Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Throwing the books at them
By Other Views: Washington Post
Published July 22, 2007
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, is now one of Russia's best-known political prisoners. Having committed the unpardonable sin of considering a political challenge to President Vladimir Putin, Khodorkovsky has languished in a Siberian prison camp since 2005, and Russian authorities want to keep him there. With a diminished but nevertheless sizable fortune, not to mention moral capital because of his refusal to bend to Kremlin pressure, the former oil baron might still hope to have some influence after his release, particularly if he is freed before the uncertain 2008 presidential contest. That is one likely reason that he and a business associate face additional charges - just months before they would be eligible for parole. If convicted, he would have to wait out the next presidential election and a lot more.
The charges are magnificently implausible. Khodorkovsky is alleged to have embezzled and then laundered $32-billion through affiliates of his oil company, Yukos. Inconveniently for the government, PricewaterhouseCoopers was vouching for Yukos' books throughout the period in question.
More convenient for the Kremlin, the auditor last month suddenly disowned and withdrew a decade's worth of Yukos audits, helping to neuter Khodorkovsky's defense. Before the announcement, the firm had insisted that its work was sound. After the announcement - surprise, surprise - a Moscow court ordered new hearings on a $9-million tax case against PricewaterhouseCoopers that, until then, had not been going the company's way.
A spokesman for PricewaterhouseCoopers insisted that its decision to withdraw the audits had nothing to do with the months of harassment it received from Russian authorities - including a police raid, the tax lawsuit and threats that its license to operate in Russia could be revoked. The company declined to detail its reasons for withdrawing the audits.
It's just one more tawdry example of the difference between rule by law and rule by Putin.