Friday, September 22, 2006

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST September 22, 2006


GOP Makes Deal On Detainees

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2006

(CBS/AP) The Bush administration and Senate Republicans announced agreementThursday on terms for the interrogation and trial of terror suspects.

"I'm pleased we have agreement," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist,emerging from a session in his office where national security adviserStephen Hadley and key lawmakers reviewed the compromise.

Hadley called it a "framework for compromise," and Sen. John Warner said hewill not consider the agreement sealed until President Bush signs it.

President Bush hailed the agreement, saying it will "help us crack theterror network to save American lives."

Mr. Bush thanked the Senate for the deal and said it will allow the CIA tocontinue interrogations of suspected terrorists. Mr. Bush said he hopes thelegislation passes before Congress adjourns next week, reports CBS NewsWhite House correspondent Mark Knoller.


From Marc Adams
HeartStrong Outreach Trip


Hi everyone...

Time has just been flying by for us as we continue this outreach trip.The first thing I want to mention is a Thank You to an anonymous donor whodonated the $2500.00 we needed for the costs of the rest of this trip.This is a tremendous help to us and we are incredibly grateful.

We also received several other donations which have helped us lower theamount we need for the second portion of this trip (starting October 16)from $8,000.00 to $7200.00. We are so grateful for the donations that arehelping us do our work.

The El Dorado Human Rights Council is hosting us for a program on Sunday,September 24, in Placerville CA. They have afundamentalist/neo-evangelical local minister who has been a thorn in theside of many different groups of people. In response to the newspaper'sanouncement of our program, the minister's son, Luke Otterstad, wrote aletter to the editor calling me a Sodomite who hates Christians.

For the full article contact us a


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Sep. 22, 2006

Outsourcing torture should be stopped


Of all the extraordinary techniques employed by the Bush administration to get information from terrorism suspects in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the practice known as ''rendition'' is one of the most questionable. Under this policy, U.S. interrogators don't whip, kick or brutalize anyone -- they just let someone else do it. Anyone who thinks this is a swell idea should consider the case of Canadian citizen Maher Arar, who was snared in an Orwellian nightmare involving rendition.

Suspected terrorist

Mr. Arar was seized by U.S. authorities in 2002 after he landed in New York on his way home from a holiday in Tunisia. Without informing the government of Canada -- one of our staunchest allies -- U.S. authorities shipped him off to his country of origin, Syria, where he was imprisoned and beaten as a suspected terrorist. His captors routinely ignored his pleas of innocence. After nearly a year of beatings and harsh interrogations, however, the Syrians determined that he was telling the truth all along and let him go.Earlier this week, a Canadian government commission exonerated the computer ngineer of any ties to terrorism. The U.S. government refused to cooperate with the inquiry. The panel was highly critical of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which had wrongly labeled Mr. Arar an ''Islamic extremist'' and put his name on a terrorist database shared with U.S. officials.


The Miami Herald
Posted on Fri, Sep. 22, 2006
At Large

Fear, not terror, threatens our way of life

Leonard Pitts Jr.

Colin Powell is late.

Late by weeks, late by months. Truth to tell, late by years.

''The world,'' he wrote in a letter to Sen. John McCain last week, ``is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism.''

The eyes goggle at the word, neon obvious in its understatement. Beginning to doubt? Au contraire. Surely the world began to doubt when we barreled unilaterally into Iraq, crying, ''WMD! WMD!'' Surely, the world began to doubt when, finding no WMD, we declared that not finding WMD didn't matter. Surely, the world began to doubt when it read headlines of our soldiers committing acts of torture at Abu Ghraib. Surely the world began to doubt when news broke of the United States sending terror suspects to countries where they could be tortured by interrogators. Surely the world began to doubt when Dick Cheney lobbied to exempt the CIA from rules prohibiting torture. Surely the world has doubted for a long time.


