Kentucky may seem like an unlikely breeding ground for human traffickers, but the problem is growing nationally and one area college is hoping a conference will shine a light on the issue. Jury selection began Thursday in the trial of Anthony and Kathy Hart, a Madison County couple accused of trafficking their young daughters in Richmond, KY.
The governor and first lady were joined by other state officials in Frankfort yesterday to present the Kentucky Association of Food Banks (KAFB) $60,084 from the Phase II Tobacco Settlement Trust to aid the Farms to Food Banks project. “In these tough economic times, it gives me great pleasure to present these funds for a project that will help both our farm families and Kentuckians in need,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a news release.
Kentucky's unemployment rate remained below 9 percent in February, dropping to 8.7 percent. That's down a tad from 8.8 percent in January, which marked the first time in three years that the jobless rate had been below 9 percent. February was the eighth consecutive month that the rate has declined, according to the state Office of Employment and Training. However, the state's measure continued to lag the national rate, which remained at 8.3 percent.
Three bills that would put more requirements on abortion providers failed in the House Health and Welfare Committee on Thursday. Senate Bill 103 would require that women be shown ultrasounds before abortions and calls for fines for doctors who do not do the ultrasounds. Women would be allowed to avert their eyes if they do not wish to see the ultrasounds, said Sen. Joe Bowen, the bill's sponsor.
In effort to add pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, the European Union has announced new sanctions on a dozen Syrians, including Assad's wife, his mother, sister and sister-in-law.
"I cannot say to you in strong enough terms how much we are concerned about what's going on in Syria," said Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, according to CNN. "I'm really worried about the escalating spiral of violence there.
State representatives on Thursday approved setting up a task force to study possible changes in how Kentucky administers the death penalty. The American Bar Association released a study last year that cited problems in the system, including a lack of protections against executing seriously mentally ill people; no rule to preserve evidence for as long as someone is in prison, meaning they might miss a chance for DNA tests that could exonerate them; and confusion among jurors about their role in deciding whether to recommend a death sentence.
The White House has made its choice for who should lead the World Bank. Jim Yong Kim is currently the president of Dartmouth University. He's a physician and a global health expert and something of a surprise to people who've been watching this process.
Here is President Obama at the White House this morning.
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear challenges to the health care law. Continuing Tell Me More's preview of the case, host Michel Martin sits down with Neal Katyal. He is former Acting Solicitor General and defended the Affordable Care Act in lower courts.