This Week in the News…

Posted: November 8, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Friday, Nov. 1, United Press International

New Voting Law Just a Start, Experts Say

“A new federal law aimed at reforming the nation’s election procedures to eliminate miscounts and fraud is likely to have a minimal impact on the quality of the voting process, according to a series of reports from an influential think tank. Election experts on all sides of the issue agree with the reports’ conclusions. ‘This act covers only a small portion of the larger problems of election administration and voting,’ Jon B. Gould, assistant director of the administration of justice program at George Mason University Law School, told United Press International.”

Friday, Nov. 1, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Microsoft Antitrust Ruling Set for Today

“Under federal antitrust rules, Kollar-Kotelly lacks authority to change the terms of the proposed settlement, said law professor Ernest Gellhorn at George Mason University. She can only approve the deal or reject it as written, or offer suggestions to lawyers to change the proposal in ways that would win her ultimate approval, Gellhorn said. Although the case has dragged on for four years, it is still important to the nation and the software business, Gellhorn said. ‘Here’s one of the largest, most progressive and active companies in the world, and this ruling is going to have an effect on its activity, and on other companies driving the American economy,’ he said.”

Saturday, Nov. 2, National Journal

Syria and Iran: Sitting It Out

“Iran’s options, however, are limited, and the government has adopted a formal policy of active neutrality. ‘I think they’ve decided there’s really nothing they can do about it,’ says Shaul Bakhash, an Iranian specialist at George Mason University.”

Monday, Nov. 4, Bio-Terrorism.Info

Experts: Iraq May Have Deadly Germ

“Iraq also admitted to U.N. inspectors that its biological weapons scientists worked with camelpox, a close relative of the smallpox virus that doesn’t usually infect people. Working with camelpox would give Iraq a way to perfect techniques for making smallpox weapons without endangering the researchers. ‘The only explanation is they used it to see how to grow smallpox, how to concentrate it, how to deploy it. It’s a perfectly good and safe model for this,’ said Dr. Ken Alibek, now director of the George Mason University Center for Biodefense in Manassas, Virginia. ‘It’s hard to believe Saddam would do this work to protect his camels.'”

Tuesday, Nov. 5, Associated Press

Supreme Court Debates California’s ‘Three-Strikes’ Law

Michael O’Neill, a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which sets federal sentencing policy, said the two cases are sympathetic. ‘The facts of these cases are easy from public policy standpoint. A father stealing videos for his kids? You don’t get better than that,’ said O’Neill, who also teaches law at George Mason University. ‘It’s like stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family.'”

Wednesday, Nov. 6, Investor’s Business Daily

Al-Qaida Shows Skills In Keeping Secrets

“Some code experts say al-Qaida is relying on a technique called steganography. Steganography, which means ‘hidden writing’ in Greek, involves concealing secret messages in Internet messages or TV and radio broadcasts. ‘The technology’s out there,’ said Sushil Jajodia, director of the Center for Secure Information Systems at George Mason University. ‘It’s possible al-Qaida’s using it because it provides additional secrecy beyond encryption.'”

Thursday, Nov. 7,

Scared? Stressed? Forget About It

“Researchers think they may be able to help people with phobias and posttraumatic stress disorder by stimulating a part of the brain that throws cold water on the body’s panic response‚Ķ.The proposed brain stimulation may be too broad to work effectively in humans, said James L. Olds, a neuroscientist and director of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University. It would turn on thousands or millions of nerve cells in an important part of the brain for higher mental skills, he said. But the findings are still ‘remarkable’ and provide much insight into how the brain works, he said.”

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