Thursday, April 10, 2008

Overnight - A roundup of news items that you might have missed

[Tip o' the Boss of the Plains to Pale Rider for his help with the roundup tonight.]

Hey, thanks for the heartfelt twittery: The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed CBS News executives and people close to Katie Couric, said on Wednesday she could leave her job as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" well before her contract expires in 2011. CBS and Couric both issued statements downplaying the Journal story while stopping short of an outright denial. The report comes as CBS continues to lag in third place in the network news ratings, behind NBC and ABC, 19 months after Couric's much ballyhooed debut as the first woman solo anchor of a major U.S. evening newscast — for a salary reportedly worth $15 million a year. Memo to CBS--Hire Keith Olbermann and let him do whatever he wants to do. --PR

This is probably the best essay I've read in a year: At first, I thought I was alone in the pool. It was a sparkling blue gem, implausibly planted in the skyscraper canyon of downtown Los Angeles, as if David Hockney, heading toward Beverly Hills, had taken the wrong exit on the I-10 freeway. This fine pool was the consolation and only charm of the Soviet-style complex where I had rented an apartment so that I could walk to work at the Los Angeles Times. It was early, not even 6 A.M. I had finished my laps and was enjoying the emptiness of the pool, the faint sounds of downtown gearing up for the day, and the drama of the looming office towers. As we learned on September 11th, they really can fall down on top of you. But they wouldn’t on that day. I felt healthy and smug... --PR

SuziRiot hands out some awards--check them out: I had intended to award the Rebel Grrrl honor at a leisurely pace, one at a time. (FranIAm was the first recipient.) But some of the bloggers I admire have been doing particularly excellent work recently, and I just can't hold in my need to let these women know how much I admire what they do on their blogs. Let me get one thing straight: this award is not exclusive to women. There are many male Rebel Grrrls and I'll be recognizing them, along with many more women, in the future. Let me make that clear: there are many, many more men and women whose blogs I am absolutely in love with and whom will be receiving this award in the future. But for now, I am bestowing the Rebel Grrrl award upon the following women bloggers, in no particular order... --PR

When the electoral fight turns literal This happened in Muncie, Indiana...A Republican voter registration deputy faces battery charges after he tackled a newspaper reporter and hit the Democratic 6th District congressional candidate after a contentious Delaware County Election Board meeting this afternoon. --PR

Bees attack police in Mexico About twenty Federales were attacked by Africanized bees on a shooting range and some of the officers required treatment at a hospital. Africanized bees are more aggressive than ordinary honeybees, and will attack a much greater radius outside their hive and for very minor slights. So you can imagine how these touchy creatures reacted when a bullet came whizzing through their living room... --BG

A Thousand Canceled Flights
Tens of thousands of travelers on American Airlines were stranded throughout the land and scrambling for seats on other carriers as the airline grounded the MD-80's in the fleet to inspect wire bundles that are installed in the wheel wells of the planes. --BG

British PM will boycott the opening ceremony in Beijing Gordon Brown announced Wednesday that he intends to skip the opening ceremony of the upcoming summer Olympics, but insists that it is a media-created controversy, he never intended to attend the opening, just the closing ceremonies. Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, isn't buying it. He accused Mr. Brown of ducking the issue and pointed that Merkel and Sarkozy have specified the opening ceremony when they have made their pronouncements. Western leaders are under pressure from their citizens and human rights groups to try to bring pressure to bear on China and highlight their miserable human rights record. I wonder if China is regretting going after the games yet? --BG

The answer to that question is probably "Yes" It's already a public relations disaster with Tibet boiling over, and the Uighurs causing problems, too. The police state has already lost control of the situation - there are reporters running around the country willy-nilly and reporting from formerly closed parts of the society and paying attention to dissidents. --BG

And then there are those troublesome monks They dealt the central government another public relations setback yesterday when they disrupted a government managed press event and media tour in western China. It was the second time in recent days that monks have upstaged government media events. --BG

But wait! There's more! The torch tour has become a farce
organizers and authorities in San Francisco abruptly changed the route the torch would follow, cutting the distance in half and leaving protesters and spectators alike standing along the planned coastal route, while the torch trundled down mostly empty roadways a mile inland. --BG