Sunday, April 27, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS April 27, 2008

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New York Times
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-Where Alaa Al Aswany Is Writing From
One evening last fall I joined a small crowd in a dusty room off busyQasr-Al-Nil street in Cairo, facing a banner that read, "Welcome to theCultural Salon of Dr. Alaa Al Aswany." Many of those seated around me seemedto be simple celebrity spotters, there to see in the flesh thebiggest-selling novelist in Arabic, Al Aswany, who is also an increasingly
bold critic of President Hosni Mubarak's regime, which in Egypt has heldpower uninterruptedly for 27 years. The rest appeared to be aspiring writersor students eager for literary and political instruction. Austerelyfurnished with a single fluorescent light, half-broken chairs and a solitarytable scarred with overlapping teacup rings, the room defused allexpectations of literary glamour. Nevertheless, it offered a frisson ofpolitical danger. When the salon was held the previous year, Egyptianintelligence agents so intimidated the owner of the cafe where the meetingwas taking place that he screamed at Al Aswany and his audience to go away.
He later apologized, explaining that he had done it for the sake of thegovernment spies who were watching him

-Rifts Mend, Unless Identity Politics Is a Different Stripe
SENATOR Hillary Rodham Clinton's victory last week in the Pennsylvaniapresidential primary bought Mrs. Clinton time, but it's what might fill thetime that troubles Democrats: an increasingly sharp dialogue between coreDemocratic constituencies - blacks and a wide swath of women.

-Letters Give C.I.A. Tactics a Legal Rationale The Justice Department hastold Congress that U.S. operatives trying to thwart terrorist attacks mayuse interrogation methods that might otherwise be barred under internationallaw.

-Is Trade the Problem?
Blaming Nafta and other trade agreements for American workers' pain may playwell on the campaign stump. But it will not solve the country's economicproblems.

-Tracking the Spoils of the Private Sector
There are so many barn doors to be closed on the Bush administration'swasteful, murky world of government contractors that Congress barely knowswhere to begin. The House has made a start in plugging themultibillion-dollar loophole that the White House let slip into its promisedcrackdown on fraudulent contractors.

-How McCain Lost in Pennsylvania
IT'S a nightmare. It's the Bataan Death March. It's mutually assuredArmageddon. "Both of them are already losing the general to John McCain,"declared a Newsweek columnist last month, predicting that the election "mayalready be over" by the time the Democrats anoint a nominee.

-Elite Korean Schools, Forging Ivy League Skills
SEOUL, South Korea - It is 10:30 p.m. and students at the elite Daewon prepschool here are cramming in a study hall that ends a 15-hour school day. Awindow is propped open so the evening chill can keep them awake. Oneteenager studies standing upright at his desk to keep from dozing.

-In Zimbabwe Jail: A Reporter's Ordeal
HARARE, Zimbabwe - I had never been arrested before and the prospect ofprison in Zimbabwe, one of the poorest, most repressive places on earth,seemed especially forbidding: the squalor, the teeming cells, thepossibility of beatings. But I told myself what I'd repeatedly taught my twochildren: Life is a collection of experiences. You savor the good, you learnfrom the bad.

Washington Post
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-The New Economics of Hunger
A brutal convergence of events has hit an unprepared global market, andgrain prices are sky high. The world's poor suffer most.

-An Unusual Prosecution of a Way of Life
Texas Will Attempt to Show That Polygamist Culture Itself Harms Children

-Try 'Pakistan First'
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama offer the same beguiling Democratic versionof the global war on terrorism: Get out of Iraq and put more U.S. forcesinto Afghanistan to win that conflict decisively. Republicans are alsoincreasingly urging President Bush to adopt an Afghanistan-first policy.

-Belated Disclosure
The Bush administration releases evidence regarding Syria's nuclear reactor,eight months after it was destroyed.

-The FDA Needs Help
The heparin scare revealed problems the agency says it can fix. But it won'ttell Congress how much that will cost.

Miami Herald
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-One-way approach to crime has limits
Our country has the unenviable distinction of holding more people in prisonsthan any other country in the world. In the United States, 2.3 millionpeople are in prison -- a number that represents nearly 25 percent of theworld's prison population, according to a report last week in The New YorkTimes. The number is staggering, and it calls into question the recenthardening of attitudes and policies toward crime in America.

-Clinton's campaign woes suggest bumpy presidency
Political pundits speculate that Hillary Clinton's fractious campaign isindicative of the kind of president she would make.
WASHINGTON -- Despite Hillary Clinton's big win in Pennsylvania last week,the story of her campaign is often one of mismanagement and missedopportunities, and it raises questions about how she would organize and runthe White House.


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