Now the most absorbing two minutes in television, the latest footnotes to America's war on terrorism.
Controversy has now arisen about that vote we told you about last time in which Hampshire College in Massachusetts became the first U.S. college to condemn the war on terrorism. By a vote of 693 to 121 Hampshire students, faculty and staff adopted a resolution blaming the U.S. for interrupting humanitarian aid and calling the war in Afghanistan "symptomatic of the racism of American society." It turns out, however, that the students who wrote the resolution are also the ones who distributed it and the ones who counted the votes. And while there was debate on the resolution, it took place after the vote.
A University of New Mexico history professor has been reprimanded and stripped of responsibility for teaching freshmen as a result of comments he made after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. History professor Richard Berthold said, "anybody who can blow up the Pentagon has my vote." He has since called his comment "an incredibly stupid joke." And he called his reprimand "an entirely appropriate response to the stupidity and callousness of those remarks." As for not teaching the freshmen, Berthold said he would likely teach upperclassmen because they are "more seasoned; they're used to more adult behavior."
An influential Saudi Prince, Sultan Bin Turki, a nephew of King Fahd, is saying that Saudi Arabia has no need for democratic elections, which he said would not fit his country. Saudi Arabia is ruled by the royal family, but is advised by an appointed body called the Shura. The Prince said, "If the people were able to freely elect members of the Shura council, they would not successfully choose members with sufficient expertise or experience."
Finally, France's highest appeals court has ruled that children with Down syndrome have a legal right never to have been born and could therefore sue doctors who attended the birth. The case involved the mother of a Down syndrome child who complained that her doctors failed to warn her that prenatal scans showed symptoms of the disease and if they had told her, she would have had an abortion. A lower court held the doctors liable for 100 percent of the cost of specialized care for the child.