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From The New Yorker:

Most Americans, even those who follow politics closely, have probably never heard of Dick Cheney’s chief of staff David S. Addington. But current and former Administration officials say that he has played a central role in shaping the Administration’s legal strategy for the war on terror. Known as the New Paradigm, this strategy rests on a reading of the Constitution that few legal scholars share—namely, that the President, as Commander-in-Chief, has the authority to disregard virtually all previously known legal boundaries, if national security demands it. Under this framework, statutes prohibiting torture, secret detention, and warrantless surveillance have been set aside. A former high-ranking Administration lawyer who worked extensively on national-security issues said that the Administration’s legal positions were, to a remarkable degree, “all Addington.” Another lawyer, Richard L. Shiffrin, who until 2003 was the Pentagon’s deputy general counsel for intelligence, said that Addington was “an unopposable force.”

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AP, from the New York Times:

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a strongly worded dissent, saying the court’s decision would “sorely hamper the president’s ability to confront and defeat a new and deadly enemy.”

The court’s willingness, Thomas said, “to second-guess the determination of the political branches that these conspirators must be brought to justice is both unprecedented and dangerous.”

Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito also filed dissents.

In his own opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer said, “Congress has not issued the executive a ‘blank check.”‘

“Indeed, Congress has denied the president the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here. Nothing prevents the president from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary,” Breyer wrote.

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From Magnum Photos, essay by Christopher Anderson:

Tensions in Gaza and the West Bank rise as Palestinian factions begin fighting with each other and violence between the Palestinians and Israelis takes a new turn.

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From the Guardian:

Some people freeze, most run. I run. Away from the sound – a sharp, terrifying crack. Jesus. A militiaman’s gun has gone off accidentally, I think. A few steps up towards the speaker’s platform, away from the crowd, away from the gunshot, I glance back down. Martin Adler, the Swedish cameraman, clutching his side, falling. A few more steps. Martin is on the ground. His white shirt is stained with red. Flemming, his Danish photographer friend, is hunched over him.

That picture is so clear, even now, four days on. Perfectly composed – Martin lying still, Flemming crouched over him, looking skywards in shock. Both men in focus in the middle of the frame, everything around them a blur, overexposed.

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From the Moscow Times:

No one knows the name of the boy, his age, where he comes from or what diseases may be flowing through his bloodstream. His anonymity is stark and, at moments, overbearing.

Seeking to help such street children overcome their invisibility, Belgian photographer Jorge Dirkx, working with Medecins Sans Frontieres, recently gave 15 of them disposable cameras and asked them to take pictures of their Moscow. The boy in the basement is just one of the many images to emerge from the month-long project.

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From the BBC:

Joseph Kony, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague on war crimes charges, described himself as a freedom fighter and called for peace talks.

He said stories of LRA rebels cutting off people’s ears or lips were Ugandan government propaganda. He also denied his group kidnapped children.

“This is not true. I cannot cut the ear of my brother, I cannot kill the eye of my brother. I cannot kill my brother, that is not true,” he said.

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From the BBC:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered special services to “find and destroy” the killers of four Russian diplomats taken hostage in Iraq.
The head of Russia’s security services immediately pledged to see Putin’s order carried out.

The Russian government confirmed the four men’s deaths this week, after an insurgent group released a video showing two of them being killed.

The group had demanded Russia leave Chechnya and release Muslim prisoners.

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Very cool things happening with NoTxt. Get in on #2 while you can! You will be in good company.
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From the New York Times:

Still, Hassan Dahir Aweys, of the powerful Ayr clan, has publicly told followers that God would forgive them for spilling the blood of any foreign peacekeepers who set foot on Somali soil. He has also said Somalis who hand over their countrymen to American operatives in exchange for cash are guilty of “selling us to the Jews.”

Mr. Aweys was appointed to lead a new 88-member council at a meeting of hundreds of Islamic leaders in Mogadishu on Saturday night. Earlier in the week, a delegation of Somali Islamists agreed to recognize and work together with the secular government that was formed in 2004 after long peace negotiations involving all of Somalia’s clans. That United Nations-backed government, based in the provincial town of Baidoa because Mogadishu had been considered too dangerous for it to relocate there, is struggling to gain a foothold.

Mr. Aweys has repeatedly declared that an Islamic state is the only answer for Somalia, which has effectively been in anarchy since its last government fell in 1991. Mr. Aweys is a critic of the secular government and a longtime foe of its president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed.

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From the New York Times:

“Eventually,” said Randy Phillips, chief executive of the concert promoter AEG Live, “we’re going to run out of headliners.”

