11/02: Morning Communique

THESE DAYS

The federal government is retreating from a right-to-know program that allowed residents in neighborhoods all across the country to look up the pollutants emitted by nearby factories.

The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it's proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that's now the most-sought after drug in the world.

MINNESOTA BLOG OF THE DAY

View the changing of the leaves without actually having to go outdoors with St. Paul photographer Andy Cosgrove's photoblog Visual Gratification.

[Minnesota-based blog directory]

TIME WASTERS

The internet's favorite farting preacher, Bob Tilton, is back for another gassy episode.

Johnny Depp plays the second Earl of Rochester, who has a passionate romance with a young actress (Samantha Morton) and writes a scurrilous play which lampoons the monarch who commissioned it, Charles II (John Malkovich), in The Libertine.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

"There is no question. I first learned about Valerie Plame working at the CIA from Karl Rove."

-- Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper, yesterday on "Good Morning America"


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