NO URGENCY FOR WAR, SAYS WAKE FOREST TERRORISM EXPERT – President Bush has not made a plausible case for war against Iraq, says a Wake Forest expert on international law. Jonathan Marks, adjunct professor of political science, says Hans Blix and the U.N. weapons inspectors need more time to complete their task. Following Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, Marks led a discussion about the impending war that generated considerable response from students. A former director of a policy task force at Princeton University that focused on lawful responses to terrorism, Marks says inspections in the 1990s did much more for disarming Iraq than the actual war. He says several countries pose a much greater threat to the United States, including Pakistan and North Korea. To arrange an interview with Marks, contact Jacob McConnico at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-758-5237.
CAMPUS, COMMUNITY TO DEBATE U.S. POLICY TOWARDS IRAQ – A group of concerned faculty have organized “Threatening War: A Forum on U.S. Policy Towards Iraq” in an effort to encourage dialogue on campus and in the community about the potential for military conflict in the Middle East. The public forum, organized by the group “Faculty Raising Dialogue.” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 4 in Wake Forest’s Pugh Auditorium in Benson University Center. The forum will draw on the expertise of three university professors and one member of the Winston-Salem community. The panel will address three central issues including, under what conditions a war in Iraq would be justified, if those conditions exist, and if a war in Iraq would advance or hinder the fight against terrorism. The audience will be given time to ask questions after each panelist makes a short presentation. For more information or to coordinate coverage of the event, contact Jacob McConnico at email@example.com or 336-758-5237.
STUDENTS OFFER FREE TAX HELP – The April 15 deadline may seem far away, but some accounting students at Wake Forest are ready to start filing income tax forms for thousands of Forsyth County residents. The students are volunteering with the IRS-sponsored VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), a free program to help lower-to-moderate income residents take advantage of tax credits and complete their tax forms correctly. IRS officials estimate that nearly $7 million in refunds are unclaimed in Forsyth County alone. The students will assist local taxpayers at the Goodwill Industries building on University Parkway from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Feb. 4, and each Tuesday in February and March, except March 11. To arrange coverage or an interview, contact Sarah Mansell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-758-5237.
RING IN THE YEAR OF THE SHEEP – Wake Forest will celebrate the Chinese New Year Feb. 8 at 11:30 a.m. in the theatre lobby of the Scales Fine Arts Center. The festival will feature a lion dance troupe, martial arts and Chinese yo-yo demonstrations, and a traditional Chinese dance. Other activities include the tangram puzzle, puppet making and Chinese brushwork. Cristina Yu, a university librarian, organizes the festival each year. She is available for interviews leading up to and following the festival. Visual opportunities are available, including participants in historical Chinese costume, a Beijing spear demonstration and local children participating in arts and crafts activities such as zodiac wheel making. This year’s new moon marks the end of the year of the horse and the beginning of the year of the sheep. This is the fourth year the university has celebrated the Chinese New Year. To arrange coverage, contact the News Service at 336-758-5237.
ISRAELI ELECTIONS OFFER FEW ANSWERS FOR A DIVIDED REGION – Although Ariel Sharon and his Likud Party enjoyed a decisive victory over the Labor Party in this week’s Israeli elections, a Wake Forest University Middle Eastern expert says the vote does not guarantee much stability for a region plagued with violence and unrest. “The Israeli elections may be over, but the process of building a government will probably take a while,” says Russell Lucas, a visiting assistant professor in the university’s political science department. “Regardless of who is in Sharon’s coalition, he is roundly disliked by nearly all Arabs for his role in massacres during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.” Lucas, who is working on a book about Jordanian politics, says that as long as President Bush and the United States are focused on Iraq, the Israeli/Palestinian peace process will suffer. Almost lost in the shuffle of Tuesday’s Israeli elections and the president’s State of the Union Address, was the fact that at least seven more Palestinians were killed in the region, Lucas says. To arrange an interview with Lucas, contact Jacob McConnico at email@example.com or 336-758-5237.
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