Three Questions Help Detect Ovarian Cancer

SEATTLE (UPI) — A survey given to women in a doctor’s office in 2 minutes can identify those experiencing symptoms that may indicate ovarian cancer, U.S. researchers say.

Lead author M. Robyn Andersen of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center’s Public Health Sciences Division and colleagues said early detection of ovarian cancer is key to survival — cure rates for those diagnosed when the disease is confined to the ovary are approximately 70 percent to 90 percent.

But more than 70 percent of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed with advanced-stage disease, when the survival rate is only 20 percent to 30 percent, Andersen said.

The researchers evaluated the effectiveness and feasibility of several different symptom screening surveys and found three questions as potentially indicative of ovarian cancer:

— Abdominal and/or pelvic pain.

— Feeling full quickly and/or unable to eat normally.

— Abdominal bloating and/or increased abdomen size.

The survey also asked about the frequency and duration of these symptoms: how many days a month and for how long?

“Symptoms such as pelvic pain and abdominal bloating may be a sign of ovarian cancer but they also can be caused by other conditions,” Andersen said in a statement. “What’s important is to determine whether they are current, of recent onset and occur frequently.”

Previous research by Andersen and colleagues found about 60 percent of women with early stage ovarian cancer and 80 percent of women with advanced disease report symptoms that follow this distinctive pattern at the time of diagnosis.

Poll: Most Say Business Overregulated

PRINCETON, N.J. (UPI) — A plurality of Americans say they believe there is too much regulation of business and industry rather than too little, a Gallup poll released Monday indicated.

Forty-seven percent of Americans said there was too much regulation, while 26 said there was too little oversight and 24 percent said the level of regulation was about right, results indicated.

Despite the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the failure of the secondary mortgage market and other business and financial sector problems of recent years, Americans’ views that the sector is overregulated has climbed and reached an all-time high of 50 percent in 2011, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.

Twenty-five percent of Democrats said there is too much regulation, while 77 percent of Republicans expressed the same view.

Results are based on nationwide telephone interviews conducted Sept. 6-9 with a sample of 1,017 adults. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

U.S. Home Prices Rose June To July

NEW YORK (UPI) — U.S. home prices rose in July compared with June and compared with July 2011, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller report said Tuesday.

Home prices rose 1.5 percent from June in the report’s 10-city index and 1.6 percent in the 20-city index.

All 20 cities tracked in the report saw month-to-month prices rise for the third consecutive month in July, the report added.

On an annual basis, the prices in the 10-city index rose 0.6 percent, while prices in the 20-city index rose 1.2 percent, the report said. For 15 of the 20 cities, the annual price gains were steeper in July than in June.

The exceptions include Dallas and Washington, D.C., where annual rates were unchanged compared to a year earlier and Cleveland, Detroit and New York, where annual rates were lower in July.

After nine months of double-digit annual declines, Atlanta breached the double-digit barrier, with annual rate in July of minus 9.9 percent.

Four cities show annual prices in decline, including Atlanta, Chicago (with the index down 0.9 percent), Las Vegas (down 1 percent) and New York (down 2.6 percent).

The highest annual gain is in Phoenix, where a housing market bust has turned around. The annual rate gain was 16.6 percent in July, far and away the highest gain in the 20-city index.

The second highest gain was in Minneapolis with a gain of 6.4 percent. In Detroit, the one-year price change in July was 6.2 percent.

“With May’s data, we saw a continuing trend of rising home prices for the spring,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.

Consumer Confidence Rises In September

NEW YORK (UPI) — Consumer confidence in the United States rose in September after falling for six out of seven months, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

After five consecutive monthly declines, the index rose in July. But confidence returned to its downward trend in August, despite gains in stock markets.

But the index that assigns 1985 a base value of 100, rose in September from 71.1 to 83.7, the Conference Board said.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Index is based on a survey of 5,000 households.

“Despite continuing economic uncertainty, consumers are slightly more optimistic than they have been in several months,” said Lynn Franco, director of the board’s Consumer Research Center.

In the September survey, respondents indicating business conditions are “good” rose from 15.3 percent to 15.5 percent. Respondents indicating conditions declined were fell from 34.3 to 33.3.

