Beliefnet
God's Politics

Today’s latest on the Amish school shooting, the United Nations, congressional scandal, Iran, North Korea, Iraq, terrorism warnings, and housing.

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Full news summary:

Amish school shooting. Two more children die overnight from school shooting injuries – “A fifth child wounded in the shootings at an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County died Tuesday in a Delaware hospital, state police said.” Execution-style slayings planned; boys unharmed – “A suicidal 32-year-old man barricaded himself inside an Amish schoolhouse Monday morning and killed three girls before turning the gun on himself”. At Least 3 Killed at Pa. Amish School – “A truck driver armed with three guns, two knives and 600 rounds of ammunition burst into a one-room schoolhouse in this Amish community, lined at least 11 girls against a blackboard and shot them “execution style,” killing three before taking his life.”

Man kills 3 girls and self, wounds 8 at Amish school – “… horse-drawn buggies parked not far from giant TV satellite trucks, their dishes pointed at the stars. The sky above buzzed with the drone of news helicopters, replacing the roar of emergency medical choppers that had descended hours earlier.” Amish schools are rooted in the past – “Amish schools, like most aspects of Amish life, remain today as they have been for generations. … They have one room, one teacher, no electricity, and are not mandatory beyond the 8th grade.”

Congressional scandal- News. Hastert: E-mails should have raised `a red flag’ – “House Speaker Dennis Hastert defended the Republican leadership’s handling of a suggestive e-mail exchange between Rep. Mark Foley and an underage House page, conceding that the communication should have raised “a red flag” but arguing their options were limited because the boy’s parents wanted to avoid publicity.” After Foley, New Fears For the GOP – “Republican strategists said that public revulsion over the sexually graphic online conversations between Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and former House pages could compound the party’s problems enough to tip the House to the Democrats in November — and could jeopardize the party’s hold on the Senate as well.” Pressure Grows for Republicans Over Foley Scandal – “Speaker J. Dennis Hastert faced intensifying questions on Monday about why Republicans had not reacted more assertively to Representative Mark Foley’s messages to a teenage page, as members of his party, fearing a political debacle, demanded a strong response.”

Editorials. Hypocrisy in a hypocritical town – (Chicago Tribune) “The sexually explicit communiques from former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley to former congressional pages are disgusting and infuriating.” Resign, Mr. Speaker (Washington Times) – “House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once. Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week’s revelations — or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away.” The Foley Matter (New York Times) – “History suggests that once a political party achieves sweeping power, it will only be a matter of time before the power becomes the entire point. Policy, ideology, ethics all gradually fall away, replaced by a political machine that exists to win elections and dispense the goodies that come as a result. The only surprise in Washington now is that the Congressional Republicans managed to reach that point of decayed purpose so thoroughly, so fast.” When politicians get comfortable, danger lurks (Peter S. Canellos, Boston Globe) – “Carefully drawn districts and enormous campaign war chests are protecting countless members of Congress from the scrutiny that comes with a tough race. Yet that kind of testing may be precisely what they need, to remind them that they’re politicians, and that they’re not invulnerable.”

Iran. U.S. wins a united front on Iran – “The United States is confident that Russia and China will join it in pushing for U.N. sanctions against Iran if it does not agree to suspend enriching uranium this week, a senior U.S. official said yesterday.”

North Korea. N Korea ‘to conduct nuclear test’ – “North Korea is to conduct a nuclear test “in the future”, the country’s foreign ministry says in a statement. The move would “bolster” the country’s self-defence in the face of US military hostility, official agency KCNA said.”

Iraq. Nine US soldiers killed in Baghdad – “The US military today announced that nine of its soldiers had died in Baghdad in the last three days, with the news coming as authorities said at least 13 people had been killed in new outbreaks of violence.”

United Nations. South Korean Poised to Succeed Annan – “South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon is one step away from being named the U.N.’s next secretary-general, after winning the support of all five permanent Security Council members in an informal poll.” Council Backs South Korean for U.N. Secretary
General
– “The foreign minister of South Korea is virtually assured of being selected as the next secretary general of the United Nations.”

Terrorism warning. Tenet Recalled Warning Rice – “Former CIA director George Tenet told the 9/11 Commission that he had warned of an imminent threat from al-Qaeda in a July 2001 meeting with Condoleezza Rice.” C.I.A. Chief Warned Rice on Al Qaeda – “A review of White House records has determined that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condlleezza Rice and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al Qaeda.”

Housing. Across Nation, Housing Costs Rise as Burden – “The burden of housing costs in nearly every part of the country grew sharply from 2000 to 2005, according to new Census Bureau data being made public today. The numbers vividly illustrate the impact, often distributed unevenly, of the crushing combination of escalating real estate prices and largely stagnant incomes.”

Op-Ed. ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE: If and when Bush ‘Iraqs’ Iran – “A strategic thinker who called all the correct diplomatic and military plays preceding Operation Iraqi Freedom now sees diplomatic failure and air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities. The war on Iran, he says, started a year ago when the U.S. began conducting secret recon missions inside Iran.”

Quote of the Day

“There is no place more helpless than an Amish schoolhouse. They were defenseless.” A member of Bart Township (PA) Fire Police on the brutality of the schoolhouse shootings. (Lancaster Intelligencer-Journal)

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