Briefs: Krugman wins Nobel Prize, UWash cops sue for discrimination

Krugman Wins Nobel for Economics

Paul Krugman, a columnist for The New York Times, won the Nobel Prize for economics. Krugman, who also teaches at Princeton University, won for his analysis of international trade patterns, the newspaper reported Monday.

Krugman, who is Jewish, has been among the Bush administration’s toughest critics in the Times, excoriating its economic and foreign policies in particular. He was one of the first economists to anticipate the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and the resulting reverberation on international markets. Krugman stirred outrage in 2003 when he said Mahathir Mohamad’s claim that “Jews rule the world as proxy” was the Malaysian prime minister’s way of appeasing Muslim anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism that had been stoked by Bush administration policies. Krugman suggested that Mahathir might have felt the need for such a gesture in a speech that otherwise condemned Islamist excesses.

“Thanks to its war in Iraq and its unconditional support for Ariel Sharon, Washington has squandered post-Sept. 11 sympathy and brought relations with the Muslim world to a new low,” Krugman wrote.

The columnist also wrote that Mahathir’s remarks were “inexcusable” and “calculating,” but the column drew strong Jewish responses.

“In his obsession with criticizing U.S. policy, Paul Krugman underestimates the significance of the anti-Semitic diatribe by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad before the Organization of the Islamic Conference,” Glen Tobias, the Anti-Defamation League’s national chairman, wrote in a letter to the Times.

University’s Cops File Bias Suit

A Jewish officer was among six current and former University of Washington police officers who sued the department for discrimination. The lawsuit, which was filed Oct. 9 in U.S. District Court, alleges that the university’s Police Department was rife with racial slurs, and that management decisions were motivated by the ethnicity and gender of the employees, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Officer Andrew Cohen alleges that a co-worker said Cohen could not be Jewish because he did not have numbers tattooed on his arm, the Post-Intelligencer reporter. Cohen also said that swastikas were placed around the office.

— Courtesy JTA