ThinkFast: September 4, 2006

Terrorism prosecutions have fallen back to pre-9/11 levels. A new report notes, “In the eight months ending last May, Justice attorneys declined to prosecute more than nine out of every 10 terrorism cases sent to them by the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other federal agencies.”

Tough job market for the nation’s 45 million young workers: “Entry-level wages for college and high school graduates fell by more than 4 percent from 2001 to 2005, after factoring in inflation.”

More women are returning to work. “Among women age 20 and older, 60.8% were working or looking for a job in July. That’s close to the all-time peak of 61% that occurred in April 2000 and again in June 2003.”

Yesterday, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said African Union troops must leave when their mandate expires on Sept. 30. Today, a presidential advisor softened that position and said the AU troops can stay if their mandate is renewed. But Sudan continues to resist a U.N. peacekeeping force. U.N. officials warn Darfur “is on the brink of a return to all-out war.”


Most news stories are reporting that U.S. and Iraqi forces have captured the No. 2 leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. But one military official notes that while Hamed Jumaa Faris Juri al-Saeedi was a “top-tier guy,” he’s not “ready to put a number on him.”

Influential Iraqi Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has told his aides that he “will not be a political leader any more” and will abandon “attempts to restrain his followers,” admitting “there is nothing he can do to prevent the country sliding towards civil war.

Mark B. McClellan, administrator of the nation’s Medicare and Medicaid programs, will be announcing his resignation sometime this week.

And finally: RIP Steve Irwin. The Crocodile Hunter was killed by a stingray while filming a documentary on “things that can kill you in the sea.” Crikey.

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