Friday, November 03, 2006


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Dealing with North Korea
November 3, 2006

AFTER SECRET talks in China between Christopher Hill, the US assistantsecretary of state in charge of negotiations with North Korea, and his NorthKorean counterpart, the two sides announced plans Tuesday to resumesix-party talks in Beijing on a deal to dismantle the North's nuclearweapons program. The Bush administration's past refusal to make theconcessions needed for such a deal has endangered Asian security and raisedthe specter of terrorists one day purchasing a nuclear device from NorthKorea. So it is good news indeed that the six-party talks that weresuspended a year ago will be reconvened.

Given the stakes in the upcoming talks, there could hardly be a moredelicate moment to focus attention on the crimes against humanity that thePyongyang regime has committed against its own population. But that isprecisely what a damning new report on humanitarian conditions and humanrights abuses inside North Korea has done.



Genetic research and human behavior
By Steven J. Heine | November 3, 2006

RECENT DISCOVERIES have placed genetic research in the spotlight. People arenow able to track their ancestry through analyses of their DNA, medicalcloning technologies make front-page news, and burgeoning research inbehavioral genetics continues to articulate how people are geneticallypredisposed to act in certain ways.

Yet one question that rarely gets considered is how people make sense of thebarrage of information about how genes underlie and guide human behavior.Perhaps more problematic, how do people respond to suggestions that thereare genes shared by their race or sex that may be associated withundesirable outcomes?

Last year former Harvard University president Lawrence Summers came underfire for questioning whether women might be underrepresented in science andmath occupations because of innate differences between the sexes. On the onehand, this is a legitimate scientific question.


Nov. 2, 2006, 2:50AM
Scientists say White House muzzled climate research

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Two federal agencies are investigating whether the Bushadministration tried to block government scientists from speaking freelyabout global warming and censor their research, a senator said Wednesday.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said he was informed that the inspectorsgeneral for the Commerce Department and NASA had begun "coordinated,sweeping investigations of the Bush administration's censorship andsuppression" of federal research into global warming.

"These investigations are critical because the Republicans in Congress haveignored this serious problem," Lautenberg said.


Romney consults evangelical leaders
By Scott Helman, Globe Staff | November 2, 2006

Governor Mitt Romney is convening meetings with small groups of evangelicalleaders to seek guidance for his possible presidential run, as Romney andMormon supporters intensify efforts to allay concerns about his faith.

Romney, who is ramping up preparations for a 2008 campaign, huddledprivately at his Belmont home last Thursday with about a dozen evangelicals,including conservative activist Gary Bauer, president of the group AmericanValues, and Richard Land, a prominent leader in the Southern BaptistConvention.

Two weeks earlier, Romney met with about a dozen Baptist pastors at aprivate club in Columbia, S.C. Today, he is set to meet with more Christianleaders at an activist's home in Greenville, S.C.


The New York Times

November 3, 2006
New York

At Ease on the Stump, and Showing Flashes of Humor

Close friends of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton are always saying that she
has a great sense of humor - witty, sarcastic, playful - and that skeptical
voters would come around if they saw that part of her personality.

Well, skeptical voters, take note: Mrs. Clinton has had some pretty amusingmoments on the campaign trail this fall, wearing her personality on hersleeve more than she has in the past.

This campaign season has been something of a dress rehearsal for Mrs.Clinton, as she considers auditioning for a bigger role in 2008. Herpolitical issues, campaign advertisements and public persona are beingcalibrated for her to go national - if she decides to go for it.


Abuse can alter brain, study finds
Low serotonin linked to cycle of cruelty

By Ronald Kotulak
Tribune science reporter

November 2, 2006

A new study on monkeys raised by abusive mothers suggests that growing up inan abusive household can alter brain chemistry in a way that makes someyoungsters prone to mistreating their own children when they grow up.

In other words, abuse is not just something that's learned from living withabusive parents, although that may have an influence, according to authorsof the report, published in Thursday's issue of the journal BehavioralNeuroscience.

Suffering through abuse also appears to permanently lower the brain'sproduction of an important regulator of emotions called serotonin, saidDario Maestripieri, the study's lead author and an associate professor atthe University of Chicago in comparative human development. Low serotonincan make people more prone to acts of rejection, impulsive aggression andviolence.


How Low Will Bush Go?
President's Scare Tactics Demean Politics and Voters

By Eugene Robinson
Friday, November 3, 2006; A21

If Democrats manage to take control of one or both houses of Congress onTuesday, the reason will be that voters were not adequately roused into astate of heart-pounding, knee-knocking, teeth-chattering fear.

Not that Republicans haven't been trying. George W. Bush used to claim hewas "a uniter, not a divider," but that was a long time ago. These days,he'd probably try to deny the quote the same way he tried to disown "staythe course." The Karl Rove formula for political victory has been to draw abright line between "us" and "them" and then paint those on the other sidenot as opponents but as monsters.


Forwarded from Susan Fishkorn
Tri-County -

The New York Times

AP Exclusive: Pa. Congressman Agreed to Pay Ex-Mistress About $500,000

11/03/06 0:12AM GMT
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM , Associated Press Writer

A Republican congressman accused of abusing his ex-mistress agreed to pay
her about $500,000 in a settlement last year that contained a powerfulincentive for her to keep quiet until after Election Day, a person familiarwith the terms of the deal told The Associated Press.

Rep. Don Sherwood is locked in a tight re-election race against a Democraticopponent who has seized on the four-term congressman's relationship with thewoman. While Sherwood acknowledged the woman was his mistress, he deniedabusing her and said that he had settled her $5.5 million lawsuit onconfidential terms.


Posted on Fri, Nov. 03, 2006


State Democrats hope to match 'well-oiled' GOP machine
An anti-Republican mood nationally may help Florida Democrats onTuesday, but they are fighting the GOP's get-out-the-vote efforts.


Disgust with the war in Iraq and congressional scandals have put manyvoters in an anti-Republican mood, but the nationwide funk won't helpFlorida Democrats win Tuesday unless they get their people to the polls.

Democratic activists say they are far better organized than in pastelections, when a less-than-robust turnout contributed to successivestatewide defeats.


Many Americans Not 'Absolutely Certain' Of God
Poll Shows POSTED: 11:45 am EST November 1, 2006

Americans are often thought of as people who believe in God.

But results of a new Harris Poll show that may be changing.

The poll found that 42 percent of all U.S. adults said they are not"absolutely certain" there is a God, including 15 percent who are "somewhatcertain," 11 percent who think there is probably no God and 16 percent whoare not sure.

Not everyone who described themselves as Christian or Jewish said that theybelieved in God. Only 76 percent of Protestants, 64 percent of Catholics,and 30 percent of Jews said they are "absolutely certain" there is a God.However, most Christians who described themselves as "born-again" (93percent) said they are absolutely certain there is a God.

Differences Between Demographic Groups


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