Tuesday, July 15, 2008


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New York Times
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-Want Obama in a Punch Line? First, Find a Joke
On Monday, The New Yorker magazine tried dipping its toe into broad satireinvolving Senator Obama with a cover image depicting the presumptiveDemocratic presidential nominee and his wife, Michelle, as fist-bumping,flag-burning, bin Laden-loving terrorists in the Oval Office. The responsefrom both Democrats and Republicans was explosive.

-Stocks Fall in Asia and Europe as Euro Hits a High
Financial stocks were pushed lower Tuesday in Asia and Europe and the eurohit a record against the dollar as new concerns about the global financialsystem rose to the fore. "People are thinking this is the next wave" of thecrisis, said Paul Robson, a currency strategist at Royal Bank of ScotlandGroup in London. "Investors are taking flight from troubles at the U.S.regional banks."

-Video of Guantánamo Interrogation Released
Lawyers for a Canadian prisoner at Guantanamo Bay released excerpts ofvideotaped interrogations Tuesday, providing a first-ever glimpse into thesecretive world of questioning enemy combatants at the isolated U.S. prisonin Cuba. The 10 minutes of video -- selected by Omar Khadr's Canadianlawyers from more than seven hours of footage recorded by a camera hidden ina vent -- shows a 16-year-old Khadr weeping, his face buried in his hands,during the 2003 interrogation that took place over four days.

-Arrest Is Sought of Sudan Leader in Genocide Case
The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court formally requested anarrest warrant on Monday for Sudan's president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, oncharges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed duringthe past five years of bloodshed in the Darfur region of his country.

-In France, Syrian Stirs Tensions
President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was a guest of honor at France's annualBastille Day parade here on Monday, a day after he attended the inauguralmeeting of a new Mediterranean-oriented association in a sign that hisdiplomatic isolation is ending but one that angered many because of Syria'slinks to Iran and militant groups.

-Obama Will Meet Palestinian Leaders in the West Bank
Senator Barack Obama, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, will meetwith Palestinian leaders in the West Bank during his trip overseas nextweek, the first details of which began to emerge on Monday. The trip willcome after a speech Mr. Obama will give on Tuesday on national security.Foreshadowing that address, he expanded on his positions on the wars in Iraqand Afghanistan on Monday, vowing to draw down combat forces in Iraq asconditions permit and deploy as many as 10,000 additional troops toAfghanistan to deal with resurgent Taliban and Qaeda fighters.

-Op-Ed Contributor: Catching a War Criminal in the Act
Servian, France: THE prosecutor of the International Criminal Court hasmade the tough decision to seek an arrest warrant for a leader of a countryat war - Sudan's president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. He is to be charged withgenocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes during the last five yearsof war in Darfur.

-China, Muslims and the Genocide
The BBC has uncovered evidence of Chinese military support for Sudaneseforces in Darfur. Given the arrest warrant sought today by the ICC's chiefprosecutor for Sudan's president on charges of genocide, that is recklessbehavior on the part of China. It always astonishes me that China is sosensitive to its image being hurt by anti-government demonstrations, yetwill sully its own image by helping out with genocide in Sudan.

Washington Post
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-Rescue or Respite?: The Fannie-Freddie bailout, Day One.
YOU MAY NOW exhale. As of yesterday's market close, both Fannie Mae andFreddie Mac were still alive. Investors snapped up $3 billion in Freddie Macbonds; the firms' stock prices sank only about half a buck each, in contrastto the dizzying plunge of recent days. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson'sannouncement of a rescue plan for the two "government-sponsored enterprises"(GSEs) achieved its intended effect, sort of. The panic that threatened toslay the mortgage giants, upon whose shoulders the American economy rests,has abated. But for how long?

-It's Funny How Humor Is So Ticklish
Call it the attack of the Jonathan Swiftboaters. A New Yorker coverillustration, showing Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim fist-bumping hisgun-toting wife, fell afoul of the humor police yesterday. To some, it wassatire. To others, it was aid and comfort to the malice mongers who hideunder the rocks of American politics. In the end, it was both.

