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Hiring rights

"Hiring rights" Continued...

Issue: "Steve Jobs 1955-2011," Oct. 22, 2011

Prior to the show's launch, PTC had called on the network to cancel the drama while urging advertisers to reconsider their support for it. "Bringing The Playboy Club to broadcast television was a poor programming decision from the start," said PTC president Tim Winter. "We're pleased that NBC will no longer be airing a program so inherently linked to a pornographic brand that denigrates and sexualizes women."

Precision policy

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. embassy in Kabul issued an alert to U.S. citizens working in the country, following the U.S. attack in Yemen that killed al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. His death-plus the capture in Afghanistan of a commander of the al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked Haqqani clan-had U.S. forces braced for reprisal attacks on American targets.

NATO forces announced that they had captured Haji Mali Khan in a joint raid with Afghan forces just a day after al-Awlaki's death in Yemen at the hands of a CIA-directed drone. On Oct. 4, days after Khan's capture, U.S. forces killed a principal deputy to Khan known by one name, Dilawar, in a precision air strike near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan. Targeted killings have been increasingly used by the Obama administration, especially since the May raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

U.S. officials blame the Haqqani network, based in Pakistan, for recent attacks in Afghanistan, including last month's 20-hour siege at the U.S. embassy in Kabul. Last week the outgoing chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, accused Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI, of supporting the Haqqani network in carrying out the attacks, the most serious allegation yet of Pakistani duplicity in the 10-year war. Commanders in Afghanistan called the capture "a significant milestone in the disruption of the Haqqani Network."

The death of Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and had dual citizenship with the United States and Yemen, dealt a blow to al-Qaeda plans to rely on homegrown U.S. terrorists. Along with Awlaki, the drone attack also killed terrorist Samir Khan-who was born in Saudi Arabia but grew up in New York and North Carolina and held U.S. citizenship. Having conspired over multiple acts of terrorism, Awlaki and Khan "gave up the benefits of American citizenship by taking up arms against their country," points out analyst Max Boot.

Courageous fighter

Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a Baptist pastor and civil rights leader who survived bombings and beatings in Birmingham, Ala., died Oct. 5 at the age of 89. Shuttlesworth helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and joined Martin Luther King Jr. in advocating nonviolence in the civil rights movement. His children were arrested, a bomb exploded under his bedroom, and he was hospitalized after falling under the fire hoses of the infamous Eugene "Bull" Connor. Connor said after the incident, "I wish they'd carried him away in a hearse." King described Shuttlesworth as "the most courageous civil rights fighter in the South."

Following the money

Democrats are complaining about Republicans in the House of Representatives investigating the activities of abortion leader Planned Parenthood, which annually receives about $350 million in government grants-but when Democrats had a majority of House seats and could schedule investigations, they went after pro-life centers that live by volunteer labor rather than federal funding.

Last month Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations, sent Planned Parenthood Federation of America a six-page letter requesting more than a decade of documents. He is attempting to determine whether the group is illegally using federal funds to pay for abortions. Stearns' committee will also investigate other alleged abuses, including failure to report cases of statutory rape and sex trafficking.

Two senior Democrats, Reps. Henry Waxman of California and Diana DeGette of Colorado, responded to Stearns by arguing that the investigation singles out Planned Parenthood as "part of a Republican vendetta." Waxman in 2006 led an investigation of pro-life pregnancy care centers and claimed the centers provide "false and misleading information." Pro-life groups debunked Waxman's report.

Life on the line

As Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani waited to learn whether he would face execution for refusing to recant his Christian faith, his attorney reported a troubling new development: Iran's state-run news agency began leveling new charges against Nadarkhani, accusing the pastor of being a Zionist and a threat to national security.

Attorney Mohammed Ali Dadkhah said the post-trial claims were the first time he heard such accusations against his client. Religious freedom groups worried that the Iranian government created the new charges to justify a death sentence, even as international pressure mounted for the pastor's release.

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