Friday, June 27, 2008


Public school officials moved close to appointing an independent investigator to probe allegations by students and parents that a small number of the staff at Fordson High School has engaged in hostile and discriminatory behavior toward Muslim students of Arab descent. Two weeks after hearing from the students at a public meeting of the city board of education, Trustee James Schoolmaster suggested the district hire Doug Baker, a former Wayne County prosecutor and a city resident, who recently has conducted investigations for state Attorney General Michael Cox's office. "We're concerned about the civil discord that obviously exists at one of the schools," said Schoolmaster, a lawyer. Members of the board considered meeting in closed session in either one week or two weeks to discuss the intent, limits and cost of the probe and to question Baker. But no decision was made last night amid concerns by board members over whether the meeting should be closed to the public. Nonetheless, some members appeared to be concerned that the board and the administration need to move quickly.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Water on Mars

(Reuters) - The Mars Phoenix Lander has found ice on the surface of the Red Planet, triumphant NASA scientists said on Thursday, a key discovery for the spacecraft as it searches for water and signs of life on Earth's closet planetary neighbor

The proof came in a series of pictures sent back by Phoenix of a trench it dug with its robotic arm at the arctic circle of Mars, showing dice-sized chunks of white material that are seen to melt away over the course of several days.
"It is with great pride and a lot of joy today that I announce we've found the proof we've been seeking that this really is water ice and not some other material," mission principal investigator Peter Smith, of the University of Arizona, said at a press conference.
The presence of water on Mars is crucial because it is a key to the question of whether life, even in the form of mere microbes, exists or has ever existed on Mars. On Earth, water is a necessary ingredient for life.
Scientists first discovered what they believed was a vast sheet of ice under the barren surface of the Martian north pole in 2002, when the Mars Odyssey Orbiter detected it through a hydrogen analysis while circling the planet.

Hate Crime In Ohio

The Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Cleveland) today called on law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive in the shooting of an Ohio Muslim who was critically wounded.
Media reports indicate that a Muslim business owner was shot in the abdomen while pumping gas after work in Cleveland. Just prior to the shooting, the man and his son were allegedly taunted by a group of men after they heard the father and son speak to each other in their native Uzbek language and heard the father utter an Islamic prayer in Arabic. The group of men reportedly imitated the languages in a mocking manner. The shooting was caught on a surveillance camera.
SEE: Video - Businessman Shot While Pumping Gas Caught on Tape (Fox 8)"The evidence in this disturbing case points to a possible bias motive that should be investigated thoroughly by local, state and national law enforcement authorities," said CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson. "Bias-motivated attacks should not be tolerated in Ohio or anywhere in America."
Other similar incidents have targeted Muslim individuals and institutions nationwide.
In April, CAIR sought hate crime charges against the alleged perpetrator of a March "Molotov cocktail" attack on a Kansas Muslim.