Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
Do you know your online rights? Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? If so, this site is for you.

These pages will help you understand the protections intellectual property laws and the First Amendment give to your online activities.
ZDNet: Tech Update: Platforms/OS /
Microsoft Anti-Trust Remedies

Monday, February 25, 2002

Developer News -- 'Significant' Security Flaws Uncovered in Many Web Applications
@stake studied 45 e-business applications that were responsible for generating $3.5 billion in revenue for @stake clients. The idea was to find vulnerabilities in the applications themselves, as opposed to surrounding network infrastructure, that could lead to security breaches.

From those 45 applications, @stake found nearly 500 "significant" security defects, with an average of at least 10 per assessment. Seventy percent of the defects were due to design flaws in the applications and nearly half of the most serious flaws could have been caught and fixed in the application design phase.
News: Internet running out of room? Every device that accesses the Internet--such as a PC, a personal digital assistant or a cell phone--needs an IP address. Switching to IPv6 would help meet the growing demand for IP addresses, as the technology allows for more than does the current system.
Online Group to Give Advice Regarding Copyrights
"People get these letters and wonder, `Does this mean I have to take everything down and go home?' " said Wendy Seltzer, a fellow with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. "What we try to do with this site is to clarify what it is they have to worry about and what's more likely to just be someone blowing hot air."

The foundation is an online civil liberties group based in San Francisco. The first entries in the database, which is scheduled to become available starting today at www.chillingeffects.org, include line-by-line commentary and analysis provided by law students at Harvard, Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley.
Web Site Helped Change Farm Policy
It is www.ewg.org, operated by the Environmental Working Group, a small nonprofit organization with the simple idea that the taxpayers who underwrite $20 billion a year in farm subsidies have the right to know who gets the money.

Conceived by Ken Cook, 50, director of the group, the Web site has become unusual in the crowded world of special-interest politics, where it is hard to get noticed in Washington, much less heard.

It not only caught the attention of lawmakers, it also helped transform the farm bill into a question about equity and whether the country's wealthiest farmers should be paid to grow commodity crops while many smaller family farms receive nothing and are going out of business.

In farm circles, where neighbors now know who is receiving the biggest checks from the government, the Web site has name recognition roughly equal to that of Heinz ketchup.
Web Site Helped Change Farm Policy

Saturday, February 23, 2002

United Nations Leader Urges International Action on Mideast
"I truly believe that it is imperative for the Security Council and the wider international community to work in a concerted manner with the parties," Mr. Annan said.

More pointedly, he said that the Israeli insistence on an end to Palestinian violence as a precondition for negotiations — a position supported by Washington and one that Mr. Sharon repeated in an address today — was no longer viable.

"A reduction in the violence is the most immediate priority," Mr. Annan said. "But I have become more and more convinced that trying to resolve the security problem on its own cannot work."

Friday, February 22, 2002

Behind-the-Scenes Clash Led Bush to Reverse Himself on Applying Geneva Conventions
President Bush's decision this month to reverse himself and apply the Geneva Conventions to the Afghan war came after the Pentagon and State Department lined up against the administration's top lawyers, senior administration officials now say.

Senior officials also disclosed for the first time that NATO allies were so concerned with Mr. Bush's initial decision to reject the conventions that Britain and France warned they might not turn over Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters captured by their troops in Afghanistan unless Mr. Bush pledged to honor the treaties.

"What we heard from the French and the British was that if we didn't determine that the Geneva Conventions applied, then they would find it difficult to transfer to our custody people that they might take into custody that we'd want," a senior administration official said. These complaints were voiced informally, the official said.

Further pressure on Mr. Bush to shift his stance came when the Defense Department agreed with warnings from the State Department that ignoring the treaties could put American troops at risk if they were captured. The State Department and the Pentagon have not always seen eye to eye on how to carry out antiterror policy; in other debates since Sept. 11, defense officials have sometimes adopted a harder line and more hawkish stance than State.

Although the Bush administration came into office expressing deep skepticism about a number of international agreements, arguing that decades-old treaties restricted the pursuit of American interests in a rapidly changing world, few anticipated that President Bush would actually reject the Geneva Conventions.

