"Foreign Lobbying Database Up and Runningwe'll see. Sunlight Foundation is more circumspect: "FARA Puts Some Records Online"
Tracking the efforts of foreign countries and organizations to lobby the U.S. government became easier this week. The Justice Department launched a searchable online database of filings under the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) — including reports filed during the current month."
U.S., Russia Trade Barbs Over Missile Plan
The standoff over U.S. plans for a missile shield in Eastern Europe continues to intensify. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. policy was akin to “diktat” and “imperialism.”Russian President Vladimir Putin: "Some members of the international community have a desire to dictate their will to everyone on any issue, without coordinating their actions with common norms of international law."
Meanwhile Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice responded to Putin during a visit to Germany.Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "Democratic institutions and an open society are not a source of weakness. Nor is freedom of speech and freedom of the press a nuisance. They are pillars of modern society. When we differ with Russia, we will consult, we will address their views seriously and we will express our own views candidly. In that regard I have to tell you that I find Russia's recent missile diplomacy difficult to understand, and we regret Russia's reluctance to accept the partnership if missile defence that we have offered."
British Teachers, South African Trade Union Back Israel Boycott* Amy:
In Britain, the main union of British college teachers has endorsed a call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The measure calls Israeli academia “complicit” in Israel’s forty year occupation of Palestinian lands. The congress of the University and College Union represents more than 120,000 British teachers. The move comes as South Africa’s largest trade union federation is preparing its own campaign to call for a national boycott on Israeli products and an end to diplomatic ties with Israel. Willy Madisha, president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), said: “The best way to have Israel comply with United Nations resolutions is to pressure it by a diplomatic boycott such as the one imposed on apartheid South Africa.”
Dow Jones Considers Murdoch Bid for WSJ* Amy:
In media news, Dow Jones has announced its now open to talks on selling the Wall Street Journal. The news comes just one month after Dow’s controlling family, the Bancrofts, rejected a takeover bid from News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch. Dow now says its open to Murdoch’s offer.
Ex-Rove Aide Resigns as Arkansas U.S. Attorney
And finally, the former top aide to chief White House strategist Karl Rove has stepped down as U.S. attorney for Arkansas. Tom Griffin’s resignation came just hours after Congressmember John Conyers had asked for information about Griffin’s role in a scandal first reported by the journalist Greg Palast for both the BBC and Democracy Now. Palast obtained internal Republican emails showing Griffin had sent so-called voter “caging-lists” designed to challenge voters from casting ballots. The caging lists were skewed towards targeting people of color, predominantly African-Americans.