For a $1.5 million advance, Clarence Thomas, the most tight-lipped of Supreme Court justices (he spoke not a word in oral arguments from late February 2006 to May 2007), spills in a memoir due out today. Thomas will likely recuse himself from issues involving his publisher’s parent company, News Corporation, and has indicated he’ll restrict interviews to sympathetic venues like Fox News.
Pfizer today seeks dismissal of a lawsuit in Nigeria that has fueled African fears of Western medicine. The pharmaceutical company has denied allegations that two antibiotics used to treat Nigerian children in the 1990s were the cause of 11 deaths and 189 cases of brain damage, paralysis, or other injury.
After conquering the tabloids, the networks, and cable news, Rupert Murdoch is turning to finance. Today, he’ll launch the Fox Business Network, part of a growing juggernaut that includes his recent acquisition, The Wall Street Journal.
Italy’s Constitutional Court rules today on whether to scuttle the case against 26 Americans (25 of them CIA agents) alleged to have kidnapped a suspected terrorist from Milan in 2003 and sent him to Egypt to be tortured. The court must decide if prosecutors in Milan used illegal wiretaps.
The U.S. and Europe usually choose the leaders of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, but perhaps no more: The IMF’s executive board hopes to select a new director “without geographical preferences” by this weekend’s annual meeting, a nod to the growing strength of developing economies.
Valerie Plame, the CIA agent unmasked by Robert Novak in the run-up to the Iraq War, is set to publish her memoir today. She lost a legal battle to stop CIA censors, however, and won’t be able to mention her dates of service. They had already been released to the public, but the CIA says that was an “administrative error,” and they remain classified. (Psst! They’re November 9, 1985, to January 9, 2006.)
The World Series is scheduled to start on a Wednesday this year, when it’s easier to win TV ratings, instead of a Saturday, as in the past. The late start would push a Game 7 into November for only the second time in baseball history (the 9/11 attacks delayed the series in 2001).
If your soaps and sitcoms seem a bit poorly scripted, it may be because the TV Writers Guild’s contract is set to expire today. To avoid the $500 million in losses that accompanied the last writers’ strike, in 1988, producers have pushed to get extra episodes in the can. New technology and revenue sources—“webisodes” and iPod reruns—have made negotiations nettlesome.
In keeping with Peronist tradition, Argentine President Néstor Kirchner tapped his wife, Cristina, to run to be his successor in today’s presidential election. Presidents are limited to two consecutive terms, but some believe the couple (often likened to the Clintons) will hold on to power by swapping places.
Now that Sudan has finally permitted UN troops to help quell the violence in Darfur, the really hard part begins. The UN peacekeeping mandate calls for up to 26,000 troops; African nations have pledged soldiers, but adequate logistics and support may be a problem. The first deployment of several hundred should arrive this month.
Twenty-eight suspects could face sentences of up to 40 years for the 2004 Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people.