The Fourth Amendment
Takes Its Leave
Spinning In Graves
Pakistan Is Said to Be Attracting Insurgents
By ERIC SCHMITT
Published: July 10, 2008
WASHINGTON – American military and intelligence officials say there has been an increase in recent months in the number of foreign fighters who have traveled to Pakistan’s tribal areas to join with militants there.
The flow may reflect a change that is making Pakistan, not Iraq, the preferred destination for some Sunni extremists from the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia who are seeking to take up arms against the West, these officials say.
The American officials say the influx, which could be in the dozens but could also be higher, shows a further strengthening of the position of the forces of Al Qaeda in the tribal areas, increasingly seen as an important base of support for the Taliban, whose forces in Afghanistan have become more aggressive in their campaign against American-led troops.
China’s Silencing Season
Activist Journalists and Lawyers Jailed, Harassed in Far-Reaching Pre-Olympic Operation
By Jill Drew
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, July 10, 2008; Page A08
BEIJING — Outside the small restaurant where he was having dinner, Huang Qi saw men he recognized, plainclothes police officers. He got on his cellphone to alert colleagues: Something might happen tonight, he said. We were followed.
Huang, who had already served a five-year prison term for political material posted on his Web site, had just published an article about China’s latest forbidden topic: shoddy construction of school buildings in Sichuan province, where more than 9,000 children were killed when their classrooms collapsed in the May 12 earthquake.
An article published in Sunday’s Guardian about this same issue was part of that mornings Docudharma Times as is another story in today’s Asian news section. It’s important that people realize just how far the Chinese government is willing to go to protect its image.
Senate Approves Bill to Broaden Wiretap Powers
By ERIC LICHTBLAU
Published: July 10, 2008
WASHINGTON – The Senate gave final approval on Wednesday to a major expansion of the government’s surveillance powers, handing President Bush one more victory in a series of hard-fought clashes with Democrats over national security issues.
The measure, approved by a vote of 69 to 28, is the biggest revamping of federal surveillance law in 30 years. It includes a divisive element that Mr. Bush had deemed essential: legal immunity for the phone companies that cooperated in the National Security Agency wiretapping program he approved after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Doctors’ Group Plans Apology For Racism
AMA Once Barred Black Physicians
By Holly Watt
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 10, 2008; Page A01
The country’s largest medical association is set to issue a formal apology today for its historical antipathy toward African American doctors, expressing regret for a litany of transgressions, including barring black physicians from its ranks for decades and remaining silent during battles on landmark legislation to end racial discrimination.
The apology marks one of the rare times a major national organization has expressed contrition for its role in the segregation and discrimination that black people have experienced in the United States.
Pre-Olympics security sweep nets foreigners, Chinese alike
By Tim Johnson | McClatchy Newspapers
BEIJING – When Dechen Pemba, a British citizen, walked out of her Beijing apartment at 8:55 one morning this week, she found seven to eight security agents milling about waiting for her.
They allowed her to throw some clothes in a rucksack, then took her in a whizzing convoy to the airport, ordering her deportation on a flight to London.
The expulsion of Pemba, who’s of Tibetan descent, is part of a broader campaign to sweep away anyone deemed a potential troublemaker before the Aug. 8-24 Olympic Games. Under the slogan “Peaceful Beijing,” security forces wield what human rights monitors call an unprecedented mandate to rid the city of anyone they deem undesirable.
Envoys set for North Korea talks
Senior diplomats are gathering in Beijing to thrash out the next move in the long-running mission to end North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
The US envoy, Christopher Hill, said they would focus on verifying claims made by Pyongyang last month in a declaration of its nuclear programme.
The account is thought to give details of the North’s plutonium production.
The talks between delegates from both Koreas, Russia, the US, China and Japan are resuming after a nine-month delay.
Defiant Iran tests missiles to show strength in face of US warnings
· Long-range exercise ‘not routine’, Tehran declares
· Warhead could reach Israel and American bases
Julian Borger, diplomatic editor and Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Thursday July 10, 2008
Tehran significantly raised tensions in the Persian Gulf yesterday by conducting missile tests and making clear that its weapons could be used against Israel and US forces if Iran was attacked.
According to Iranian official reports, the military exercise involved nine missiles, one of them a new Shahab-3 long-range missile that could easily reach Israel and a number of US bases in the region.
The Revolutionary Guard air force commander, Hossein Salami, said the test was not routine but a demonstration of resolve as pressure grows on Iran to curb its nuclear programme.
Fewer gunmen and bribes as Iraqi students take finals
Authorities boosted security after last year’s tests were marred by widespread lawlessness and mass cheating.
