses. A doctor who performs an illegal abortion or fails to file required reports must also lose their medical license — wording that tightens current Indiana law that says a doctor “may” lose their license.

“I am personally most proud of each Hoosier who came forward to courageously share their views in a debate that is unlikely to cease any time soon,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in the statement announcing that he had signed the measure. “For my part as your governor, I will continue to keep an open ear.”

His approval came after the Senate approved the ban 28-19 and the House advanced it 62-38.

Indiana was among the earliest Republican-run state legislatures to debate tighter abortion laws after the Supreme Court ruling in June that removed constitutional protections for the procedure. But it is the first state to pass a ban through both chambers, after West Virginia lawmakers on July 29 passed up the chance to be that state.

“Happy to be completed with this, one of the more challenging things that we’ve ever done as a state General Assembly, at least certainly while I’ve been here,” Senate President Pro-Tem Rodric Bray told reporters after the vote. ” I think this is a huge opportunity, and we’ll build on that as we go forward from here.”

Sen. Sue Glick of LaGrange, who sponsored the bill, said that she does not think “all states will come down at the same place” but that most Indiana residents support aspects of the bill.

Some senators in both parties lamented the bill’s provisions and the impact it would have on the state, including low-income women and the health care system. Eight Republicans joined all 11 Democrats in voting against the bill, though their reasons to thwart the measure were mixed.

“We are backsliding on democracy,” said Democratic Sen. Jean Breaux of Indianapolis, who wore a green ribbon Friday signifying support for abortion rights, on her lapel. “What other freedoms, what other liberties are on the chopping block, waiting to be stripped away?”

Republican Sen. Mike Bohacek of Michiana Shores spoke about his 21-year-old-daughter, who has Down syndrome. Bohacek voted against the bill, saying it does not have adequate protections for women with disabilities who are raped.

“If she lost her favorite stuffed animal, she’d be inconsolable. Imagine making her carry a child to term,” he said before he started to choke up, then threw his notes on his seat and exited the chamber.

Republican Sen. Mike Young of Indianapolis, however, said the bill’s enforcement provisions against doctors are not stringent enough.

Such debates demonstrated Indiana residents’ own divisions on the issue, displayed in hours of testimony lawmakers heard over the past two weeks. Residents rarely, if ever, expressed support for the the legislation in their testimony, as abortion-rights supporters said the bill goes too far while anti-abortion activists expressed it doesn’t go far enough.

The debates came amid an evolving landscape of abortion politics across the country as Republicans face some party divisions and Democrats see a possible election-year boost.

Republican Rep. Wendy McNamara of Evansville, who sponsored the House bill, told reporters after the House vote that the legislation “makes Indiana one of the most pro-life states in the nation.”

Outside the chambers, abortion-rights activists often chanted over lawmakers’ remarks, carrying signs like “Roe roe roe your vote” and “Build this wall” between church and state. Some House Democrats wore blazers over pink “Bans Off Our Bodies” T-shirts.

Indiana’s ban followed the political firestorm over a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled to the state from neighboring Ohio to end her pregnancy. The case gained attention when an Indianapolis doctor said the child came to Indiana because of Ohio’s “fetal heartbeat” ban.

Religion was a persistent theme during legislative debates, both in residents’ testimony and lawmakers’ comments.

In advocating against the House bill, Rep. Ann Vermilion condemned fellow Republicans who have called women “murderers” for getting an abortion.

“I think that the Lord’s promise is for grace and kindness,” she said. “He would not be jumping to condemn these women.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

: newsy.com

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Missouri Couple Shares Abortion Story

For families considering an abortion, the issue can be very complicated. One couple details traveling to different states and spending thousands.

Angela and Justin Orel are settling into their new house in suburban Kansas City, MO with their first child, Avett, and chocolate lab, Lucy.   

They moved to a bigger house at the end of last year with hopes of expanding their family, and they got pregnant even sooner than they planned. 

“I just went into like a normal OB appointment and found out, so it was kind of exciting,” Angela said. “And I was so excited. I just called him by afterwards. And I was like, ‘I have news.'”

“I just knew,” Justin said. 

Everything seemed normal for the first few months of pregnancy. And at 18 weeks, Angela’s OB recommended doing a standard test for genetic problems and abnormalities.  

