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God's Politics

The latest news from Iran, homelessness, Iraq-UK troops, and Dems-, Anglicans, Libby trial, and select Op-Eds.

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Full news summary:

Anglicans. After Anglican meeting, Episcopal Church on notice – “Holding to goals of unity and reconciliation, the leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion have taken key steps that buy time for healing in the deeply divided global body. But they also served notice on the Episcopal Church, Anglicanism’s US branch, that it must give convincing proof of an intent to abide by traditional practices with regard to homosexuality.” Anglicans in ‘free-fall’– “Tensions between the worldwide Anglican Communion and its liberal U.S. branch, the Episcopal Church, continued as both sides fell to arguing over the requirements listed in documents released by the top bishops of the 77-million-member Communion.” Many Episcopalians Wary, Some Defiant After Ultimatum by Anglicans– “In interviews yesterday, some liberal and moderate leaders who constitute a majority in the American church voiced everything from confusion to serious misgivings to defiance.”

Iran. Iran defiant over nuclear ambitions – “President Ahmadinejad promised Iran would press ahead with its nuclear programme, irrespective of the consequences. His statement came as the UN atomic watchdog prepared to declare Tehran in breach of a resolution calling for an end to uranium enrichment.” Tehran defiant as deadline nears– “Iranian leaders yesterday vowed to defy international pressure on the eve of a United Nations deadline demanding that Tehran halt its suspect nuclear programs or face new, harsher sanctions.”

Homelessness. The homeless get counted – “In rickety encampments from Los Angeles to here in Garner, N.C., an estimated 800,000 homeless hunker on the fringes of cities and towns, often struggling with poverty, mental illness, or addiction. This year’s count, judging from early indications, will show that a government-led race to end chronic homelessness by 2011 is far off the pace.”

Dems and Iraq. For Democrats, war is front and center – “The Democrats seeking the White House may be united in opposing the war in Iraq. But that hasn’t stopped them from fighting over the conflict. It is a skirmish over judgment, character and political mettle.” War debate fuels advocacy groups – “Grass-roots organizing on both sides of the war issue has been galvanized by debate and anti-war resolutions in the Democrat-controlled Congress, and it appears the advocacy will grow more intense.”

Iraq. Joint force weighs move on Sadr City – “But as the new security crackdown enters a second week, they face their most sensitive challenge: whether, when and how to move into the Shiite-dominated slum of Sadr City, stronghold of the Al Mahdi militia.”

Iraq-UK troops. Blair announces Iraq withdrawals – “Tony Blair declared that “the next chapter in Basra’s history will be written by the Iraqis”, as he announced that 1,600 British troops would be withdrawn in the coming months.” Blair announces Iraq troops cut – “He said the 7,100 serving troops would be cut to 5,500 soon, with hopes that 500 more will leave by late summer.” Analysis: An exit strategy? – “Tony Blair’s long-awaited announcement on troop withdrawals from Iraq may inject a note of optimism into the biggest “legacy issue” hanging over his looming retirement.”

Libby trial. In Closing Pleas, Clashing Views on Libby’s Role – “Defense lawyers and prosecutors in the perjury trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr. made their final summations, offering the jury two starkly different ways to evaluate the evidence presented over the last few weeks.” Libby ‘Told a Dumb Lie,’ Prosecutor Says in Closing Argument – “Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff lied to investigators about his role in leaking a CIA officer’s identity in order to keep his job and protect the White House from political embarrassment, prosecutors told jurors yesterday in the closing arguments”

Op-eds.

British abolition’s faith-based roots (Joe Loconte, Los Angeles Times) – “In the fierce struggles of the 19th century to abolish slavery, Abraham Lincoln remains the mythic American champion. In Britain, however, that honor belongs to William Wilberforce, the Christian activist and member of Parliament who thundered against the slave trade for 20 years. Friday marks the 200th anniversary of his legislative triumph – a campaign rich with lessons for modern-day reformers.”

Why I Oppose the Death Penalty (Martin O’Malley, Governor of Maryland, Washington Post) – “Did this one relatively humane execution balance out a violent murder — much less three violent murders? Can any execution really be said to “even the ledger” for the taking of another’s unique life?”

A passing to note.

Rev. Joseph Hacala, 61; Assistant At HUD – “The Rev. Hacala, who in recent years was president of Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, served as special assistant to HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo and director of HUD’s Community and Interfaith Outreach from 1997 until 2001. Before working in the federal government, Rev. Hacala was executive director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development at the U.S. Catholic Bishops
Conference. From 1984 to 1990, he was director of the National Office of Jesuit Social Ministries at the National Jesuit Conference in Washington. His career was steeped in social services work. His first assignment after his ordination in 1975 was in a poverty-stricken corner of southern West Virginia.” [An editorial comment – Fr. Hacala was a good man who I was privileged to know. May he rest in peace.]

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