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Government

In MN, Massive Police Raids On Suspected Protestors 961

X0563511 alerts us to events in Minneapolis and St. Paul in advance of the Republican convention (which has been put on hold because of Hurricane Gustav). Local police backed by the FBI raided a number of homes and public buildings and confiscated computers and other material. From Salon.com: "Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than 'fire code violations,' and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying. Jane Hamsher and I were at two of those homes this morning — one which had just been raided and one which was in the process of being raided." Here is local reporting from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "Aided by informants planted in protest groups, authorities raided at least six buildings across St. Paul and Minneapolis to stop an 'anarchist' plan to disrupt this week's Republican National Convention. From Friday night through Saturday afternoon, officers surrounded houses, broke down doors, handcuffed scores of people and confiscated suspected tools of civil disobedience ... A St. Paul City Council member described it as excessive, while activists, many of whom were detained and then released without charges, called it intimidation designed to quash free speech."
The Courts

FISA Court Sides With ACLU Against Administration 352

jamie caught a breaking news story this evening: the secret FISA Court has ordered the Bush administration to respond by August 31 to an ACLU request for orders and legal papers discussing the scope of the government's authority to engage in the secret wiretapping of Americans. The ACLU's press release calls it an "unprecedented order."
The Internet

Putting Anti-Evolution Candidates On the Spot 1583

hmccabe writes "YouTube is currently taking submissions for their next debate, in which the Republican candidates will answer questions. This seems like a good opportunity to challenge those candidates who say they do not believe in evolution. But since I am not an expert in the subject, I would be interested in how you all feel the question should be presented. For my own part, I think it is important to present the overwhelming body of evidence on the subject as incontrovertible fact, much the same way DNA evidence is presented during a criminal trial, and ask why the candidate feels they can pick and choose what facts they believe in. Moreover, I am wary of coming across like Christopher Hitchins, so vitriolic the candidate will defend themselves rather than answer the question. Perhaps the most important aspect of posing the question is to inform the viewers who watch the debate that this is really not a matter of opinion, but of science. So my question is: 'Hey geneticists, have you considered addressing evolution in the YouTube debates? Can you do it in 30 seconds?'"

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