Beliefnet
God's Politics

the latest reports on Gerald Ford, James Brown, John Edwards candidacy, poverty and obesity, domestic violence, U.S. population at 300 million, human trafficking, Saddam Hussein, Iraq, Somalia, cloned food and select op-eds

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Gerald Ford. President Declares Tuesday A National Day of Mourning – “President Bush declared a national day of mourning and ordered the federal government to close Tuesday to mark the death of Gerald R. Ford.” Ford Arranged His Funeral to Reflect Himself and Drew in a Former Adversary – “As he helped in recent years arrange the details of his own funeral, Gerald R. Ford reached out to an old adversary: Jimmy Carter, who defeated him for the presidency in 1976. Skip to next paragraphMr. Ford asked whether his successor might consider speaking at his funeral and offered, lightheartedly, to do the same for Mr. Carter, depending on who died first.” Ford’s Michigan hometown braces for crowds – “The procession of tourists and history buffs stretched for blocks along Union Avenue SE as people flocked to the childhood home of Gerald R. Ford.”

Ford, Nixon Sustained Friendship for Decades – “Months before Richard M. Nixon set a relatively unknown Michigan congressman named Gerald R. Ford on the path to the White House, Nixon turned to Ford, who called himself the embattled president’s “only real friend,” to get him out of trouble.” For Ford, Pardon Decision Was Always Clear-Cut – “President Gerald R. Ford was never one for second-guessing, but for many years after leaving office in 1977, he carried in his wallet a scrap of a 1915 Supreme Court ruling. A pardon, the excerpt said, “carries an imputation of guilt,” and acceptance of a pardon is “a confession of it.”

James Brown. Brown packs Harlem’s Apollo one last time – “Even in death, the Godfather of Soul still pulled out all the stops to please a crowd. So it seemed Thursday, when thousands of Brown’s fans, friends and family gathered for a final public viewing and wake.” A Loud, Proud Send-Off for an Icon of Soul– “James Brown gave one last show in Harlem yesterday, three days after his death, in a golden coffin lined with white velvet, on the flower-bedecked stage of the famed Apollo Theater, before a crowd of thousands who had lined up for blocks to see him.”

John Edwards announces. Edwards Formally Joins 2008 Presidential Race – “Former senator John Edwards of North Carolina launched his second campaign for the White House from this flood-ravaged city with a call for the United States to reduce its troop presence in Iraq and a plea for citizen action to combat poverty, global warming and America’s reliance on foreign oil.” Edwards hopes persistence pays off in presidency – “With the ruins of New Orleans as his backdrop … Edwards called on Americans to take action against poverty, global warming and other troubles as he officially launched his 2008 campaign for president.” Edwards takes another shot at run for White House – “Should he win the White House in 2008, John Edwards has a few modest goals: end poverty, provide health care for all, inspire Americans to help others and make his country once again “the great light for the rest of the world.”

Poverty and obesity. Obesity battle starts young for urban poor – “By the time they reach the age of 3, more than one-third of low-income urban children are already overweight or obese, according to a study released yesterday that provides alarming evidence that the nation’s battle of the bulge begins when toddlers are barely out of diapers.” Poorer tots more likely to be obese – “Hispanic children from low-income families were most at risk, with 44 percent either overweight or obese, compared with 32 percent for white and African-American children from similar households.”

Domestic violence. Domestic abuse rates drop; racial gap persists – “Domestic violence rates fell sharply between 1993 and 2004, the Justice Department said, noting that American Indian women and native Alaskan women are far more likely to be victimized than whites and other minorities.”

300 million. U.S. population clock ticks to 300.9 million – “When the clock ticks over to midnight Sunday and 2007 arrives, the United States will have nearly 2.9 million more people than a year earlier.”

Trafficking. 50 Boys Who Were Forced to Work at Factories in India Are Freed – “For two years, Bhola worked more than 15 hours a day without being paid or allowed to visit his parents. On Thursday, a local private organization freed Bhola, now 12, and 49 other child laborers like him.”

Saddam Hussein. Hussein’s lawyer pleads for mercy – “Saddam Hussein’s lawyer made a last-ditch effort to impede the former president’s execution, beseeching world leaders to prevent the United States from handing over Hussein to Iraqi authorities who plan to hang him.” Iraqi PM: no delay in execution – “The Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, said there will be “no review or delay” in the execution of Saddam Hussein.” U.S. Is Told Hussein Hanging Seems Imminent – “Preparations for the execution of Saddam Hussein began taking on a sense of urgency late Thursday as American and Iraqi officials suggested that he could be hanged within a span of days rather than weeks.” The Rush to Hang Saddam Hussein– “Toppling Saddam Hussein did not automatically create a new and better Iraq. Executing him won’t either.”

Iraq. Bush Considers Economic Package for Iraq – “Among the steps being considered are short-term jobs and loan programs aimed at winning back the waning local support for the U.S. presence in Iraq, the officials said. They described the ideas as part of a classic effort to quell an insurgency through a combination of economic, political and military means.” Bush Considers Up to 20,000 More Troops for Iraq – “The Bush administration is considering an increase in troop levels in Iraq of 17,000 to 20,000, which would be accomplished in part by delaying the departure of two Marine regiments now deployed in Anbar Province, Pentagon officials said Thursday.” Soldiers in Iraq say troop surge won’t stop killing – “Many of the American soldiers trying to quell sectarian killings in Baghdad don’t appear to be looking for reinforcements. They say the call for a temporary surge in troops is a bad idea.”

Somalia. Ethiopians Help Seize Somali Capital – “Ethiopian-backed troops moved unopposed into Somalia’s unruly capital of Mogadishu on Thursday, taking over from fleeing Islamic fighters as clan elders and politicians met in an effort to establish the first viable secular government in the country since 1991.” Somalia Forces Retake Capital From Islamists – “Just hours after Islamist fighters abandoned Mogadishu, the capital from which they ruled much of Somalia, thousands of troops of the transitional government marched into the city in a stunning reversal of fortune.” Ethiopians are split over their foreign invasion – “Just as the Iraq invasion has divided Americans, Ethiopians are split over their government’s decision to get involved in Somalia’s brewing civil war by sending troops across the border.”


Cloned food.
F.D.A. Tentatively Declares Food From Cloned Animals to Be Safe– “After years of delay, the Food and Drug Administration tentatively concluded yesterday that milk and meat from some cloned farm animals are safe to eat. That finding could make the United States the first country to allow products from cloned livestock to be sold in grocery stores.”

Op-Ed. Resolution for the right (Cal Thomas, Washington Times) – “With Democrats about to assume control of the House and Senate for the first time in 12 years, Republicans in general, conservatives in particular and conservative Christians especially face an important choice.”

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