Accounting for the shallow talent pool, some industry executives cite the effects of MTV, which lets fans see performers without ever leaving their couch. Others blame a recording industry more focused on disposable hits than long-term career development, or a universe of digital singles that can keep fans from establishing deep connections with an artist over a long career. Whatever the case, John Scher, the New York music promoter and entrepreneur, says that unless the industry’s dynamics change, many of the nation’s big summer music venues “will be plowed over and be made into housing projects.”

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From the New York Times:

Winn didn’t take that advice — at first. There was nothing cute or campy about Nagin’s remarks, and the hurricane was a deadly tragedy, not a pop-culture moment. Winn had friends who had lost everything. He understood Nagin’s tone. “That’s kind of how I felt,” he says. Gradually, however, his thinking changed. Da Mayor in Your Pocket (“da” instead of “the” to reflect a local accent) became commercially available several months ago, emitting sound bites from that Nagin interview like “This is a national disaster,” “You gotta be kiddin’ me” and several that can’t be printed here. Thousands have been sold. Nagin himself held one up in a speech during the New Orleans mayoral election (which he eventually won, last month).

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From the Eddie Adams Workshop:

Congratulations to the following 100 students and professionals who will attend Barnstorm XIX this year. Click a name to see images from their portfolios.

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From ninemillion.org:

There are 20.8 million refugees and other people in need of protection. More than nine million of them are children.

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From Time, via aphotoaday:

Photographer James Nachtwey shows how the health crises created by the war in Congo can kill long after the shooting stops.

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From the Moscow Times:

The question of who will succeed Sadulayev is less political than technical. The question of whether or not Shamil Basayev will assume control of the separatist movement is also of secondary importance. Nor can it be assumed that the movement would become more radical under Basayev’s leadership. No one is stopping Basayev from adopting even more brutal tactics right now. Maskhadov and Sadulayev couldn’t stand in his way, and the heir apparent, warlord Doku Umarov, will fare no better. But the Russian authorities should be worried not so much about Basayev as the social conditions that make people like Basayev popular, for it is the unfavorable political and social situation in the North Caucasus that produces Basayev’s terrorist foot soldiers.

Last but not least, Sadulayev’s death has been presented as a victory for Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov, rather than for the Russian leadership and the security services. Kadyrov is now the sole master of the republic. His actions often violate Russian law and the logic of the so-called power vertical. No other regional leader is allowed such latitude. His inner circle includes many former fighters who ultimately realized that becoming a part of the Russian power structure was a whole lot better than taking part in guerrilla attacks.

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From Wired:

First of all, documentaries are incredibly important records of our history and culture. They’re visual histories, and they’re increasingly based on copyrighted culture. Our book describes several instances in which the telling of that history has been thwarted by permissions issues. An example is Jon Else having to pay $10,000 for a four-and-a-half-second clip of The Simpsons playing in the background of his film (Sing Faster: The Stagehands’ Ring Cycle). The makers of Mad Hot Ballroom had to pay that same amount to EMI because a cell phone rings in the background of one of the scenes, and the ringtone is the theme from Rocky. These examples really resonate with people. They understand that these are instances where copyright is not working the way it’s supposed to.

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From CJR Daily:

What seemed to matter more than dead soldiers was the speculation about how the death toll would influence the president or his party’s political fortunes. Here’s how the AP story began: “The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that 2,500 U.S. troops have died in the Iraq war since it began more than three years ago, marking a grim milestone even as President Bush hopes a recent spate of good news will reverse the war’s widespread unpopularity at home. The latest death was announced as Congress was launching into a symbolic election-year debate over the war, with Republicans rallying against calls by some Democrats to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.”

As Tony Snow blithely told reporters yesterday, ”It’s a number.”

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From the Moscow Times:

Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov said (chechen rebel leader Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev) was shot dead Saturday in his hometown of Argun during a raid prompted by a tip from someone in his inner circle.

Kadyrov, posing and grinning for television cameras next to a battered, half-naked body that resembled Sadulayev, said the informant had tipped off police for drug money.

“One person sold us Sadulayev — their dearest friend whom they consider their own — for 1,500 rubles,” or about $50, Kadyrov said. “He needed to buy a gram of heroin. He sold out his leader for heroin.”

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From the Tall J blog:

This is an older photo but I wanted to put this up here. I love this one. I shot it on tri-x with an old FM2 that I bought from Ravell Call at the Deseret Morning News. That camera was beat up pretty bad. The rewind knob was broken off of it so it took a lot longer than normal to change rolls of film.

I broke the camera a few minutes after I shot this frame. The shutter completely blew out on it.

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From WFMU’s Beware of the Blog:

Every week or so I can expect an email in my inbox from my friend Jussi in Finland, asking me if I know some totally-off-the-wall obscuro 1980’s metal band whom he worships. Recently he sent me a link to a documentary trailer for Shock Tilt, a film recounting the story of a Finnish group who went to Germany to seek fame and fortune only to have their lead singer butchered by their creepy manager, which became a big national news event.

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