Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Nightowl Newswrap

Kansas shocks Memphis to win title in OT 75-68 SAN ANTONIO - So patient for 20 years, Kansas had no problem working an extra five minutes to bring a long-awaited championship back to the heartland. Mario Chalmers hit a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to push the game into overtime, and the Jayhawks grinded it out from there for a 75-68 victory Monday night over Memphis in one of the best title games in recent memory. The shot earned Chalmers the most outstanding player honor.

From The Guardian in the UK:A confidential draft agreement covering the future of US forces in Iraq, passed to the Guardian, shows that provision is being made for an open-ended military presence in the country. The draft strategic framework agreement between the US andIraqi governments, dated March 7 and marked "secret" and "sensitive", is intended to replace the existing UN mandate and authorises the US to "conduct military operations in Iraq and to detain individuals when necessary for imperative reasons of security" without time limit. The authorisation is described as "temporary" and the agreement says the US "does not desire permanent bases or a permanent military presence in Iraq".

Hundreds flee Baghdad as showdown looms: BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds of people fled fighting in Baghdad's Shiite militia stronghold Monday as U.S. and Iraqi forces increased pressure on anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who faces an ultimatum to either disband his Mahdi Army or give up politics...Al-Sadr's aides said he would only dismantle the powerful militia if ordered by top Shiite clerics — who have remained silent throughout the increasingly dangerous showdown.

When something like this happens to a christian, then I'll think about believing that they are indeed put upon and persecuted [Illinois state] Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) interrupted atheist activist Rob Sherman during his testimony Wednesday afternoon before the House State Government Administration Committee in Springfield and told him, "What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous . . . it's dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! ....."This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God," Davis said. "Get out of that seat . . . You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon."

Wendy Vitter has to wonder when, oh when, will her humiliation end?
WASHINGTON — Accused "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeanne Palfrey's attorney indicated on Monday he's likely to call former State Department official Randall Tobias of Indiana and Louisiana Sen. David Vitter and to the witness stand.....On the first day of the trial, Palfrey lawyer Preston Burton asked a pool of about 70 potential jurors if they personally knew Tobias and Vitter. Vitter, GOP hypocrite extraordinaire and patronizers of specialist hookers who cater to fetishes, has admitted he was a customer and apologized. He hasn't been so much forgiven as ignored; but cast in the limelight once more, in lurid detail, he could get some attention that will make his life hell at home.

Crackdown on Militias May Add to Instability in Iraq ...BAGHDAD — A crackdown on the Mahdi Army militia is creating potentially destabilizing political and military tensions in Iraq, pitting a stronger government alliance against the force that has won past showdowns: the street power wielded by the radical cleric Moktada al-Sadr.... Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s military operations against the Mahdi Army that Mr. Sadr leads have at least temporarily pacified Sunni political leaders, who had long called on Mr. Maliki to fight Shiite militias with the same vigor that his forces use against Sunni insurgents..... Translation? The chessboard has been thrown into the air.

DHS ignores civil liberties in domestic spy satellite plan, lawmakers say
A controversial plan that would allow domestic law enforcement agencies to use data gathered by US spy satellites still lacks necessary civil liberties and privacy protections, and three Democratic lawmakers are urging Department of Homeland Security Chair Michael Chertoff to established a legal framework for the new plan he promised six months ago. Homeland Security Committee members are not amused, and fault Chertoff for delaying the legal framework.

This is doomed to failure. It makes way too much sense to be systemically adopted Five Philadelphia elementary schools replaced sodas with fruit juice. They scaled back snacks and banished candy. They handed out raffle tickets for wise food choices. They spent hours teaching kids, their parents and teachers about good nutrition...What have they got to show for it? .....The number of kids who got fat during the two-year experiment was half the number of kids who got fat in schools that didn't make those efforts......"It's a really dramatic effect from a public health point of view. That's the good news," said Gary Foster, director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University. He is also the lead author of the Philadelphia schools study being published Monday in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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