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"Judy, Come Home!

Miller’s Return
on Times’ Table"

Gabriel Sherman & Anna Schneider-Mayerson, New York Observer

Reporter Judith Miller may be returning to the New York Times newsroom this month. According to sources familiar with Ms. Miller’s negotiations, she has signaled that her potential homecoming could happen as early as next week.

“I am not commenting on my discussions with the paper,” Ms. Miller said by phone on Nov. 1. “No decisions have been made. I can’t comment any further.”

Ms. Miller is still involved in talks with the paper—whose executive editor, Bill Keller, publicly lamented her “entanglement” with now-indicted Vice Presidential aide I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby in the Valerie Plame Wilson leak case.

But even as The Times has sought to isolate Ms. Miller, she has gathered powerful friends to her side. And those talks appear to be turning from severance toward reconciliation, according to Times sources.

Most Russians think whole state dishonest

MOSCOW (Reuters) - More than half of Russians think everyone in power is dishonest, a survey showed on Monday, from the president and parliament, to government and the courts.

"This goes a long way to explaining the colossal level of political apathy in society," said Alexander Konovalov, president of the Institute for Strategic Assessments.

Just under one in three of the 1,600 people surveyed by ROMIR Monitoring called President
Vladimir Putin honest, and the figure fell to just 5 percent for the government and 2 percent for the State Duma lower house of parliament.

The Duma is packed with members of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party and critics say many deputies rubber-stamp legislation while enjoying the perks of office.

Corruption is also endemic at all levels of Russian society, from traffic cops to tax officials. Transparency International ranked Russia joint 126th on its list of cleanest countries, on a par with Sierra Leone, Niger and Albania.

"People have faith in very little. That is the reality of our way of life," Konovalov told Ekho Moskvy radio."

"American Fascism"

Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's

I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to
move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to
better the lot of our citizens, then Fascism and Communism, aided,
unconsciously perhaps, by old-line Tory Republicanism, will grow in strength
in our land." — Franklin D. Roosevelt, November 4, 1938

In 1938 the word "fascism" hadn't yet been transferred into an abridged
metaphor for all the world's unspeakable evil and monstrous crime, and on
coming across President Roosevelt's prescient remark in one of Umberto Eco's
essays, I could read it as prose instead of poetry — a reference not to the
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse or the pit of Hell but to the political
theories that regard individual citizens as the property of the government,
happy villagers glad to wave the flags and wage the wars, grateful for the
good fortune that placed them in the care of a sublime leader. Or, more
emphatically, as Benito Mussolini liked to say, "Everything in the state.
Nothing outside the state. Nothing against the state."

"Anti-Bush, and Mincing No Words:

Q & A with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez"

Lally Weymouth, Washington Post

Controversy and intrigue have swirled around Venezuela's Hugo Chavez
ever since he was elected president seven years ago and established himself
as a leftist force. Chavez's rising influence in Latin American politics,
his country's role as a major supplier of crude oil for U.S. refiners and
his close ties to Cuba's Fidel Castro have alarmed policymakers in the Bush

Last month, on his television show, the Rev. Pat Robertson
actually went so far as to suggest the United States should assassinate the
51-year-old Chavez. (Robertson later apologized.)

While Chavez was in New York last week for the gathering of world
leaders at the United Nations, he sat down with Newsweek–Washington Post's
Lally Weymouth. He spelled his dislike for the Bush administration and
described himself as a revolutionary. Dressed in a bright red shirt, he
noted that he was planning to stop in Havana on his way home so that he
could spend several hours talking with Castro.


Q: The opposition in Venezuela feels that it has no space. The leaders of
Sumate [a group that supported a referendum vote on Chavez two years ago]
say you indicted them for receiving money from the U.S. National Endowment
for Democracy. Why?

Chavez: You cannot forget that this very opposition governed Venezuela between
1958 and 1998. If they feel like they have no space, it is because they have
been cooked in their own sauce. Between 1958 and 1998, Venezuela fell apart.
We ended the 20th century with poverty as we have never seen it. The economy
was totally destroyed. . . . Millions of Venezuelans were without education,
health care, jobs, housing. So if they feel they do not have any room to
act, it's their own fault.

But they have many rights: the right to demonstrate, the right to
participate in elections. The opposition is utterly divided. The
revolutionary forces are totally united. Recently, we had elections. We won
90 percent.

