Briefly noted

September 7, 2004

Two-thirds of Americans say the U.S. should abide by international laws barring governments from ever using physical torture, while 29 percent found those laws “too restrictive,” according to a new poll. The poll was conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes, a research group affiliated with the University of Maryland, and Knowledge Networks, a polling and market research firm. Participants in the survey were given scenarios in which interrogators were pursuing information about terrorism and asked what, if any, coercive techniques they would condone. Only one from a list of 14— sleep deprivation—was consistently approved by a majority. Others on the list included the hooding of prisoners and sexual humiliation.

Visitors to Jerusalem may once again view the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls, the oldest surviving biblical and sectarian texts, had been stored while a wing of the Israel Museum designed to house the ancient texts underwent extensive renovations. The scrolls were discovered at Qumran, in the Judean Desert, decades ago. Some were found nearly intact while others had been reduced to tiny fragments, some of which have not been displayed before.