Breaking the Bubble

Carter arrives in North Korea on mercy mission

Former President Jimmy Carter arrived on Wednesday in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on a mission to free a captive American. Earlier this year, Aijalaon Gomes, a 30-year old American was sentenced to eight years of hard labor for crossing the border into the country. Gomes is a former English teacher in South Korea. His visit marks the first from a high profile American since former President’s Bill Clinton’s visit to the country last year. The White House maintained that the trip is a “private, humanitarian mission.”

Judge blocks Obama’s stem cell policy

On Aug. 23, a federal district judged struck down President Obama’s executive order to expand funding for embryonic stem cell research, saying that the move violated a ban on federal money being used to destroy embryos. The Judge’s ruling imposes a preliminary injunction of federal funding for research, pending a final outcome of a lawsuit filed to stop the U.S. government from sponsoring embryonic stem cell research. The NIH will stop reviewing grants for embryonic stem cell research but will allow scientists who have already received federal funding to exhaust those funds. The ruling has no effect on research conducted using private funds.

WikiLeaks releases CIA report

WikiLeaks published a three-page memo written by the CIA in February 2010 which claimed that the United States has long been an exporter of terrorism and explored what would happen if that perception became widely held around the world. CIA analysts downplayed the leak, saying such reports are purely analytical.