“Anything over 35 is considered a geriatric pregnancy, which is a low blow, but that’s what they call it. And so I’m 36,” said Angela 

That’s when everything changed. 

“We got the call from the OB saying, you know ‘Your test is positive, but don’t get too alarmed. There’s a high false positivity rate with this test. So we’d like you to come back in and just do it again,'” said Angela. 

The second test was also positive, and then two specialists confirmed their worst case scenario. 

“And that was the spina bifida and basically the physical and mental disabilities. And also on top of that, the craniosynostosis,” said Angela. 

Their first child, Avett, also had craniosynostosis, meaning his skull fused together too early. But that’s fixable with surgery. 

The severe spina bifida diagnosis was a different story. It’s a major birth defect of the spinal cord, and it often comes alongside hydrocephalus, which is a buildup of fluid around the brain. 

“And there was already showing significant signs of that to the point it was actually causing the brain to fall down the spinal column, like into the throat,” said Angela. 

The damage already done to their fetus’ spine was unrepairable. 

“Maybe, potentially, they could have some use of their legs to basically being a quadriplegic and anything in between. And we don’t know exactly where that was going to be,” Justin said. “And that was probably the hardest part. And it was the same with the cognitive impairment, and could be something small that goes along with it. But there certainly would be some because they could already see that some damage had been done.”

Initially, they prepared for a drastic change in their family’s life, and they didn’t know that an abortion was an option. 

“For sure one of us would probably have to quit their jobs and stay at home full time, which we probably wouldn’t be able to afford this house. So then we’d have to sell it and not that any of that matters, but it’s just like the domino effect,” said Angela. 

Angela grew up alongside a second cousin with severe spina bifida, so she’s seen how living with the disease can impact the whole family. 

“She’s in her mid 40s now and growing up with her and seeing the struggles of everyday life — it’s heartbreaking,” Angela added. 

That firsthand knowledge, combined with concerns about the quality of life for Avett and their entire family weighed heavily on their ultimate decision to have an abortion. 

“Almost, in a way, I felt like we were saving everyone from having to go through that, which I felt was even harder than to terminate when we did,” said Angela 

“There was no good choice,” Justin said. “There wasn’t like a right and wrong decision. There was just two [expletive] options.”

At about 20 weeks pregnant, they knew they needed to move fast. But they couldn’t get an appointment on Kansas or Missouri side of the state line before legal limits kicked in. So they drove across the state to Illinois, but the first clinic they visited was a no-go.    

“That particular clinic did not have any anesthesiologist on staff. And so they could not sedate you,” Angela said. 

“There was no way to tell how much pain you’d experience physically, on top of the emotional trauma that would go with it,” Justin added. 

They drove four hours back home without getting the procedure done. They got a new appointment at a different location, and the next week drove back across the state again. The medical and travel costs were almost $6,000, and nothing was covered by health insurance.   

“None of it was cheap,” Justin said. “And I think we count ourselves very lucky that we were able to afford it and be flexible enough with work with both of our jobs, giving us the time off and having family to take care of [our son Avett] while we’re gone for a few days.”

They’ve never second guessed their choice to terminate. 

“I think I’m finally kind of at the point where I’m feeling happier again,” Angela said. “I know, we made the right decision for us. I do.”

But they still think about the baby they’ll never get a chance to meet. 

: newsy.com

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A Cyberattack Illuminates the Shaky State of Student Privacy

The software that many school districts use to track students’ progress can record extremely confidential information on children: “Intellectual disability.” “Emotional Disturbance.” “Homeless.” “Disruptive.” “Defiance.” “Perpetrator.” “Excessive Talking.” “Should attend tutoring.”

Now these systems are coming under heightened scrutiny after a recent cyberattack on Illuminate Education, a leading provider of student-tracking software, which affected the personal information of more than a million current and former students across dozens of districts — including in New York City and Los Angeles, the nation’s largest public school systems.

Officials said in some districts the data included the names, dates of birth, races or ethnicities and test scores of students. At least one district said the data included more intimate information like student tardiness rates, migrant status, behavior incidents and descriptions of disabilities.

Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest district.