Powell's letter was meant as a show of support for a group of dissident GOP senators on the Armed Services Committee -- McCain, John Warner, Lindsay Graham, Susan Collins -- who joined Democrats in rebuffing a White House legislative attempt to reinterpret Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. The White House wanted to allow the use of torture in the interrogation of supposed terrorists, including a technique that simulates drowning. President Bush also wants to be able to try terror suspects without allowing them to see, much less rebut, the evidence against them -- the very definition of a kangaroo court.

The two sides reached a tentative agreement on Thursday. But it's a mark of how far we have fallen since Sept. 11, 2001, that these things were even being discussed, much less seriously. So, belated as it is, Powell's evocation of morality also feels, paradoxically, like the timeliest of reminders for a nation that has so obviously forgotten who and what it is supposed to be.


The Washington Post

Students Rebel Against Database Designed to Thwart Plagiarists

By Maria Glod
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 22, 2006; A01

When McLean High School students write this year about Othello or immigration policy, their teachers won't be the only ones examining the papers. So will a California company that specializes in catching cheaters.

The for-profit service known as Turnitin checks student work against a database of more than 22 million papers written by students around the world, as well as online sources and electronic archives of journals. School administrators said the service, which they will start using next week, is meant to deter plagiarism at a time when the Internet makes it easy to copy someone else's words.

But some McLean High students are rebelling. Members of the new Committee for Students' Rights said they do not cheat or condone cheating. But they object to Turnitin's automatically adding their essays to the massive database, calling it an infringement of intellectual property rights. And they contend that the school's action will tar students at one of Fairfax County's academic powerhouses.


The Washington Post

The Super-Rich Get Richer: Forbes 400 Are All Billionaires

By Frank Ahrens
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 22, 2006; A01

It's not news that Bill Gates is the richest person in America, according to Forbes magazine's annual list of the nation's 400 richest people, released yesterday. He has been for 13 years. Barring a second Stone Age in which computers are good only for hurling at other cavemen, Gates will always be rich.

The news is: On this list, $999 million is chump change.

For the first time, all 400 Gotbucks on the Forbes tally are billionaires, from Gates (worth $53 billion) down to the bottom, Los Angeles semiconductor magnate Sehat Sutardja ($1 billion).

It's not just the accumulated wealth that draws attention to the list; it's the eye-popping numbers that show the speed with which wealth is gained -- and lost -- at the dawn of this millennium.


The Washington Post

Wal-Mart Sets $4 Price For Many Generic Drugs

By Kathleen Day
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 22, 2006; A01

Retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc., known for forcing prices down to dominate nearly every market it enters, said yesterday that it would sell nearly 300 generic drugs for $4 per prescription, whether or not a customer has insurance.

Using its might as the nation's largest retailer and its legendary ability to force suppliers to cut prices to the bone, the company will begin the $4 price program in its 65 stores in the Tampa area today, in all of Florida in January, and in as many other states as possible by the end of 2007. The $4 is for a typical monthly supply of medicine, and included on the Wal-Mart list are generic versions of many popular prescription drugs, including the antibiotic amoxicillin and the heart and blood-pressure treatment lisinopril, sold under the brand names Prinivil and Zestril.

Health-care industry analysts said the program has the potential to transform the $230 billion prescription-drug business the way Wal-Mart has transformed other industries, including groceries and toys, where its aggressive pricing has forced some competitors out of business and allowed it to dominate entire categories of merchandise.


The New York Times

September 22, 2006

Pakistani Youth Wins Political Asylum Despite U.S. Protests

An orphaned young man living in Queens won a battle against deportation to his native Pakistan yesterday when an immigration judge granted his plea for political asylum over legal objections by the Department of Homeland Security.

The judge, Patricia A. Rohan, ruled that the young man, Mohammad Sarfaraz Hussain, 21, had reason to be afraid that if deported, he would become the target of violent extremists "who would try to use him as a 'poster child' for anti-American views."

"Return to Pakistan would not only jeopardize his safety, but his emotional development as well," Judge Rohan said, citing "the very compelling circumstances of his life." The judge referred to a psychological report describing his symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder since an earlier reprieve from deportation was unexpectedly withdrawn by immigration officials in January.


