Thursday, June 4


But where's the Big Fish ?

# A key Taliban commander named Hazrat Omar and important documents in his possession were seized in Shabqadar Pakistan on Thursday.

# Mullah Sufi Muhammad, who brokered a controversial peace deal for Pakistan's Swat valley, was arrested on Thursday along with his two sons. The cleric mediated between Taliban fighters led by his son-in-law Maulana Fazlullah and the NWFP government in the failed arrangement.

# But Mullah Fazlullah may still be at large.

# A key Taliban figure named Mullah Akhtar Mansur was shot to death by British forces from a gunship helicopter Monday while he was fleeing on his motorbike. He was reputed to be a major IED bombmaker in Helmand Province.

# Despite threats by Taliban militants,
the situation is looking upbeat in Kabul !

# The Women of Swat and 'Mullah Radio'
-- stories of the women refugees from Swat.


Wednesday, June 3

Bookish: DIVERSE NOTES (6#) -

While Seattle itself is still struggling with a real life murder case abroad in Perugia Italy, Rob Lopresti interviewed Curt Colbert about editing the Seattle Noir collection for Akashic Books. Just a wee glimpse into the process.

# Sherman Alexie has kicked up quite a storm with his remarks about the K*ndle. Ed Champion chats with him further about the topic; the blog entry has been drawing a lot of comments.

# MA Orthofer reacts to
the latest NYTimes price increase.

Paul Gillin explains what he thinks
is going on: it looks like a kind of reader triage.

# The UN is launching
a distance learning provider [LIS]

# Vampires vs Notorious Trolls -
Caveat: web comic with a bit of vulgar language.

[via Peter Robbins at guardbookblog]


On Martin Savidge's PBS World Focus show last night we saw Imran Khan's video dispatch from the NWFP of Pakistan; Khan did a nice feature piece on the Frontier Constabulary Corps which has performed with remarkable bravery while suffering some heavy casualties.

Here is Khan's running blog from there.

Elsewhere in the area, Skippy bin Laden has just issued
another nutty diatribe from his own personal trogistan.

:: World Focus ::


Tuesday, June 2


John Albert Sharkey, 45, who
describes himself as a vampire . . .

pleaded guilty Monday in Minnesota to the e-mail
harassment of a teenage girl he met online via MySp*ce.

The girl had tried to end their online relationship by
telling Sharkey that she was a member of an elite
vampire-hunter society, but it didn't work.

Some of Sharkey's e-mails in police reports threaten
the girl's family and friends with serious harm.


Monday, June 1

Bookish: HIS WICKED WAYS etc (6#) -

The satanist Aleister Crowley became a fictional character in many novels. Jake Arnott fills in the picture of "a man with terrible flaws and precocious talents" which provided him with some inspiration for his latest book, The Devil's Paintbrush.

# Sarah Waters describes the genesis and development of her latest novel, an atmospheric psychological mystery, which originated in a real crime which was then fictionalized by a famous writer. But Waters wanted to explore other aspects of the situation.

# An outstanding interview with
Egyptian writer Alaa al Aswany by Rachel Cooke.

# Truman Capote meets Bollywood: take a peek
inside a crime magazine empire with Zac O’Yeah.

# Maureen Corrigan picks a handful of
new Mysteries to read this summer at NPR.

# "Thank you for your request, and as much as I would like to participate in the project you outlined, unfortunately I died two weeks ago, so I will be unable to contribute."

-- From a very long but very readable
Blog entry by Ali Karim at The Rap Sheet.