Now some cybersecurity and privacy experts say that the cyberattack on Illuminate Education amounts to a warning for industry and government regulators. Although it was not the largest hack on an ed tech company, these experts say they are troubled by the nature and scope of the data breach — which, in some cases, involved delicate personal details about students or student data dating back more than a decade. At a moment when some education technology companies have amassed sensitive information on millions of school children, they say, safeguards for student data seem wholly inadequate.

“There has really been an epic failure,” said Hector Balderas, the attorney general of New Mexico, whose office has sued tech companies for violating the privacy of children and students.

In a recent interview, Mr. Balderas said that Congress had failed to enact modern, meaningful data protections for students while regulators had failed to hold ed tech firms accountable for flouting student data privacy and security.

outpacing protections for students’ personal information. Lawmakers rushed to respond.

Since 2014, California, Colorado and dozens of other states have passed student data privacy and security laws. In 2014, dozens of K-12 ed tech providers signed on to a national Student Privacy Pledge, promising to maintain a “comprehensive security program.”

Supporters of the pledge said the Federal Trade Commission, which polices deceptive privacy practices, would be able to hold companies to their commitments. President Obama endorsed the pledge, praising participating companies in a major privacy speech at the F.T.C. in 2015.

The F.T.C. has a long history of fining companies for violating children’s privacy on consumer services like YouTube and TikTok. Despite numerous reports of ed tech companies with problematic privacy and security practices, however, the agency has yet to enforce the industry’s student privacy pledge.

In May, the F.T.C. announced that regulators intended to crack down on ed tech companies that violate a federal law — the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act — which requires online services aimed at children under 13 to safeguard their personal data. The agency is pursuing a number of nonpublic investigations into ed tech companies, said Juliana Gruenwald Henderson, an F.T.C. spokeswoman.

company’s site says its services reach more than 17 million students in 5,200 school districts. Popular products include an attendance-taking system and an online grade book as well as a school platform, called eduCLIMBER, that enables educators to record students’ “social-emotional behavior” and color-code children as green (“on track”) or red (“not on track”).

Illuminate has promoted its cybersecurity. In 2016, the company announced that it had signed on to the industry pledge to show its “support for safeguarding” student data.

Concerns about a cyberattack emerged in January after some teachers in New York City schools discovered that their online attendance and grade book systems had stopped working. Illuminate said it temporarily took those systems offline after it became aware of “suspicious activity” on part of its network.

On March 25, Illuminate notified the district that certain company databases had been subject to unauthorized access, said Nathaniel Styer, the press secretary for New York City Public Schools. The incident, he said, affected about 800,000 current and former students across roughly 700 local schools.

For the affected New York City students, data included first and last names, school name and student ID number as well as at least two of the following: birth date, gender, race or ethnicity, home language and class information like teacher name. In some cases, students’ disability status — that is, whether or not they received special education services — was also affected.

said they were outraged. In 2020, Illuminate signed a strict data agreement with the district requiring the company to safeguard student data and promptly notify district officials in the event of a data breach.

kept student data on the Amazon Web Services online storage system. Cybersecurity experts said many companies had inadvertently made their A.W.S. storage buckets easy for hackers to find — by naming databases after company platforms or products.

a spate of cyberattacks on both ed tech companies and public schools, education officials said it was time for Washington to intervene to protect students.

“Changes at the federal level are overdue and could have an immediate and nationwide impact,” said Mr. Styer, the New York City schools spokesman. Congress, for instance, could amend federal education privacy rules to impose data security requirements on school vendors, he said. That would enable federal agencies to levy fines on companies that failed to comply.

One agency has already cracked down — but not on behalf of students.

Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Pearson, a major provider of assessment software for schools, with misleading investors about a cyberattack in which the birth dates and email addresses of millions of students were stolen. Pearson agreed to pay $1 million to settle the charges.

Mr. Balderas, the attorney general, said he was infuriated that financial regulators had acted to protect investors in the Pearson case — even as privacy regulators failed to step up for schoolchildren who were victims of cybercrime.

“My concern is there will be bad actors who will exploit a public school setting, especially when they think that the technology protocols are not very robust,” Mr. Balderas said. “And I don’t know why Congress isn’t terrified yet.”

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