Respondents indicating jobs were easy to find rose from 7.2 percent to 8.3 percent, while those who indicated jobs were hard to find fell from 40.6 percent to 39.9 percent.

Regulators Focus On Airport Runways

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. airports may be reporting fewer runway and taxiway incursion incidents, but serious risks remain, a national transportation safety chairwoman said.

“These incidents remind us how vulnerable we are when procedures or people fail,” said Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, referring to close calls at airports not in the air, but on the runways and taxiways.

The Federal Aviation Administration said there were 67 near collisions on the tarmac at airports classified as serious incidents in 2000 and only 12 in 2011.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that 35 major airports now have ground radar systems that allow control towers to tune in far more acutely to what is happening on the ground at airports where there can be as many as 100 flights taking off in an hour. At the same time, a large array of support vehicles carrying baggage, fuel and food are scurrying around the taxiways.

Contrary to assumptions, the airplane crash with the most fatalities in history did not occur in the air, but involved two planes that collided on a runway at Tenerife Airport in the Canary Islands in 1977.

That accident killed 583 people, the Times said.

In the last four years, near misses on runways occurred on average 1,000 times a year or three times per day with some of those incidents considered serious and others defined as less so.

Improvements were made after the Air Line Pilots Association warned in 2007 that the risks of an incident with hundreds of fatalities was “real and growing larger.”

Among the latest developments is a system called Runway Status Lights, which automatically turns on red lights embedded in runways and taxiways when they are in use.

The Federal Aviation Administration is testing the system at Los Angeles International Airport and expects to install the system at 22 more airports by 2016.

Consumer Reports Pans $107,850 Hybrid Car

YONKERS, N.Y. (UPI) — Struggling niche U.S. automaker Fisker’s top end Karma hybrid is a risky buy, product reviewing organization Consumer Report said.

The consumer product testing company said the Karma, which goes 30 miles on battery power alone before switching to a gasoline engine, is “plagued with flaws.”

The car “has tight confines and limited visibility and a badly-designed touch-screen system that makes the dash controls an ergonomic disaster,” Consumer Reports said.

CNNMoney reported Tuesday that the car company from Anaheim, Calif., responded with a statement that said, “Fisker has brought this pioneering vehicle to market based on a brand new platform and technology in record time and is now selling the car globally to critical acclaim.”

Consumer Reports thought otherwise. “Although we found its ride, handling, and braking performance sound and it has first-class interior materials, the Karma’s problems outweighed the good,” said the director of the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center Jake Fisher.

The car has “disconcerting intermittent glitches related to the gauges, warning lights, power windows and radio,” Consumer Reports said.

The car has been given mixed reviews elsewhere with some good marks given to its design. But it is a pricey ride with a sticker price of $107,850, CNNMoney said.

NASA Sees ‘Gateway’ For Space Missions

WASHINGTON (UPI) — NASA has proposed a candidate for its next major mission, a “gateway” spacecraft on the far side of the moon as a staging base for moon and Mars missions.

The spacecraft would hover in orbit on the far side of the moon, support a small permanent crew and function as “stepping stone” for missions to the lunar surface and possible flights to Mars.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden briefed the White House earlier this month on details of the proposed “gateway,” but it was unclear if any administration support for the mission was forthcoming, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The NASA outpost, which would probably utilize parts left over from the $100-billion International Space Station, would be located at a point known as the Earth-Moon Lagrange Point 2, a spot about 38,000 miles from the moon where the combined gravities of the Earth and moon are equal in strength, allowing an outpost to “stick” at that point with very little power needed to keep it in place.

The giant rocket and space capsule NASA is developing as a replacement for the retired space shuttles, scheduled for a first flight in 2017, would be the vehicle for delivering the “gateway” spacecraft, space agency documents show.

The price tag — about which NASA has said nothing — could be a stumbling block, as it’s unlikely NASA in coming years will get any more than its current budget of $17.7 billion and could, in fact, face further cuts in the name of deficit reduction, the Times said.

Japanese Tsunami Debris Reaches Hawaii

HONOLULU (UPI) — The first piece of debris to arrive in Hawaii from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, a barnacle-covered seafood storage bin, has been identified, authorities say.

Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources said the blue plastic bin was spotted floating off the coast of Waimanalo, Oahu, last week and towed ashore, LiveScience reported Monday.

