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The Daily Yonder’s Mary Annette Pember has a story in The Progressive about sexual assault in American Indian communities. 

“Indian women experience higher rates of sexual assault than any other ethnic or racial group in the United States,” Pember writes. “According to the 2006 ‘Maze of Injustice’ report by Amnesty International, one in three American Indian women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.” Meanwhile, Pember reports, U.S. Attorneys declined to prosecute nearly half of all cases referred to them in 2009 from Indian Country.

Good story.

•The USDA is predicting that net farm income will be up $14.9 billion over 2009 — a 24 percent increase. 

The failure of wheat crops on the Black Sea will allow U.S. farmers to increase their wheat exports by 35 percent over 2009. Corn exports will climb 16.5%

Farm earnings were down sharply in 2009. Farm income peaked in 2004. 2010 income will be $10.3 billion below that mark.

Johnny Edwards at the Augusta Chronicle reminds us that rural kids are more likely to find their way into the armed services than those growing up in the cities. And, as a result, rural residents are more likely to die in combat than those living in the cities. 

Edwards tells the story of Rodricka Youmans, who quit a job at a Dollar General store because it didn’t pay enough to support his children and joined the Marine Corp. A year later, he was killed outside Fallujah, Iraq.

“He joined because he was looking for a job,” said his father, Johnnie Youmans. “If he could have found a job, he probably wouldn’t have gone in.” Bricks in a park in South Carolina park memorialize those who died overseas. (Above.)

•The New York Times reports that several big banks are restricting loans to companies that strip mine coal. 

“Several lenders, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargohave developed internal lending policies that limit or eliminate their relationships with mining outfits that engage in mountaintop removal mining, which is precisely as it sounds: mining companies simply blast off mountaintops to quickly (and cheaply) gain access to coal seams, dumping the debris in valleys below,” writes Tom Zeller Jr. “The banks appear to be wagering that mountaintop removal has become sufficiently objectionable that it threatens their reputations if they’re seen as connected to it.” 

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