Daily Digest: Mpls. Somalis in Senate, a Twitter counterpoint

by Mike Rose

Hello, gang, and welcome to a Digest on an unseasonably cold Wednesday in March. I wish I could bring some warmth with this post, but hopefully quick news hits will do:

*Our lead-off hitter today is this story by the Star Tribune’s Kevin Diaz on Minneapolis Somalis testifying before the Senate on the growing problem of young Somali males being recruited by an Islamist extremist group in Somalia. As many as 20 young Somalis have disappeared from their homes in the Twin Cities, and some government officials are worried that the influx of American citizens to the group, al-Qaida offshoot al-Shabaab, could lead to terrorist attacks in this country. However, the local Somalis who testified warn that this is not indicative of the entire Minneapolis Somali community–most young Somalis care more about "March Madness, Kobe Bryant, and the NFL draft." The FBI has been investigating the case locally, which has impacted some University of Minnesota students.

Seymour Hersh, courtesy Reuters

*Legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh stirred things up a bit last night at a University-held discussion, according to Eric Black at MinnPost. Hersh, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Mai Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, talked about "instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an ‘executive assassination ring,’" Black wrote. For more coverage of the "Great Conversations" talk, see this Daily article.

*And, to round out today’s lineup, I offer this little counterpoint to the Twitter phenomenon: Columnist Joe Soucheray of the Pioneer Press hates it. Some of Joe’s select comments on the social networking tool: "I now know what Twitter is, by the way. I did some homework. It is nothing. Nothing. It is nothing wrapped in euphemisms, like ‘networking’ or ‘socializing’ or ‘staying connected in real time.’" Or how about, "It’s worse than nobody working. We have become a nation of attention-starved narcissists who don’t talk to each other in person but actually believe they are when they type words on a little keyboard and send them off to Twitterville." Ouch, Joe. I’ll let you folks decide on where you stand regarding Twitter, but I’ll use this post to shamelessly plug the Daily’s Twitter, which you can find right here.

Over and out.