— Jane Mayer on why the Obama Administration should push for the public release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s still-classfied blockbuster report on C.I.A. wrongdoing during the Bush years: http://nyr.kr/12satrW (via newyorker)
Vietnam’s capital Hanoi bans short, fat traffic cops
AFP: Short, pot-bellied policemen will be banned from traffic duty in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi and given office jobs in a bid to improve the force’s public image, police said Wednesday.
Details of the new height and weight restrictions were not available but the head of Hanoi’s traffic police said they were working on a list of cops who didn’t measure up and would be redeployed out of sight.
Photo: A traffic policeman directs traffic in Hanoi, December 12, 2007.
Bio: Born on March 6, 1928, writer Gabriel García Márquez grew up listening to family tales. After college, he became a journalist. His work introduced readers to magical realism, which combines fact and fantasy. His novels Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) and El amor en los tiempos del cólera (Love in the Time of Cholera) have drawn worldwide audiences. He won a Nobel Prize in 1982. 
The highly political Marquez has long been a friend of Cuban president Fidel Castro. 
He claims that he wrote the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude” barricaded in his study in Mexico, after receiving a vision. One day, while he and his wife and children were in their car driving to Acapulco, he saw that he “had to tell [his] story the way his grandmother used to tell hers, and that [he] was to start from that afternoon in which a father took his child to discover ice.” He made an abrupt U-turn on the highway, the car never made it to Acapulco, and he locked himself in his study. Fifteen months later, he emerged with the manuscript, only to meet his wife holding a stack of bills. They traded papers, and she put the manuscript in the mail to his publisher. 
He has a yellow rose or tulip on his writing desk each day. 
When he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, he gamely declared to the world that the disease was an “enormous stroke of luck” because it finally forced him to write his memoirs. 
[He stumbled on the last step, but he got up at once. “He even took care to brush off the dirt that was stuck to his guts,” my Aunt Wene told me.] Then he went into his house through the back door that had been open since six and fell on his face in the kitchen.
[And she, with a sad smile—which was already a smile of surrender to the impossible, the unreachable—said: “Yet you won’t remember anything during the day.” And she put her hands back over the lamp, her features darkened by a bitter cloud.] “You’re the only man who doesn’t remember anything of what he’s dreamed after he wakes up.
Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.