Saturday, August 25, 2007


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The New York Times

August 25, 2007
Ex-Klansman Is Sentenced to Life for Killings in 1964

JACKSON, Miss., Aug. 24 - Calling the crime "unspeakable because onlymonsters could inflict this," a federal judge on Friday sentenced a formermember of the Ku Klux Klan to three life terms in prison for his role in the1964 kidnapping and murder of two black teenagers in Mississippi.

The case was one of several that focused a spotlight on white supremacistviolence during the civil rights era.

The victims, Henry H. Dee and Charles E. Moore, both 19, were hitchhiking inMeadville, Miss., when a group of Klansmen, including James Seale, pickedthem up and took them to a wooded area, where they were beaten and theirweighted bodies thrown into the Mississippi River. Both young men drowned.

Their bodies were not recovered until later that year in a high-profilesearch for three civil rights activists whose deaths generated widespreadrevulsion against the racial violence in Mississippi.


The Washington Post

The Quarterback Who Won't Come Clean
By Colbert I. King
Saturday, August 25, 2007; A15

Until Michael Vick and three other men were charged last month with runninga dogfighting operation, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback was, to me, justanother physically gifted, highly paid athlete in the National FootballLeague who, through his behavior on and off the field, was helping to ruinthe game.

Some of Vick's supporters may have thought it was funny when he gave thefinger last year to Atlanta fans who were booing his performance. The NFLdidn't think it was funny; neither did I. His out-of-court settlement withthe young woman who accused him of knowingly giving her genital herpesdidn't amuse me either.

But not being a Falcons fan, I don't have to watch him play.

Besides, there are plenty of Washington pro football players going out oftheir way to bring low comedy to the sport with their asinine showboating onthe field. They are enough to keep my mind off Michael Vick.

Dogfighting, however, is another matter. "Depraved" is the right word forit. Dogfighting is not, as some animal rights folks have declared, the sameas eating bacon.


The Washington Post

Sunday, August 26, 2007; B03

Gen. Pervez Musharraf may sense that his days as president of Pakistan couldbe numbered. So he has been talking to his former archrival, Benazir Bhutto,about a possible power-sharing arrangement. Bhutto, who was twice primeminister of Pakistan and is currently leader of the popular opposition partyPPP, is on the verge of deciding whether to strike a deal with Musharraf orjoin the opposition against him. She sat down with Newsweek-WashingtonPost's Lally Weymouth in New York last week to talk about her options.Excerpts:

Q. Some say that if you make a deal with President Musharraf to return topower, it will diminish your popularity.

A. Many in my party have been urging me to distance myself from GeneralMusharraf. They say his popularity ratings are down. But I am trying toconvince them that the international community and the armed forces haveconfidence in Musharraf, and therefore we need to work out a solution [withhim]. Our goal is to strengthen the forces of moderation and that's whywe've been involved in this negotiation with General Musharraf.

Now we are at a critical point where I am being tugged in two directions --between those in the party who believe in dialogue and those who think thattime is running out and that we can't spend more time [talking] unless thereare upfront confidence-building measures.

What have you asked President Musharraf to do?

We want a balance of power, reforms for a fair election, lifting of the banon a twice-elected prime minister [running for a third term], as well asimmunity for all holders of public office prior to 1999 or 2000.


The Washington Post

A Crisis of Conscience Over Refugees in Israel
Decision to Refuse Sudanese Asylum-Seekers Raises Difficult Questions ofNational Identity

By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, August 25, 2007; Page A10

CAIRO, Aug. 24 -- Israel's decision to close its doors to asylum-seekersfrom Darfur and all other non-Jewish refugees has Israelis and Jews aroundthe world struggling with their distinct identities of Israel: a Jewishstate with a Jewish people, or a state born from the Holocaust with adetermination to challenge future genocides and succor their victims.

Israeli refugee groups said this week that they would challenge in courtIsrael's new policy of blocking Africans who enter the country from Egypt.International and Israeli rights groups maintain that returning the would-berefugees without assessing their claims for asylum violates internationalaccords, including the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention, as well as Israeli lawand government commitments.


The Washington Post

30 Immigrants On Bikes Deliver A Labor Revolt
N.Y. Workers Gain Allies in Protest of Wages, Conditions
By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 25, 2007; A01

NEW YORK -- The deliverymen of Saigon Grill labored for years at the bottomof Manhattan's food chain. Biking swiftly down the avenues in biting coldand searing heat, they schlepped up high-rises and walk-ups with bags ofsteaming noodles and shrimp fried rice.

Then they surprised their bosses -- and others in this seen-it-all town --by serving up something unexpected: a revolt.

The 30 men -- all immigrants, including undocumented workers frustrated withthe poor conditions and low wages that are often a fact of life in America'sunderground economy -- banded together in an effort to unionize. Theydemanded an end to what they say were salaries less than half the minimumwage, and to penalties that included $20 fines for late deliveries and $50for shutting the restaurant's glass doors with a bang.


