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Friday, July 13, 2012

Home Care and Our Aging Population. Massacre in Syria. Crops Wilt Worldwide.

Home Care and Our Aging Population

Only 14 states require minimum wage and overtime pay for healthcare workers. But the US Labor Department is considering a rule change that would extend those protections to all of the approximately 2.5 million workers caring for elderly Americans at home. As an aging population lives longer, guest host Sara Terry considers the costs of keeping seniors healthy. Also, the UN weighs a response after hundreds of villagers are killed in Syria, and a look at the impact of the record-breaking drought stretching across America.

Banner image: Rosie O'Beirne/flickr

Making News

Hundreds of Villagers Killed in Syria, UN Weighs Response

International mediator Kofi Annan today condemned "atrocities" of a reported massacre by Syrian forces in the village of Tarmaseh, where more than 200 Syrians, mostly civilians, were killed on Thursday, according to rebel forces. If confirmed, this would be the bloodiest sectarian incident of the 16-month uprising against they Syrian government. Correspondent Abigail Fielding-Smith is in Beirut, Lebanon for the Financial Times.
Abigail Fielding-Smith: Financial Times

Reporter's Notebook

Midwest Stricken by Worst Drought in Quarter Century

Just one year ago, heavy rains and swollen rivers led to historic flooding in the Midwest, yet this summer the worst drought in a quarter century is spreading across the region and threatening crops. More than 1,000 counties have been declared natural disaster areas. The drought comes in the midst of a record-breaking period of high temperature. According to statistics just released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the last 12 months is the warmest 12-month period in the US since record-keeping began in 1895. Correspondent Carey Gillam is based in Kansas City for Reuters, where she focuses on agriculture and food.

Main Topic

Is Help on the Way for Home Care Workers? 

In 1975, fewer than 50 home care agencies existed nationwide. By 2009, there were nearly 6600, with a work force of some 2.5 million people caring for the nation's elderly at home. Those workers have been exempted from minimum wage and overtime pay rules under an exemption in the Fair Labor Act, and the Labor Department is considering a rule change that would guarantee minimum wage and overtime pay to home care workers. Labor advocates say the change is long overdue, but will increased costs mean fewer Americans will be able to afford to care for aging relatives at home? Who's planning ahead about how to care for baby boomers, a population that will include several million people over the age of 100 by the year 2050?

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