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On December 7, 1941 the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack that decimated the US Pacific Fleet. Of the ships that were attacked few sank as fast or as completely as the Oklahoma, which listed and capsized within minutes after a rapid series of direct torpedo strikes.
Survivors from the Oklahoma described a surreal scene below deck of sloshing water and fuel oil, men trying to climb from the darkness through hatches, beating their way out with tools. Hundreds remained trapped in interior compartments. Of the dead on the Oklahoma, 36 were easily recovered and identified. The remainder were not able to be identified and were interred in communal caskets.
Approximately 74,000 soldiers from World War II still remain unaccounted for. About one-quarter of those are considered recoverable by the military’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, the Hawaii organization that has relied on scientific and geopolitical changes to identify more than 600 long-lost MIAs since 2003.
The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command’s military and civilian teams have tracked down aircraft wrecks and burial sites in remote locations, exhumed remains, and analyzed bone fragments and bits of material at the world’s largest forensic anthropology lab. They work with casualty offices from each branch to find survivors and collect DNA samples for matching. For each name, the military tries to locate at least two relatives who share a long-lasting form of DNA passed along maternal lines.
In Hawaii, Greg Berg, the forensic anthropologist who manages the joint command’s Central Identification Laboratory, cautions that the work to identify remains could take years, the process he warns is complicated by commingling of remains which is far more extensive than expected. Only five people have been definitively identified since 2003.
Still, “the commingling problems are not insurmountable, and [we are] confident in our abilities to eventually bring about case resolution,’’ Berg said by e-mail.
For more see: Boston Globe
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Paternity for many is a tough issue, both emotionally and legally. Paternity is assigned to men and boys in a few ways. The first is by marriage. Men are automatically assumed to be the father if they are married to the mother or in many states if they attempted to marry the mother and did not do so in a legal manner. The second is by voluntary acknowledgment. This is a typically a form that is signed in the hospital prior to the release of the mother and child. The third is by court judgment.
Most if not all states have a law that looks something like this:
(1) A man is presumed to be the father of a child if:
(a) He and the mother of the child are married to each other and the child is born during the marriage;
(b) He and the mother of the child were married to each other and the child is born within three hundred days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity;
(c) Before the birth of the child, he and the mother of the child married each other in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage is, or could be, declared invalid and the child is born during the invalid marriage or within three hundred days after its termination by death, annulment, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity; or
(d) After the birth of the child, he and the mother of the child have married each other in apparent compliance with law, whether or not the marriage is, or could be declared invalid, and he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child, and:
(i) The assertion is in a record filed with the state registrar of vital statistics;
(ii) Agreed to be and is named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate; or
(iii) Promised in a record to support the child as his own.
(RCW 26.26.116 Presumption of paternity in context of marriage. on leg.wa.gov)
While this law might seem reasonable to many it does not take into account that it is estimated that 40% of wives will have an affair at some point in their marriage (www.caughthercheating.com) What if that child is not the husbands?
The second way is for the father and mother to sign Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form at the hospital when you have your baby. The hospital staff will give you this form and help you complete it. When you and the child’s father sign the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form, the father’s name will be placed on the birth certificate.
If you and the baby’s father are unable to sign the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form at the hospital, you may complete it at home. Your signature must be witnessed by someone over 18 years old, and by a person not named on the voluntary acknowledgment.
You don’t have to be the biological father to sign this form there is no proof required you are stating you are the father and will be responsible the moment you sign this from. Most states but not all have laws that allow you to challenge paternity that is assigned based on the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. They typically have a set time period with in which you can contest your paternity.
The third way is to have paternity assigned to you by a court. This can happen if the alleged father does not responded to a woman’s claim for paternity or if the Judge or Jury feels that it is in the best interest of the child. For example a section of Missouri’s bill requires courts to balance the best interests of the child and the hardships of the man who is contesting paternity regardless of a DNA test proving that he is not the father.
“James McClendon knows he’s not the biological father of his ex-girlfriend’s 16-year-old son. He’s got a DNA test to prove it. But his wages are trimmed each month to pay thousands in child support debt. McClendon, who lives in St. Louis, has been fighting a 10-year legal battle to overturn a paternity ruling that says he’s the child’s father. Between legal bills, supporting his three biological children and several failed jobs, he’s built up $25,000 in child support debt.” (States move to allow DNA paternity challenges, By LEE LOGAN The Associated Press www.kansascity.com)
Stories like this are not all that uncommon unfortunately and have been a leading reason why in over 30 states laws are being or have been enacted to allow men to challenge paternity with a DNA test. A major force lobbying for changes to paternity laws is Carnell Smith, an engineer in Atlanta. Smith successfully lobbied for a Georgia law that allows men to challenge paternity at any time. Smith who calls himself a victim of “paternity fraud,” used this same law to erase his own paternity ruling in 2003. Carnell Smith has formed a national organization lobbing for similar laws in other states.
In 2007 Bert Riddick escaped a child-support order for a girl he says he has never met and has proof that he is not her father. Thanks to a 2004 California Law. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill to allow men to challenge the paternity of children for whom they owe support. A similar law came before Governor Davis in 2002 but he chose to veto it. In explaining his veto, Davis said that if AB 2240 became law the state might not meet federal requirements on collecting child-support payments, putting California at risk of losing $40 million in federal funds.
After Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the new bill into law Carnell Smith, founder of the U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud based out of Decatur, GA stated, “It’s well overdue.” His orgonization counts California as the 24th state with some type of “paternity fraud” law. The California law will help thousands of men who have been assigned child support orders “by default,” as well as men who signed “confessions of paternity” said Mr. Smith. This is a personal issue for Mr. Smith, who successfully lobbied for a “paternity fraud” law in Georgia after discovering he was paying for a child he did not father.
California’s new law sets time limits on paternity challenges like many other paternity fraud laws. In California Men can file protests within two years of being ordered to pay child support or within two years of the child’s birth.
Men such as Mr. Riddick, who have known for years they are supporting someone else’s child, also will now be able to challenge their child-support orders under the law.
Advocates said that, the California law passed the Legislature with virtually unanimous support because it was a compromise bill. A stronger “paternity fraud” bill had been offered in the state Senate, according to lawyer Marc Angelucci, a leader of the National Coalition of Free Men. However, the Senate bill, was opposed by California child- support officials as well as feminist groups who viewed it as a “get-out-of-jail-free card.”
There has been a growing sence of alarmed between Feminist and child-support groups concerning the growing support for what they refer to as the paternity “disestablishment.” They argue that biology is not always paramount in family relationships, and ending established support for a child is rarely in the child’s best interest.
Stories like Mr. Riddick’s are not uncommon. He stated that he was assigned a child support payment by default after an ex-girlfriend named him the father of her child. Mr. Riddick said he found out he wasn’t the father in 1996 two years after the child support order went into effect when he was arrested as “a deadbeat dad.” The criminal-court judge ordered DNA testing for Mr. Riddick, the mother and the child. “It showed I had a 0 percent chance of being the father of this child,” he said.
The criminal-court judge threw out the charge, but when Mr. Riddick tried to get his child- support order overturned in civil court, state officials refused. ”They said the criminal court case had nothing to do with the civil case and I would still have to pay child support for 18 years,” Mr. Riddick said. “And I’ve never even seen this kid.”
While many states have started to enact paternity fraud laws and allow men to challenge paternity not all do. You need to know your states individual paternity laws and seek help if you find your self in over your head.
Illinois is now the first state in the country to require testing of DNA evidence from sex crimes. Their new law requires local police to submit rape kits collected from victims to state police for analysis. This must be done with 10 business days of the crime.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan said, “By using this DNA evidence we will be able to get sex offenders out of our communities and into prisons where they belong. Most importantly we will finally be pursuing justice for women and children who have been victims of this horrible and violent crime.”
It’s estimated more than four thousand rape kits are sitting untested in evidence rooms. Madigan says they could include vital DNA evidence to help prosecute offenders and exonerate others.
The other new law protects the confidentiality of statements victims make to rape crisis personnel. This new law passed the General Assembly unanimously and will go into effect January 1st, 2011.
It is assume by the majority of people that the mother will be awarded automatic custody of a child, this is only holds true in certain cases – for instance, when the biological father has not been determined and the mother is fit to parent. However, in most cases, the truth is that whether the parents are married or not, they both have the SAME right to be awarded custody. Many courts do still tend to favor the mother for certain reasons, but when the child is between infancy and about 9 years of age there is still a valid case for awarding the father full or partial custody.
Fathers still have important rights they need to be aware of:
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By Michael Cole
For many years now we have been hearing about how hard it is to be a single mother. They have to hold down a job, maintain a household IE cook, clean, do laundry etc. They in effect have two very demanding full time jobs.
I think it is outstanding that there are so many programs designed to allow a single mom live with dignity. They have access to free or reduced cost child day care. There is “WIC” Women, Infants, and Children. There are education grants,reduced cost housing, free job training, and the list just goes on.
Google “single moms” and you get 19,500,000 results. Lots of programs geared to the the single mom.
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By Alvaro Castillo
Lawmakers hope a new bill being enacted this year will reduce California’s gang violence. Here are the Facts First:
• The Parental Accountability Act allows courts to order parents of young gang members to attend parenting classes.
• Courses will teach parents how to identify gang and drug activity in their kids.
• They will also learn better communication skills with their children.
Gang violence has been in the forefront in Santa Barbara this year. Police have identified 700 gang members living in the city. The new law will hold parents of gang members accountable for their children’s actions.
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by: Sue Pedley Read more »
Whenever a relationship breaks down, custody of children is the most difficult emotional decision that needs to be taken. Issues of joint custody and custody rights come up often which start a legal battle for the custody of the child. This becomes a trauma for the child who slowly starts understanding the situation. It becomes extremely difficult for the parents or guardian too. Many people still believe that the family courts prefer women, when it comes to the legal custody of the child, but this is a truly a myth. Gender is not at all important, when it comes to decide the child custody. Custody of children is considered totally based on the child’s needs and well being.
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By Cherie Brenner
The courts do not take non payment of child or spousal support to a former wife or husband lightly. If your former mate decides to file contempt charges, there is a chance you could go to jail.
A person found in contempt of a court order is called a ” contemnor “.
To prove contempt, the person or government entity filing the charges must prove four elements:
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