The New York Times

September 22, 2006
Political Memo

Volatile Mix: Campaigning and Religions

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 - In one of the more awkward moments surrounding the disclosure of his Jewish heritage this week, Senator George Allen, Republican of Virginia, volunteered that his background had hardly inspired him to start keeping kosher. "I still had a ham sandwich for lunch," Mr. Allen told The Richmond Times-Dispatch, referring to rules against eating pork, "and my mother made great pork chops."

If Mr. Allen did not fully grasp the sensitivities at first, he did find himself in a growing group of political figures who have discovered their Jewish roots late in life.

The responses to his situation, which included bad ethnic humor and serious debates about denial and anti-Semitism, focused attention on the power of religious, ethnic and racial identities in politics, forces that may not have the power they once did. But those forces remain sufficiently alive that Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, a Mormon, will almost certainly face questions about his religion if he runs for the Republican presidential nomination.


Inside Higher Education

How to Teach a Dirty Book
By Emily Toth

My students like to take it on the road.

At Penn State, they used to take it to the laundromat. While their undies thrashed about and everyone around them was struggling with Principles of Accounting and Introduction to Physics, my students would be turning page after page - laughing, crying, panting.

They still do, though now most of my Louisiana State University students also have full-time jobs. They take it with them to offices, beauty parlors, and fast food joints - and they leave their greasy thumbprints on the best pages.

They even take it home and read it in front of their parents - something my generation never did.

We knew we weren't supposed to read Peyton Place in front of our parents.

Grace Metalious's novel, 50 years old this month, is still a byword for lusty secrets. When South Carolina Congressman Lindsey Graham opened the impeachment hearings against Bill Clinton in 1998, he demanded, "Is this Watergate or Peyton Place?"My students ask about Watergate - but they know about Peyton Place.


Inside Higher Education

Sept. 22

The Speech That Wasn't

For an event that won't take place, the planned appearance by Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, resulted in plenty of announcements from Columbia University on Wednesday and Thursday.

After university officials dismissed reports that he had been invited to talk on the Manhattan campus as "rumors," they then confirmed that he had been invited - first in a short statement from Lee C. Bollinger, the president, and then in a longer version. Then the university sent word that Ahmadinejad wouldn't be appearing because of "logistical" problems and then another statement from Bollinger, saying that the university had been unable to arrange the visit in a way that would "reflect the academic values that are the hallmark" of a Columbia event.

As rumors about the speech swirled around Columbia's campus, students who are members of a pro-Israel group distributed leaflets criticizing the invitation by their university, which has been trying to overcome accusations - considered unfair by many on the campus - that the institution has been insensitive to Jewish and pro-Israel students.

The furor at Columbia follows both criticism and strong defenses of the decision by Harvard University to invite Mohammed Khatami, a former president of Iran, to speak on its campus earlier this month. Some objected to giving Khatami a platform, given Iran's record of human rights abuses. But many others at Harvard and elsewhere defended the invitation, citing the university's commitment to being a place of open debate and Khatami's reputation as a reformer (at least within the context of Iranian politics).


The Boston Globe


Keep 'choice' in the debate on abortion
By Ellen Goodman | September 22, 2006

SOMETIMES YOU have to remember exactly what it means to be prochoice. Sometimes the word ``choice" is more than a focus-group label to avoid saying the word ``abortion." Sometimes the slick bumper sticker -- Who Decides? -- actually defines the argument.

The reminder now comes from Maine, where a bizarre and sorry family narrative is unfolding. Nicholas and Lola Kampf are accused of something that sounds linguistically impossible, not to mention criminal: kidnapping their daughter.

According to the arrest warrant, the Kampfs grabbed a pregnant 19-year-old Katelyn, allegedly tying her feet and hands, and carried her to the car and headed south. The plan, said Katelyn, who escaped in New Hampshire and called police on a cellphone, was to force her to have an abortion.

The headlines -- ``Daughter Kidnapped to Force Abortion" -- repeated this baldly across the news cycle. It was as if distraught parents could really deliver a captive wrapped in rope and duct tape to a doctor who would perform an abortion against the patient's will.