The four Geneva Conventions signed in 1949 were intended to avoid the mass abuses of civilians and of military prisoners that took place during World War II. Although they have periodically been ignored by some nations, they remain the world's most revered accords, garnering signatures of 189 countries, a number exceeded by only one other treaty (on the protection of children).
Embattled Disease Agency Chief Is Quitting
Dr. Koplan's departure will create another opening at the top level of the Public Health Service, which already has many vacancies.
Drug companies are discovering new cures every week, but the Food and Drug Administration has no commissioner. Congress is doubling the budget of the National Institutes of Health, but the agency has been without a presidentially appointed director since Dr. Harold E. Varmus left in December 1999.

Dr. David Satcher, the surgeon general of the United States, left office last week when his term expired. He had been appointed by President Bill Clinton.

Dr. Alastair J. J. Wood, a drug- safety expert at Vanderbilt University who was seen as a leading candidate for commissioner of the drug agency, has been told that he is no longer in the running, a university spokesman said today. Some drug company executives had said they worried that he might be too zealous in regulating their products. Dr. Wood had suggested that the drug agency should be more aggressive in monitoring medicines on the market.
The W Scenario
Celebrating victory well in advance seems to be the style lately. And that includes the economic front. Both the administration and many business leaders have taken a modest improvement in economic indicators as proof that the economy is poised for full recovery. They could be right — but don't count on it.

The good news to date consists mainly of evidence not that things are getting better but that they are getting worse more slowly. New claims for unemployment insurance have fallen; that means fewer people are being laid off, but not that laid-off workers are finding new jobs. Industrial production has stabilized; that means that companies have worked off the excess inventory that led them to slash production in 2001, but not that demand for their products has increased.

We won't have a serious recovery until what economists call "final demand" shows substantial increases, and workers start being rehired. Where will that recovery come from?
For Israelis on Front Line, the Danger Is Everywhere
In the West Bank town of Nablus, where Israeli soldiers have taken over four buildings, residents of one apartment house reported that about 100 of them were being confined to a single floor, denied food, water and medicine, and that some men had been ordered by soldiers to stand at windows to serve as human shields against Palestinian gunfire.

An Israeli army spokesman denied that Palestinians had been used as shields, adding that after complaints were received of lack and food and medicine, several residents were allowed out of the building to purchase the needed supplies.
United Nations Leader Urges International Action on Mideast
Mr. Annan spoke shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon delivered his address in Jerusalem, in which he also announced plans for a buffer zone between Israeli and Palestinian territories and demanded a full disarmament of the Palestinians.

The secretary general argued that security had to have a context. "It has to be addressed alongside key political issues," he said, "particularly the question of land, and the economic and social issues, including the increasingly critical desperate conditions of the Palestinians."

The "key problems," Mr. Annan said, again diverging widely from the Israelis, were the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, security, "the need to end violence, including terrorism," and economic deprivation and suffering. "These are inter-linked problems, encompassing the political, security and economic domains," he said.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Study: Death Penalty Error Rates Are Higher in Areas That Use It Often
Death sentences are more likely to be reversed in areas that more frequently use that penalty, have higher black populations and where judges are elected, according to a study from a group of Columbia University law professors. The report, which looks at why mistakes occur in capital cases, updates a report issued two years ago that found that 68 percent of all death sentences reviewed from 1973 to 1995 were reversed by courts because of serious errors. In those reversals, 82 percent of the defendants eventually received lesser sentences and 9 percent were freed. James Liebman, a Columbia Law School professor who was the study's lead researcher, said that while race, politics and an overburdened legal system played a strong role, areas that relied heavily on the death penalty as punishment were most likely to impose a flawed capital sentence. "What our study shows is that aggressive death sentencing is a magnet for serious error," Professor Liebman said.
Fact File: Death Penalty

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Though Not Linked to Terrorism, Many Detainees Cannot Go Home
In the past, visa violators who had no other charges against them were usually deported or allowed to leave voluntarily 60 to 90 days after their immigration cases were closed, lawyers said. But these detainees are being treated differently.

American officials acknowledged a great reluctance to release people who could be involved with terrorism and said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was working hard to complete the checks.

"We have to be very careful about the people we let go," said a senior Justice Department official, who spoke on condition of not being identified by name.

