- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 30, 2007

Panel to compile vets’ health woes

A presidential panel said yesterday it was compiling a first-of-its-kind national survey to determine scientifically the extent of health care problems for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speaking at its last public hearing before considering final recommendations, the nine-member commission said its final report could shed light on a point of long dispute in the veterans care debate: Whether highly publicized horror stories of lost paperwork, delays in disability benefits and other problems are more isolated or significantly widespread.

“With this survey, we should be able to say some things in a more systematic way,” said Donna Shalala, co-chairwoman of the commission and the former secretary of Health and Human Services.

The panel said it hopes to issue the report by mid-July.

Court rejects appeal in T-shirt case

The Supreme Court yesterday rejected a school district’s appeal of a ruling that it violated a student’s rights by censoring his anti-Bush T-shirt.

A seventh-grader in Vermont was suspended for wearing a shirt that bore images of cocaine and a martini glass — but also had messages calling President Bush a lying drunken driver who abused cocaine and marijuana, and the “chicken-hawk-in-chief” who was engaged in a “world domination tour.”

After his suspension, Zachary Guiles returned to school with duct tape covering the offending images.

Williamstown Middle School Principal Kathleen Morris-Kortz said the images violated the school dress code, which prohibits clothing that promotes the use of drugs or alcohol.

An appeals court said the school had no right to censor any part of the shirt.

N.H. repeals law on parental-notification

CONCORD, N.H. — Gov. John Lynch signed legislation yesterday that made New Hampshire the first state to repeal a law requiring a parent be notified before a minor received an abortion.

The 2003 law never took effect because of a court challenge, and the repeal took effect immediately.

“I strongly believe parents should be involved in these decisions, providing important support and guidance. Unfortunately that is not possible in every case,” said Mr. Lynch, a Democrat.

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