-Connection to Mugabe Threatens South African President's Legacy
JOHANNESBURG -- At first glance they are nothing alike. Zimbabwe's agingpresident, Robert Mugabe, is, at 84, among the last of a generation ofAfrican Big Men, clinging to power through brutal repression. South Africa'ssuave President Thabo Mbeki, nearly two decades younger, rules by popularmandate as the elected leader of one of the continent's most robustdemocracies.

-Adolescence Can Sting Adopted Kids
Adolescents are expected to chafe at adult oversight, act impulsively andbrood about the meaning of life. But adolescents who were adopted ininfancy are almost twice as likely as their non-adopted peers to end up incounseling for those kinds of behaviors, a fact that leaves many adoptiveparents wondering: Do adopted children really have more adjustment problemsin adolescence? Or do adoptive parents, hypervigilant as they famously are,overreact to the conventional struggles of young adulthood and refer theirchildren to mental health professionals more often than need be?

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-Massachusetts: Repeal would expand gay marriage rights
When Massachusetts became the first state to issue marriage licenses to gaycouples in 2004, it left one big roadblock in place: Out-of-state couplesneed not apply. Now an effort is gaining momentum to repeal a 1913 statelaw that has prevented out-of-state gay couples from getting married. Thelaw says couples cannot be married in Massachusetts if their unions would beillegal in their home states.

-EXECUTIVE POWER: Dumbing down of presidential speeches
People campaign for the presidency by talking their heads off. By the timethe winner reaches the White House, the habit is so ingrained that it isimpossible to shake. The result has been what professor Jeffrey Tulis ofthe University of Texas 21 years ago labeled ''the rhetorical presidency,''his term for an office in which the principal goal is to mobilize publicopinion successfully enough to dominate the dealings with Congress and evenforeign powers. Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were, for most of theirtenures, masters of the art. George W. Bush had early success, but now haslost most of his audience and, with it, his sway.

Fort Report
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-Obama slams New Yorker portrayal
Barack Obama's campaign is condemning as "tasteless and offensive" a NewYorker magazine cover that depicts Obama in a turban, fist-bumping hisgun-slinging wife. An American flag burns in their fireplace. The NewYorker says it's satire. It certainly will be candy for cable news.

-Bush prods Congress on drilling, but ban sticks
President Bush lifted a long-standing executive ban on offshore drilling onMonday, a largely symbolic move designed to push Congress to do the same.

-Barack Obama is coming to town
Barack Obama has taken the US political scene by storm. He now has anopportunity to convince some of America's leading allies that he is theright man to succeed President George W. Bush. In the next 10 days, theDemocratic presidential candidate is expected to embark on a visit to Europethat will see him visiting the UK, France and Germany. In each of thosenation's capitals, he will receive the warmest of receptions. After theoften traumatic relationship be-tween Europe and the US that dominated theBush years, Mr Obama looks like a man who, as president, would engage farmore closely with Washington's European partners. That is certain to makehim a most welcome guest.

-Campaigns gear up in state
Romney jump-starts McCain bid, but Obama camp details biggest effort ever inMichigan. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney returned tohis native state Monday to kick off John McCain's on-the-ground campaigneffort in Michigan -- an effort Republicans acknowledge will likely beoutmanned and outspent by Democrat Barack Obama.

-Obama repeats calls for blacks to show greater responsibility
Democrat Barack Obama insisted last night that while Washington must providegreater education and economic assistance, blacks must demand more ofthemselves and show greater responsibility - a challenge that has upset someblack leaders. We "have to do more in our own lives, our own families andour own communities," Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery at theannual NAACP convention. "That starts with providing the guidance ourchildren need, turning off the TV and putting away the video games;attending those parent-teacher conferences, helping our children with theirhomework and setting a good example."

-Israelis ponder Obama victory
Many express concern that a Democrat in White House might take foreignpolicy in an unknown direction
JERUSALEM - David Gerstein, an Israeli artist, is uneasy about Barack Obama,worried that if he gets to the White House he might take American policy inthe Middle East in new directions. "He talks about change, but the questionis: What change? What's troubling is the unknown," Gerstein, a popularpainter and sculptor, said over lunch at a mall near his studio. "I'mconcerned that he might impose on us things we don't want."


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