An Iraqi study group reacts to a car bombing. Researchers (not pictured) gathered data from a fortified observation booth.
A field study released Monday by the University of North Carolina School of Public Health suggests that Iraqi citizens experience sadness and a sense of loss when relatives, spouses, and even friends perish, emotions that have until recently been identified almost exclusively with Westerners.
“We were struck by how an Iraqi reacts to the sight of the bloody or decapitated corpse of a family member in a not unlike an American, or at the very least a Canadian, would,” said Dr. Jonathan Pryztal, chief author of the study. “In addition to the rage, bloodlust, and hatred we already know to dominate the Iraqi emotional spectrum, it appears that they may have some capacity, however limited, for sadness.”
Though Pryztal was quick to add that more detailed analysis is needed, he said the findings cast some doubt on long-held assumptions about human nature in that region.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit today against Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), asking a federal court to protect the fair use and free speech rights of a mother who posted a short video of her toddler son dancing to a Prince song on the Internet.
Stephanie Lenz’s 29-second recording shows her son bouncing along to the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy,” which is heard playing in the background. Lenz uploaded the home video to YouTube in February to share it with her family and friends.
But last month, YouTube informed Lenz that it had removed the video from its website after Universal claimed that the recording infringed a copyright controlled by the music company. Under federal copyright law, a mere allegation of copyright infringement can result in the removal of content from the Internet.
“I was really surprised and angry when I learned my video was removed,” said Lenz. “Universal should not be using legal threats to try to prevent people from sharing home videos of their kids with family and friends.”
“Universal’s takedown notice doesn’t even pass the laugh test,” said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. “Copyright holders should be held accountable when they undermine non-infringing, fair uses like this video.”
The state chairman of the “Californians for Obama” campaign has raised thousands of dollars in donations through promotions ranging from celebrity-studded Mexican cruises to CD sales to campaign office “grand openings” in support of the popular Illinois Democratic senator and presidential candidate.
But the official presidential campaign of Barack Obama said Tuesday it was unaware of the activities of the entirely unauthorized Los Angeles-based fundraising efforts of Emmett Cash III — a self-proclaimed former movie mogul who was a registered Republican until last month.
But a Chronicle examination of the latest Federal Election Commission records on file for the organization for the reporting period ending June 30 shows that while Cash has raised nearly $10,000 this year, not one dollar has gone to the Obama campaign — or any other political candidate.
The Bush administration finally nails a notorious supplier to terrorists—after he spent 30 years hiding in plain sight.
For 30 years, Monzer al-Kassar has been linked to some of history’s most notorious international arms deals and terrorist atrocities. He has been accused of aiding in the attempted assassination of an Israeli spy; supplying the weapons used in the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro luxury liner; and seeding the Somali and Bosnian civil wars with countless AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. Swiss and Spanish officials have repeatedly tried to prosecute him for murder and money laundering, and a small group of private investigators, in conjunction with the United Nations and such groups as Human Rights Watch, have worked to expose his international network of offshore companies, crooked port officials, and Eastern European arms manufacturers. Each time, Kassar beat the rap and returned to his hacienda on the Spanish coast.
At a press conference in New York the day after the arrest, Garcia acknowledged that the whole thing had been a setup from the start. “It is important to note that for Kassar and his co-defendants, the arms deal was absolutely real,” he said. “They demonstrated both their willingness to support a terrorist organization as well as their capacity for doing so. They knew the weapons they agreed to sell were destined for a terrorist organization. They knew the arms were going to be used to kill Americans. And because of the great work of DEA and its law enforcement partners around the world, yesterday Kassar and his co-defendants met face to face with law enforcement and will be brought to justice.”
In other words, the arrest of Kassar was a significant—not to mention brilliantly conceived and executed—victory in the Bush administration’s “War on Terror.” For some reason, however, the government didn’t go to the same lengths to publicize the arrest (nor did American media outlets trumpet it in their turn) the way it has the takedowns of homegrown would-be terror suspects who, with the prodding of government informants, allegedly fantasized about bringing down the Chicago Sears tower, or assaulting Fort Dix, or lighting gas mains like fuses in order to blow up the John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Perhaps that had something to do with what Garcia made clear in his remarks: that the U.S. government has been well aware of Kassar’s work on behalf of terrorists around the world since the 1970s. Kassar was allegedly up to his neck in the Iran-Contra scandal, the BCCI scandal, the murder of Achille Lauro passenger Leon Klinghoffer, and the supply of weapons that were in all likelihood used against American soldiers in the 1993 Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia. Yet no American court had ever leveled formal charges against him, and he’d spent decades hiding in plain sight. “Most arms dealers of his caliber aren’t skulking in some shithole in Marseille,” says David Isenberg, a senior analyst with the British American Security Information Council. Isenberg has been tracking illicit arms dealers for almost 20 years. “He’s been on radar screens. With enough money, you can buy all the respect you need.”
AT&T reports about the second quarter:
Sales of the Apple iPhone have been robust. The June 29 launch allowed for less than two days of sales and activations before the end of the quarter. In that time, AT&T activated 146,000 iPhone subscribers, more than 40 percent of them new subscribers. Sales of the iPhone continue to be strong in July with store traffic above historical levels.
Result: call the whaaaaambulance, low iPhone sales numbers cause Apple shares to drop $9.
A few days later…
- Apple says it sold 270,000 iPhones in the 1st 30 hours of sales.
And, more importantly, reports about the rest of the company:
Apple shipped 1,764,000 Macintosh® computers, representing 33 percent growth over the year-ago quarter and exceeding the previous company record for quarterly Mac® shipments by over 150,000. The Company also sold 9,815,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 21 percent growth over the year-ago quarter.
Result: shares rise $14.
There’s idiots in them there woods….