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In what is being described as the biggest change to how the Internet works in 40 years, the ICANN Internet oversight organization has finally approved plans to allow Web addresses to include non-Latin letters, such as Arabic and Chinese, instead of just www.whatever.com.

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Those who seek to dominate our behavior first seek to dominate our speech. They seek to obscure meaning. The English- and Arabic-speaking worlds are each beset with a similar assault on language.The English- and Arabic-speaking worlds are each beset with a similar assault on language.

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An Iraqi architect at JFK Airport was wearing a shirt that read "We Will Not Be Silent" in Arabic and English. Security officers said it was upsetting other passengers, and said he couldn't board until he turned it inside-out or put on something else. He chose the latter. (Read his reaction after the jump) (h/t: Raw Story) This is pretty ridiculous: If security guards were worried that he was a terrorist, a new shirt wouldn't have thwarted his plot. And if they didn't suspect he was a terrorist, why can't he wear a shirt of protest?

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That's the number of Arabic linguists who have been discharged from the Army for being gay Fifty-five (We missed this fact when we blogged about the latest dismissal -- interview here -- but it's so shocking we felt we had to bring it up now) If the military were serious about winning Iraqis' hearts and minds, it would find a way to keep most of these linguists in the service.

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A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was discharged after an investigation determined that he was gay. He alleges his commanding officer blatantly violated the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and that investigators asked him if he had close friends who were gay, and if he was involved in community theater. Thank goodness our military is on top of things. We've got too damned many Arabic linguists in the service these days.

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