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Report Faults Treatment of Women Held at Immigration Centers

Some 300 women held at immigration detention centers in Arizona face dangerous delays in health care and widespread mistreatment, according to a new study by the University of Arizona, the latest report to criticize conditions at such centers throughout the United States.

The study, which federal immigration officials criticized as narrow and unsubstantiated, was conducted from August 2007 to August 2008 by the Southwest Institute of Research on Women and the James E. Rogers College of Law, both at the University of Arizona. It was released Jan. 13.

Researchers examined the conditions facing women in the process of deportation proceedings at three federal immigration centers in Arizona. An estimated 3,000 women are being held nationwide.

The study concluded that immigration authorities were too aggressive in detaining the women, who rarely posed a flight risk, and that as a result, they experienced severe hardships, including a lack of prenatal care; lack of treatment for cancer, ovarian cysts and other serious medical conditions; and, in some cases, being mixed in with federal prisoners.

China Sees Threats From Separatists And U.S. Arms Sales

China said Tuesday that it faces threats from independence movements related to Taiwan, Tibet and the western desert region of Xinjiang, and that American arms sales to Taiwan jeopardize stability in Asia.

The assessment came in a white paper on national defense released by the State Council, China’s Cabinet. The paper said that “China’s security situation has improved steadily,” but that “being in a stage of economic and social transition, China is encountering many new circumstances and new issues in maintaining social stability.”

The 105-page paper sought to portray China as a power that would use military force only defensively and sees territorial integrity as the top defense priority.

According to goals implied in the paper, China also seeks to counterbalance the American military presence in Asia. In several instances, the authors pointed out what they called worrisome aspects of American intervention.

States Join EPA Study of Pathogens In Ohio River

Six states bordering the Ohio River are joining the Environmental Protection Agency in the largest study of its kind to identify and reduce dangerous levels of bacteria that plague the waterway.

Unsafe levels of fecal coliform, or E. coli, have been identified in about 500 miles of the 981-mile river, which stretches from Pittsburgh to the Mississippi River at Cairo, Ill.

The pathogens can sicken swimmers and others who come in close contact with the water. The river also provides about 5 million people with drinking water, including residents of Cincinnati, Louisville, Ky., and the suburbs of Pittsburgh, though typical bacteria levels do not pose a threat to safely treating the water.

The analysis, which officials plan to finish next year, will identify how much bacteria sewage treatment plants, factories and farms, among others, can discharge into the river without exceeding safety standards.