The container, a 4-foot open cube, was identified as belonging to a Japanese seafood company based in Miyagi prefecture, an area that suffered considerable damage in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Gooseneck barnacles and crabs that typically live on floating debris in the open ocean were found in and on the bin, but officials said the organisms are not invasive to Hawaii.

The bin is part of an estimated 1.5 million tons of debris from the tsunami still floating in the Pacific Ocean and joins debris already spotted along the west coast of North America.

Did Rock-Swapping Bring Life To Earth?

PRINCETON, N.J. (UPI) — Microorganisms embedded in fragments of distant planets that crashed to Earth might have been seeds of life on our planet, U.S. and European researchers say.

Scientists from Princeton University, the University of Arizona and the Centro de Astrobiologia in Spain, writing in the journal Astrobiology, said there is a possibility that life came to Earth — or spread from Earth to other planets — during the solar system’s infancy when Earth and planetary neighbors orbiting other stars would have been close enough to each other to exchange lots of solid material.

The scientists said their research provides support for “lithopanspermia,” the idea basic life forms are distributed throughout the universe via meteorite-like planetary fragments cast forth by disruptions such as volcanic eruptions and collisions with other matter.

Eventually, another planetary system’s gravity traps these roaming rocks, which can result in a mingling that transfers any living cargo, they said.

Lithopanspermia could happen under a process called weak transfer wherein solid materials meander out of the orbit of one large object and happen into the orbit of another, a Princeton release reported.

Our solar system and its nearest planetary-system neighbor could have swapped rocks at least 100 trillion times well before the sun journeyed away from its native star cluster, the researchers said.

“If this mechanism is true, it has implications for life in the universe as a whole,” lead study author Edward Belbruno said.

“This could have happened anywhere.”

Dolphin Dubbed ‘Beggar’ Found Dead In Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (UPI) — A wild dolphin dubbed Beggar for his habit of freeloading off food offered by tourists and fishermen in Florida has been found dead, officials said.

Although feeding dolphins in Florida is illegal, Beggar had been cadging food off boats for 20 years in the Intracoastal Waterway near Nokomis, the Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday.

His underweight, decomposing body was found Friday in south Sarasota County, the newspaper said.

Beggar was known for approaching any passing boat and sticking his head out of the water in search of food handouts.

Marine scientists say they could not pinpoint the exact cause of death, but suggested Beggar’s close association with humans apparently damaged his health.

Broken ribs and scars from old wounds suggested numerous encounters with boat propellers, they said, while fish hooks were found in his stomach.

“All of these things indicate that he was spending more time attempting to get food from humans than foraging on his own,” said Gretchen Lovewell, the manager of the Mote Marine Laboratory Stranding Investigations Program, who performed the necropsy.

Beggar was between 25 and 35 years old, researchers estimated.

Dog Nurses Abandoned Kitten

JORDAN, Minn., (UPI) —  A Minnesota woman said her 4-year-old Pekingese adopted a newborn kitten found by her grandson and began producing milk for the tiny feline.

Pat Weber of Jordan said her teenage grandson found the days-old kitten, which had yet to open its eyes, on the floor of their pole barn, where it had apparently been abandoned by its mother, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Tuesday.

“He brought her into the house and said ‘I think she’s dead,’ ” Weber said. “But I held her in the palm of my hand, and I could tell she was moving.”

Weber said she set the “little ball of fur” on the carpet so she could call a veterinarian, and Mittens, her 4-year-old dog, then approached the kitten and allowed it to suckle.

“She decided that little kitten needed a mother,” Weber said.

“I couldn’t believe it at first,” Weber said. “Later I took some pictures and took them to church and told people I had a miracle to share. The miracle was that after three days my dog had milk to feed the kitten with, and I didn’t have to get up every two hours to feed her formula out of bottle.”

Weber said Mittens gave birth to a litter of puppies about two years ago, and she had long since stopped nursing.

Weber said the kitten, which she named Bootsie, is now a healthy member of the family.

John King, a Le Sueur veterinarian and executive director of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association, said it is not unheard of for a dog to adopt a kitten.

“There’s a strong maternal instinct in many animals, and they will foster other species. It depends on the temperament of the individual animals, both the baby and particularly the mother,” he said.

