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Wednesday, March 28, 2007
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the AP: Zimbabwe Opposition Leader in Custody

Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was taken into police custody, an aide said Wednesday.

”Tsvangirai and a number of others we have not been able to identify have been taken by police in a bus,” said aide Eliphas Mukonoweshuro. ”We don’t know their whereabouts. We don’t know if they have been charged.”

[...]

Tsvangirai and 12 senior opposition colleagues were hospitalized after a March 11 crackdown on a prayer meeting and alleged they were assaulted with clubs and iron bars while under arrest.

Mugabe’s reign of terror continues…

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By Steven L. Taylor

So reports the BBC: UK reveals Iran dispute evidence

The Royal Navy says satellite data proves 15 personnel being held in Iran were 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters when they were seized.

Vice Admiral Charles Style said the sailors were “ambushed” after the search of a vessel and that their detention was “unjustified and wrong”.

This hardly comes as a surprise and no doubt the Iranians will claim that the assertions are nothing more than propaganda. There is also the real chance that Iranians made a mistakes in terms of where they thought they were–not that the justifies the seizures of British military personnel.

The piece has a map showing the locations of the various actors and Iraqi territorial waters.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the Chicago Tribune: Questions on firings shorten Gonzales news conference

A scheduled 15-minute news conference with Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales was quickly cut short in Chicago on Tuesday, with Gonzales leaving the room after just three questions about the controversial dismissal of a group of U.S. attorneys.

[...]

Gonzales said he wants his office to work to “reassure the American people that nothing improper happened here” and insisted he has been forthcoming about his role.

Is it just me, or is the latter statement incongruous with cutting short the press conference because he was being asked about the issue?

The piece has video of the presser, which lasted all of 2:48. In these situations I am always amazed when politicians think that the press will only stick to the photo-op at hand and not ask questions about a brewing controversy.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Ok, a digression from the serious for the moment as I watch Idol via TiVo: the Idol producers are clearly trying to get rid of Sanjay tonight–that hairdo was clearly a signal to the voters that they are desperate to get the guy off the show.

Update: Pictures here.

Technorati tag: ,

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By Steven L. Taylor

If you are willing to help out someone who is doing research for their doctoral dissertation, please read on:

Exploring the Role of Internet Advertising in American Politics

This survey is designed to help us understand what Americans like you think about internet advertising, modern campaigns, and politics. We are very interested in your thoughts on this matter and greatly appreciate your participation.

Click here to take the survey:

http://www.ic.sunysb.edu/stu/crweber/TAKE%20SURVEY/internet_advertising.htm

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the AP: Mueller defends need for expanded powers

FBI Director Robert Mueller struggled Tuesday to convince skeptical senators that — despite recent abuses — the FBI should retain Patriot Act authority to gather telephone, e-mail and financial records without a judge’s approval.

“The statute did not cause the errors. The FBI’s implementation did,” the FBI chief told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Now, for me that is a rather good reason to curtail the powers of the FBI, not expand or enhance them.

Conscious abuse of power is only one pitfall of giving the government too much of it. Poor execution of authority is always a possibility and incompetence somewhere by somebody a near certainty. Shouldn’t we keep that in mind as we attempt to give additional authority to the government?

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By Steven L. Taylor

Funny: John McCain’s MySpace Page “Enhanced”.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC: Prodi backed in key Afghan vote

Romano Prodi’s Italian government has won a vote in the Senate to keep Italy’s troops in Afghanistan.

The vote gives final approval to a measure that provides funding for all Italian missions abroad.

The government saw off a rebellion from some left-wing members of the ruling coalition, to repeat the victory it had already achieved in the lower house.

Commentators had said that a defeat in the vote could have led to the collapse of Mr Prodi’s government.

In the event it was carried by 180 votes to two, with 132 abstentions, which in the Senate count as “No” votes.

An interesting vote for a variety of reasons. For one, a foreign policy vote that was considered too pro-America almost led to Prodi’s ouster recently. For another, it would be problematic for the US and NATO for the Italians to withdraw their 1800 troops from Afghanistan at this point in time, one would think.

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By Steven L. Taylor

So reports ABC News.

And it appears to have spread to his liver:

White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino broke down in tears at the podium when she announced that White House Press Secretary Tony Snow’s growth is cancerous and the cancer has metastasized to his liver.

That’s awful news.

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By Steven L. Taylor

McClatchy has some background info: Who is Monica Goodling?

h/t: TMV.

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