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The Filter: April 29, 2008

A round-up of this morning's must-read stories. DEAR SENATOR OBAMA...(Karl Rove, Newsweek)Four months ago, you took the political world by storm in Iowa. The media were agog.

Mail Call: Pakistan's Problem

Readers of our Jan. 21 cover story on Pervez Musharraf's future unanimously blamed him for all of Pakistan's problems. "He destroyed national institutions so he can stay in power," said one. "Discontent is spreading," wrote another.

Technology: Will Japan Buy the iPhone?

The Japanese mobile industry is on Apple alert. This is the year CEO Steve Jobs said Apple would launch the iPhone in Asia. So far, Apple isn't saying when the introduction will come to Japan.

Where's the Respect?

GIs who risked their lives in Iraq want to know why only two Medals of Honor have been awarded there.

Musharraf's Last Stand

By clinging to power, the president is making Pakistan fight the wrong battle—against him, rather than the extremists destabilizing the nuclear-armed nation.

Cars: Where's the Perfect Part?

In the past, finding the perfect part for a classic-car restoration meant joining enthusiast clubs, hanging around swap meets and pawing through junkyards. How the Web has revolutionized the hunt.

Robbing the Rich in L.A.

The latest Los Angeles crime spree might make a good caper movie. A crew of two, maybe three, shadowy burglars figures out how to break into million-dollar mansions dotting the pricey hillsides above L.A.

Ali Farzat: Arab Cartoonist and Gadfly

Ali Farzat, Syria's best-known political cartoonist, began publishing Al-Doumari, the country's first independent satirical weekly in 2001. Although Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had initially encouraged Farzat's efforts, he soon soured on the experiment.

Last Word: Hoshyar Zebari

Baghdad was already feeling the heat of an increase in suicide blasts and roadside bombs, mortar attacks on the Green Zone, and U.S. pressure to meet its "benchmarks" of progress by September.

Toddler served margarita in sippy cup

Elisa Kelly thought she was doing the right thing when she bought $340 worth of beer and liquor for her 16-year-old son and more than 20 of his friends. In exchange for the booze, Kelly's son agreed that all his pals would sleep over at his birthday party.

Oops. The Movie's Leaked Online

Michael Moore's new documentary about America's health-care system and pharmaceutical industry may be called "Sicko," but chances are he's the one feeling a little queasy today.

Full Speed Ahead

Lindsay Lohan is back in rehab. Back? Wasn't she just there? Fellow bad girl Britney Spears wasn't in long enough for her hair to grow back. Meanwhile, Paris Hilton zipped right by rehab and picked up the GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL card.In the last year or so, rehab has become the ultimate publicity tool, a brief break from the glitzy life, a chance to burnish one's reputation. (The bad girls aren't alone in this regard; see Mel Gibson, Isaiah Washington.) What we've forgotten is that rehab is...

Samuelson: Seeking Sense on Immigration

Our stalled immigration debate needs more common sense and more common decency. America's immigration system is unquestionably broken. It encourages illegality, frustrates assimilation and barely aids the economy—exactly the opposite of what it should do.

He's Ready to Rumble

John Edwards played defensive back in high school, and waiting offstage to speak, he looked eager to get onto the field and hit someone. That is what he did (rhetorically) in the first scrimmage of the 2008 presidential campaign last Friday.

The New Middle East

As the Iraq war helps bring the American era to a close, a new order will begin to emerge in the region.