Todd Brendan Fahey writes:

"Spy v. Spy:
Bob Novak & the CIA's MOCKINGBIRD Program"
Todd Brendan Fahey

Either Karl Rove or Robert Novak is lying. Both could be, of course; but if the scandal that is the unveiling of a CIA no-official-cover operative has turned into political blood-sport, the fallout will transcend anything that happened during Watergate. Spooks war against each other regularly. Usually, it doesn't hit the front pages of the major-metro dailies. And such is how we know that something has gone terribly awry in Washington and at Langley.

Bani writes:

Return of Failed Iraqi Asylum Seekers to Begin
Owen Bowcott, Guardian

It's becoming a monthly trend...
this one is not planning on stopping in France, but the new policy is a sort of deportation taxi service leaving England, stopping off in all
or one of the neighboring countries: France, Germany, Spain and Italy and with a final destination in the country that these guys left,
often years ago...

The Guardian

"Be Warned: Mr. Bubble's Worried Again"

David Leonhardt, New York Tiimes

Abby joseph Cohen, the Goldman Sachs strategist then making a name for
herself as Wall Street's optimist in chief, sat directly to Alan Greenspan's
right. One chair away was Robert J. Shiller, a largely unknown Yale

As they ate lunch in a stately dining room at the Federal Reserve that day
in December 1996, Mr. Shiller argued that the stock market had risen to
irrational levels. In a soft, Midwestern-tinged voice, he asked Mr.
Greenspan, the Fed chairman, when the last time was that somebody in his job
had warned the public that the stock market had become a bubble.

"Someone Tell the President the War Is Over"

Frank Rich, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/14/opinion/14rich.html">The New York Times

Like the Japanese soldier marooned on an island for years after V-J Day, President Bush may be the last person in the country to learn that for Americans, if not Iraqis, the war in Iraq is over. "We will stay the course," he insistently tells us from his Texas ranch. What do you mean we, white man?

A president can't stay the course when his own citizens (let alone his own allies) won't stay with him. The approval rate for Mr. Bush's handling of Iraq plunged to 34 percent in last weekend's Newsweek poll — a match for the 32 percent that approved L.B.J.'s handling of Vietnam in early March 1968. (The two presidents' overall approval ratings have also converged: 41 percent for Johnson then, 42 percent for Bush now.) On March 31, 1968, as L.B.J.'s ratings plummeted further, he announced he wouldn't seek re-election, commencing our long extrication from that quagmire.

Chinese City's Rage At the Rich And Powerful
Beating of Student Sparks Riot, Looting

By Edward Cody

Washington Post Foreign Service

CHIZHOU, China -- Liu Liang, a slightly built computer student with big glasses, was home in Chizhou for summer vacation. At about 2:30 on the hot afternoon of June 26, he was pedaling his bicycle by the downtown vegetable market on Cuibai Street. Driving down the same street in his new-looking black Toyota sedan was Wu Junxing, deputy manager of a hospital in nearby Anqing. Wu, accompanied by a friend and two bodyguards, had
come to Chizhou that day to attend opening ceremonies of a new private hospital and, associates said, survey the market to judge whether he should invest in his own facility.
Liu's bicycle and Wu's shiny four-door sedan collided, sending Liu crashing to the ground. Almost immediately, witnesses said, Liu, 22, and Wu, 34, began arguing over who was at fault. In the heat of the dispute, they said, Liu damaged one of Wu's side-view mirrors, prompting Wu's
muscular bodyguards to burst from the car and beat the skinny young man senseless, leaving him bleeding from his mouth and ears.

The beating, part of a minor traffic incident on a slow Sunday afternoon, ignited a spark of anger. The spark became a riot, evolving over eight chaotic hours into an expression of rage against the Chinese Communist Party's new fascination with businessmen, profits and economic growth.

Anonymous Comrade writes: "File this one under weird...."

"Kapital Gain:
Karl Marx Is Home Counties' Favourite"
Mark Seddon, The Guardian

Karl Marx is the nation's most revered philosopher. No, this isn't old Soviet agitprop, but the result of a Radio 4 listeners' poll organised by the broadcaster Melvyn Bragg for his series In Our Time. The veteran Marxist historian, Eric Hobsbawm, thinks he knows why. His reasoning is as contemporary as Marx's was visionary. "The Communist Manifesto," he says, "contains a stunning prediction of the nature and effects of globalisation."


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