The New York Times

September 22, 2006
Church to Fight IRS Demand for Documents
Filed at 12:17 a.m. ET

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- A liberal church that has been threatened with theloss of its tax-exempt status over an anti-war sermon delivered just daysbefore the 2004 presidential election said Thursday it will fight an IRSorder to turn over documents on the matter.

''We're going to put it in their court and in a court of law so that we canget an adjudication to some very fundamental issue here that we see as anintolerable infringement of rights,'' Bob Long, senior warden of All SaintsChurch, told The Associated Press.

He said the church's 26-member vestry voted unanimously to resist IRSdemands for documents and an interview with the congregation's rector by theend of the month.

The church's action sets up a high-profile confrontation between the churchand the IRS, which now must decide whether to ask for a hearing before ajudge, who would then decide on the validity of the agency's demands.


The Washington Post

Tolerance: A Two-Way Street

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, September 22, 2006; A17

Religious fanatics, regardless of what name they give their jealous god,invariably have one thing in common: no sense of humor. Particularly aboutthemselves. It's hard to imagine Torquemada taking a joke well.

Today's Islamists seem to have not even a sense of irony. They fail to seethe richness of the following sequence. The pope makes a reference to a14th-century Byzantine emperor's remark about Islam imposing itself by thesword, and to protest this linking of Islam and violence:

· In the West Bank and Gaza, Muslims attack seven churches.

· In London, the ever-dependable radical Anjem Choudary tells demonstratorsat Westminster Cathedral that the pope is now condemned to death.

· In Mogadishu, Somali religious leader Abubukar Hassan Malin calls onMuslims to "hunt down" the pope. The pope not being quite at hand, they dothe next best thing: shoot dead, execution-style, an Italian nun who workedin a children's hospital.


The New York Times

September 22, 2006
A Bad Bargain

Here is a way to measure how seriously President Bush was willing tocompromise on the military tribunals bill: Less than an hour after anagreement was announced yesterday with three leading Republican senators,the White House was already laying a path to wiggle out of its one realconcession.

About the only thing that Senators John Warner, John McCain and LindseyGraham had to show for their defiance was Mr. Bush's agreement to drop hisinsistence on allowing prosecutors of suspected terrorists to introduceclassified evidence kept secret from the defendant. The White House agreedto abide by the rules of courts-martial, which bar secret evidence.

(Although the administration's supporters continually claim this meansgiving classified information to terrorists, the rules actually provide forreviewing, editing and summarizing classified material. Evidence that cannotbe safely declassified cannot be introduced.)


The New York Times

September 22, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

Insurance Horror Stories

"When Steve and Leslie Shaeffer's daughter, Selah, was diagnosed at age 4 with a potentially fatal tumor in her jaw, they figured their health insurance would cover the bulk of her treatment costs." But "shortly after Selah's medical bills hit $20,000, Blue Cross stopped covering them and eventually canceled her coverage retroactively."

So begins a recent report in The Los Angeles Times titled "Sick but Insured? Think Again," which offers a series of similar horror stories, and suggests that these stories represent a growing trend: more and more health insurers are finding ways to yank your insurance when you get sick.

This trend helps explain something that has been puzzling me: why is the health insurance industry growing rapidly, even as it covers fewer Americans?


September 21, 2006
IRS investigation into liberal church draws fire from Right and Left

A liberal, pro-gay California church is locked in an escalating dispute withthe IRS over an antiwar sermon that could cost the congregation itstax-exempt status.

With the campaign season in full swing, a liberal Pasadena, Calif., churchis locked in an escalating dispute with the IRS over an antiwarsermon-delivered two days before the 2004 presidential election-that couldcost the congregation its tax-exempt status.

Religious leaders on both the right and left are watching closely, afraidthe confrontation at All Saints Church in this Los Angeles suburb willcompromise their ability to speak out on issues they see as morallyimportant, such as abortion and same-sex marriage, during the midtermelection campaign.

Under federal tax law, church officials can legally discuss politics, but toretain tax-exempt status, they cannot endorse candidates or parties. Mostwho do so receive a warning.