The Washington Post

Judge Won't Block Noriega Extradition
France Seeks Panama's Ex-Dictator After His Release From U.S. Prison
By Curt Anderson
Associated Press
Saturday, August 25, 2007; Page A02

MIAMI, Aug. 24 -- A judge refused Friday to block the extradition of formerPanamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to France, where he is accused oflaundering millions of dollars in drug proceeds through French banks.

Senior U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler rejected arguments by Noriega'slawyers that his status as a U.S. prisoner of war negated the French requestunder the Geneva Conventions and required his return home to Panama.


Link to Bill Maher video - " What I Did on My Summer Vacation"


Forwarded from MoveOn.Org

"My station was intimidated by the administration and its foot soldiers atFOX News."

That is CNN's Christiane Amanpour explaining why the major televisionnetworks failed to properly scrutinize the Bush administration's claimsbefore the Iraq war.1 Instead, they joined FOX in broadcasting the Bushadministration's pro-war talking points without a response.

This week, a YouTube video from film director Robert Greenwald reveals howFOX is at it again-this time, beating the war drums against Iran. FOX usesthe same images and Bush talking points now as they did in 2003.

Can you watch the new YouTube video? Then, sign our open letter to major TVnews outlets asking them not to follow FOX down the road to war with Iran?

To watch the video and sign the letter, click here:

After thousands of Americans sign the open letter, it will be sent directlyto the TV news directors with a request for a response.


Bad news for Vick

The NFL indefinitely suspended Michael Vick without pay Friday just hoursafter he acknowledged in court papers that he did bankroll gambling ondogfighting and helped kill some dogs not worthy of the pit. Vick, however,insisted he placed no bets of his own nor took any winnings.

In disciplining Vick, commissioner Roger Goodell said Vick's admittedconduct was ''not only illegal but also cruel and reprehensible.'' Goodelltold Vick that regardless of whether he had personally placed bets, ''youractions in funding the betting and your association with illegal gamblingboth violate the terms of your NFL player contract and expose you tocorrupting influences in derogation of one of the most fundamentalresponsibilities of an NFL player.''

Goodell freed the Falcons to ''assert any claims or remedies'' to recover$22 million of Vick's signing bonus from the 10-year $130-million contracthe signed in 2004. The commissioner didn't speak to Vick but based hisdecision on the court filings. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Goodell maymeet with Vick in the future but that hasn't been determined.

''You have engaged in conduct detrimental to the welfare of the NFL and haveviolated the league's personal conduct policy,'' Goodell told Vick in aletter.

Earlier Friday, a ''summary of facts'' signed by Vick was filed along withhis written plea agreement on a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge. Hewill appear Monday before U.S. district judge Henry E. Hudson to formallyplead guilty and then await sentencing at a later date. The court documentsand a statement by Vick's legal team seek to portray him as less involved inthe dogfighting ring than three codefendants who previously pleaded guiltyand agreed to testify against the Atlanta Falcons quarterback.


Romney proposes health care overhaul

The nation's health care system should be overhauled through plans tailoredto individual states, not through a federal government takeover, Republicanpresidential candidate Mitt Romney said Friday.

As Massachusetts governor he signed a law aimed at helping people who lackedhealth insurance. He is trying to take an issue popular among Democrats andput a conservative spin on it.

''A one-size-fits-all national health care system is bound to fail. Itignores the sharp difference between states and it relies on Washingtonbureaucracy to manage,'' Romney said. ''I don't want the people who ran theKatrina cleanup to manage our health care system.''

The government's role is to facilitate changes, not mandate them, Romneysaid during a speech before the Florida Medical Association.

Health insurance costs can be reduced by deregulating the insurance market,capping malpractice damages, and making sure everyone is insured, Romneysaid.


Clinton vows to boost U.S. health care

Hillary Rodham Clinton promised Thursday that as president she would improvehealth care quality by raising standards for providers, educating patients,and requiring insurers to reward innovation.

While rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards have proposed detailed healthcare overhaul plans, Clinton is taking an incremental approach. She startedwith a speech in June on reducing costs, followed by Thursday's address onquality, and will outline her plan for universal health care coverage nextmonth.

''My order here is deliberate,'' said Clinton, a New York senator. ''Inorder to forge a consensus on universal health care, we need to assurepeople that they will get the quality they expect at a cost they canafford.''

''Too often and in too many places, our health care system hurts us insteadof helps us,'' Clinton said at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. ''Ithurts doctors, who aren't rewarded for providing the best care and are oftenpunished for it financially. It hurts nurses who are asked to work longerhours, caring for more patients with fewer resources. And it hurts patients,who are forced to make complicated medical decisions without basicinformation about their conditions and options.''

To improve quality, Clinton said she would promote physician certificationprograms that help doctors keep up with the latest advancements, increasingMedicare reimbursements for doctors who participate in them. Nursing carewould get a boost in the form of $300 million to expand enrollment innursing schools, create mentoring programs for recent graduates, and recruitmore minorities into the profession.


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