A summary of other news

A summary of other news

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

Some stories from elsewhere:

Carlyle Group cashing in

The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm which has in its employ a number of former federal government insiders including George Bush, Sr., has been enjoying hefty profits in the wake of Sept. 11, according to CBS Marketwatch.

Among Carlyle’s recent public offerings are Anteon International, Integrated Defense Technologies, ManTech International and Veridian. United Defense Industries was a $400 million deal and, last week Carlyle filed a $160 million offering for U.S. Marine Repair, a firm specializing in maintaining and refurbishing Navy ships. —CBS Marketwatch

Suspects sent for torture

Prisoners suspected of connections to al-Qaeda are being sent to countries where torture is legal during questioning. Those sent to countries like Egypt and Jordan can be tortured and their families threatened in order to get information sought by the U.S. in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks last year.

According to reports, U.S. intelligence agents have been involved in some of the interrogations. A CIA spokesman declined comment. A U.S. diplomat confirmed these moves are frequent. “It allows us to get information from terrorists in a way we can’t do on U.S. soil,” he said. —Washington Post

Bomblets litter Afghanistan

U.N. estimates say the number of unexploded bomblets in Afghanistan, the result of U.S. cluster bombing, is at least 14,000. Tney are scattered across the country. The U.N. estimates that the U.S. dropped 1,152 cluster bombs. Each bomb releases more than 100 smaller bombs, and about 10 percent of these fail to explode, a U.N. spokeswoman said.

The bomblets are in bright yellow containers, much like the food packages the U.S. has been dropping. British government official Norman Lamb, in a letter to the UK Defense Secretary, said: “There must now be serious questions as to their continued use, especially in areas where there are known to be large numbers of civilians, as around the Afghan town of Heart.”—The Guardian

Mall surveillance boosted

The National Park Service has announced it will begin 24-hour-a-day surveillance of all major national monuments in Washington, D.C. by October. Closed-circuit television cameras will be installed at such locations as the Washington Monument, the Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt memorials and those for Franklin D. Roosevelt, Vietnam Veterans and the Korean War.

Rep. Constance Morella, R-Md., expressed surprise at the move. She asked how long the video would be kept and who would have access to it. Some civil libertarian groups voiced concerns that such monitoring might discourage protesters from gathering on the Mall to object to government policies.—Washington Post

Agent charges obstruction

Active FBI agent Robert Wright has filed a complaint, charging bureau higher-ups impeded and obstructed his efforts to investigate terrorist activity in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks. Wright filed his complaint with the Office of Inspector General of the Justice Department.

Wright says he has been the target of retaliation by the bureau when he continued to push for and pursue certain investigations. Wright believes if certain investigations had been carried out, the terrorists might have been foiled in their attacks, which claimed 3,000 lives in New York City alone.—Judicial Watch

Pedophile study urged

A leading researcher into the nature and treatment of sexual disorders is calling for more effort by medical authorities to investigate and treat these problems. Dr. Fred Berlin said he hopes pedophilia will one day be viewed like alcoholism, as a psychiatric illness and not only a moral failure.

Dr. Martin Kafka, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, said little is known about pedophilia and ephebophilia both in this country and in the world. Ephebophilia is sexual attraction to post-pubescent teens. Dr. Berlin said there has been little money for research into sexual aberrations because of the controversial nature of the subject.—The Hartford Courant

Nitrogen poses threat

Nitrogen is a basic building block of all plant and animal tissue. It is one of the most common elements in nature. In the past few decades, however, the use of chemical fertilizers, industrialization and population growth have doubled the amount of nitrogen in our environment.

This sudden explosion of nitrogen has not stopped. It signals growing environmental problems that some scientists say will reach the point of calamity. It is causing widespread damage to the oceans, grasslands and forests and is causing health problems for humans.—The Baltimore Sun

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