Politics

Closing Bookshops and Websites in Britain

kathleen writes "Blair will seek new powers to close down places of worship used to foment extremism and deport any foreigner who actively engages with extremist bookshops or websites.
Authorities will draw up a list of extremist websites, bookshops, and organizations, and that involvement with them could serve as a trigger to deport foreign nationals."

U.S. Senate votes to make permanent almost all expiring provisions of Patriot Act

The Reader's Shop writes On Friday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act. The House passed it's version earlier this month. The Senate bill would require the federal government to report how the provisions are used to view library and medical records. The ability to go to a secret court for permission to seize records from libraries and bookstores will renew for 4 years under the Senate bill. The house bill has a 10 year sunset for this provision.

The Senate and House bills must be reconciled before a final measure can be sent to Bush. Congressional officials said they were confident that they could work out a compromise.

More on the story can be found here

In The News: USA PATRIOT

The PATRIOT Act be makin' headlines. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared on on CNN's "Late Edition" and said "We cannot allow libraries and use of libraries to become safe havens for terrorists." He also also credited the USA Patriot Act with preventing a follow-up in the United States to the September 11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
The editorial pages are lit up with PATRIOT parrots, both for and against. Jim Dunn, in The Oregonian says it's very important to our country and law enforcement officials that we renew them. While the Seattle Post Intelligencer says "Freedom and fear are at war," the president declared on Sept. 11, 2001. That remains the case. And the House vote was a victory for fear.
A couple of other barely interesting articles floating around out there, KCBS Reports on California Congress Folks Representatives Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo) who gave it a thumbs down, calling it "worse than the first Patriot Bill," Michael points us to This Chicago Tribune and one on poposed changes in the Patriot Act that would set up safeguards for the nation's library patrons and let librarians seek legal help if federal investigators demand patrons' records, the head of Chicago's library system and U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said Sunday.
And finally, just one more, quotable editorila from The Times Tribune, "Openness as the ‘default’ position"

"The default position of our government must be openness. If records can be open they should be open. If good reason exists to keep secrets, it is the government that should bear the burden — not the other way around."

Coalition Formed To Push Parental Control Of Entertainment

Redcardlibrarian writes "A new coalition has been formed, dubbed Pause, Parent, Play, designed to educate parents about taking control of what their kids listen to and watch in the world of entertainment. The coalition is backed by Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and encompasses many entertainment companies, including Viacom, the RIAA, Time Warner, NBC Universal, Comcast, Microsoft and the National Cable And Telecommunications Association, among other partners. The campaign aims to "empower parents to choose what their kids watch, hear and play - from TV and movies to video games and music," according to their Web site, pauseparentplay.org.

Librarians, U.S. attorneys squaring off

The Chicago Sun Times says that loud "Shhhhh!" you hear Monday may be the sound of 25,000 librarians reacting to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's defense of the government's right to confiscate people's library records. Fitzgerald has volunteered to take his campaign for renewal right into the heart of the opposition today, debating Colleen Connell, director of the Chicago office of the American Civil Liberties Union, which takes the librarians' side.

Library records safe under the Patriot Act

An Editorial says Many of the Patriot Act’s provisions, including the more controversial provisions concerning library records and so-called “sneak and peak� searches, do not provide new and unprecedented investigative tools to law enforcement officials. Rather, the Patriot Act allows law enforcement officials to now use tools long available to them regarding organized crime, child pornography, or drug investigations when conducting international terrorism investigations.
Unfortunately, much of the debate regarding the Patriot Act has become so exaggerated and distorted that the thoughtful deliberation which reauthorization of this important law deserves is too often missing.

Huntington (NY) library demands liability insurance for political forums

Anonymous Patron writes ""The Huntington Library has informed the Huntington Chapter of the Long Island Progressive Coalition that approval for the continuation of the monthly series of “Patriot Games� forums, now in their third year, has been withdrawn because the Chapter can not produce a $1,000,000.00 liability insurance policy to cover each event. (LIPC’s insurance carrier estimates that the cost for such insurance would be $350 per meeting, plus costs or $4,200.00 + per year.)"Details at http://www.democracyforli.org/node/133"

O'Connor Retires From Supreme Court

Sandra Day O'Connor has Announced Her Retirement from the Supreme Court of the United States. scotusblog.com has much more reading on the subject.

Trudeau donates book bucks to military charity

Garry Trudeau is donating his take from sales of the latest Doonesbury book, The Long Road Home, to Fisher House, a foundation that "offers family members of wounded troops temporary housing at little or no cost during their loved one’s hospitalization." In addition, publisher Andrews McMeel is donating 10% of its profits from the book to Fisher House. Story in Stars and Stripes.

The book is a collection of Doonesbury strips following the character B.D., who is wounded as a soldier in Iraq and has a leg amputated.

Neighbours See Red Over School Map Censorship

Anonymous Patron writes "The Times Online reports a blob of “wrongly� coloured ink, a controversial map of Asia and the seizure of 128 civics textbooks have plunged Japan and China into another round of bitterness and mutual distrust.

The latest incident in the troubled relationship between the two neighbours flared up yesterday when it emerged that books on their way by mail to a Japanese school in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian had been seized by customs authorities."

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