EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

June 22, 2014

Sunni fighters seize 3 Iraqi towns

(Continued)

The first witness to testify, a man whose 9-year-old son was killed at the square, told an intriguing tale this past week about money and contacts between the victims’ families and a top Iraqi investigator who looked into the shootings.

Redskins case forces hard questions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Something is happening just beneath the fight over the name of a certain Washington, D.C., pro football team: America is working through the process of determining what is — or is not — racially offensive.

What is a slur, and who gets to decide? How many people must be offended to tip the scales? Why should some be forced to sacrifice their traditions out of respect for others?

We are a long way from consensus on these questions, judging by the response to a federal ruling that the “Redskins” team name is disparaging and its trademarks should be canceled.

The team is appealing the decision, and even if it loses its trademark, it can still use the name. But this latest development highlights the limitations of how America wrestles with certain racial statements, and our struggle to balance free speech and social good.

A rapidly diversifying nation has more need than ever to figure out what is racially offensive.

Adoptees give fresh DNA samples

DUCKTOWN, Tenn. – About 30 people showed up at a Tennessee motel yesterday to give cheek-swab DNA samples as people adopted through a nearby Georgia clinic hope to identify biological relatives before time for reconnecting runs out.

With no records of their birth parents, DNA testing may be the only way to confirm biological links for some of the 200-plus infants handed off to new parents in the 1950s and ‘60s through the late Dr. Thomas Hicks’ clinic in McCaysville, near the Tennessee-North Carolina line.

Several adoptees gave fresh DNA samplesat a motel in nearby Ducktown, Tenn., while hoping potential relatives from the area might participate. Melinda Elkins Dawson, an organizer and one of the adoptees, estimated about 70 percent of those who participated could be potential relatives.

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