God's Politics

The latest news on Iraq, nuclear weapons in the mideast, the congressional budget, Annan’s farewell, Darfur, faith and sexuality, Iran, minimum wage in Ohio, Pinochet, and Carter and the mideast.

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Full news summary:

Iraq. Bush gathers ideas on Iraq – “Launching a highly visible round of consultations as he seeks to reshape the U.S. role in Iraq, President Bush reiterated Monday that “success” there was crucial to the long-term protection of the United States, and said Iraq’s regional neighbors had a responsibility to help the country’s fledgling government.” Experts Advise Bush Not to Reduce Troops – “President Bush heard a blunt and dismal assessment of his handling of Iraq from a group of military experts, but the advisers shared the White House’s skeptical view of the recommendations made last week by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group,” In Advance of Speech, Bush Seeks Iraq Advice– “President Bush began an Iraq war listening tour that will last much of this week, as he and his war cabinet work urgently toward a new strategy he can present to the public before Christmas.”

Nuclear weapons-Mideast. Israeli PM in nuclear arms hint – “Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appears to have come close to admitting that his country has nuclear weapons.” Olmert’s stray comment fuels the nuclear debate – “Israeli PM stumbles into controversy after apparently admitting his country possesses a nuclear arsenal.” ‘Distant threats’ push Israel to boost warplanes’ range – “Israel’s air force plans to enhance its air-refueling capabilities, increasing the range of its warplanes. The changes come as Iran emerges as an increasing threat.” How Gulf states could start new nuclear race – “A weekend decision by the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council to launch an innocent-sounding joint nuclear energy development project is the clearest signal yet that Iran’s nuclear programmes, whether sinister or not, could hasten the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction across the Middle East.”

Congress – budget. Democrats Freeze Earmarks for Now – “Democratic leaders declared a temporary moratorium on special-interest provisions known as earmarks as they attempt to cope with a budget crisis left by the outgoing Republican-led 109th Congress. Congress adjourned early Saturday, having completed work on two of the 11 spending bills for the 2007 fiscal year that began Oct. 1.” Democrats Decline to Take Up Unfinished Spending Bills – “Congressional Democrats said that they would not try to finish multiple spending bills left hanging by the departed Republican majority. Instead, they want to keep most government agencies operating under their current budgets until next fall.” Dems Plan to Clean Up Spending Bills – “The unappealing alternative was a time- and energy-consuming legislative slog just as Bush’s new budget and a $100 billion-plus Iraq funding bill are due to arrive on Capitol Hill.”

Annan’s farewell. Annan accuses U.S. of losing its principles – “U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for the United States to respect international norms, pointedly contrasting Bush administration policies in Iraq with the values that made America great.”

Darfur. Annan calls for action in Darfur – “The UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, urged an emergency session of the UN human rights council to take immediate action over atrocities in Darfur, Sudan.” Clooney leads Darfur mission – “Stepping up his efforts to raise awareness about the killings in Sudan’s Darfur region, Oscar-winning actor George Clooney this week led a small delegation of activists, among them fellow actor Don Cheadle and two former Olympians, to meet with high-ranking government officials in China.”

Faith and Sexuality. Gay and Evangelical, Seeking Paths of Acceptance– “As gay men and lesbians grapple with their sexuality and an evangelical upbringing they cherish, some have come to accept both. And like other Christians who are trying to broaden the definition of evangelical to include other, though less charged, concerns like the environment and AIDS, gay evangelicals are trying to expand the understanding of evangelical to include them, too.” 2nd Colorado pastor quits over gay sex allegations – “The founding pastor of a second Colorado church has resigned over gay sex allegations, just weeks after the evangelical community was shaken by a scandal surrounding megachurch leader Ted Haggard.”

Iran. Holocaust skeptics gather in Iran – “Iran hosted Holocaust deniers from around the world Monday at a conference examining whether the Nazi genocide took place, a meeting Israel’s prime minister condemned as a “sick phenomenon.” Iran Opens Conference on Holocaust – “Iran held a gathering t
hat included Holocaust deniers, discredited scholars and white supremacists from around the world on Monday under the guise of a conference to “debate” the Nazi annihilation of six million Jews.” Students protest against Ahmadinejad – “Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, faced an unprecedented outburst of public opposition yesterday from student demonstrators who burned his picture and chanted “Death to the dictator”.”

Minimum wage-Ohio. Discord over wage bill deepens – “Opponents of what is technically dubbed “enabling legislation” say majority Republican lawmakers are trying to exempt some workers who otherwise would get the higher wage and overturn other protections that have existed for decades in Ohio law.”

Pinochet. Chile reveres, reviles Pinochet – “Raucous street celebrations that followed news of the ex-despot’s death enrage his admirers, who flock to view his body. The funeral is today.” News Analysis: A Bitter Legacy of Division Survives Pinochet – “Chile seemed calmer on Monday, with the general’s few remaining admirers filing by his coffin at the military academy here and the rest of the country going about its normal workday activities. But the timing of his death has not only brought back to the surface many of the divisions he created but has also left a host of troubling legal and political questions unresolved.”

Carter & Mideast. Carter defends book in Pasadena appearance – “Jimmy Carter staunchly defended his controversial Middle East book at an appearance in Pasadena on Monday night, saying “horrible, despicable human rights abuses” are occurring in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.”

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