It's official: Nelson Mandela is no longer a terrorist threat

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Nelson Mandela turns 90 on July 18. This morning, President Bush gave the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader an early birthday present by signing into law a bill removing Mandela and other members of the African National Congress from a three-decade-old terrorist watch list.

The bill had been sponsored by Sens. John Kerry, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Bob Corker:

It's high time we honored his message of human dignity and valor by removing unjustified travel restrictions placed on him and other members of the ANC," said Kerry. Whitehouse added, "This problem has caused injustice to South African leaders and embarrassment to the United States, and I'm glad it will be repaired."

Prior to the bill's passage, Mandela had been subject to travel restrictions and required special certification to visit the United States. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had called on Congress in April to remove the restrictions, deeming them "rather embarrassing."


School raps 8-year-old birthday boy for 'discrimination'

An 8-year-old boy stirred up an unorthodox civil rights debate in Sweden last week after passing out invitations to his birthday party in class. Noticing that he'd failed to invite two students, the boy's teacher confiscated all the invitations, citing the school's duty to fight "discrimination." The case went from the classroom to the school board when the boy's father lodged a complaint with a parliamentary ombudsmen, saying, "No one has the right to confiscate someone's property in this way."

Sweden, despite its reputation as a Scandinavian bastion of tolerance, still has a problem with homophobic and xenophobic crimes, particularly against Muslims and the Roma people. Not that any of this had anything to do with the birthday party in question. Apparently one of the noninvited classmates had bullied the boy, while the other hadn't invited him to his own birthday bash.

In its misguided efforts to promote tolerance, the school has ended up hurting the feelings of one student -- the birthday boy. Says his father,

My son has taken it pretty hard."

Hopefully some cake and ice cream will cheer him up.