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UK pledges law change after deporting terror suspect

UK justice ministers pledged to change the country's human rights laws, after radical cleric Abu Qatada was finally extradited to Jordan, following an eight-year deportation saga. Home Secretary Theresa May told Parliament on Monday that she wanted to "remove the many layers of appeals" available to foreign nationals at risk of deportation, with potential repercussions for cases like Qatada's. May also indicated the U.K. might leave the European Convention on Human Rights, saying that "nothing is off the table."

The Iron Lady is gone, but Thatcherism is alive and well

Commentary: Her influence lives on in the spread of austerity in UK and Europe.
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A portrait of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher hangs on the wall at the Conservative Party headquarters in Finchley in north London on April 10, 2013. British lawmakers interrupted their holidays for a special session of parliament on April 10 to pay tribute to Margaret Thatcher, who died on April 8 at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke. (Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images)
The reason Margaret Thatcher’s death continues to divide opinions and arouse strong emotional reactions has to do more with the controversial legacy of her policies in the current economic environment, than with her personal history and individual qualities.

Coming Apart? European experience of illegitimate births is different than America's

Controversial author Charles Murray's new book points to births out of wedlock as a reason for social decay in America. Europe's experience says illegitimacy may not be the reason.
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Not all families are traditional, like President Obama's, but is the decline in their number behind America's social crisis? (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

The works of conservative intellectual Charles Murray are designed to provoke debate and raise hackles among liberal intellectuals. His book "The Bell Curve" is the best-known example, along with "Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences." He is an ice-cold flame-thrower as this radio interview from a couple of years ago shows.

He's at it again, in the just published, "Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010." Much of the discussion of the book has centered on Murray's statistical dissection of the white working class, particularly family breakdown as measured by births out of wedlock.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has an interesting discussion of the book here, and at least partially tips his liberal hat towards a point Murray makes.


Passenger plane caught up in mock war game over Scottish island

“Those Tornados just got a wee bit too close for us," pilot says after narrowly escaping collision with 14 international military aircraft
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A British RAF Tornado GR4 similar to the one that narrowly escaped collision with a passenger plane near Stornoway Airport on Scotland's Isle of Lewis in July 2011 (Gavin Fogg/AFP/Getty Images)

A passenger plane came within seconds of a deadly collision when it got caught up in a simulated military attack over a Scottish airport last July, British media is reporting.  A

Civil Aviation Authority investigation into the incident has found that the civilian plane’s pilot was forced to take evasive action when he got a warning that two Tornado GR4 warplanes were in his path, the Daily Mail reports. On his second attempt at landing, the pilot spotted two Black Hawk helicopters that air traffic control had not warned him about.

“As he prepared for a routine landing at a tiny island airport, a warning that there were a couple of tornadoes on the way was possibly the last thing the pilot expected,” the newspaper says.

The investigation heard that the 37-seat passenger plane was in the middle of a simulated attack involving 14 international military aircraft near Stornoway Airport on the Isle of Lewis.

“Those Tornados just got a wee bit too close for us," the report quotes the civilian pilot as saying to the air traffic controller, according to the BBC.

The investigation concluded that the exercise should have been aborted when the passenger plane came in to land, and cited a “breakdown in communication” for the incident.

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