Emboldened by his re-election, Bush called on lawmakers to move on several controversial fronts, including liberalizing the nation's immigration laws, imposing limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, simplifying taxes and extending the life of the tax cuts enacted during his first term.Did he say anything else interesting?
He also urged passage of long-stalled energy legislation and promised to send Congress a budget next week that holds discretionary spending below inflation. Warning Congress that it will face painful choices, Bush said his budget would substantially reduce or eliminate more than 150 federal programs.
Bush said his wife, Laura, would lead a nationwide effort to reduce gang violence by encouraging young people to remain crime free. In a nod to conservatives, he renewed support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Bush Presses for Social Security Overhaul.
This series of articles describes a variety of Natural Phenomena - marine, terrestrial and extra-terrestrial - which have been named in honour of Frank Zappa, the smallest being a gene belonging to a bacterium, the largest being an entire planet.
Many people are unaware that not one, but two extant marine creatures are named after FZ: one is a regular fish, the other a jellyfish.
Fish, of course, played a significant role in FZ's work: most famously, there was the Mudshark, which featured prominently from the time of the Fillmore East album in 1971, Thing-Fish in 1984, and the Yellow Shark, performed in 1992; minor references to various 'denizens of the deep' exist elsewhere.
In addition to these, there is an extinct shellfish bearing the Zappa name, and a spider from the Congo, which even looks like FZ!
Zappa fans can be found everywhere, and in all walks of life, so perhaps it's no surprise that some of them are responsible for discovering and naming things. FZ himself loved to do this:
"He liked naming things. He had names for absolutely everything: furniture, my mother's toenails . . ." [Moon Zappa, Rock Kids, BBC Radio 1 (UK), 20 Apr 1997]
I found, as I researched the subject and corresponded with participants, that the subject of Natural Phenomena Named After Frank Zappa took on a whole new dimension, and I was struck forcibly by the strength of feeling evoked by FZ - his music, his philosophy and his personality.
The stories of how these phenomena came to be thus named are both entertaining and at the same time illustrative of the high regard in which FZ was - and is - held.
A Swedish museum dedicated to world culture has removed an erotic painting plastered with verses from the Muslim holy book, the Koran, from an exhibition about AIDS after Muslims complained it was obscene.And there you have it. I had always thought of Sweden as a very liberal country; after all, Swedes have been ranked as having more press freedom than Americans. Perhaps freedom of press and artistic freedom are not related, what do I know...
Jette Sandahl, director of the World Culture Museum, which opened in Gothenburg a month ago, said on Wednesday that the painting by an Arab artist living in France was replaced by another less offensive one.
Sweden is home to 400,000 Muslims. The row over artist Louzla Darabi's painting comes amid tensions in Europe about a perceived increase in Islamic militancy since a Dutch filmmaker critical of Islam was murdered in the Netherlands late last year.
Sandahl told Reuters that most of the hundreds of e-mails and letters sent were "respectful and polite but some were more aggressive."
"It was the combination of the image and text from the Koran which was problematic," she added.
Darabi told Gothenburg Channel 4 television that her work was not meant "offend anyone but to stress the link between love and God symbolised by the Koran's text".
Sandahl said the painting was removed to prevent public attention shifting from the exhibition's main message about AIDS and globalisation.
"It's a good exhibition on HIV-AIDS but it doesn't really back up a qualified discussion on the relationship between artistic freedom and religious freedom," she said.
Museum removes erotic art after Muslim anger
The Carter Center determined that the security situation in Iraq was going to be too dangerous to send election monitors, so the Atlanta-based human rights organization founded by former President Jimmy Carter posted its personnel in neighboring Jordan.They were certainly in a hurry to say "yea" to Chavez's farcically flawed referendum. This, though, is the best part:
Despite widespread predictions of spectacular terrorist attacks on election day in Iraq, fewer than 50 were killed, and the 60 percent turnout for the elections was much higher than many predicted.
Asked whether the Carter Center had a comment on the election, spokeswoman Kay Torrance said: "We wouldn't have any 'yea' or 'nay' statement on Iraq."
Mr. Carter told NBC's "Today" show in September that he was confident the elections would not take place. "I personally do not believe they're going to be ready for the election in January ... because there's no security there," he said.
Canada has been named one of the five countries with the highest rates of anti-Semitic incidents, along with France, Britain, Russia and Germany.Lovely, eh?
Jewish groups are condemning the University of Toronto for permitting an Arab student club to hold a weeklong series of lectures entitled, "Israeli Apartheid Week."
The program, organized by the Arab Students' Collective, begins Monday with lectures about the roots of what the students call Israel's ethnic cleansing and segregation of Palestinians.
"We're trying to educate people on the fact that Israel is an apartheid state and not simply a military occupier of the Gaza," said Hazem Jamjoum, a member of the student group. "Today we'll talk about the origins of the conflict, the 1948 war, when the first half of Palestine was colonized."
The students set up a mock Palestinian refugee camp on campus in an attempt to show passers-by the conditions in which they say many Palestinians have lived since the war.
David Farrar, vice-provost of students, defended the university by saying the student club had the right to free speech.
Canadian Jews condemn 'Israeli Apartheid Week'
The event's content is also raising concerns among the Evangelical Association of Canada.Eh, there go the evilgelicals with their facts again...
"If you are going to use the term apartheid, then it must fit the criteria of the definition," said Dr. Rondo Thomas, the association's director. "It doesn't come close with Israel. There isn't another democracy in the entire Middle East. And everyone in Israel is treated equally."
Half of all U.S. bankruptcies are caused by soaring medical bills and most people sent into debt by illness are middle-class workers with health insurance, researchers said on Wednesday.
The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, estimated that medical bankruptcies affect about 2 million Americans every year, if both debtors and their dependents, including about 700,000 children, are counted.
"Our study is frightening. Unless you're Bill Gates you're just one serious illness away from bankruptcy," said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who led the study.
On the block of Northwest Second Street where Elian Gonzalez lived for a time, Guillermina Ferrer remembers how federal agents seized the Cuban boy in an early morning raid. She remembers, too, the tear gas that wafted into her small, one-story home and made it hard for her to breathe.
"It was a crime, and so violent, to come in here and take a young boy like that," said Ferrer, 77.