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Immigration. “The Senate will begin considering a series of House bills this week aimed at strengthening border security and toughening enforcement of immigration laws,”

Religious Right. “Openly anxious about grass-roots disaffection from the Republican Party, conservative Christian organizers are reaching for ways to turn out voters this November,”

Iraq worsens terror. “A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown.”

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Full news summary:

Defense budget. Army Warns Rumsfeld It’s Billions Short – “The Army’s top officer withheld a required 2008 budget plan from Pentagon leaders last month after protesting to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the service could not maintain its current level of activity in Iraq plus its other global commitments without billions in additional funding.”

Immigration. Border Bills Come Down to Last Minute – “The Senate will begin considering a series of House bills this week aimed at strengthening border security and toughening enforcement of immigration laws, but given the cool reception the measures are getting from many senators, it appears unlikely that much of the legislation will pass.”

Lebanon. Lebanese Christians bash Hezbollah – Beirut, Lebanon – “Tens of thousands of supporters of an anti-Hezbollah Christian leader poured into the shrine of the Virgin Mary in the town of Harissa on Sunday to hear him denounce the Islamic militants for the “catastrophe” that their war with Israel brought on Lebanon.”

Religious Right. Christian Conservatives Look to Re-energize Base – “Openly anxious about grass-roots disaffection from the Republican Party, conservative Christian organizers are reaching for ways to turn out voters this November, including arguing that recognizing same-sex marriage could also limit religious freedom.” Key GOP voter bloc not singing party’s praises – “To the daunting challenges facing Republicans in this fall’s midterm elections, add another: angry “values voters” who say they feel used and abandoned.”

Darfur. U.S. envoy says Sudan one of his toughest tasks – “The Bush administration’s new envoy to Sudan said his mission to try to stop the genocide in Darfur will be a daunting assignment. Andrew Natsios, a former head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said his new job will be “one of the most difficult I’ve had.” African Union to bolster troops in Darfur, toughen their roles – “The African Union said yesterday it will send more peacekeeping troops to Sudan’s Darfur region and toughen the soldiers’ role in protecting civilians while the international community pressures the Sudanese government to allow a UN military force.” Rice, Others Press Sudan to Open Darfur to U.N. Force – “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday renewed her call for Sudan to halt a military offensive in Darfur and yield to international pressure to allow more than 20,000 U.N. peacekeepers to protect civilians there.”

Congress. Congress Is Winding Down, but Much Is Left Undone – “Procrastination, power struggles and partisanship have left Congress with substantial work to finish before breaking for the elections. The fast-approaching recess and the Republican focus on national security legislation make it inevitable that much of the remainder will fall by the wayside.”

Politics. A Senator Bets on Party’s Clout in Pennsylvania – “Here in Pennsylvania, with every new poll, the question arises: Can Mr. Santorum, with all his resources, change the dynamics of this race? So far, the answer is not fundamentally.”

And some from the weekend.

Iraq worsens terror. Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat – “A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.” Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Hurting U.S. Terror Fight – “The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded.”

“Values voters” summit. GOP hopefuls audition at ‘values voters’ summit – “Potential Republican presidential candidates spent the weekend revving up evangelical “values voters” by pledging to keep up the fight against abortion and same-sex “marriage,” and to protect religious freedom.” ‘Values voters’ told to know the enemy – “A prominent evangelical leader told more than 1,000 conservative “values” voters yesterday that they shouldn’t shy away from the fact that the country is in a war with Muslims who want to kill Americans. “We’re in a war and it’s time that we recognized it,” James C. Dobson told a crowd.” Falwell Says Faithful Fear Clinton More Than Devil – “Nothing will motivate conservative evangelical Christians to vote Republican in the 2008 presidential election more than a Democratic nominee named Hillary Rodham Clinton — not even a run by the devil himself. That was the sentiment expressed by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.” Tactic Uses Pulpits to Power the GOP – “Worried that discontent among conservatives and the lack of a clear standard-bearer to follow President Bush might cost Republicans in November, top evangelical leaders pleaded with their followers Friday to put aside frustrations and turn out for GOP candidates.”

Detainees. Differences Settled in Deal Over Detainee Treatment – “After weeks of internal wrangling over legislation to interrogate and prosecute terrorism suspects, Republicans on Friday put aside their differences, setting the House and Senate on a path to approve a compromise struck with the White House.” NEWS ANALYSIS: Detainee Deal Comes With Contradictions –“The compromise reached between Congressional Republicans and the White House on the interrogations and trials of terrorism suspects is, legal experts said yesterday, a series of interlocking paradoxes.” On Rough Treatment, a Rough Accord – “Draft legislation to create a new system of military courts for terrorism suspects would allow prosecutors to introduce at future trials confessions that were obtained through “cruel, unusual, or inhumane” interrogations by the CIA or the military before 2005, but not afterward.”

Lebanon. Lebanon Throng Hails Hezbollah Chief, Who Calls Militia Stronger – “Hundreds of thousands of people stood Friday and chanted “God, God, protect Nasrallah.” It was the moment they had waited for: Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, in person, declaring that his militia was stronger than ever and that no army in the world could force it to disarm.”

IRS and churches. LA Times columnist Steve Lopez: The IRS Works in Mysterious Ways – “This is completely ridiculous, what the IRS is doing” to All Saints, says USC Law School Dean Ed McCaffery, a specialist in tax law. He said the IRS has every right to make sure nonprofits abide by the rules, but he doesn’t believe the sermon in question comes anywhere near the legal definition of picking sides.”

Women war casualties. Jane, We Hardly Knew Ye Died – “Despite longstanding predictions that America would shudder to see its women coming home in coffins, Lieutenant Perez’s death, and those of the other women, the majority of whom died from hostile fire (the 65th died in a Baghdad car bombing a day later), have stirred no less — and no more — reaction at home than the nearly 2,900 male dead [in Iraq or Afghanistan]. The same can be said of the hundreds of wounded women.”

News Quote of the day:

“I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate. She has $300 million so far. But I hope she’s the candidate. Because nothing will energize my [constituency] like Hillary Clinton. If Lucifer ran, he wouldn’t.” Rev. Jerry Falwell (Los Angeles Times)

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