Deputies: Suspect Had Squirrel In Shirt

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla., (UPI) —  Authorities in Florida said a drunken driving suspect told deputies he was being eaten by the squirrel inside his shirt.

Clay County sheriff’s deputies said Warren Michael III, 23, was pulled over Saturday night on Fleming Island after driving off the road, nearly hitting a parked vehicle and veering over the center line, WJXT-TV, Jacksonville, Fla., reported Tuesday.

Deputies said Michael’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy, his speech was slurred and he had the strong odor of alcohol on his breath. The report said Michael told a deputy the squirrel inside his shirt was “eating” him.

The report said Michael was unable to find his license and registration.

I had the defendant secure the squirrel and then exit the vehicle,” the deputy wrote.

Deputies said Michael had a difficult time maintaining his balance during a field sobriety test.

He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and driving without a seat belt and was also given a warning for driving a vehicle in an unsafe condition.

Police said the vehicle and the squirrel were turned over to Michael’s girlfriend.

158.2-Carat Diamond Unearthed In Russia

NYURBA, Russia, (UPI) —  A Russian diamond mining company said it has unearthed a rare 158.2-carat diamond worth more than $1.5 million.

Alrosa, Russia’s largest diamond mining company, said the gem was discovered this month at factory No. 16 of the Nyurbinsk mine in the Republic of Yakutia, northeastern Russia, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

“In the estimate of Alrosa’s specialists, this diamond may be sold for over $1.5 million at auction. This diamond, if it is processed, may also produce several quality diamonds, each of them worth over several hundred thousand U.S. dollars,” Alrosa said.

Teacher Forces Pupils To Eat Paper

MANDAUE CITY, Philippines, (UPI) —  A parent of a Filipino high school student has accused a math teacher of forcing the class to eat notebook paper for being rowdy, an official said.

Benjamin Tiongzon of the education department in the central Philippines Mandaue City said the parent filed a formal complaint against the teacher with the Office of the Ombudsman, Gulf News reported Tuesday.

Gulf News said filing of the complaint was revealed by The Freeman, a daily broadsheet published in the central Philippines.

The teacher, whose name has not been released, asked for forgiveness during an investigation conducted by the education department’s regional office, Tiongzon said.

One of the pupils in the class told a television interviewer that the teacher threw a chair at her because she refused to swallow paper.

The  teacher in question was a past recipient of an “outstanding teacher” award, the high school principal said.

Haitians Can Stay In U.S. Extra 18 Months

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  Earthquake-displaced Haitians will be allowed to stay in the United States for another 18 months, the Department of Homeland Security has announced.

The decision Tuesday by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will allow about 60,000 Haitian citizens to remain in the United States until July 2014, The Miami Herald reported.

Haitian activists welcomed the decision, but complained that discrimination and double standards against Haitians would continue.

Marleine Bastien, founder of Haitian Women of Miami, said Haitian students who arrived in the United States after the January 2010 earthquake are prevented from going to college by the high out-of-state-tuitions. Some in nursing school are unable to take nursing exams because of their designation by the U.S. government as “temporary protected status.”

Bastien said Haitians continue to be deported despite the sluggish economy there and a continuing cholera epidemic.

Immigration activist Steve Forester said that some Haitian immigrants have waited up to 11 years to be approved to reunite in the United States with family members who are U.S. citizens or who have legal resident status.

DHS says there 112,000 Haitians in such situations, about 15,800 of whom are minors.

Romney Offers Mideast ‘Prosperity Pacts’

NEW YORK, (UPI) —  Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, speaking in New York Tuesday, said employment may cool Middle East and North African unrest.

“The population of the Middle East is young, particularly compared with the population of the West,” Romney said in prepared remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative. “And typically, these young people have few job prospects and the levels of youth unemployment across the region are excessive and chronic. In nations that have undergone a change in leadership recently, young people have greater access to information that was once carefully guarded by tyrants and dictators. They see the good as well as the bad in surrounding societies. They can now organize across vast regions, mobilizing populations. Idle, humiliated by poverty, and crushed by government corruption, their frustration and anger grows.”

U.S. foreign aid must play a role in shaping the region, Romney said.

“Work. That must be at the heart of our effort to help people build economies that can create jobs for people, young and old alike,” he said. “Work builds self-esteem. It transforms minds from fantasy and fanaticism to reality and grounding. Work will not long tolerate corruption nor quietly endure the brazen theft by government of the product of hard-working men and women.”

