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Sunday, September 10, 2006

News of Interest for 9/11/06

Mao and me
"Secondly, I would say I never found him a loveable person personally. There were people around him such as Zhou Enlai [future Chinese premier] who were extremely outgoing. With Mao, there was something always cold and aloof about him."
Software automates China justice
"New software is handing down criminal sentences automatically in one Chinese province, raising the question whether judges might some day lose their jobs to modern technology."
27 are hanged at Abu Ghraib in first mass execution since Saddam's fall
"Mass executions at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, which has several gallows erected in the execution chamber, were suspended after coalition-led troops overthrew Saddam three years ago. The death penalty was reinstituted in 2004, and yesterday's executions took place just days after control of Abu Ghraib was handed over to the Iraqi authorities."
US expands visitor fingerprinting to deter attacks
'"We will be able to run everybody's fingerprints against latent fingerprints that we are collecting all over the world in terrorist safe houses, off of bomb fragments that terrorists build, or in battlefields where terrorists wage war," Chertoff said in a speech at Georgetown University.'
62,006 - the number killed in the 'war on terror'
"The "war on terror" - and by terrorists - has directly killed a minimum of 62,006 people, created 4.5 million refugees and cost the US more than the sum needed to pay off the debts of every poor nation on earth."
U.S. count of Baghdad deaths excludes car bombs, mortar attacks
"U.S. officials, seeking a way to measure the results of a program aimed at decreasing violence in Baghdad, aren't counting scores of dead killed in car bombings and mortar attacks as victims of the country's sectarian violence."
Bin Laden trail goes ‘stone cold’
"The clandestine U.S. commandos whose job is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden have not received a credible lead in more than two years. Nothing from the vast U.S. intelligence world — no tips from informants, no snippets from electronic intercepts, no points on any satellite image — has led them anywhere near the al-Qaeda leader, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials."
Hezbollah lies just below the surface in south Lebanon as peacekeepers move in
"The Nazzals said Israeli tanks had reached their land — some 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of the border — during the fighting, and that the area was now littered with land mines and cluster bombs that made it too dangerous to collect more wood."
Designer babies - what would you do for a 'healthy' baby?
"he well-educated are significantly more open to the idea of "designing" babies than the poorly educated, according to a new study by psychologists at the University of East Anglia."
US accused of covert operations in Somalia
"Dramatic evidence that America is involved in illegal mercenary operations in east Africa has emerged in a string of confidential emails seen by The Observer. The leaked communications between US private military companies suggest the CIA had knowledge of the plans to run covert military operations inside Somalia - against UN rulings - and they hint at involvement of British security firms."
Thousands of troops say they won’t fight
"Magaoay said his disillusionment with the military began in boot camp in Twentynine Palms, Calif., where a superior officer joked about killing and mistreating Iraqis. When his unit was deployed to Iraq in March, Magaoay and his wife drove to Canada, joining a small group of deserters who are trying to win permission from the Canadian government to stay."
Scholar hits out at ‘greedy landlords’
'"Municipal officials should protect society from greedy traders," he said. "Such people will be judged before Almighty God on the Judgement Day."'
For U.S. Workers, Vacation Is Vanishing
"Indeed vacation time has been slowly disappearing for American workers ever since the Reagan revolution, which ushered in a violent shift in corporate culture away from the paternalistic post-New Deal model towards the current stock-price-is-God model. According to Harvard economist Juliet Schor, in the 30 years before Reagan's presidency American workers were getting more and more vacation time; however, in the 1980s, that trend suddenly reversed. By the time Reagan left office, Americans got three-and-a-half fewer days off per year, on average."
Foot-washing sparks atonement debate
"The thorny issue of white atonement for apartheid has been thrown under the South African spotlight after a white former hardline minister washed the feet of a black preacher his forces once tried to kill."
Gaza medics encounter “unexplained injuries”
'But recently, medics in Gaza revealed disturbing facts. They say they’re encountering what they call “unexplained injuries” among the dead and wounded in the Israeli offensive which lasted for about nine weeks, according to UK’s The Independent.'

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