Out of Africa

WASHINGTON--On Oct. 25, nine French citizens, seven Spaniards and a Belgian were arrested after the French charity Zoe's Arc tried to airlift 103 children out of eastern Chad, near the border with Sudan, claiming they were orphans from Darfur. The children were going to be delivered to host families in France. Eleven of the detainees have since been freed, in part thanks to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but the rest face kidnapping charges in Chad.

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Stuck in the Middle

WASHINGTON--Democrats in Congress are discovering what it's like to live in the worst of all possible worlds. They are condemned for selling out to President Bush, and for failing to make compromises aimed at getting things done.Democrats complain that this is unfair and, in some sense, it is. But who said that politics was fair?Over the short run, Democratic congressional leaders can count on little support from their party's presidential candidates, particularly Barack Obama and John Edwards.

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New Life: [Stephanie Simon, Los Angeles Times]: "The political arm of the National Right to Life Committee is scheduled to endorse Thompson this morning."   Still Strong: [Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post]: "Aides to former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani worked yesterday to bat down the perception that his bid for the Republican presidential nomination had suffered after Friday's indictment of Bernard B. Kerik, his longtime ally and former business partner."   Overtime: [Christne Hauser, The New York Times]: "Mr.

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Pak It In

Last Monday, two days after Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan, I drove around Islamabad in search of Musharraf supporters. As police beat and arrested the president's political opponents, the country's elite was becoming increasingly restive, and even people on the street sounded annoyed. Shopkeepers complained about slow business,the government had shut down more than ten private TV channels, and cell service was spotty. Then I arrived at the Christian slum near my house, where I met a 28-year-old man named Javed.

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“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” shouts one of the leaders of a revolt of the rabble in Shakespeare. That must sound good to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Pakistan’s president, General Pervez Musharraf, just about now. <?xml:namespace prefix = o />In Pakistan, the lawyers are the revolt. Even as the country’s political parties initially dithered, its bar took to the streets, protesting emergency rule by the country’s polished yet thuggish president.

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Creative Destruction

The best case against universal health care.

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Apologies if someone has already asked this, but do we think it annoys Team Thompson that good ol' Fred isn't included in the eight headshots of political big dogs that regularly appear at the top of ABC's The Note? (Specifically, it's Must Reads.) POTUS contenders Obama, McCain, Hillary, Romney, Rudy, and Edwards are all there, along with Speaker Pelosi and our lame-duck president. But no Fred.  I suppose the Thompson campaign could claim to be pleased about this, citing it as proof that they're not part of the political establishment.

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The Hardest Part

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN The swarms of riot police who spent the day blocking the tree-lined street in front of Benazir Bhutto's house looked ready to battle an entire army of anti-government rioters. Standing stiff and covered with ribbed hard-plastic shells over their arms and legs, they also looked like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Looming around them were concrete barriers, numerous coils of razor wire, and an armored-personnel carrier parked in such a way to trap Bhutto in her house. School-bus-sized paddy-wagons, large enough to hold hundreds of people, waited nearby.

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Pak It In

Last Monday, two days after Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan, I drove around Islamabad in search of Musharraf supporters. As police beat and arrested the president's political opponents, the country's elite was becoming increasingly restive, and even people on the street sounded annoyed. Shopkeepers complained about slow business,the government had shut down more than ten private TV channels, and cell service was spotty. Then I arrived at the Christian slum near my house, where I met a 28-year-old man named Javed.

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The Mark of Kaine

WASHINGTON -- The Democratic surge that began in 2006 continued in elections around the country on Tuesday. But how the Democrats won provides a cautionary tale for the national party.     What you might call solutionism, not ideology, explained the Democratic victories. And an electorate in a decidedly bad temper did not always exempt Democrats from its ire.Republicans are still reeling from their party's ideological obsessions and the unpopularity of President Bush. That was most obvious in Virginia, a state once considered a GOP fortress.

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