By EDITH M. LEDERER
The U.N. human rights chief expressed concern Wednesday at recent U.S. legislative and judicial actions that she said leave hundreds of detainees without any way to challenge their indefinite imprisonment.
Louise Arbour referred to the Military Commissions Act approved by Congress last year and last month’s federal appeals court ruling that Guantanamo Bay detainees cannot use the U.S. court system to challenge their detention. The case is likely to go to the Supreme Court.
Senator Hillary Clinton has lost some ground in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, while former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani has widened his lead on the Republican side, a new poll showed Wednesday.
But also showing strength was former vice president Al Gore, who got a boost following his winning an Academy Award Sunday for his documentary on climate change “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Clinton, the former first lady, was favored by 36 percent of Democrats compared to 41 percent in an earlier survey, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll.
By JOHN CRAWLEY
Influential members of Congress expressed doubt on Wednesday about the White House goal of raising auto fuel efficiency by 4 percent next decade, convinced the target would harm U.S. manufacturers.
Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, suggested change is inevitable but he is not sold on the White House approach for saving 8.5 billions of gasoline by 2017.
By JOAN LOWY
Apparently believing that what’s good once is even better twice, Republican Sen. John McCain announced his candidacy for president during a TV appearance, and then announced he will announce his candidacy again next month.
Seeking maximum exposure for his bid, McCain, 70, confirmed in a pre-taped interview on CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” aired late Wednesday what has been clear for at least a year or more Ã¢â‚¬â€ that he’s running hard for the 2008 Republican nomination.
By DALE McFEATTERS
The Bush administration has reversed a long-standing policy and will sit down with representatives of Iran and Syria to discuss the future of Iraq.
The face-saving explanation is that the meetings will take place as part of a conference organized and run by Iraq with lots of other participants from the region, the U.N. Security Council and the G-8 group of industrialized democracies.
By REG HENRY
Carnegie Mellon University, perhaps the finest academic institution in Pittsburgh and one of the best in the nation, has announced that it will allow opposite-sex students to share rooms under a pilot program in the fall.
Being a leading member of the fuddy-duddy community, I am against it, as this could start a new trend — already roughly 30 schools, private and public, are said to have some form of gender-neutral housing.
By CLIFFORD D. MAY
How curious that at the Academy Awards ceremony last weekend, not a word was said about the terrorist movements dedicated to the destruction of the West.
Hollywood stars and moguls don’t appear to fully grasp that such groups as al Qaeda and such regimes as that ruling Iran not only hate Republicans, but also evangelicals and Richard Perle. They also hope to suppress artistic freedom, impose second-class status on women and stone to death those with unconventional sexual orientations.
By JOSE de la ISLA
Do you remember taking the SAT? It might have had a problem like this: “Pat needs two colors for a fashion design. She has green, black and red material. Which one will she not use?”
The answer is black. It is not a color.
Similarly, the Education Testing Service, the people who bring you the SAT, missed the mark in its recent study delineating the “factors” leading to a national economic wreck looming ahead for lack of education reform.
By ARTHUR I. CYR
Former Vice President Al Gore’s renewed prominence as a result of winning two Oscars for “An Inconvenient Truth,” his documentary on global warming, is fueling extensive speculation about his political future — not too many years after he was regarded as not having one.
He has explicitly denied interest in running for president again. Such statements can be dismissed; his cinematic actions speak louder. Moreover, his current quips about being a “recovering politician” indicate that he is working very hard to develop a sense of humor.