WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Capital Comment -- News notes, political rumors, and important events that shape politics and public policy in Washington and the world from United Press International.
Wing spreading -- Robert H. Bork, Jr., a pioneer in the field of litigation public relations, is stepping out on his own with the formulation of Bork Communication Group, LLC. Prior to forming BCG, Bork, the namesake scion of the former U.S. Supreme Court nominee, had been CEO of Bork & Associates, a litigation communication firm that operated as part of the communications giant Weber Shandwick Worldwide. Bork's new firm will work with companies facing problems communicating with key audiences about issues involving litigation or the threat of lawsuits.
Where's Urlaeva? -- Human Rights Watch, an international monitoring group, is demanding that the Uzbek government explain the continued detention of a human rights activist Elena Urlaeva, a member of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan. She was arrested on Nov. 6 in the waiting room of the office of the human rights ombudsman in Tashkent while trying to deliver a complaint. According to the group, "the police cleared the room and arrested Urlaeva after finding an envelope with white powder. Urlaeva later stated that the powder was baking soda that she uses for gargling when she has a sore throat." The group says that Uzbek police will not provide information about the charges that she may be facing or the reason for her detention.
Moving ahead with Muslims -- The American Muslim Council has issued yet another statement in strong support of the way in which President Bush has managed the war on terrorism, but it is also advising caution if military action continues during the holy month of Ramadan. According to the AMC, "Continuing the military campaign is going to create tremendous pressures on Muslims worldwide, and in particular, on the weak, fragile International coalition despite the fact that there were occasions of fighting during the month of Ramadan in Muslim history." The AMC suggests several steps to alleviate those pressures, including a deliberate effort to "avoid civilian casualties and (the) destruction of homes, mosques and relief organization's sites" and allowing Muslim groups to take the lead on Afghan relief efforts.
Mapmaker, mapmaker, make me a map -- Republicans are squealing about a proposed congressional remap of North Carolina that would threaten GOP incumbents Charlie Taylor and Robin Hayes, who called the situation "ugly." The Tarheel state had numerous problems in the '90s with their congressional and legislative district lines, some of which were redrawn under court order more than once.
Not again -- Kansas Attorney Phill Kline, who lost a close congressional race to Democrat Dennis Moore in the state's 3rd congressional district, has decided against a rematch and will run for state attorney general instead. This is a big boost to Moore, who is sweating out the redistricting process while the Republicans who control it try to figure out a way to draw the two-term Democrat out of his seat.
Not a free lunch -- Friday at the Capitol Hill Club, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen will speak on "Terrorism, Intelligence, and National Defense -- Then and Now" with a Q&A afterward. The speech is part of the Republican Main Street Partnership's new Speakers Bureau 2002 series.
But how do you say it in French? -- The Center for Freedom and Prosperity is blasting away at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development for its continued efforts to develop some type of regime to end tax competition between nation-states. "The OECD's anti-tax competition scheme is becoming an international joke. Once again, the Paris-based bureaucrats have been forced to delay their alleged deadline. Moreover, the OECD has been forced to scale back its demands. It also is good to see that the OECD has relented to Bush Administration pressure and moderated its strident tone. Nonetheless, the OECD's tax harmonization initiative is still inconsistent with sound tax policy." The Center objects to OECD efforts to force so-called tax havens to raise taxes to levels equivalent to those in high-tax countries.
Cash watch -- While Democrat State Rep. Mike Hathorn is in an uphill fight to win the congressional seat vacated by Republican Asa Hutchinson, he is no doubt pleased to learn he raised more money than his GOP opponent last month and had three times more cash on hand as of the Oct. 31 finance reports.
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