It’s a bird, it’s a … BOOM!

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Nothing like a good ol’ gratuitous explosion in the desert.

Does it sometimes seem like the Fox media empire derives a little too much pleasure from thumbing its cosmetically-altered nose at environmentalists? This month’s excessively destructive scheme was to blow up a jet airliner in the middle of the Mojave Desert and film it for the proposed Fox show “Jumbo Jet Crash: The Ultimate Safety Test,” according to the LOS ANGELES TIMES.

Federal Aviation Administration officials are wary but note there are no rules against blowing up an airplane flying over a desert. Nevertheless, “Our job is to keep planes aloft, not to bring them down,” an FAA spokeswoman said.

Echoing concerns earlier this year about Fox’s environmental destruction during the filming of DiCaprio vehicle The Beach in Thailand, environmentalists are more critical. They worry the explosions could bury tortoises alive in their burrows and kill rare, fragile plants. The regional director of the Wilderness Conservation Society said, “You can trash the environment and destroy a perfectly good airplane? What a statement.”

The network has said it will postpone the stunt until the spring, but denied it was because of pressure from activists. “We wanted to do it for November, but we have a lot of holiday programming that has to air during that time,” said a spokeswoman.

http://www.bergen.com/…

KS

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Violence against Pakistani women worsens

Oct. 19

As many as 90 percent of Pakistani women are affected by domestic violence — and that’s practically the good news. A report released by the US-based Human Rights Watch on Tuesday blasted Pakistan and its legal system, describing a virtual epidemic of violence against women. Among the report’s bleak discoveries is a rise in so-called honor killings, in which men kill women they believe have behaved immorally. But perhaps even worse is that authorities seem unwilling to help the victims. Women have traditionally held a low status in Pakistan, and domestic violence is typically treated as a private issue rather than a matter for the courts.

While it makes no comment on Pakistan’s new military regime, the report condemns the ousted government of Nawaz Sharif for having eroded women’s rights almost entirely.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_478000/478900.stm

JG

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Now, where did I put that M-16?

Oct. 18

How does the Pentagon lose $2.7 billion in excess military weapons and equipment? According to a recent report the General Accounting Office (GAO), the Department of Defense’s record keeping system for sales or disposal of excess defense articles is so bad, we may never know. As reported in the Federation of American Scientists’ ARMS SALES MONITOR, the GAO says theft cannot be ruled out as a cause for the missing cache.

http://www.gao.gov/monthly.list/july99/jul9914.htm

BSB

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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