Civil liberties advocates agreed that the government needed to be careful but said the delays were stretching the normal legal timetables. The government, they said, was in the dubious position of holding people indefinitely without charging them with a crime.

Sunday, February 17, 2002

This Is Truly Insane

Judge: Microsoft Must Give States Windows Code
Microsoft Corp. (news/quote) will have to supply the computer code for its Windows program to a group of states seeking stiffer antitrust sanctions against the software giant, a federal judge has ruled.

Nine state attorneys general had argued that they needed to see the Windows source code in order to verify Microsoft's claim it could not offer a simpler version of the Windows personal computer operating system, stripped of features like the Internet Explorer browser.

``It seems to me that if your side has access to it, then the other side, frankly, should have access to it,'' U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly told Microsoft's lawyers Friday in a conference call with attorneys from both sides.

If their code is released to competitors, would Microsoft even have standing to sue the States?


Friday, February 15, 2002

Head of Israeli Commando Unit Killed by a Collapsing Wall
After losing a tank and three soldiers in a Palestinian attack near here Thursday night, the Israeli Army was struck a second blow today, when the leader of an elite commando unit was killed by a falling wall while his troops were demolishing a Palestinian militant's home in the West Bank.

Tonight, in retaliation for the tank's destruction, Israeli warplanes fired rockets at two offices of the Palestinian security forces in the Jabaliya refugee camp north of Gaza City, wounding 15 people, Palestinian security officials said.
Arabs Deploy New Explosive Against Tank; 3 Israelis Die
For the first time, Palestinian militants destroyed an Israeli tank tonight, planting a mine that punched through the tank's belly, killing at least three soldiers and lightly wounding a fourth.

The tank was ripped apart as it responded to what the Israeli Army described as a coordinated attack on a settlers' convoy after it entered the Gaza Strip headed for Netzarim, an isolated Jewish settlement.

A bomb had exploded beside the settlers' bus, which was bulletproof, and gunmen opened fire on the convoy. No one was injured in that attack. But as the tank rushed to the scene, it rolled over the mine, which penetrated the tank and exploded inside, the army said.

"This is really warfare, in the conventional sense," said Jacob Dallal, an Israeli Army spokesman. "This is something we've never seen before from the Palestinians."
Cocaine and Intensity of H.I.V. Are Related in a Study of Mice
…mice may help explain something that doctors have noticed in people who are infected with H.I.V.: cocaine use seems to make the disease progress faster and lead to more of the opportunistic infections that are the hallmark of AIDS.

The reason is not known. Drug abusers often eat poorly, have unprotected sex and neglect their health in other ways, so it has been impossible to tell whether their problems are due to cocaine itself or to the other habits that often go with addiction.

A new study suggests that cocaine is to blame. In the study, by researchers at the AIDS Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, specially bred mice were inoculated with human cells and with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, and then given injections of either cocaine or a salt-water placebo. Cocaine greatly enhanced replication of the virus and increased the number of human cells it infected and killed.
Dr. Gayle C. Baldwin, who directed the study, said, "We're talking about a 200-fold increase in viral load in these animals. That is a lot."
To Whomever Sent Me This Valentine, Thanks, but, Pay Attention to the Terms of Service

This greeting card cannot be displayed due to a terms of service violation by the sender of the card.

Our system is programmed to prevent the following types of abuse:

1) Offensive and/or harrassing behavior.
2) Sending more than 30 cards per day (SPAM).
3) Creating a nuisance and generating numerous complaints.
4) Using this service for commercial advertising purposes.

Thursday, February 14, 2002

New Architect: Rights Management Under Fire
rights management under fire
A conversation with Adobe's James Alexander
March 2002
Web Techniques Magazine is now New.Architecht.

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Chief Takes Over New Agency to Thwart Attacks on U.S.
John M. Poindexter, the retired Navy admiral who was President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser, has returned to the Pentagon to direct a new agency that is developing technologies to give federal officials instant access to vast new surveillance and information- analysis systems.

