If only this piece of news---NASA Launches First Mission to Pluto---and this piece---CIA Confirms It's Bin Laden on Audiotape---were combined into a single new headline:
CIA Confirms Launch of Bin Laden on Mission to Pluto
"accept assignments in dangerous posts, gain expertise in at least two regions and are fluent in two foreign languages, citing Chinese, Urdu and Arabic as a few preferred examples,"Is targeting the real problem that they cannot get experienced officers to bid on service in these regions. Leaving aside the reality that most career foreign services folks have, by the time they get to a place where they can bid for promotion into the senior service, two and usually three or four foreing languages under their belts, there are other problems with this. The risk of pushing many qualified officers into early retirement, rather than serve a 2-year post in Baghdad, or Kabul, or Yemen, is (or should be) a real concern. We run the risk of entering the new century with a diplomatic corp made up of the inexperienced and the politically appointed, to the exclusion of all else. And as for the language examples given, it's pretty obvious that Secretary Rice is engaging in a bit of euphemism: 'Urdu' means "Kabul." 'Arabic' means Baghdad (or maybe Sana'a).
"An alumni group is offering students up to $100 per class to supply tapes and notes exposing University of California, Los Angeles professors who allegedly express extreme left-wing political views.I'm fairly disgusted. Read it all here: "Radical" UCLA professors targeted by alumni group.
The year-old Bruin Alumni Association on its Web site says it is concerned about professors who use lecture time to press positions against President Bush, the military and multinational corporations, among other things.
The site includes a list of what the group calls the college's 30 most radical professors.
'We're just trying to get people back on a professional level of things,' said the group's president and founder, Andrew Jones, a 2003 UCLA graduate and former chairman of the student Bruin Republicans."