ORPHANS PAY THE PRICE: A new Russian law bans Americans, including many Iowans, from adopting young Russian children housed in orphanages, many of them living in very poor conditions. The ban apparently is in retaliation for a U.S. law calling for sanctions against Russians found to be human rights violators. U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is another 16 senators who signed a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging him to fight the change. Denying orphans an opportunity for a better life is a sad use of politics.
LOW AND NO GO: Our persistent drought combined with ice up north and less flow from the Missouri River have dropped the Mississippi River water level even more, so low in some places that barge traffic could cease as soon as this week in a stretch south of St. Louis. Shipments of grain, coal and oil worth billions are at stake.
JUSTICE DELAYED: Iowa’s court system continues to experience extended delays in handling cases, even after some funding was restored last year following an 11 percent budget cut in fiscal 2010. In Johnson and Linn counties, the number of criminal trials completed has dropped sharply over the last three years.l Comments: email@example.com or (319) 398-8262