The Information Awareness Office, which Mr. Poindexter took over last month, is one of two new agencies that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, created in recent months as part of the Bush administration's effort to grapple with new kinds of military threats after the attacks of Sept. 11.
PC Magazine: Top 100 Web Sites
Odds are you already know who does what best on the Web—Amazon for shopping, PC Magazine for computing, etc. But there's also an abundance of really great sites that you're probably missing. That's why this year we put together a list of 100 terrific, underappreciated sites, ranging from silly to practical.

Sunday, February 10, 2002

An Internet Phone Goes Where Pay Phones Take the Real Hits
…it may look to passers-by like a castoff prop from a science fiction movie.

But it is not an imaginary device from the future; it is real. And starting today, anyone with a quarter will be able to try out what is being called the nation's first outdoor Internet pay phone, on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and West 46th Street.

Whether it will succeed in a city where heavily armored pay phones often become victims of foul play remains to be seen.
Witness Lists for Microsoft Trial
Witness Lists for Microsoft Trial

Saturday, February 09, 2002

EU Touts Plan for Palestinian State
In recent months, the United States and the European Union had been taking a relatively unified position on the Middle East. The Europeans, who are seen as tilting toward the Palestinians, had taken an increasingly tough stance with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, calling on him to rein in militants.

But now EU officials are expressing impatience with Washington's hands-off attitude toward peace talks and what many see as its pro-Israel bent and pressure on the Palestinians.

Javier Solana, the EU's chief foreign and security chief, said there can be no peace in the Middle East without putting ``politics back at the center of gravity,'' rather than cracking down on militants.
Coalition Forms to Reverse Rising Trend of Uninsured Americans
An unusually broad lobbying group, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the A.F.L.- C.I.O., the American Medical Association, insurers and consumer advocates, plans to announce on Tuesday a campaign on national television and in newspapers and magazines to seek support for new national measures intended to reduce the number of those without health insurance.

Employers are concerned that the rising health care costs they already face for their workers will grow even faster as hospitals raise their fees to reflect the unpaid costs of uninsured patients in emergency rooms. At the same time, soaring Medicaid costs are straining state budgets and adding to pressure for tax increases, a further concern for employers.

Union officials say they are worried that hard-pressed employers will revive the harsh choices between wages and health benefits that workers were offered in previous economic slowdowns.
Silicon Alley News: FCC Says Broadband Access Up
Nearly 10 million Americans now have high-speed connections to the Internet, according to the Federal Communications Commission's third report to Congress about advanced telecommunications.

The report said high speed subscribers (including those with advanced services) numbered about 9.6 million as of June 2001, a 36 percent increase since the first half of the year and about a 250 percent increase since December 1999.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

Tehran Says U.S. Should Offer Assistance, Not Accusations
"Instead of waging negative propaganda, the Americans had better give us any information they have so that we go after them and keep them out of Iran," Mr. Kharrazi said at the news conference.

The foreign minister acknowledged that Iran could not fully control its 600-mile border with Afghanistan, noting that it had proved porous to drug smuggling for two decades. He suggested that it might be equally permeable to anyone fleeing Afghanistan. "We are making our utmost effort, but the reality is that it is not possible to control this long border completely," Mr. Kharrazi said.

"We have smashed many rings involved in human smuggling and reinstated visas for Persian Gulf Arab states," he said. "We are also making a lot of arrests, among whom could be members of Taliban or Al Qaeda. We will deal with them and hand them over to their respective countries."

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

FACSNET Reporting Tools
FACS specializes in three main areas of journalism education: business and economics, science and technology and environment and land use.
Power Reporting:
Thousands of free research tools for journalists. And no ads.
Blast Kills 5 Palestinians in Car, but Israeli Army Denies Role
The car carrying the men was hit by an explosion as it traveled on a back road between Rafah and Khan Yunis, not far from a crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Palestinian security officers and people at the scene said that the car had been hit by a missile, and that two Israeli helicopters and a drone were hovering at the time of the explosion.

"This means it does not want calm," Mr. Arafat said, referring to Israel. "It wants the continuation of the military escalation against our mighty people."

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization, said the Palestinians belonged to its group, and it vowed revenge.
Business 2.0 - Web Guide - Guide Topics -e
The SuperSearchers Web Page
This page features a growing collection of links to subject-specific Web resources recommended by the world’s leading online searchers.
SearchDay - A "Hidden" Guide to the Business Web - 31 January 2002
Like an underground mine filled with hidden treasures, one of the best business-oriented information resources is buried deep within a popular magazine's web site.

