Mason in the News

Posted: July 13, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason recently received.

Friday, July 6, USA Today

Some Say FAA Move Could Hide Midair Collision Risk

“Federal aviation regulators have changed the way they track mistakes that bring planes too close together, a move that some safety experts say could hide risks of midair collisions. Federal Aviation Administration officials say their new system will enhance safety and simplify a cumbersome process for classifying midair incidents. Instead of using a complex formula, the FAA’s new system ranks the severity of such incidents solely on how close planes get. George Donohue, a former FAA official who now teaches at George Mason University in Virginia, says the multiple factors considered in the old system were necessary to understand how controllers made mistakes. ‘It seems to me that they are going in the wrong direction,’ he says.”

Friday, July 6,

Changing Mail Threatens Memories

“Little stacks of romantic letters, tied with ribbon and saved lovingly for years, once consoled the aged and let children and grandchildren look into the lives and thoughts of their ancestors. But letters, thoughtful tokens of concern, love and connectedness are on the wane. So, what of the information preserved in those lovingly kept letters? ‘The disappearance of letters as a source for historians is a huge loss; letters have traditionally been vital to some kinds of historical work, especially political and intellectual history,’ says Roy Rosenzweig of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. To some extent they have been replaced by recordings and e-mail, he added. ‘Historians and archivists need to figure out how to preserve e-mail’ and how to sort through the massive collections of e-mail, if they do wind up getting saved.”

Monday, July 9,

What Is Executive Privilege?

“As the battle between the White House and Congress intensifies over the firings of federal prosecutors, President Bush has now employed a new weapon. On Monday, he invoked executive privilege in refusing to allow two former aides to testify. Mark Rozell, an expert on executive privilege at George Mason University, says the privilege is most potent for the most senior aides. ‘There is a stronger presumption in favor of executive privilege in those cases of White House advisers who are very close to the president, part of the inner circle, whose advice is really crucial for the day-to-day operations of the White House,’ Rozell says.”

Monday, July 9, USA Today

Lawmakers to Work on Shutting Down Guantanamo Facility

“Members of Congress plan to push measures to stop funding for the Guantanamo Bay detention center and grant new legal rights to detainees when Congress returns this week. Though the Bush administration backs closing Guantanamo under certain conditions, some congressional Republicans do not. Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, a candidate for president and the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, has called closing Guantanamo ‘misguided’ and ‘dangerous.’ Allowing Guantanamo prisoners to challenge their detentions in court would give them more rights than prisoners of war who ‘play by the rules,’ said Jeremy Rabkin, an international law professor at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. He said it would help many ‘potentially dangerous’ terrorists win their release in American courts ‘not designed to try unlawful combatants.’”

Wednesday, July 11, New York Times

An Ebbing of Coverage with ’08 on the Horizon

“Back when he was riding high in the polls, when his every utterance made headlines and the press planes trailing him around the country were still full, President Bush had little need to indulge reporters with ceremonial pleasantries. But that is what Mr. Bush intends to do Wednesday, when he cuts the ribbon for the renovated White House briefing room. It is the latest sign of how times have changed for a president who now must work to hold the attention of a press corps that often seems to have lost interest in him. Robert Lichter, director of the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, analyzed network news broadcasts and found Mr. Bush was featured just 82 times in March and April, down from 151 times during the same period in 2006. Mr. Lichter said he was reminded of President Bill Clinton who, after Republicans took control of Congress in 1995, declared, ‘The president is relevant here.’”

Wednesday, July 11, Washington Post

Pan Am’s Hub Is George Mason

“Charnette Fair has played professional volleyball in Spain, Finland and Turkey, but she never had seen anything like the mini-warehouse of apparel she strolled through yesterday in the student union at George Mason University. The cornucopia of goods laid out in front of her was overwhelming — hats, visors, shirts, shorts, shoes, sandals, pants, jackets, backpacks, duffel bags, all tucked away in stacked-up cardboard boxes, all waiting to be handed out to Fair and the 121 other Team USA members. So it went during team processing for the Pan American Games, which begin Friday in Rio de Janeiro and run through July 29. Since last Thursday, the U.S. team has been stationed at George Mason, the final pit stop for more than 600 athletes and coaches who are converging from 49 states. For two years, USOC representatives scouted out a place to house the team processing center. Nancy Gonsalves, director of international games preparation, said the USOC needed a location out of which its official airline flew directly to Rio de Janeiro. Chicago was the only other option, but Northern Virginia won out because of its proximity to the Brazilian embassy, which would prove useful if visa questions arose.”

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