Charges against Steven Kurtz finally dropped….

Turns out he is an artist and NOT a bioterrorist: A judge threw out charges Monday against a college art professor accused of improperly obtaining biological materials for an exhibit protesting U.S. government food policies.U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara ruled that the 2004 mail and wire fraud indictment against Steven Kurtz, a University at Buffalo professor, was ”insufficient on its face.”

Kurtz is a founding member of the Critical Art Ensemble, which has used human DNA and other biological materials in works intended to draw attention to political and social issues. His arrest drew protests from artists in several countries who called the charges an intrusion on artistic freedom. link

fitna removed from liveleak

controversial dutch film fitna has been removed from liveleak after threats were made against the staff: “Meanwhile, the Iranian government has summoned the Dutch ambassador in order to register protest against the film. Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen has published an article in the Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, calling on people ‘to keep their head[s] cool and relations warm’. “

China blocks YouTube as protests spread in Tibet

One BoingBoing reader writes: ” I am visiting Beijing on business, and staying at a hotel that caters to Westerners. There have been reports that China was loosening controls on the media ahead of the Olympic games, in order to give visitors the impression that the media is unrestricted, but that is not the case in the last day. While watching CNN in my hotel room, the station goes dark during the top-of-the-hour news flash on the riots, then returns when the synopsis of “what’s to come” is given about other stories, and then goes dark again while the coverage switches to Lhasa.”