Romney said as president he will “initiate ‘Prosperity Pacts.’ Working with the private sector, the program will identify the barriers to investment, trade and entrepreneurialism in developing nations. In exchange for removing those barriers and opening their markets to U.S. investment and trade, developing nations will receive U.S. assistance packages focused on developing the institutions of liberty, the rule of law, and property rights.

“We will focus our efforts on small and medium-size businesses.” he said. “Microfinance has been an effective tool at promoting enterprise and prosperity, but we must expand support to small and medium-size businesses that are too large for microfinance, but too small for traditional banks.”

Romney has been a critic of U.S. foreign policy since an anti-Islam film sparked riots across the Arab world     after an attack in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other U.S. personnel.

The former Massachusetts governor said there “are three, quite legitimate, objects of our foreign aid.

“First, to address humanitarian need. … Second, to foster a substantial United States strategic interest, be it military, diplomatic, or economic.

“And there is a third purpose, one that will receive more attention and a much higher priority in a Romney administration. And that is aid that elevates people and brings about lasting change in communities and in nations.”

Russian City Reaches 5 Million Population

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, (UPI) —  The governor of Russia’s second largest city said a baby born during the weekend was the metropolis’ 5 millionth resident.

Gov. Georgy Poltavchenko of St. Petersburg said officials have awarded a four bedroom apartment to the Sharkov family in honor of the birth of baby Lyudmila, who brought the city’s population to 5 million, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

“Today the girl’s father will fire the cannon at the Peter and Paul fortress (the old citadel built by Emperor Peter the Great) to celebrate the girl’s birth,” Poltavchenko said.

American Al-Qaida Spokesman In New Video

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  A new propaganda video supporting rebel uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa was released by U.S.-born al-Qaida spokesman Adam Gadahn.

The address to rebels is Gadahn’s second appearance in September in al-Qaida videos posted on jihadist online forums, CNN reported.

The video, “Advice and Support to Our Rebel Brothers Against Injustice,” was released last week and reportedly was produced in April by al-Qaida’s media unit.

The two videos are the first Gadahn videos since before Osama bin Laden was killed during a U.S. raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, last year.

Gadahn’s remarks also were included in Ayman al-Zawahiri’s message recorded for the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

Since he first appeared in an al-Qaida propaganda video under the name Azzam al-Amriki in 2004, Gadahn, of California, has been in numerous videos disparaging the West because of his appeal to Western Muslims and his knowledge of Western culture, observers note.

Unlike American Anwar al-Awlaki, who played a significant operational role for the Yemeni al-Qaida offshoot before his death in a drone strike last year, Gadahn appears to be expanding his role in communications for al-Qaida, CNN said.

“Gadahn appears to have carefully crafted a role for himself in the organization and through competent performance, has presumably garnered the respect necessary to expand that role,” analysis by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, N.Y., indicated.

Hillary Clinton: Rich Must Pay More Taxes

NEW YORK, (UPI) —  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for the rich around the world to pay more taxes, drawing laughs when she said she was “out of American politics.”

“One of the issues that I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner, especially from the elites in every country,” she said about 20 minutes into a 30-minute talk at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, founded by her husband, Democratic former President Bill Clinton.

“You know, I’m out of American politics,” Hillary Clinton went on, drawing a moment of laughter and applause, “but it is a fact that around the world the elites of every country are making money.

“There are rich people everywhere,” she said. “And yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries. They don’t invest in public schools, in public hospitals, in other kinds of development internally.

“And so it means for leaders telling powerful people things they don’t want to hear,” she said.

“It means being transparent about budgets and revenues, and bringing corruption to light, and when that happens, we shouldn’t punish countries for uncovering corruption — we should reward them for doing so.

“And it means putting in place regulations designed to attract and protect investment,” Clinton said.

She did not mention the U.S. presidential campaign. Her boss, President Barack Obama, has called for the nation’s richest to pay more taxes, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney proposes cutting tax rates 20 percent.

Romney also said on “60 Minutes” Sunday his tax policy would follow a study The Washington Post said indicated Romney would actually increase taxes on people earning $200,000 to $250,000 a year or less and cut them only for people earning more.

