links for 2010-05-11

  • "Rubio added at the West Miami event: “Everyone is concerned with the prospect of the reasonable suspicion provisions where individuals could be pulled over because someone suspects they may not be legal in this country,'' he said. “I think over time people will grow uncomfortable with that.''
  • "In an extraordinary scene, barely noticed in America this week amid coverage of the enormous oil spill and the New York bomb plot, Mr Towler, a 52-year-old musician, walked free from a Cleveland court after spending more than half his life in prison for a crime of which he always maintained his innocence and which DNA analysis proved he did not commit.

    His case is not unique, but the way it ended was uniquely moving. It may serve to galvanise a national movement of lawyers and activists who have used DNA evidence to free more than 250 inmates since 1992, almost all of them black men, but who have so far lacked the resources to tackle thousands of other cases in which experts’ fear of “junk science” and racial bias have produced unsafe convictions."

  • "No One Knows About Persian Cats is the latest film from Kurdish-Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi. Like his previous work Half Moon, Persian Cats tells the story of “illegal” musicians in Iran, in this case young, underground rock musicians in Tehran as they fight to make their music and stay hidden from the police.

    Rock music is essentially illegal in Iran, with every group forced to acquire permits from the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry before they are able to perform or release recorded work; many are rejected, while those who receive permits often wait for long periods of time and must censor themselves to comply with the ministry's wishes. It is also illegal for women to sing in public or alone before an audience. Rap music is outlawed entirely."

  • "His job interview with the legendary Times editor A. M. Rosenthal went off without a hitch. But when Boyd was ushered into the office of Rosenthal’s deputy, Jimmy Greenfield, to discuss salary and other details, he was served up with an instant indignity: “I really enjoyed your clips—they’re so well written. Did you write them yourself, or did someone write them for you?” On the heels of this exposure to what he calls “the ugly underside of life at the Times,” Boyd (like other black reporters of this era, myself included) was assigned to the euphemistically named “urban affairs” beat.

    There would soon be other slights, including those that came in the form of compliments. “You’re our Jackie Robinson,” Boyd was repeatedly told by his superiors. When he was promoted to the Washington bureau, an editor asked him if he were “ready” to begin reporting.”