PNS Daily News - December 13, 2019 

Brexit wins at the polls in the U.K.; major changes come to New England immigration courts today; and more than a million acres in California have been cleared for oil and gas drilling.

2020Talks - December 13, 2013  

The House passes legislation to reign in drug prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders is on the upswing, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang plays Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten - who's running against long-time incumbent Steve King - in a game of basketball.

US Door Opens Wider on Asylum for Battered Women

July 29, 2009

RICHMOND, Va. - Abused and battered women from other nations will find less resistance on the path toward starting their lives over by coming to the United States. A recent court case shows the Obama administration is reversing Bush-era positions that had made it nearly impossible for abused women to gain asylum here.

The move is hailed by Mary Anne Metheny, executive director of the Hope House Shelter, who calls it a great humanitarian effort.

"No matter where you are domestic violence is wrong. Whether you're here or in another country, it's not okay."

Metheny says some undoubtedly fear waves of women seeking asylum on flimsy grounds by claiming to be abuse victims. She points out, however, that they will still have to meet strict guidelines under the government's new stance.

They must show that, in their home country, they are treated as if they are property; that domestic abuse is widely tolerated; and that they could not find protection through local institutions or by moving to a different area of their country.

The chief advantage of resettling in America is, it's a place that can offer resources to a woman, allowing her to move on, she adds.

"I think this would have a large impact on the people that we're serving - not just the people who are already here, but also those people who are coming here specifically for that."

The policy change became apparent in a U.S. Department of Justice filing in an asylum case in San Francisco. Information about Virginia's Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance can be found online at

Aries Keck, Public News Service - VA