7:41 AM, Sep 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The banner, featuring a cartoon condom with a smiling face, reads: "I am Mr. Condom. Use me whenever you want to have sex. I will protect you from STDs, early pergnancy [sic], and unwanted pregnancy." Across the top of the banner are the words "I took the condom pledge," the slogan from which the non-profit organization responsible for the banner takes its name. And while the stated goal of the group, which recently conducted a fundraising campaign in partnership with the U.S. State Department for a project in Sierra Leone, is "normalizing condom use in youth populations around the globe," the photos shared by the group make clear that "youth" includes some very young children indeed.
The Condom Pledge organization is careful to utilize the word "youth" on its website (the word appears more than a dozen times) and avoid "child" and "children" altogether. However, a video produced for the Pledge and the group's Facebook page include images of young children holding signs, children such as these young girls and boys, clearly well below the target ages of sixteen to twenty-six:
While the U.S. State Department usually makes headlines for its role in negotiating political treaties and mediating military conflicts, the agency also plays a less visible role working to bring about social change throughout the world. One such effort is a program described in a recent blog post on State's website as "the Alumni Engagement and Innovation Fund (AEIF) 2.0, an initiative created in partnership by the U.S. Department of State and Rockethub, an online crowdfunding platform." Currently thirty-three AEIF projects are underway, run by alumni of the State Department's international exchange program. Projects range from providing business opportunities and training for low-income women in Nicaragua to training English teachers in Vietnam to eco-tourism in Bangledesh.
The Condom Pledge project has already reached its goal of raising $3,000 as part of the State Department-Rockethub partnership. The State Department blog article mentions the program just in passing as "turning The Condom Pledge into a nationwide initiative in Sierra Leone." The Condom Pledge organization, however, prominently features the State Department partnership and official seal on its website announcing the fundraising effort.
12:00 AM, Jun 14, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Until Eve’s encounter with the serpent, Adam did not spend a lot of time looking for work. Didn’t have to. Expelled from Eden and cursed with the necessity of earning his bread “in the sweat of his face,” he found work. Had to. Therein lies a partial, but only partial, explanation for one of the strange developments in America’s labor markets.
Is Bouteflika losing control in Algeria?May 12, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 33 • By OLIVIER GUITTA
Plus ça change. . . . Algeria, ever obedient to the wishes of the army and Security Services, reelected its ailing and elderly president in a landslide on April 17. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, known as Boutef for short, garnered 82 percent of the vote in a virtually uncontested race. Ali Benflis, who came second with 12 percent, decried massive fraud—possibly including an official turnout of 52 percent, high considering the numerous calls for a boycott.
11:15 AM, Dec 7, 2013 • By FRANCESCA CHAMBERS
It was only 10:30 a.m., and already, we were too cold to move, let alone get out of our SUV to tailgate. We’d been parked outside Notre Dame’s football stadium in South Bend, Indiana, in the alumni lot for more than two and half hours, ahead of the university’s last home game of the year against Brigham Young. Normally, cars line up in the wee hours of the morning to claim the best tailgate spots, but today, the stadium parking lot was a ghost town, with only one other vehicle in sight.
7:30 AM, Dec 4, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
At an event today in China, Vice President Joe Biden encouraged youth to challenge authority. The event took place at the U.S. consulate.
Via the pool report:
3:02 PM, Jun 19, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
At an event in Germany, President Obama said American youth lag behind their European counterparts because they are not taught "a second and third language." Via the pool report:
POTUS opened his remarks with "Guten Abend."
10:37 AM, Feb 9, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Stuart Rothenberg warns that the Republicans may be in for a long stretch of desert wandering as a result of its losing the "youth vote." Mr. Rothenberg works the numbers and they pretty much confirm what we all know. Young people favored Obama by a wide margin in 2008 and one that was a little more narrow last time around.
10:31 AM, Aug 30, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Among the more trenchant lines from Paul Ryan's speech was this:
College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.
6:45 PM, May 7, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Which group of voters’ support for (or opposition to) Mitt Romney will hinge the most on his vice presidential choice? According to a newly released Politico-George Washington University poll, the answer is: Republicans under the age of 45.