Respecting terrorists’ rights. Lawyers for the British government lost their bid to have a radical Muslim cleric deported to Jordan, where he faces terrorism charges. A British court ruled Abu Qatada’s human rights would be violated if he were sent back to the Middle East. Qatada is described as a senior operative of al-Qaeda and as “a truly dangerous person,” according to The New York Times. Jordanian courts have already convicted Qatada in absentia for two bombing plots in 1999 and 2000.
What reward? Three victims of Los Angeles cop killer Christopher Dorner have lodged claims to the $1 million reward offered to anyone assisting with his capture or conviction. But it’s not clear whether any of them will get a payout. Both Jim and Karen Reynolds, whom Dorner tied up in their cabin, and Rick Heltebrake, whom he later car jacked, claim their 911 calls led police to the cabin where Dorner eventually shot himself before he could be apprehended. But the groups who pledged money for the reward don’t think they should have to pay up. After all, Dorner was neither captured nor convicted. The Reynoldses have hired a lawyer.
Condom controversy. Boston College, a Catholic university, is cracking down on a network of students who distribute condoms from their dorm room in an effort to promote safe sex. School administrators chastised the students, reminding them that the school upholds Catholic values, including chastity and the sanctity of life. The American Civil Liberties Union has jumped into the fray, but as a private school, Boston College has wide latitude to enforce its own values. Students have been told to stop handing out condoms or face disciplinary action.
Madam director. President Barack Obama has appointed the first woman to head the Secret Service. Julia Pierson previously served as assistant director of the agency, where she has worked for the last 30 years. Supporters say having a woman at the top should help discourage the embarrassing bad boy behavior on display last year in Colombia, where agents were caught with prostitutes in their hotel rooms. One can only hope.
A disappearing act. For everyone who has longed for a cloak of invisibility like the one used by Harry Potter throughout his adventures, scientists today offer hope. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have created a tiny cloak that can shield objects from microwave light. Right now it’s not much good for more than protecting your lunch from getting overheated, but the scientists say they’re just a few steps away from creating a cloak that can shield objects from human sight. But before you put one on your Christmas list, you should definitely read The Invisible Man.