From American Progress:
“Iraq may be facing a deadly civil war, but the Iraqi government is initiating major, costly repairs to its diplomatic building in Washington and expanding its real estate holdings here.” The Iraqi government recently purchased a $5.8 million mansion complete with “heated floors…and spacious bathrooms, one with a Jacuzzi.”
U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday “declared himself at odds with hawks in the US Administration” over Iran. He told BBC News, “I can’t think that it would be right to take military action against Iran. … What is important is to pursue the political, diplomatic channel.”
The White House yesterday announced “plans to replace the assistant defense secretary for health affairs” — William Winkenwerder — “two days after a review was ordered into outpatient care for wounded troops.” The Pentagon claimed the announcement had “no bearing on current events whatsoever.”
Day two of jury deliberations in the Scooter Libby trial produced no verdict. Yesterday, the jury of eight women and four men “requested a large flip chart, masking tape, Post-it notes and a document with pictures of the witnesses.”
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz may appoint a new resident director for Iraq. “This is exactly what he shouldn’t be doing and what the [Bank] board was initially afraid that he would do, which is to use the financial resources of the World Bank to take some of the heat off the U.S. Treasury and U.S. policy,” said Bea Edwards of the Government Accountability Project.
“Ballot initiatives for increasing the minimum wage boosted voter motivation in five targeted states in 2006,” a new study shows. Voter motivation and reported interest in the election was “disproportionately high” among African-Americans, unmarried voters and women.
Parents have complained after ninth graders at a North Carolina school were given anti-Muslim literature in class. The handouts described Mohammed as a “criminal” and “demon possessed,” and included pamphlets with titles such as “Jesus not Muhammad” and “Do Not Marry a Muslim Man.”
And finally: “The tables will turn on Justice Stephen Breyer next month, when instead of posing obscure questions at Supreme Court arguments, he’ll be answering them - with no clerks to help on research.” In an apparent first, Breyer will appear on a quiz show, as the celebrity guest on the March 17 installment of NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!”