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Morocco can't feel the love tonight

Elton John's slated to perform today in Morocco, and conservative Muslims aren't thrilled with the prospect:

"This singer is famous for his homosexual behavior and for advocating it," said Mustapha Ramid, a leader and spokesman for the PJD, the biggest opposition party with 40 lawmakers in parliament.

Despite the brouhaha, Moroccan gay rights leaders claim that the country is one of the most forward-thinking in the Muslim world: 

A sign of Morocco's evolution, Taia said, is the creation of a new local word to describe homosexuality in Arabic: "Mithly," replacing the pejorative usual phrase of "an act against nature."

I fail to see how anyone could object to the harmonious, existential lessons of "Circle of Life." Encouragingly, Moroccan officials have told John to go ahead and claim, "I'm Still Standing."

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BP rig crewmembers fought before explosion

In his testimony before Congress this morning, Douglas H. Brown, chief mechanic for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, recounted a dispute between a BP official and Transocean crew members that took place the day of the rig's explosion. At issue was whether BP could replace heavy drilling fluid -- typically used in the final stages of plugging oil wells -- with a lighter liquid, a substitution crew members appear to have opposed.

"The driller was outlining what would be taking place, whereupon the company man stood up and said, 'No, we'll be having some changes to that'...The OIM, tool-pusher and driller disagreed with that, but the company man said, 'Well, this is how it's gonna be.'"

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