Short Takes: News From All Over: May 6, 2004

Slovenia, Poster Child for the New Europe
By Seth Stevenson, Slate
It’s easy to bask in the glory of ten new countries joining the grand European Union this month, thereby tearing down the symbolic walls that marred the latter half of the 20th century. But a look below the surface reveals problem children that are ‘xenophobic, protectionist, and on the verge of economic decline.’ Yep, that’s Slovenia, the poster child for the new Europe. — Jacob Wheeler

Return of the Original Invaders
By Chris Kohler, Wired News
In 1978 Space Invaders captured the attention of millions of spellbound video gamers, who saved their skins by shooting upward at never-ending drones of digital aliens. Just when you thought the world was safe, they’re back, this time as Space Raiders — to mark the Japanese video game company Taito’s silver anniversary. In Space Raiders you can choose between three gun-toting characters: ‘teenage street punk Justin, beautiful TV reporter Ashley or vengeful cop Naji’ to save the world — Jacob Wheeler,2101,63283,00.html

Private Contractors in Iraqi Prison Scandal
By Christopher Allbritton, Back To Iraq
Ever wonder who broke the story about American soldiers abusing and torturing Iraqi prisoners? A former reporter for the Associated Press and New York Daily News, Christopher Allbritton funded his trip to Iraq out of his own pocket and with donations. The latest from his weblog Back to Iraq: ‘Private contractors were supervising interrogations in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison … One civilian contractor was accused of raping a young male prisoner but has not been charged because military law has no jurisdiction over him.’ — Jacob Wheeler

Tiger Tussle
By Jake Berstein, The Texas Observer
ExxonMobil’s walls were high, their moats deep, and their armed guards intimidating. But Greenpeace activists used a Trojan Horse of their own when ten brave souls — eight dressed in business suits and two dressed as cartoon tigers (the kind ExxonMobil has fought in court to claim as a trademark) — infiltrated the $213 billion company’s headquarters in suburban Dallas on the day before the annual shareholder meeting last May. — Jacob Wheeler

Kill A Watt
By Staff,
OK, so you know you’re using too much energy at home, and it makes the environmentalist in you feel awful guilty. But, as puts it, ‘If you’re going to live in a more sustainable way, you have to be able to figure out what you’re doing that is unsustainable in order to change it.’ That’s where the ‘Kill A Watt’ meter comes in. Plug the appliance you’re checking into the Kill A Watt and the system will show you how much power you’re using. — Jacob Wheeler

Mutiny in Iraq
By Naomi Klein, The Nation
Not just in progressive media, but on the front lines of what Naomi Klein calls the Iraqi ‘free-fall’ (as opposed to a mere quagmire), people are wondering what the fighting is all about. Spain and a host of other countries have pulled out troops; US-controlled Iraqi soldiers are donating their weapons to the insurgents; and brave Americans like Camilo Mejia refuse to return to Iraq. — Jacob Wheeler

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