The News Around



UNF student helps poor children in the Philippines

A UNF electrical engineering student, Noel San Antonio, started a nonprofit foundation to support the St. Anthony Development and Learning Center, which was designed to provide education for rural students in the Philippines.

San Antonio funds the organization through donations from local churches and friends.

He plans on the school eventually teaching up to the 12th grade.

Students are instructed in science, reading and basic math with a Catholic education.

Parents can even enroll in classes that are designed to help them find work.

San Antonio raises about $300 a month, which pays for both the school’s teachers.

He said the students he’s met are excited to be learning, and those who were quiet and shy are now outspoken and enthusiastic.

source: Florida Times-Union

Daschle withdraws as HHS nominee for tax issues

Former Sen. Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination to chair the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a statement Feb 3. from the White House.

Daschle has been battling a losing fight to maintain his HHS nomination amidst allegations of his recent work as a lobbyist as well his controversial tax record.

Daschle, the former Senate majority leader, apologized Feb. 2 for failing to pay his taxes in full.

He said he was “deeply embarrassed” for a series of errors which include a failure to report $15,000 in charitable donations, car service and more than $80,000 in income from consulting.

He recently filed amended tax returns and paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and
interest for 2005-2007.

“This [position] will require a leader who can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people, and without distraction,” Daschle said. “Right now, I am not that leader, and will not be a distraction.

The focus of Congress should be on the urgent business of moving the president’s economic agenda forward, including affordable health care for every American.”


2,100 civilians killed in Afghanistan in ‘08, more than ‘07

More than 2,100 civilians died during 2008 in Afghanistan, a 40 percent increase over the previous year, according to a statement released Feb. 3 by the United Nations.

The report also cited partial figures stating the Taliban and other insurgents were responsible for 1,000 out of 1,800 civilian deaths up to the end of October, mainly due to suicide bombings and improvised explosive devices.

About 700 people were killed by coalition and coalition-backed Afghan forces in the same period – including 455 who died in air strikes – while the cause of the remaining 100 is yet to be determined,
according to the UN.

“According to U.N. figures, more than 2,100 civilians were killed as a result of armed conflict in 2008, which represents an increase of about 40 percent from 2007,” U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said.

In the last year insurgents have regrouped despite the presence of nearly 70,000 coalition forces.

The terrorists have increased both the scope and scale of their attacks.

Violence in Afghanistan is at the highest level since the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban.
Compiled by James Cannon II.