ThinkFast: September 19, 2006

Women are “generally paid less and promoted more slowly, receive fewer honors, and hold fewer leadership positions” than men in similar high-level science, math, and engineering jobs in the United States, according to a new National Academies report.

Canada’s government has exonerated a Canadian man who was handed over to the U.S. four years ago and deported to Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured. The U.S. “refused to cooperate in the inquiry” of how the innocent man ended up being “rendered” abroad for interrogation.

“The Bush administration’s faith-based initiative is reaching only a tiny percentage of the nation’s black churches.” A national survey of 750 black churches found that fewer than 3 percent are participating in the $2 billion/year program.

News Corp.’s Fox Filmed Entertainment is expected to unveil plans today to target the Christian audience under a banner called FoxFaith. “Fox might seem an unlikely studio to pioneer a religious label, given its history as a purveyor of salacious TV programming. Yet people in the Christian community say the company has gained credibility as the voice for conservative America through its Fox News Channel.”

There is a “grave danger that the Iraqi state will break down, possibly in the midst of a full-scale civil war,” U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said yesterday, urging the international community to do more. At least 43 people were killed by bombers and gunmen yesterday in Iraq.

“If you just look at how we are perceived in the world and the kind of criticism we have taken over Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and renditions, whether we believe it or not, people are now starting to question whether we’re following our own high standards,” said Colin Powell, on his opposition to President Bush’s proposed rules for the treatment of terrorism suspects.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) has loaded a domestic spending bill with $1.6 million in earmarks for groups that “claim members of Chabot’s inner circle of contributors and fundraisers as members of their boards of directors.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that “European opposition to any sanctions on Iran is part of an emerging ‘dual-track’ approach in which the EU talks with Iran about suspending uranium enrichment while the U.S. talks with others about sanctions.”

And finally: U.S. Postal Service executive Azeezaly Jaffer was found “drinking at a work function until he passed out; running up $8,000 in extra hotel room charges so he could qualify for a suite with a bathtub for two; and following a female colleague into her hotel room, propositioning her, then passing out.” His punishment? Four months of paid vacation.

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section.