News bytes 2

– This story gets stranger by the day: “Lobbyist Jack Abramoff worked with Russian partners to establish a company that envisioned a high-risk plan to drill for oil in Israel, which he hoped would bring him riches and reshape the Middle East.”

– More on the self-censorship of a play about Rachel Corrie.

– Tony Blair is accused of ignoring grieving parents who have lost children in Iraq.

– Robert Fisk tells ABC TV viewers that the Western media is failing to unlock the details behind the civil strife in Iraq.

– On today’s 10th anniversary of the Howard government, the Prime Minister offers this gem: “We are more accountable than we have ever been in the past.” Some are more generous with today’s birthday.

– A lawyer representing some Guantanamo Bay prisoners offers a unique look into the “gulag.”

– The Australian Jewish News celebrates Howard’s birthday:

Howard’s Australia may not be perfect, but in these troubled times, especially in Europe where the “new antisemitism” appears to have become de rigeur among the chattering classes, Australia remains the “lucky country” for Jews.…