Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Stories member note from this morning's Times

In this morning's New York Times, Rob and Kara both cite Douglas Jehl's "Senate Panel Is Widening Its Review on Nominee to U.N.:"

In a widening of the inquiry into John R. Bolton's nomination to be ambassador to the United Nations, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee intends to conduct formal interviews in the next 10 days with as many as two dozen people, Congressional officials said Tuesday.
Those to be interviewed include a former deputy director of central intelligence and a former assistant secretary of state. The two officials, John E. McLaughlin and John S. Wolf respectively, have not spoken publicly about Mr. Bolton's nomination, but both have been described by others as having clashed with him on personnel matters related to intelligence.

Krista e-mails to note John DeSantis's "Hearing Begins for Marine Accused of Killing 2 Iraqis:"

Lieutenant Pantano has stated that he killed Hamaady Kareem and Tahah Ahmead Hanjil in self-defense, after they made what he perceived as a threatening move toward him, as they searched their own automobile under his order near Mahmudiyah, Iraq, about 15 miles from Baghdad, on April 15, 2004.
[. . .]
An Arabic translator who was at the scene of the killings, identified at the hearing only as Corporal O because of what officials said was his involvement with counterintelligence operations, said he questioned the two men after they were seized while leaving a house suspected of being an insurgent nest.
Corporal O said that the men offered no resistance but appeared frightened, and that they denied involvement with insurgent forces.

Margo e-mails to note Carl Hulse's "House Republicans Weigh Vote on Ethics Changes:"

Under the new rules, complaints could be dismissed after 45 days if the panel did not agree on how to proceed, an change critics said would give lawmakers an incentive to delay complaints until they were dropped. Another rule allows the same lawyer to represent both the subject of a complaint and witnesses and a third would give new notification and appeal rights to lawmakers who are to be named in a panel report.
Mr. DeLay faces questions about whether recent overseas trips were underwritten by a lobbyist in violation of House rules, an accusation he denies. He has offered to meet with the leaders of the ethics committee to resolve the questions, and it appears likely that if the committee takes up the matter, it would look into his travel as well as questions about trips by other lawmakers.

Zach e-mails to note that "Microsoft is the 'MS' of MSNBC so homophobia doesn't surprise me after they handed out a TV program to Michael Savage, but one of my favorite blogs is mentioned in the Times" and asks us to highlight Sarah Kershaw's "Microsoft Weighs Reversal on Gay Rights, Gates Says:"

Company officials said Mr. [Ralph] Reed had been on retainer for several years. He earned $20,000 a month over the last six months, according to invoices obtained by, a left-leaning Web log run by John Aravosis, a writer and political consultant.
Mr. Reed remained on the Microsoft payroll even after a controversy erupted in 2000 over his lobbying Gov. George W. Bush, who was then a candidate for president, on behalf of Microsoft during its antitrust battles, while also serving as an adviser to Mr. Bush's campaign. Mr. Reed later apologized for creating the appearance of a conflict.
The critics also contend that Mr. Gates's comments to The Seattle Times contradicted those of Microsoft's chief executive, Steve Ballmer, who sent a companywide e-mail message last Friday explaining the decision not to support the bill as part of a larger reconsideration of the role the company should play in social debates.

Keesha e-mails to highlight Abby Goodnough's "Florida Expands Right to Use Deadly Force in Self-Defense:"

Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill on Tuesday giving Florida citizens more leeway to use deadly force in their homes and in public, a move that gun-control groups and several urban police chiefs warned would give rise to needless deaths.
The measure, known as the "stand your ground" bill, lets people use guns or other deadly force to defend themselves in public places without first trying to escape.

Brent e-mails Elisabeth Rosenthal's "Italians Angry Over Inquiry on Iraq Death:"

Mr. Calipari was returning to Baghdad in a car on March 4 after securing the release of Ms. Sgrena, who had been kidnapped by insurgents. The car was peppered with bullets as it approached a temporary American military checkpoint, killing Mr. Calipari and wounding Ms. Sgrena and two other intelligence agents.
After the killing, the United States and Italian governments agreed to conduct a joint investigation, because accounts of witnesses - including the journalist and the American soldiers - varied greatly as to whether the car had been warned to slow down and how fast it had been traveling.
The bullet-riddled car in which Mr. Calipari and Ms. Sgrena were riding was returned to Italy on Tuesday, now that the evidence-gathering phase of the investigation is over.
In the last two days, the Italian news media has been filled with unattributed reports that the two Italian members of the team have refused to sign the investigation's report, because they disagree with its conclusions. On Tuesday, Ms. Sgrena, who is now recovered, called the investigation's conclusions "a slap" for the Berlusconi government.

Brent feels that the Times writes the above to try to get around a story. Regardless of why (and that's not me dismissing anyone's right to ask why, just noting that I'm not personally up to "why"s this morning), what remains is that the story, like 60 Minutes II, doesn't inform that Sgrena reports the shots came from behind. Quite the contrary, it offers that shots were fired "as it approached." Listeners of The Laura Flanders Show and viewers, listeners, readers of Democracy Now! have gotten more details than are offered this morning.

From yesterday's Democracy Now!'s headlines:

U.S. Clears Soldiers in Giuliana Sgrena ShootingA US military investigation has cleared the soldiers who shot dead a high-ranking Italian intelligence agent last month in Iraq. The intelligence agent, Nicola Calipari, died on March 4 after US troops opened fire on the car that was also carrying Giuliana Sgrena - the Italian journalist who just been freed from captivity. Sgrena and the Italian government have disputed U.S. claims that the shooting was justified. In a front-page editorial in her newspaper Il Manifesto Sgrena wrote today "After the apologies comes the slap in the face." Sgrena criticized the U.S. investigators for failing to take into account her testimony as to what happened. The Italian government has refused to endorse the U.S. Army's findings. Italy maintains that that car carrying Calipari and Sgrena had been driving slowly, received no warning and that Italy had advised U.S. authorities of their mission to evacuate Sgrena from Iraq.

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