Friday, May 20, 2011

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Thinks Kids Under 13yrs old Should Be On Facebook

Facebook's founder sees the social networking site as a tool with educational potential. That of course means getting kids Facebooking at an early age.

FORTUNE -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may be a college drop-out, but the billionaire 27-year-old is passionate about education reform. That's why he took time out of his busy schedule to discuss the heated topic (and why he thinks young people can benefit from social networking sites) at a recent summit on innovation in education.

Last year Zuckerberg pledged $100 million to the school system in Newark, New Jersey. At the NewSchools Summit in Burlingame, Calif. earlier this week, Zuckerberg told interviewer (and venture capitalist) John Doerr that improving education and making the Internet more open are two of his favorite dinnertime topics.

Dressed in his signature T-shirt and jeans, Zuckerberg was uncharacteristically unguarded about his private life during the conversation, which lasted about an hour. He referred to his girlfriend of seven years, medical student Priscilla Chan, several times throughout the interview. He also shared anecdotes from his own education and upbringing, gave advice to other entrepreneurs and talked about why he wants kids under 13 to be on Facebook.

"Education is clearly the biggest thing that will drive how the economy improves over the long term," Zuckerberg said. "We spend a lot of time talking about this."

It's no surprise that Zuckerberg thinks the field of education--along with shopping, health, finance and other industries--will become much more social in the coming years.

"In the future, software and technology will enable people to learn a lot from their fellow students," he said. For example, students could see each other studying online in the hopes it would encourage more of them to study for tests.

Zuckerberg said he wants younger kids to be allowed on social networking sites like Facebook. Currently, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) mandates that websites that collect information about users (like Facebook does) aren't allowed to sign on anyone under the age of 13. But Zuckerberg is determined to change this.

"That will be a fight we take on at some point," he said. "My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age."

But just how would Facebook's social features be used by younger children?

"Because of the restrictions we haven't even begun this learning process," Zuckerberg said. "If they're lifted then we'd start to learn what works. We'd take a lot of precautions to make sure that they [younger kids] are safe."

Read More From CNN

Couple Asks Hospital To Apologize For Calling Children Services And Having Their Newborn Taken Away

Las Vegas, NV - A local couple is asking for an apology from Summerlin Hospital after they say their newborn baby was taken away by Child Protective Services, just hours after birth.

Baby Lilia is now two-months-old. But reliving what happened shortly after she was born, is hard for her parents, Cecilia and Lincoln Rogers.

"It's so difficult as a mom to see your baby in intensive care, where you can't even touch her, and she's hooked up to machines," Cecilia says.

But that's exactly where Lilia was taken, to be treated for jaundice.

After getting a second opinion, the couple told hospital staff they wanted their baby out of intensive care, and home with them.

"Our pediatrician told us she was fine, and that it would be okay to monitor her from home" Cecilia says. "Her levels were normal."

But the hospital contacted Child Protective Services.

Cecilia and Lincoln say a CPS Officer and security guard, came to their room at Summerlin Hospital, and threatened to arrest them if they took the baby home, even though they signed a medical release form. Lilia was kept in intensive care against their will.

Now, they want an apology, for what they had to go through. "We wrote a letter to the hospital and we're just basically waiting to hear back and get what's fair," Lincoln says.Link

Their story generated an outpouring of support, even a protest outside the hospital back in March.

"I'm constantly reminded of it by people I run into," Cecilia says. "So many moms have contacted me about it."

And the couple always responds with the advice they wish they had gotten.

"Educate yourself," Cecilia says. "Learn about jaundice levels, learn what's a safe level."

"Know what you're able to do as parents," Lincoln adds.

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San Francisco To Try And Ban Circumcision In November

SAN FRANCISCO (BP)--San Francisco citizens will vote this November whether to ban the circumcision of male children, a first-in-the-nation type of initiative that, if passed, could be struck down in court as a violation of religious freedom.

The group behind the initiative needed 7,168 signatures and got 7,743, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. It would make it illegal to circumcise males under 18, and would punish violators with a fine of $1,000 and up to a year in jail. The initiative has no religious exceptions, the Associated Press reported.

"Parents are really guardians, and guardians have to do what's in the best interest of the child. It's his body. It's his choice," initiative supporter Lloyd Schofield told AP.

Rabbi Gil Yosef Leeds of Berkeley said he has received lots of concerned phone calls from Jewish friends about the initiative. He is confident it will be struck down even if it passes.

"For a city that's renowned for being progressive and open-minded, to even have to consider such an intolerant proposition ... it sets a dangerous precedent for all cities and states," Leeds told AP.
Read More from Baptist Press

Texas Govenor Signs Abortion Sonogram Bill Into Law

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry has signed into law a requirement that doctors conduct a sonogram before performing an abortion.

The hotly debated legislation passed the Republican-controlled House and Senate despite vocal protests against it.

The law requires the doctor to conduct a sonogram, provide the woman a chance to see the image and hear the fetal heartbeat. The doctor is required to explain to the woman what he sees, including the presence of internal organs or limbs. The only exception is for victims of rape and incest or in cases where the fetus has fatal deformities.

Supporters say it will ensure women are fully informed to make a decision. Opponents say it is intended to prevent women from getting an abortion.

The law is among the strongest in the nation.

Indiana School Wants To Give Bus Drivers Authority To Search Students

A western Indiana school district wants to give its bus drivers the authority to search students for weapons or drugs.

The Tribune-Star reported that a Vigo County School Corp. proposal would allow the drivers to search a student and the student's belongings if there is an immediate threat of harm or dangLinker to those on the bus.

Ray Azar, director of student services, said the Terre Haute-based district wants its drivers to have the authority to conduct searches in case they are on the road and must immediately respond to an emergency situation.

That would include scenarios where a student might be in possession of a dangerous drug or a weapon.

Drivers would have to first get permission from the transportation office and/or student services.
Read More from The Indy

Spain: As Unemployment Hits Over 21% Thousands Take To The Streets In Protest

(Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Spaniards angry over joblessness protested for a sixth day on Friday in cities all over the country, and the government looked unlikely to enforce a ban on the demonstrations, fearing clashes.

Dubbed "los indignados" (the indignant), tens of thousands of protesters have filled the main squares of Spain's cities for six days, in a wave of outrage over economic stagnation and government austerity marking a shift after years of patience.

The electoral board ruled on Thursday that protests would be illegal on Saturday, the eve of elections when Spaniards will choose 8,116 city councils and 13 out of 17 regional governments.

But Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who has failed to contain the highest unemployment in the European Union, at 21.3 percent, said he may not enforce the ban.

"I have a great respect for the people protesting, which they are doing in a peaceful manner, and I understand it is driven by economic crisis and young people's hopes for employment," Zapatero said during a radio interview.

He said the Justice Ministry was reviewing the electoral board's ruling to determine whether it should stand.


"We are not going to budge from here," said a 44-year-old unemployed man who declined to give his name, during an assembly at Puerta del Sol in central Madrid, where protesters reached an informal consensus to stay in the square despite the ban.

The man was among hundreds who have camped out all week at Puerta del Sol. His wife and daughter join him every day and the crowd swells to thousands every evening. "Our next move is to spread this to the rest of Europe," he said.

Many protesters told Reuters that they are scared the police will crack down, but analysts said police action against the protesters would be a disaster for the Socialists.

Read More from Reuters