Links — April 29, 2009, 8:54 am

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For several years, rights activists have recognised that closing Guantánamo is only half the battle. The next question is: where will the 241 remaining detainees go? One option is to send them home. However, more than 40% of the detainees are Yemeni, and negotiations between the US and Yemen to repatriate those prisoners have reached a ‘complete impasse.’ Yemen is combating an extremist insurgency already, and it is not keen to accept dozens more men who have been described as ‘jihadist foot soldiers.’ Moreover, approximately 60 detainees from various nations have said that they fear torture or abuse if sent home. In short, repatriation is no panacea.”

Shin Lim Kim alleges the leader of a church service on Aug. 11, 2008 asked her to catch another congregant ‘who was going to be “blessed” or who would be “slain in the spirit.”’ The leader then laid hands on Hyun Joo Yoon, who ‘fell backwards and began flailing, falling on and injuring plaintiff.’ The church was negligent, the complaint says, in not providing multiple catchers; failing to discuss ‘safe catching strategy’ with congregants; selecting Kim– ‘a small and not particularly strong person’– as a catcher; and failing to instruct congregants on ‘the correct procedures to fall, so that they would not injure themselves and injure the person assisting and/or catching them.’”

Most centenarians attribute their great age to some magic elixir or other. The longevity of Dr Levi-Montalcini, the Italian scientist who last week became the first Nobel Prize-winner to reach the age of 100, might be the result of a potion that is a little out of the ordinary: Professor Levi-Montalcini puts her mental vigour down to regular doses of nerve growth factor (NGF)– the discovery that made her famous.” (via)

When she received the invitation to attend her 10-year [high school] reunion… she hired Amy Bernadette “Cricket” Russell, whom she met at a Los Angeles strip club, to impersonate her. Cricket showed up in a slinky dress, fishnet hose and spike heels. As the drinks flowed, Cricket’s clothes came off, and Wachner watched from a hotel room above the event, linked to her impersonator via wireless radio, TV cameras and a monitor. Wachner coached Cricket through the night, telling her the names of people she met and providing her with little secrets that only Wachner and her former classmates would know. (via)

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In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.

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