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State of Wonder

State of Wonder

By Ann Patchett

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Hooded prisoner
stanfordalumni.org

‘Rendition’ May Go on Trial

A court in Italy will decide whether to charge 25 alleged CIA agents for participating in an act of “extraordinary rendition.” The trial, should it go ahead, will be the first to address the heinous tactic, by which the United States or its allies kidnap terror suspects in order to remove them to torture-friendly nations.

Posted on Jan 9, 2007 READ MORE


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Chavez
nytimes.com

Chavez Terrifies Corporations

Hugo Chavez announced plans on Monday to nationalize companies in Venezuela’s telecommunications and power industries, saying: “All that was privatized, let it be nationalized.” The recently re-elected president has ramped up efforts to transform Venezuela into a socialist society, while at the same time consolidating his power.

Posted on Jan 9, 2007 READ MORE


Thanks, but No Thanks

Etiquette experts still don’t approve of sending thank-you notes via e-mail, despite the growing popularity of the practice. Because it’s not the sentiment that counts, but the former tree it’s written on.

Posted on Jan 8, 2007 READ MORE


Toyota Prius
autointell.de

Save Money and the Planet at the Same Time

The higher cost of hybrid cars is worth it in the long run, according to a comprehensive new study. When considering not just fuel economy but insurance, maintenance, depreciation and other factors, a Toyota Prius owner can expect to save $13,408 over five years, compared with a non-hybrid in the same class.

Posted on Jan 8, 2007 READ MORE


Qin Zhongfei
washingtonpost.com

For China, a Criminally Funny Poem

When Qin Zhongfei took 10 minutes to scribble down a satirical poem about local bureaucrats, he had no idea it would land him a month in jail—a sign that free expression still languishes in China, despite hopes that President Hu Jintao’s economic reforms would translate to a more open society.

Posted on Jan 8, 2007 READ MORE


Schwarzenegger
petrukhine.ru

Universal Healthcare—Sort of—for California

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced details of his healthcare plan on Monday, continuing a leftward swing that began shortly before the election. Under the plan, all Californians would be required to have health insurance, with costs spread across the private and public sectors.

Posted on Jan 8, 2007 READ MORE


Plutocrat

And to No One’s Surprise ...

Families earning more than $1 million per year saw a greater drop in federal tax rates than any other group in the country—thanks to Bush’s tax cuts, according to a new nonpartisan congressional study.
We’re shocked. SHOCKED!

Posted on Jan 8, 2007 READ MORE


2007 Bloggies

Vote for Truthdig!

The 2007 Weblog Awards are upon us, so head on over to the nomination page and give Truthdig and your other favorite blogs a shout-out.

Posted on Jan 7, 2007 READ MORE


George W. Bush
AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Bush’s New Iraq Policy Taking Shape

Senior aides said Sunday that the president will finally apply benchmarks to Iraq—only not for the withdrawal of troops. Bush will offer the guidelines to Iraq’s political leadership in an attempt to ease sectarian tension. Meanwhile, the military’s new Iraq commander is preparing for an influx of troops, expected to accompany the White House’s policy revision.

Posted on Jan 7, 2007 READ MORE


Exxon Allegedly Paid for Climate Misinformation Drive

Following in the footsteps of big tobacco, ExxonMobil paid 43 ideological groups $16 million to attack the science behind global warming, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. The real scandal isn’t that Exxon paid such groups to pimp its version of “reality,” but that the media felt obligated to take an “on the other hand” approach in reporting those fringe assertions about climate change.

Posted on Jan 7, 2007 READ MORE


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