Bloomberg flip-flops on New York KSM trial

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has apparently joined the Khalid Sheikh Muhammed trial NIMBY brigade:

“It would be great if the federal government could find a site that didn’t cost a billion dollars, which using downtown will,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“It’s going to cost an awful lot of money and disturb an awful lot of people,” he said. “Can we provide security? Yes. Could you provide security elsewhere? Yeah, and I mean -- the suggestion of a military base is probably a reasonably good one. Relatively easy to supply -- to provide security. They tend to be outside of cities so that they don’t disrupt other people.”

It was a marked change from Mr. Bloomberg’s initial reaction to the news, just two months ago, that the trial would be held in Manhattan. ”It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered,” he said at the time.

The New York Times's City Room blog reports that the Downtown Manhattan community board and real estate associations are opposed to the trial so Bloomberg may be under local pressure. Governor David Patterson is also against holding the trial in New York. As a former New Yorker I'm definitely sympathetic to the disruptions and commotion this will cause, but this wouldn't be the first major terrorist trial held in New York and no one's denying that security can be provided. And holding the trial on a military base would be counterproductive to one of the main goals of the civilian trial, which is showing that the normal U.S. justice system can handle even the worst terrorists.


The ANC launches fashion line

Always wanted to dress like Jacob Zuma? ANC designed leather jackets, initially made popular by the South African president, are now on sale. They're, well, a bit garish -- and, not surprisingly, haven't been received well by South Africa's fashionistas:

Popular fashion designer Thula Sindi says the jackets have a "members' only feel" and are only suitable for "much older people".

"I wouldn't be caught dead in them. Its all just looks like patchwork," he says.

"I don't think anybody younger than 40 would wear that, out of fear of being ridiculed."