Many SearchDay readers are familiar with the magazine Business 2.0. It's one of the survivors of a relatively new crop of magazines focusing on the high-tech "new economy," and I often include links to interesting Business 2.0 stories in the headlines section of this newsletter.

What you may not know is that the magazine's web site also contains a fantastic, information-rich web guide. "We realize that it's one of the best kept secrets online," said Bonnie Kroll, Web Guide Director for Business 2.0.

Monday, February 04, 2002

ZDNet: Story: Hey, geeks! Build us a computer we can really use
Remember the commercial where Avery Brooks (that's Captain Sisko for you Star Trek fans) asks: "Where are the flying cars?" A similar question could be asked about computers: Why don't computers do what we want them to do?
News: FTC cooking up a spam attack
The Federal Trade Commission is gearing up for a battle against unsolicited commercial e-mail, known as spam.

Howard Beales, the director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said Thursday that the agency will launch a "systematic attack" on deceptive spam and opt-out notices. Beales, who spoke at the 2nd Annual Privacy & Data Security Summit in Washington, D.C., added that the FTC will announce "law enforcement actions" regarding spam in a couple of weeks.

The campaign comes as the FTC prepares for its National Consumer Protection Week, beginning Feb. 3, which will highlight growing concerns about privacy. Although the FTC would not comment on the details of its plan, Beales' announcement has received praise from online privacy advocates, who have been pushing for effective federal anti-spam legislation.

Sunday, February 03, 2002

The Palestinian Conversation
For 16 months, the downward spiral has been otherwise unrelenting. Since the failure of the Camp David negotiations in the summer of 2000, there has been one provocation after another. Ariel Sharon made his heavily guarded visit to the plaza outside Al Aksa Mosque to demonstrate Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the Palestinian street exploded, the Israelis quelled volatile demonstrations with deadly fire, the Palestinians moved from stones to guns to bombs, the Israelis began assassinating suspected militants and the momentum of attacks and counterattacks took on a bloody life of its own.

It has been a devastating period for everyone, and the Palestinians know what it has cost them. The Aksa intifada, as it has come to be known, has resulted in about 800 Palestinian deaths, thousands of injuries, a crippled economy and an infrastructure devastated by bombardment and bulldozer. Suicide bombings have weakened international support for the Palestinian nationalist cause. Arafat, once a frequent flier to the Clinton White House, is stuck in Ramallah with Israeli tanks hemming his compound. Most Palestinians are under a kind of lock-down inside their towns, ''220 discontinuous little ghettos,'' Edward W. Said, the Palestinian-American intellectual, has called them. The checkpoints have become more backlogged and humiliating than ever: as if time were going backward, many Palestinians have returned to riding donkeys on dirt roads to circumvent them. And Arafat's crackdown on militant Islamic groups -- Hamas and Islamic Jihad -- has provoked turbulent divisions inside Palestinian society itself.

Yet for a moment there was this lull. Granted, it felt more like a standoff as the Palestinians waited to see whether Israel would either reciprocate by loosening restrictions on their movement or nudge Palestinian fighters back into action with another assassination. But even the standoff gave people the time and the mental space to think with cooler heads about their situation, and I felt as if I was tapping into a vibrant communal conversation that revealed both deep disagreements within Palestinian society and a startling, defiant optimism about the future -- if not the near future.
The Palestinian Vision of Peace
The Palestinian people have been denied their freedom for far too long and are the only people in the world still living under foreign occupation. How is it possible that the entire world can tolerate this oppression, discrimination and humiliation? The 1993 Oslo Accord, signed on the White House lawn, promised the Palestinians freedom by May 1999. Instead, since 1993, the Palestinian people have endured a doubling of Israeli settlers, expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land and increased restrictions on freedom of movement. How do I convince my people that Israel is serious about peace while over the past decade Israel intensified the colonization of Palestinian land from which it was ostensibly negotiating a withdrawal?

