Mason in the News

Posted: May 23, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national and international news coverage Mason recently received.

Friday, May 16, International Herald Tribune

Many Dangers for Child Survivors of Cyclone in Myanmar

“At risk of disease, abuse and forced recruitment into the armed forces, children are the most vulnerable survivors of the cyclone that hit Myanmar, many of them orphaned or lost, fending for themselves. Children suffered from the very beginning. Relief groups estimate that they made up about one-third of those killed by the devastating cyclone. Many of the child survivors are orphans or are unaccompanied by any family member and are vulnerable in crowded shelters that lack private toilet or bathing areas. ‘It’s survival of the fittest,’ said Fred Bemak, a professor of counseling at George Mason University in Virginia, who was in Yangon, the main city of Myanmar, training counselors when the cyclone hit. ‘Their schools are gone, their homes are gone, their parents are often dead or lost,’ he said. ‘Many children are wandering around separated from their families and communities, and they are highly vulnerable right now.’”

Friday, May 16, Wall Street Journal

Three Home Value Drains to Avoid

“Before plunking down your life savings on a home, consider that the current owners and even the home inspector probably can’t tell you everything you need to know about the property. Nearby foreclosures, crime and environmental threats can end up costing a lot more than mold in the basement. Living close to a landfill, for example, can knock up to 15 percent off a home’s value. Foreclosed homes often fall victim to neglect and vandalism, explains Stephen Fuller, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis. A concentration of foreclosed homes only magnifies the effect and undermines nearby property values, he says. Depending on the scale and duration of the problem and the lack of countervailing forces such as good schools or park land, the damage to a home’s resale price will likely be significant, says Fuller.”

Sunday, May 18, Canadian TV

Mideast Peace Talks after Bush’s Visit

Marc Gopin, professor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, addressed the likelihood of a Mideast peace deal by the end of this year during an interview on CTV. Gopin also discussed the legacy of the Bush administration and what could be done in its remaining time.

Tuesday, May 20, PBS’ “The News Hour”

Marathon 2008 Primary Season Makes History

Richard Norton Smith, scholar in residence, took part in a discussion moderated by Judy Woodruff on the impact of early primaries on the presidential campaigns.

Wednesday, May 21, Associated Press

Low-Cost Prom Gains Popularity among Some Teens

“These days, it’s not unusual for teens to spend several hundred or even a thousand dollars on prom. But as more families struggle financially — and others simply find it distasteful or unnecessary to spend so much — the low-cost prom is becoming more common, and in some cases, socially acceptable. ‘The prom certainly carries tremendous cultural weight and is, in many ways, the epitome of high school,’ says Amy Best, an associate professor of sociology at George Mason University in Virginia and author of ‘Prom Night: Youth, Schools and Popular Culture.’ ‘So yes, the pressure is very significant to spend. But there are a lot of kids who are opting out and who are unwilling to spend.’ Or they simply can’t afford it.”

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