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19 May 2007 @ 03:12 pm
news brief  
"There is not 'one' civil war, nor 'one' insurgency, but several civil wars and insurgencies between different communities in today's Iraq. Within this warring society, the Iraqi government is only one among many 'state-like' actors, and is largely irrelevant in terms of ordering social, economic, and political life. It is now possible to argue that Iraq is on the verge of being a failed state which faces the distinct possibility of collapse and fragmentation."

"The immigration issue offers President Bush a chance to leave behind a significant legacy other than the war in Iraq. But unless he can execute a turnaround in both his political fortunes and his political strategy, his leverage on Capitol Hill is almost nonexistent."

"This is the attorney general of the United States, ladies and gentlemen. Heaven help us."

"At least 146 contract workers were killed in the first three months of 2007, revealing the increased risks they face as the military steps up its effort."

Iraqi refugees find a welcome haven... in Sweden.

"The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, says he is giving $10 billion to set up an educational foundation in the Middle East."

"A ship that sank hundreds of years ago in busy waters of the Atlantic has delivered an unprecedented underwater bounty to American treasure hunters: 17 tons of silver coins and hundreds of gold coins, jewelry and objects."
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PMMJ: Newscheetahmaster on May 19th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
Courtesy Mr. Froomkin
"It doesn't much matter whether President Bush was the one who phoned Attorney General John D. Ashcroft's hospital room before the Wednesday Night Ambush in 2004. It matters enormously, however, whether the president was willing to have his White House aides try to strong-arm the gravely ill attorney general into overruling the Justice Department's legal views. It matters enormously whether the president, once that mission failed, was willing nonetheless to proceed with a program whose legality had been called into question by the Justice Department. That is why Mr. Bush's response to questions about the program yesterday was so inadequate."
-WashingtonPost.com editorial

"The story isn't who picked on a sick guy or even who did or didn't break laws. The story is who gets to decide what's legal. And the president's now-familiar claim, a la Richard Nixon, is that it's never illegal when he does it."
-Dahlia Lithwick