THE SNOW DID NOT PREVENT THE POSTMAN COMING TO OUR HOME, BUT, HE CAME WITH NO COPY OF THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE AND NEWS FROM OUTSIDE THE VALLEY.
THE FOLLOWING DAY, THE WEDNESDAY EDITION OF THE NEWSPAPER ARRIVED, CONTAINING THE FOLLOWING ARTILCES.
MUMBAI: Foreign couples turn to India for surrogate mothers
Reproductive outsourcing is a new but rapidly expanding enterprise in India. Clinics that provide surrogate mothers for foreigners say they have been inundated with requests from the United States and Europe in recent months, as word spreads of India's combination of skilled medical professionals, relatively liberal laws and low prices.
Commercial surrogacy, which is banned in some European countries and subject to a wide spectrum of regulation in U.S. states, was legalized in India in 2002. The cost of the medical procedures, air tickets and hotels for two trips to India (one for the fertilization and a second to collect the baby) comes to around $25,000, roughly a third of the typical price in the United States.
Rudy Rupak, co-founder and president of PlanetHospital, a U.S. medical tourism agency, said he expects to send at least 100 couples to India this year for surrogacy, up from 25 in 2007, the first year he offered the service.
Under guidelines issued by the Indian Medical Council, surrogate mothers sign away all their rights to the child. In cases where the surrogate provides a womb for an embryo formed from the sperm and egg of the prospective parents, it is only the names of these genetic parents that appear on the birth certificate. If an egg donor is involved, her name does not appear on the document, either; only that of the father.
This eases the process of taking the baby out of the country. But for many, like Lisa Switzer, a 40-year-old medical technician from Texas whose twin babies are being carried by a surrogate mother from the clinic, the overwhelming attraction is the price.
U.S. pulls the plug on Europeans who want to visit Cuba
Steve Marshall is a British travel agent. He lives in Spain, and he sells trips to Europeans who want to go to sunny places, including Cuba. In October, about 80 of his Web sites stopped working because of the U.S. government.
The sites, in English, French and Spanish, had been online since 1998. Some, like Cuba-Hemingway.com, were literary. Others discussed Cuban history and culture, like Cuba-HavanaCity.com. Still others - CiaoCuba.com and BonjourCuba.com - were purely commercial sites aimed at Italian and French tourists.
"I came to work in the morning, and we had no reservations at all," Marshall said on the phone from the Canary Islands. "We thought it was a technical problem."
It turned out, though, that Marshall's Web sites had been put on a U.S. Treasury Department blacklist and, as a consequence, his domain name registrar, eNom, which is based in the United States, had disabled them. Marshall said eNom told him it did so after a call from the Treasury Department; the company says it learned that the sites were on the blacklist through a blog.
Unlike Americans, who face significant restrictions on travel to Cuba, Europeans are free to go there, and many do. Charles Sims, a lawyer with the firm Proskauer Rose in New York, said the Treasury Department might have gone too far in Marshall's case.
"The U.S can certainly criminalize the expenditure of money by U.S. citizens in Cuba," Sims said, "but it doesn't properly have any jurisdiction over foreign sites that are not targeted at the U.S. and which are lawful under foreign law."