George Mason in the News

Posted: January 19, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national and international news coverage George Mason recently received.

Wednesday, Jan. 10, Associated Press Newswires

Families of 1998 Bombing Victims Relieved by Death of Suspect

“Families of victims of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania were relieved Wednesday to hear reports that a key suspect in the explosions may have been killed in an airstrike in Somalia. ‘I wonder if he suffered the same horrific end as my wife did,’ said Howard Kavaler of McLean, Va., whose wife, Prabhi, died in the Nairobi, Kenya, blast. She had worked for the General Services Office. But Susan F. Hirsch, who was injured and lost her Kenyan husband, Abdurahman ‘Jamal’ Abdalla, in the Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, bombing, said the news worried her. ‘I have some concerns that the U.S. government is going back to using the tactic of assassination of those we think are responsible for terrible crimes,’ Hirsch said. ‘I think it robs all of us of a real chance for justice.’ Hirsch, an associate professor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, has written a book about the aftermath of the bombing. ‘It was a frightening and horrible attack that sometimes gets viewed as a precursor or warning sign for 9/11,’ she said. ‘For many of us, we continue to live with the horror of that day. And I want to see people responsible brought to justice, and I want to understand what they did.’”

Sunday, Jan. 14, New York Times

Can Johnny Come Out and (Be Taught to) Play?

“City officials unveiled plans last week for a new kind of playground, outfitted with ponds, pulleys and bulky foam blocks intended to engage the imagination, and ‘play workers’ to help guide fantasy play. ‘My first impression is that this is more evidence that we don’t trust kids to play by themselves,’ said Peter Stearns, provost of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and author of ‘Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Childrearing in America.’ ‘And I think it’s fair to ask: Is this really for parents, to make them feel their kids are being properly guided while playing?’ As one 11-year-old boy, living in Worcester, Mass., in the early 1900s said of supervised playgrounds: ‘It gets on my nerves with so many men and women around telling you what to do.’ He was quoted in ‘Eight Hours for What We Will,’ a study of workers’ leisure by Roy Rosenzweig, a professor of history and new media at George Mason University.”

Wednesday, January 17, Edmonton Journal (Canada)

Obama Looms as the Alternative to Hillary

“It’s a rare day in American politics when a political heavyweight like Sen. Hillary Clinton can get pushed out of the national spotlight. But that’s just what Sen. Barack Obama accomplished Tuesday with an earnest three-minute video posted on his personal web site. The 45-year-old Illinois Democrat, who hopes to become the United States’ first African American president, embarked on his 2008 White House campaign with the creation of an exploratory committee to gauge the depth of his support. ‘He is clearly the Hillary alternative for Democrats at this point,’ said Mark Rozell, a political scientist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. ‘There is no other candidate on the Democratic side who has emerged with such fanfare, such high expectations to possibly challenge Hillary Clinton for the front-runner status.’”

Thursday, Jan. 18, USA Today

Obama Thrills Blacks Who See Shot at History

“The first black presidential candidate with a real shot at the White House is generating excitement and early support among blacks who see a chance to help make history. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is all but certain to compete for the Democratic nomination and win a large share of black votes. Obama is by no means the first black candidate for president. Other contenders have included Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Roger Wilkins, a race and politics expert at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., calls him the first ‘truly serious’ prospect. ‘This guy is not a civil rights leader who comes to politics or a preacher who comes to politics,’ Wilkins says. ‘He is a bona fide lawyer-politician. I’ve heard black people say ‘I’m going to help this guy’ – you don’t want to be standing around when the first guy who has a real chance to be president is running.’”

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