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Q&A: Status of humanitarian aid in Gaza

Humanitarian aid in Gaza

Is Israel allowing external international humanitarian aid into Gaza, for example, Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, etc.?

Yes. Many humanitarian groups, such as the International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, have a presence in Gaza and are doing what they can, though they are limited by the ongoing hostilities.

Food, water, medical supplies and everyday living materials from various countries, including the United States, continue to be transported into Gaza by land through the Kerem Shalom passage between Israel and Gaza. Several cease-fires have been arranged to allow safe passage, but the flow has continued even during the fighting.

The land transport is important because Israel has maintained a naval blockade of Gaza since 2007. That remains in effect, though a Turkish aid organization has announced it will attempt to breach the blockade. Israel also controls Gaza's airspace.

Breastfeeding increasing

I thought I heard that breastfeeding is on the rise in the United States. Is that true?

Breastfeeding has gone through stages of popularity, but has been on the upswing since the mid 1990s. In its 2014 Breastfeeding Report Card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was reported that 79 percent of newborns were breastfed in 2011. That number falls to 50 percent at 6 months and 25 percent at 12 months.

In the early 1900s, about two-thirds of women breastfed newborns. Then began a gradual decline that reached a nadir at just 22 percent in 1972. Trends reversed and by 1975 the number was about 33 percent, and went up to about 60 percent by 1984. After a few years of slight decline, rates began rising again in the early 1990s.

The "hot mugshot guy"

There was a prisoner who was offered a modeling contract based on a mug shot. What was that man in prison for and how much money was his modeling contract worth?

Jeremy Meeks, who was arrested on gun charges on June 18 in Stockton, Calif., didn't receive a modeling contract but has hired a publicist. Meeks, 30, who has been labeled "Hot Mugshot Guy," hired Hollywood talent manager Gina Rodriguez, who also has represented "Octomom" Nadya Suleman and Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham. She denied early reports that Meeks had signed a modeling contract.

Last week, the action figure website ThatsMyFace announced it was selling a 12-inch action figure resembling Meeks in an orange prison jumpsuit, holding a machine gun, for $109. Those plans were shelved when Rodriguez threatened a lawsuit.

Meeks has been transferred to federal custody and now faces one felony gun charge that could lead to 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine.

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email jbooth@tampabay.com.

Q&A: Status of humanitarian aid in Gaza 08/15/14 [Last modified: Friday, August 15, 2014 2:53pm]
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