Sep 21, 2011

IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST



  Today: Last Day of Life for Troy Davis , U.S. Building Drone Bases in Africa , Rick Perry Dines with Murdoch
The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet: Morning

September 21, 2011
DIPLOMACY

Tens of thousands of people rallied Wednesday in the West Bank to support Palestine's U.N. bid for statehood. The vote, however, may not take place, as international leaders unify around a plan that would have the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, request recognition but then delay the actual vote in exchange for new peace talks with Israel. In the first serious criticism of the statehood bid from the inner circle of Palestinian leadership, a top staffer to Yasir Arafat tells The Daily Beast's Dan Ephron it will cause suffering and setbacks—risking Palestinians' lives, economy, and even the legal structure of the Palestinian Authority.

EXECUTIONS

The day of Troy Davis's execution is finally upon him: The state of Georgia will execute Davis at 7 p.m. Wednesday despite controversy over his conviction. In a last ditch effort, Davis has demanded a polygraph test that he says could prove his innocence. Davis has had his execution date delayed by courts three times before, but this time he has exhausted all appeals. He will spend six hours with his family from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., get a clean set of clothes at 3 p.m., and eat his last meal—a cheeseburger, potatoes, baked beans, slaw, cookies and a grape drink—at 4 p.m. At 5 p.m., he will be allowed to make a final recorded statement and at 6 p.m. he will be offered a sedative to calm him before he goes to the execution chamber.

TOP SECRET

The United States is building a new network of drone bases in Africa, according to The Washington Post, so that it might better strike at terrorist groups in Somalia and Yemen. Sites include locations in Ethiopia, the Seychelles, and Djibouti. The CIA is also building a secret airstrip in the Arabian peninsula. News of these sites comes, in part, from WikiLeaks: The U.S. has claimed its drones in the Seychelles are to track pirates, but cables from WikiLeaks show they have conducted counterterrorism missions over Somalia. They also show the U.S. considering arming the drones, despite assurances to the Seychelles that it would not.

2012

The phone-hacking scandal hasn't apparently touched Rupert Murdoch's status as Republican kingmaker. Rick Perry dined with Murdoch Tuesday at The Post House, a Manhattan steakhouse famous for its $49.50 beef Wellington. The men are less close than Murdoch is with some of the other Republican candidates, many of whom have been paid by his Fox News channel. It was just their second meal together, although News Corporation also donated $1 million last year to the Republican Governors Association while Perry was its chair.

POLITICS

So much for political independence: Republican leaders sent a letter Monday to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, warning him to "resist further extraordinary intervention in the U.S. economy." The letter, written by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, and Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, objected to Bernanke's recent decision to inject $600 billion into the economy and asked him not to repeat it. "To date, we have seen no evidence that further monetary stimulus will create jobs or provide a sustainable path towards economic recovery," they wrote.


ON THE HILL
Solyndra Execs to Plead the Fifth
Will decline to testify at Friday hearing.
GRISLY
35 Bodies Dumped on Mexico Street
In Boca del Rio, popular tourist destination.
PRICEY
Justice Department Bought $16 Muffins
Report reveals overspending.
UNFAIR
Google Accused of Punishing Rivals
Three Web companies point to tampering.
LEGAL
Saudi Prince Rebuts Rape Claim
Documents say he wasn't in Spain when alleged crime occurred.
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