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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, March 23, 2012 at 12:44 PM

The New York Times and the Washington Post both report that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be charged with 17 counts of murder, along with other charges that will include attempted murder. The Times also has this piece saying that the trial is likely to be a very lengthy affair. Columnist David Brooks, meanwhile, ruminates on how good people come to do bad things.

The White House has passed new “Guidelines for Access, Retention, Use, and Dissemination. . . of Information in Datasets Containing Non-Terrorism Information.” Read the new guidelines here. The Times tells us that the National Counterterrorism Center can now “retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism” for 5 years, instead of the previous 6 months. You can thank Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for that. The Wall Street Journal and the Post also have the story.

Speaking of intelligence failures, coverage continues of the Toulouse killer. CNN discusses whether “French intelligence services miss[ed] vital clues as [shooter] Mohammed Merah showed signed of growing radicalization.” The Wall Street Journal reports that the gunman was on the U.S.’s no-fly list as a susptected terrorist, and another story describes his path to jihadism.

The Jakarta Globe informs us that Osama bin Laden gave Jemaah Islamiyah $30,000 to carry out the Bali bombings, according to testimony from “a key witness in the ongoing trial of Bali bombmaker Umar Patek.”

From our ongoing efforts to keep an eye on our favorite Frenemy’s Press: The Pakistani Express Tribune reports that “religious parties in Karachi protested against the potential reopening of NATO supply routes in Pakistan on Friday afternoon”:

[Jamaatud Dawa] protesters held placards proclaiming that “Pakistan will be defended by jihad” and “We hate Nato forces”.

JuD organiser Hafiz Kalimullah said, “We are with the mujahideen”, as he accused US and Nato of atrocities in Afghanistan and condemned the recent desecration of the Holy Quran in Afghanistan.

[JuD’s Professor Mehmoodul Hasan said] “We do not call this trade, we call this a dishonour. We will not let this happen.”

Hasan threatened that containers carrying Nato supplies would not reach their destination.

And here, from The Star, another English-language newspaper in Pakistan, comes this story of unexplained slipper-throwing–no, not at another American president–for your Moment of Zen.

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