But no degree of oppression and no level of desperation can ever justify the killing of innocent civilians. I condemn terrorism. I condemn the killing of innocent civilians, whether they are Israeli, American or Palestinian; whether they are killed by Palestinian extremists, Israeli settlers, or by the Israeli government. But condemnations do not stop terrorism. To stop terrorism, we must understand that terrorism is simply the symptom, not the disease.
The State Department continues to fiddle while Rome burns. It sends delegations and diplomats to the region who have little if any chance of succeeding in crisis management as long as the structural underpinnings of the conflict--which originate in Washington, not Tel Aviv or Ramallah--do not change.

The result is that the knot of conflict is pulled ever tighter.

For decades the United States has supplied inordinate quantities of advanced weaponry and other types of aid to the stronger party to the conflict. The U.S. has exercised a policy of strong-arm, exclusionary diplomacy in order to shield the stronger party from international censure over its political and military actions toward the weaker.

Almost as frequently as acts of abominable violence against innocents are played out on the streets of Gaza and Jerusalem, acts of intellectual inquiry into the conflict are played out in this country. Panel discussions, lectures and conferences on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict regularly fill church basements, community halls and college auditoriums.

Perhaps within civil society lies the key.

Saturday, February 02, 2002

The declaration today in Haaretz by the dissenting reservists said: "The price of occupation is the loss of the Israel Defense Forces' semblance of humanity and the corruption of all of Israeli society."

It continued: "We will no longer fight beyond the Green Line with the aim of dominating, expelling, starving and humiliating an entire people." The Green Line is the pre-1967 boundary between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Reservists Balk at Occupation, Roiling Israel
A week ago, 52 reservists began the campaign of defiance with the statement in the newspaper Haaretz. But their number has now almost doubled, to 102, and a national debate about their stand is in full swing.

The campaign has so unsettled the military command that the army's chief of staff suggested today that the objectors were inciting rebellion. The officer, Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, said on Army Radio that he suspected political motives rather than moral concerns were behind the dissent. "If there is someone who is organizing a campaign on an ideological basis," he said, "in my eyes this is more than refusal to serve. This is incitement to rebellion. There is no act more serious than that."
Budget Would Cut Medicaid Payments
President Bush's budget would rein in the growth of Medicaid by reducing payments to public hospitals and by cracking down on state efforts to obtain extra federal money to finance health care for the poor, administration officials said today.

The administration says it is "closing loopholes" and curbing "abusive practices" that states have used to expand Medicaid without putting up all the state money required by federal law.

But state and local officials and members of Congress of both parties have objected to the administration plan. They said the cutbacks, expected to save $9 billion over the next five years, would harm Medicaid recipients and aggravate fiscal problems plaguing most states.

Two Republican governors, Jeb Bush of Florida and Rick Perry of Texas, have joined Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and the House delegations from New York and California in protesting the administration's plan.

Friday, February 01, 2002

Israeli Army Chief To Punish Objectors
Israel's army chief indicated tough action would be taken against a group of reserve soldiers and officers who refused to serve in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, saying Friday that their refusal is an incitement to rebellion.

Last week, 52 reservists from front-line combat units published a petition in Israeli newspapers declaring their refusal to serve in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The petition, appearing on the group's Web site, has since grown to 110.

The petition has set off the most intense debate yet in Israel about the military's actions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the past 16 months of fighting with the Palestinians. Some of those signing the petition said they were greatly troubled by orders given to them. One soldier said he was court-martialed after refusing to fire from a machine gun at a civilian area.

Ami Ayalon, former chief of Israel's Shin Bet security service, said Friday that while soldiers should not refuse to serve, they should decline to carry out orders they consider immoral.
Sharon Held Talks with Top Palestinian Officials
Publication of the Sharon interviews coincided with an opinion poll that showed a sharp drop since early December in public support for him in the face of renewed violence.

At least 827 Palestinians and 249 Israelis have been killed since the uprising began.

The Maariv-MarketWatch poll showed 48 percent were happy with Sharon's overall performance while 43 percent were dissatisfied. Nine percent did not respond.

The findings, which indicated the largest erosion yet of public backing for the right-wing prime minister, compared with a 57 percent approval rating in Maariv's last poll in early December.
con·cept: February 2002