Jane Pauley on Katie Couric: Jane Pauley, the former "Today" and "Dateline" host and first woman to anchor the evening news in Chicago in 1975, was reluctant to comment about Katie Couric’s anchor role at CBS but gave in:

"The news business — nobody knows where the industry is or where it is going," she said. "It was a brave experiment. I think her strengths were unique but she was not well used. She had too many strengths that had nothing to do with that patch-around role.

"I hope she finds something in TV where her strengths will be used as opposed to her current leading role," Pauley, who is working on a live event that will include an Internet component, said. "I hope, like me, she feels proud she started something that was a challenge and the odds were long. I feel good about that."

NARAL Backs Obama, Angers EMILY’s List: ABC News reports on the timing of the endorsement.

"A political organization always looks at viability — who has the most delegates, the most votes, and the most cash on hand," Elizabeth Shipp, political director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, told ABC News. "As a political organization, we’re not going to say it’s an easy decision, but it’s the right one."

The justification didn’t sit well with EMILY’s List, which backs pro-choice Democratic women. President Ellen R. Malcolm released the following statement, blasting NARAL:

"I think it is tremendously disrespectful to Sen. Clinton — who held up the nomination of a FDA commissioner in order to force approval of Plan B and who spoke so eloquently during the Supreme Court nomination about the importance of protecting Roe vs. Wade — to not give her the courtesy to finish the final three weeks of the primary process. It certainly must be disconcerting for elected leaders who stand up for reproductive rights and expect the choice community will stand with them."

Karen Bass, First Black Woman to Become Assembly Speaker: Earlier this week, the California state Assembly became the first state legislative body in the nation to be led by a black woman: Karen Bass, a former activist from Los Angeles. Here is her swearing in address.

From The New York Times:

Leading the Assembly "is not a job I’ve always dreamed of," said Ms. Bass, who before being elected from the 47th Assembly District in 2005 ran the Community Coalition in South Los Angeles. "I have been a lifelong community activist and frankly did not dream of being in public office"

Serious-minded — her idea of a good time is to form a commission to study the state’s tax structure — and rather unyielding, with a brown belt in tae kwon do, Ms. Bass was also one of the first high-profile elected officials to support Senator Barack Obama’s candidacy here.

O’Connor Makes Plea for Alzheimer’s Aid: "Speaking out for the first time about her husband’s Alzheimer’s, retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor told senators Wednesday that the disease takes a ‘staggering toll’ on families and said, ‘our nation is certainly ready to get deadly serious about this deadly disease,’" reports USA Today. Joan Biskupic writes:

As she referred to her "beloved husband," John, and how he is "not in very good shape," her voice cracked.

Yet O’Connor, who was the first woman on the Supreme Court, clearly conveyed her main message to the Special Committee on Aging: that Alzheimer’s research must be expanded, and it will take both public and private efforts.

Gender Gap in Retirement Savings: "Women are more motivated than men to save for retirement, according to a recent report from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College," reports Business Week. "The research, led by Tuck management professor Punam Anand Keller, found that women are driven to save because of worries that they’ll have to work longer to maintain a certain lifestyle and attain medical care and a fear that they’ll lose their home and be dependent on family."

Mammogram + Ultrasound May Be Useful for Some Women: A mammogram combined with an ultrasound exam is more effective than mammography alone at detecting breast cancer in women at high risk for the disease, according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association and reported on here by the Chicago Sun Times.

But there’s also a significant chance of false positives with ultrasounds, researchers found, which could lead to unnecessary biospies. And radiologists say the time and expertise needed to analyze an ultrasound make it an unrealistic choice for many patients. […]

Women with dense breasts should talk to their doctors about whether the potential benefits of the ultrasound outweigh the risk that a false positive result could lead to an unneeded biopsy, said Dr. Wendie Berg, the lead author of the study and a radiologist specializing in breast imaging with American Radiology Services in Lutherville, Md.

"A Current Between Shores": The Women’s International Perspective
is featuring a nine-part series, conceived as "parallel histories from
different worlds," in which Rose-Anne Clermont explores the lives and
remarkably similar experiences of two of the women closest to her:
Renée Clermont, her Haitian mother and Barbara Kemter, her German
mother-in-law. Both had their lives transformed under brutal
dictatorships more than 50 years ago. Coincidentally, both became
nurses and lived to build new lives, raising their children in
different worlds from the ones in which they grew up. Now they are
grandmothers to shared children. As Rose-Anne says, "They are teachers
and keepers of similar histories that we dare not forget."

Read the most current installment of "A Current between Shores" — a conversation between Renée Clermont, 68, and Barbara Kemter, 74, on age and aging.

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