Politeía Digest

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Daily News – May 3rd.

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Romanian Socialists might notify Constitutional Court over lustration law

Opposition Social-Democrat Party (PSD) is discontent with lustration law provisions, deeming them tardy and going against European Convention for Human Rights norms. The law, coming over 20 years after the fall of communism, got one step closer to final approval on Tuesday when the Chamber of Deputies’ legal committee gave its nod. The law must now head to plenary session in the chamber, as it was already passed by Senate in 2006. Ex President Ion Iliescu says law banning former communist activists from public office is nonsense, has ‘Stalinist connotations.’

Times Square Bomb

The car bomb discovered in Times Square would probably have killed or maimed many people, police officials and federal investigators said Sunday as they began assembling evidence collected from the homemade device, video surveillance footage and the vehicle itself to determine who attempted the attack on a warm spring evening in the heart of New York City.

Investigators acknowledged that much about the bombing attempt, the most serious in the United States since the Christmas Day incident aboard a commercial flight bound for Detroit, remains a mystery. That includes whether an organized group or a determined individual was responsible and whether an intelligence review will turn up clues that pointed to a possible attack.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at an afternoon news conference that the bomb found in a Nissan Pathfinder on Saturday night was “a sober reminder that New York is a target for people who want to come here and do us harm.” He said the device would have sent up a fireball from the center of a popular tourist landmark known to have symbolic importance for militant groups at war with the United States.

In a statement, police said the other components still were “certainly capable of producing human casualties and broken windows but not enough to take down a structure,” according to NYPD bomb squad experts.

The Taliban in Pakistan claimed responsibility in a video posted on YouTube. Kelly and federal investigators said no evidence had surfaced linking the group to the bomb.

On Sunay night, a second video was posted by apparent representatives of the Pakistan Taliban, this one showing its commander, Hakimullah Mehsud, promising to launch attacks in the United States, according to Evan F. Kohlmann a terrorism consultant at Flashpoint Partners.

Mehsud, who U.S. and Pakistan authorities initially believed was killed in January drone strike, was recorded saying, “The time is very near when our fedayeen will attack the American states in their major cities.” He adds: “Our fedayeen have penetrated the terrorist America, we will give extremely painful blows to the fanatic America . . . in some days or a month’s time.” More in Washington Post.

British Conservative Raids Turfs of Opponents

NEWQUAY, England — If Britain is to avoid protracted political uncertainty after Thursday’s general election, much may depend on the impact made by David Cameron, the Conservative leader, with a series of lightning raids in the campaign’s last days into the political backyards of his Labour and Liberal Democrat rivals.

One such foray carried him on Sunday into Newquay, a pastel-tinted surfing town on the north coast of Cornwall. A day’s drive west of London, Newquay is far from the heartlands of British politics, and marks that distance with a political free-spiritedness — and decades of support for the Liberal Democrats — that blend with a tropics-like display of palm trees and bamboo stands in its carefully nurtured gardens.

In an election that Britain’s political commentators have called the closest in decades, one thing that seems certain, if opinion polls are any guide, is that only one party leader, Mr. Cameron, has any chance — and in his case, only a slim one — of securing a majority of seats in the House of Commons. That is a requirement for any party to make an unchallengeable claim to power.

Such was the calculus that brought Mr. Cameron to this bastion of the Liberal Democrats, the third party that has upset all election predictions with the surging popularity of its leader, Nick Clegg. Win here, Mr. Cameron seemed to be saying with a speech to Conservative supporters on a chilly, wind-whipped escarpment, and we can still secure the wafer-thin majority many commentators think may be the only way Britain can avoid another general election in the fall.  More on New York Times.

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Written by Theophyle

May 3, 2010 at 8:54 am

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