The Romney campaign had no immediate comment.

Hillary Clinton, defeated by Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, has said she plans to leave the State Department if Obama wins a second term.

Bill Clinton, who founded CGI to address major societal challenges around the world, told the CBS News program “Face the Nation” Sunday he had “no earthly idea” if his wife would run for president in 2016.

He said she planned to “take some time off, kind of regroup, write a book.”

Hillary Clinton received a standing ovation after her address.

Obamas Do ‘The View’

NEW YORK, (UPI) —  President Obama, in a joint appearance with his wife, Michelle, got into politics, foreign policy and personal stuff on ABC’s “The View” Monday in New York.

Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked Obama if his administration is failing the middle class. The president pointed out the country’s serious economic situation when he took office and said his policies, such as rescuing the auto industry, have helped.

“The question now for the American people is, how are we going to move forward? Governor Romney, I think is a good man and means well, but the policies he’s putting forward are precisely the policies that got us into this mess,” Obama said.

Asked by co-host Barbara Walters what would be so terrible if Mitt Romney were elected, Obama replied Americans “can survive a lot.”

“But the American people don’t want to just survive,” he said. “We want to thrive. I’ve just got a different vision of how we grow an economy. We grow fastest when the middle class is doing well.”

The first lady then interjected, “I’m voting for him,” prompting cheers and laughter from the audience.

“What a surprise,” Walters responded.

Obama, asked if the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was terrorism, said the type of weapons used and the length of the assault left “no doubt … that it wasn’t just a mob action.”

“The overwhelming majority of Muslims, they want the same things that families here want,” he said. “They want opportunity, kids want an education, they want jobs, they want peace. But there are extremist strains that are there.”

The president was sporting a dark suit with white shirt and dark-striped tie, while the first lady wore a sleeveless emerald green dress cut below the knee.

The president brought a basket of gifts from the White House for Walters, who celebrated her 83rd birthday Monday. The goodies included White House M&Ms, a deck of Marine One playing cards, some White House beer and a White House golf ball.

Obama quipped he brought the gifts “rather than have her steal napkins” from the White House.

Noting he was the only male on stage, Obama joked, “I told folks I’m just supposed to be eye candy here for you guys.”

They also talked about the Obamas’ upcoming 20th wedding anniversary, Oct. 3, the night of the first presidential debate.

The Obamas, who held hands most of the taping, discussed their feelings toward each other.

“I like lavishing her with all kinds of attention when she deserves it, and she always deserves it,” the president said.

She called him “very loving,” “very giving,” “very open” and “funny” but added, “I’m funnier.”

She disclosed he can raise his voice and get angry at times.

“Yeah, yeah, he does. I can make him mad — any number of ways,” she said.

“By being thoroughly unreasonable,” he added, smiling.

The first couple also discussed their daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Mom Questions Texas Teen’s School Spanking

SPRINGTOWN, Texas, (UPI) —  A Texas mom says she OKd her 15-year-old daughter’s spanking punishment at school but is questioning the severity of the single whack.

Taylor Santos initially received a two-day in-school suspension for allegedly letting a classmate copy her homework, but then opted for an optional spanking to void the second day. Springtown High School Vice Principal Kirt Shaw administered a single blow with a large wooden paddle Sept. 19.

The girl’s mom, Anna Jorgensen, said Shaw did so with such a violent, upward motion that it left a numbing, burn-like mark.

“She was more humiliated and embarrassed than anything, but the more she and I thought about it, it wasn’t fair and I thought I needed to do something about it,” Jorgensen told Fox News.

“I really don’t think he had to hit her that hard. I’m not saying he went in to intentionally hurt my daughter, but intentional or not, it did happen.”

The district policy allows corporal punishment but stipulates it must be administered by a teacher or administrator of the same gender as the student.

Springtown Independent School District officials have responded by considering changing the same-sex spanking rule to allow cross-gender spanking, Fox News said.

District Superintendent Mike Kelley said the board was to discuss that option Monday night.

Jorgensen said changing the policy would just be the district officials trying to “cover themselves.”

“If you’re going to have corporal punishment, the [same gender] policy should stand,” she said. “But it’s about the force and the fact that I knew the school policy before it happened.”

Fox noted 31 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have abolished corporal punishment in public schools.