By Sam Dagher | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
BAGHDAD – A group of anxious-looking Iraqi mothers huddled behind concrete barriers and concertina wire in the shadow of two Iraqi police pickup trucks. In the distance, US military vehicles could be seen patrolling the neighborhood.
One mother shut her eyes and started muttering prayers while clasping a string of worry beads between her hands.
This was the scene Monday outside a school in Baghdad’s Baiyaa neighborhood, where hundreds of Iraqi teenage girls took a chemistry exam as part of the standardized national exams for high school diplomas held this time each year. The exams, which started on June 26, will end on Wednesday.
Last year’s tests were marred by unprecedented incidents of mass cheating, bribe-taking, and sheer lawlessness. In many places, militiamen and insurgents strolled casually into exam centers and forced officials, often at gunpoint, to allow cheating.
Global net closes on Mugabe’s gang
By Daniel Howden
Thursday, 10 July 2008
The net was tightening last night around the leading figures in the Mugabe regime as the United Nations identified the key individuals it blames for the current crisis in Zimbabwe.
A draft UN resolution named Robert Mugabe and 13 of his henchmen as the main culprits behind the campaign of violence in which scores of opposition supporters have been raped and murdered, and hopes of democratic salvation for the southern African nation have been wrecked.
The men named by the UN include generals, such as the army chief, Constantine Chiwenga, who is credited with persuading Mr Mugabe to launch a military campaign against the opposition rather than negotiate an exit package in the wake of his defeat in the first round of elections in March.
Nigerian militants end cease-fire in oil region
By KATY POWNALL, Associated Press Writer
ABUJA, Nigeria – Nigeria’s main militant group said Thursday it would resume attacks in the country’s oil-rich river delta region because of Britain’s recent pledge to back the government in the conflict there.A top leader with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta told The Associated Press that the group was abandoning a two-week-old cease-fire as of midnight Saturday. He spoke anonymously to avoid identification and capture by the authorities.
The group, known as MEND, is behind two years of crippling attacks on Nigeria’s oil infrastructure that have sliced the country’s normal daily oil output by a quarter and contributed to the worldwide surge in the price of crude.
Symbol of Rome found to be 1,000 years too young
By Peter Popham in Rome
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Mussolini cherished her as a symbol of the “new Rome” he was bringing into being; and 60 years on, the bronze she-wolf with the gaping eyes, heavy udders and mouth half-open in a growl still says “Rome” as eloquently as the Colosseum.
But to the chagrin of Rome romantics everywhere, scientists have now proved that the Lupa Capitolina, the life-size bronze of a wolf with two human infants suckling her, on view in the city’s Capitoline Museum, dates not from the time of togas and chariot races but from the 13th century, more than 1,000 years later.
As scientific knowledge advances, Rome is steadily losing its intimacy with its mythical origins. First to go were the twins hanging off the wolf’s teats, moulded in a very different style from the wolf, and proved beyond doubt to have been made in the late 15th century. Last November Italy’s then minister of culture, Francesco Rutelli, created great excitement by announcing that archaeologists had located the very cave where the wolf suckled the twins – but it did not take long for scholars to point out that the suckling by the wolf was never more than a myth.
Frank Gehry: the Bilbao Effect is bulls**t
Ben Hoyle, Arts Reporter
The Bilbao Effect – the idea that one building can transform the fortunes of an entire region – was today described as “bullshit” by the architect who pioneered it.
Frank Gehry built the spectacular fish-scaled Guggenheim museum in Bilbao for less than $100 million 11 years ago.
It paid for itself within a year and spearheaded an economic, social and cultural revival of the Basque region, which is now one of the most popular destinations in Spain after years blighted by terrorist violence.
Ever since, ambitious city planners from Gateshead to Guanzhou have fallen over themselves to bag an iconic new building by a superstar architect in the hope that it will provide a similar upturn
The old man who farms with the sea
Carl Hodges is growing salicornia, a crop nourished by ocean water that holds the potential to provide food and fuel to millions.
By Marla Dickerson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 10, 2008
A few miles inland from the Sea of Cortez, amid cracked earth and mesquite and sun-bleached cactus, neat rows of emerald plants are sprouting from the desert floor.
The crop is salicornia. It is nourished by seawater flowing from a man-made canal. And if you believe the American who is farming it, this incongruous swath of green has the potential to feed the world, fuel our vehicles and slow global warming.
He is Carl Hodges, a Tucson-based atmospheric physicist who has spent most of his 71 years figuring out how humans can feed themselves in places where good soil and fresh water are in short supply.