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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Obama, Israeli "Pirates", Bagranamo, Dan Brown, WSJ, Twitter

Has Obama Backed Off of a Big Opportunity to Heal America's Racial Divide? By Naomi Klein, The Guardian - The summer of 2009 was all about race, and Obama has little to lose by using this brief political window of racial animus to heal a few of the country's racial wounds.

Was It "Pirates" or Israeli Intelligence That Intercepted a Ship Loaded with Russian Defense Missiles? By Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam - Russian and Israeli sources say the cargo ship Arctic Sea was carrying Russia's most sophisticated air-defense system system, which could protect Iranian facilities from attack. A few days ago, in a blog post, I translated portions of an Israeli news story about the Arctic Sea affair which, along with a Time magazine report surmised that Israeli intelligence had intercepted or been involved in the interception of the ship, the Arctic Sea, while it was carrying Russian missiles destined for either Iran or Hezbollah.
Several readers, whose opinions I trust, dismissed these theories as improbable for various reasons. But it appears they are quite likely to be wrong, and the original story is likely to be correct.

Obama Brings Guantánamo And Rendition To Bagram (And Not The Geneva Conventions) By Andy Worthington on Guantanamo and US District Courts/Appeals Courts
Following briefings by Obama administration officials (who declined to be identified), both the New York Times and the Washington Post reported yesterday that the government is planning to introduce a new review system for the 600 or so prisoners held at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, which will, for the first time, allow them to call [...]

Dan Brown's Lost Symbol finally arrives amid ferocious price war By Alison Flood on Books
Dan Brown's long-awaited new novel The Lost Symbol, published today, looks likely to spark a discounting war after Asda slashed its price on the £18.99 hardback to just £5. The book is set to storm to the top of bestseller charts: customers were queuing outside Waterstone's flagship store in Piccadilly this morning from 4am to be the first to get their hands on the novel, while Asda alone is expecting to sell almost 20,000 copies over the next week. With advance pre-orders of at least 35,000 through, sales from these two outlets alone will propel The Lost Symbol to the top of the UK's bestseller lists.

WSJ Will Charge for Mobile Access In The Audit
Rupert Murdoch is putting his money—or more accurately, "your money"—where his mouth is, announcing that his Wall Street Journal will charge $2 a week for access via cell phone. I reported back in May that Murdoch was "displeased" about his paper giving away its content free on mobiles but that the paper wouldn't have the technology in place to

Of Twitter, Jackasses, Toothpaste and Tubes
In The Kicker
In his column in today's Washington Post, media critic Howard Kurtz chronicles a Twitter episode that showed how important it is to look before you tweet. (Item at the end of page 3 and the jump to page 4.) On Monday, "Nightline" co-anchor Terry Moran tweeted that "Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a 'jackass' for...


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