Fiery truck pileup closes tunnel
Deadly landslide hits illegal gold mine
Rockies in World Series
Police suit up for bioterror drill
Massacre victims exhumed
Turkey amasses 60,000 soldiers to patrol Iraq border
'Id al-Fitr prayers mark the end of Ramadan
[This article consists of a complex diagram map. Please see hardcopy of magazine.]
Abortion: Prohibition Is Not Prevention
Abortion is no less prevalent where the procedure is prohibited, according to a study from the Guttmacher Institute and World Health Organization. It's just more dangerous. "The [legal] status of abortion seems to predict not the number of abortions that occur but the safety," says author Dr. Gilda Sedgh. Half of the 42 million abortions worldwide are performed by unskilled individuals or in unhygienic conditions. Overall, abortion is down; Eastern Europe has the highest rate, with 105 abortions per 100 births.
Examining Gore's Truths
Just one day before Al Gore won his Nobel Prize, a British high court made an inconvenient ruling. Judge Michael Burton said An Inconvenient Truth could be shown in schools only if teachers added a disclaimer saying the film's facts are disputed. Burton found nine "significant errors," among them:
Gore warns that the sea level will rise 20 ft. when parts of West Antarctica or Greenland melt, but Burton calls this "distinctly alarmist" and says it will take thousands of years for this type of melting to transpire.
In the film, global warming bears much of the blame for Hurricane Katrina and the devastating destruction it caused. Burton's verdict? "It is common ground that there is insufficient evidence to show that," he writes.
These gentle giants now have to swim up to 60 miles to find ice banks, says Gore, and they are drowning because of the excessive distance. Burton argues that only four bears have drowned--and as a result of storms.
Gore's film presses the point that coral reefs are being bleached because of environmental change. But Burton maintains that the climate does not bear the burden alone. Overfishing and pollution are also to blame.
DEFINITION bok-ser ri-bel-yuhn n. Term used to describe a surprisingly fervent movement by lawmakers to prohibit young people from wearing baggy low-rise pants that droop below the hips and expose their briefs or boxers.
CONTEXT Bans are being considered in at least eight states, and several towns have already passed ordinances. In Delcambre, La., violators can receive a $500 fine or spend up to six months in jail.
USAGE The original Boxer Rebellion, a 1900 battle in China between natives and colonials, at least had a weighty casus belli. But do exposed boxers really lead to crime, as some U.S. critics claim? Experts say no.
Run, Er, Fly for the Border
¿MUY CONVENIENTE? Getting to the U.S. border got easier for Mexicans with the help of low-budget Mexican airlines dubbed "Aeromigrante" (Migrant Air) by some travelers.
CHEAP SEATS Airlines set some fares below $100 to fly from south and central Mexican cities to border towns like Tijuana.
OVERREACTION Some are calling it a conduit for illegal immigration, but with other destinations like Cancún and Acapulco, the airlines take Mexicans to play, not just work.
A New Textbook, Amen
TAX DOLLARS AT WORK Giving new meaning to the term Bible study, Alabama has become the first state to approve a state-funded textbook for nondevotional Bible instruction. The state school board recently included The Bible and Its Influence (a text some civil libertarians actually applaud for steering clear of church-state violation) on its approved list of texts. The book could be in Alabama schools starting August 2008.
WILL THIS SUCCEED ELSEWHERE? The Alabama legislature deadlocked on this issue last year, but the school board achieved the book's inclusion without legislative action and the attendant political grandstanding. A model?