Beliefnet
God's Politics

The latest news on Afghanistan, Iran, Genocide-Darfur, Genocide-Bosnia, Iraq, children’s health insurance, presidential politics, working and the poor, Jesus tomb???, immigration and select op-eds.

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Full news summary:

Afghanistan. Blast occurs while Cheney visits – “Suspected insurgents set off a blast early today outside the main U.S. base in Afghanistan while Vice President Dick Cheney was visiting, killing as many as 20 people, officials said. Cheney was not injured in the explosion outside Bagram air base, north of Kabul, the capital, the U.S. military said.” Cheney OK after attack – “The Taliban said the vice president was the target of a blast that killed 23 in Afghanistan.”

Iraq-US. Majority in Poll Favor Deadline For Iraq Pullout – “With Congress preparing for renewed debate over President Bush’s Iraq policies, a majority of Americans now support setting a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces from the war-torn nation and support putting new conditions on the military that could limit the number of personnel available for duty there,” Democrats taking aim at war budget request – “Seeking to exert greater authority over the nation’s war chest, Democrats plan to slash billions of dollars from the Pentagon’s emergency budget request for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Iraq. Iraq’s Cabinet Backs Contentious Oil Measure – “Iraq’s cabinet approved draft legislation that would enable the government to manage the country’s vast oil resources and distribute revenue throughout the country … But in a reminder of Iraq’s continuing instability, Adel Abdul Mahdi, one of the country’s two vice presidents, narrowly avoided assassination Monday morning when a bomb exploded inside a crowded third-floor conference room at a government ministry in Baghdad’s Mansour district.” Iraqis Reach an Accord on Oil Revenues– “The Iraqi cabinet approved a draft of a law that would set guidelines for nationwide distribution of oil revenues and foreign investment in the immense oil industry. The endorsement reflected a major agreement among the country’s ethnic and sectarian political blocs on one of Iraq’s most divisive issues.”

Children’s health insurance. Child Health Care Splits White House and States– “Governors pressed President Bush to provide more money so they could guarantee health insurance for children, an issue that some members of both parties said was as important as money for the Iraq war.”

Presidential politics. Document shows Romney’s strategies – “The 77-slide PowerPoint presentation offers a revealing look at Romney’s pursuit of the White House, outlining a plan for branding himself, framing his competitors, and allaying voter concerns about his record, his Mormon faith, and his shifts on key issues like abortion.” McCain strategy courts middle – “Sen. John McCain is playing both sides against the middle as he supports sending more than 21,500 additional troops to Iraq while trying to distance himself from President Bush by labeling the war a “train wreck.” McCain firm on Iraq war despite cost to candidacy – “At stake in Iraq is not only President Bush’s legacy but also the 70-year-old McCain’s last hope for the White House. In a crowded field of candidates, he is the only full-throated defender of the increase in U.S. troop levels and the war itself.”

Iran. New threats and overtures on Iran’s nuclear program – “U.S. and other leading diplomats prepared to consider possible new sanctions in the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program, even as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator again signaled that Tehran would be willing to engage in “constructive and logical” negotiations with Washington.” Diplomats to Begin Drafting New U.N. Sanctions on Iran – “The coalition of six world powers that has been trying to get Iran to rein in its nuclear program will begin drafting a new United Nations Security Council resolution to ratchet up the pressure again,” Iranian Scholars Denounce Conference That Denied Holocaust – “A group of Iranian academics, writers and artists has denounced the Holocaust conference held in Tehran late last year, calling it a move that endangered peace and hurt the reputation of Iranian academics.” Ahmadinejad under fire in Iran – “Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, came under fire from domestic critics yesterday for his uncompromising stance on the nuclear issue as the US and Britain launched a new diplomatic effort to agree harsher UN sanctions they hope will force Tehran to halt uranium enrichment.”

Genocide-Bosnia. Serbia guilty over Srebrenica – “The world court acquitted the state of Serbia of responsibility for genocide in neighbouring Bosnia in the mid-1990s. But in an unparalleled case concluded at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the UN’s supreme judicial authority delivered a damning verdict on Serbia’s role in the 1992-95 war, finding that Belgrade did nothing to prevent what the court described as an act of genocide at Srebrenica in 1995.” Court Declares Bosnia Killings Were Genocide– “The International Court of Justice for the first time called the massacre of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995 an act of genocide, but determined that Serbia itself was not guilty of the enormous crime.”

Genocide-Darfur. Court names Darfur suspects – “The international criminal court in The Hague today named the first two suspects wanted for allegedly committing war crimes in Darfur.” Court names Darfur war suspects – “Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court have named a minister and a militia leader who they suspect of war crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region.”

Working and poor. In N.Va., Let Down By a Rising Economy – “a growing underside of the vibrant, rapidly shifting economy of Northern Virginia, where the high cost of housing and the unpredictable nature of the job market can plunge workers into poverty and homelessness. Although Northern Virginia has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, tens of thousands of its jobs are contract work, where moderate income employees … are at the mercy of employment that can end suddenly and disappear forever.”

Jesus tomb?? Crypt Held Bodies of Jesus and Family, Film Says– “The claims were met with skepticism by several archaeologists and New Testament scholars, as well as outrage by some Christian leaders. The contention that Jesus was married, had a child and left behind his bones – suggesting he was not bodily resurrected – contradicts core Christian doctrine.” Tomb of Jesus, son found, film reports – “The Academy Award-winning director behind “Titanic” and “The Terminator” is challenging fundamental tenets of Christianity by suggesting that Jesus may have been a father whose body was buried far from the Jerusalem tomb where believers say he rose from the dead.”

Immigration. Texas talks tough on illegal immigrants – “a growing chorus of Republicans and some Democrats is pushing some of the harshest immigration-related measures in the United States – laws that would not only deny public services to illegal immigrants but strip their American-born children of benefits as well.” Cashing in on immigrants – “Critics are still fuming over Bank of America’s plan to offer credit cards to people without Social Security numbers or credit histories, characteristics common to illegal immigrants.”

Op-Ed. Congress should repeal its authorization to use force in Iraq ( Joseph R. Biden Jr., Boston Globe) –Opposing the surge is only a first step. There needs to be a radical change in course in Iraq. The pressure is building on Congress — especially Republicans — to act if the president will not. The best next step is to revisit the authorization Congress granted Bush in 2002 to use force in Iraq.”

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