March 27, 2013 |
LONDON -- The British government Wednesday lost another bid to deport a radical Muslim preacher to face trial in Jordan when a court of appeals rejected a request to reconsider an earlier court decision. After more than a decade of judgments and appeals in British and European courts, cleric Abu Qatada has won several legal battles against deportation. “This is not the end of the road, and the government remains determined to deport Abu Qatada,” said a Home Office spokesperson after the judgment.
March 26, 2013 |
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is drawing heat over his choice of ghostwriter for a forthcoming book. As the National Review online reported, Walker will team up with former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen on the book, which according to a source will "tell his story. " The book, which is not yet titled, will be published by Sentinel, an imprint of the Penguin Group. Thiessen, a Washington Post op-ed columnist, supports "enhanced interrogation" in the war against terror, as spelled out in his 2010 book "Courting Disaster.
March 19, 2013 |
MOSCOW - Russian investigators found no evidence of violence against a lawyer who died in custody after accusing officials and police officers of running a multimillion-dollar tax refund scam, and have ended their probe, officials said Tuesday. Sergei Magnitsky, who worked as a legal advisor for the Hermitage Capital Management investment fund in Moscow, died in 2009 of heart insufficiency and brain and lung edema resulting from diabetes and hepatitis while in pretrial detention on tax charges, the Russian Investigative Committee said on its website.
March 16, 2013 |
YANGON, Myanmar - When Mizzima moved its headquarters to Yangon last year from India, media watchers saw it as a sign that political reform in Myanmar was real. For more than a decade, the media group has published hard-hitting coverage of military corruption and Myanmar's dismal human rights record, and many saw its arrival as a bellwether of the regime's tolerance. Recent days, however, have brought growing industry concern about backsliding after the government sent a draft press law to the parliament March 4: It bears an unsettling resemblance to the draconian 1962 media law still in effect, which has long been used to jail, torture and harass journalists.
February 25, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - As unrest surged across the West Bank, Palestinian officials accused Israel on Sunday of torturing to death a 30-year-old West Bank man who was arrested last week on suspicion of throwing rocks at settlers. Israeli officials said there were no signs he was mistreated and it remains unclear how he died. The death Saturday of Arafat Jaradat, a married father of two who worked at a gas station in a village near Hebron, touched off a day of protests and rioting, heightening fears that Palestinian frustration levels are reaching a boiling point that could explode into another uprising.
February 25, 2013 |
The Oscar for best picture was won by "Argo," the true tale of a secret rescue mission in Iran during the Carter administration. It beat out "Lincoln," the story of how black Americans were rescued from slavery. Does this mean that Jimmy Carter's stock is on the rise? Nope, but Ben Affleck has certainly become a blue-chip player in Hollywood. Politics -- not the Hollywood kind, but the Washington kind -- played a significant role in public perceptions of both films, as well as a third that was nominated for best picture.
February 24, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday ordered U.S. special forces troops to cease operations in a strategic eastern province, accusing the Americans and Afghans working for them of torturing and abducting civilians. Karzai's office charged that a university student who was detained during a U.S. operation in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, was later found with his head and fingers cut off. In another case, U.S. forces are accused of detaining nine villagers, who are still missing.
February 21, 2013
Re "Road to Oscars a minefield for 'Zero,'" Feb. 19 I was disgusted by the opening scenes in "Zero Dark Thirty" portraying torture. Contrary to actual events, the prolonged scenes failed to portray any significant awareness of the current moral and legal controversies, which swirled around and through the brutality that government agents were perpetrating in violation of international law. Perhaps this incredible omission served the film's...
February 19, 2013
Re "School murder plot allegation stuns a small town," Feb. 15 Almost as disturbing as the murder plot allegation against two Washington fifth-graders is the level of ignorance revealed by prosecuting attorney Timothy Rasmussen's comments about children lighting cats on fire being just one of those "things that children do. " Torturing animals is not normal childhood behavior. It is a symptom of a severe psychological disturbance that must be addressed to prevent the child's violence from continuing and being transferred to human victims.
February 19, 2013 |
After a screening of "Zero Dark Thirty" for Sony Pictures executives in September, studio co-chair Amy Pascal gathered the filmmakers in her office on the Culver City lot and uncorked bottles of Champagne. Elation and confidence filled the air, recalled William Goldenberg, an editor on the film who was there to share a toast with a group that included director Kathryn Bigelow, screenwriter Mark Boal, financier Megan Ellison and line producer Colin Wilson. "The [executives] were really high on the movie," Goldenberg said.