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The latest news on Iraq-House and Senate, poverty-, Anglican Church, Mideast, Iran, minimum wage, presidential campaign, and the religion gap.
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Iraq-Senate. Senate Rejects Renewed Effort to Debate Iraq– “The Senate on Saturday narrowly rejected an effort to force debate on a resolution opposing President Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq, but Republican defections emboldened Democrats to promise new attempts to influence the administration’s war policy.” Iraq Vote In Senate Blocked By GOP – “Senate Republicans for a second time blocked a symbolic attempt by Democrats to reject President Bush’s troop increase yesterday, but GOP defections were higher than before,” GOP blocks Senate vote on troop resolution – “Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to pass a symbolic resolution opposing President Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq. Democrats, who hold a narrow majority in the Senate, fell four votes shy of the 60 needed on a procedural vote to consider the nonbinding resolution.” Democrats Consider New Ways to Limit Iraq War – “Thwarted in their attempt to formally rebuke President Bush, Senate Democrats shifted their focus to narrowing the U.S. military mission in Iraq.”

Iraq-House. House Rebukes Bush on Iraq – “Capping four days of passionate, often angry debate, the House yesterday delivered President Bush its first rebuke since the Iraq war was launched nearly four years ago, voting 246 to 182 to oppose the administration’s planned deployment of 21,500 additional combat troops to Iraq.” A Divided House Denounces Plan for More Troops– “The rare wartime rebuke to the commander in chief – an act that is not binding, but that carries symbolic significance – was approved 246-to-182, with 17 Republicans breaking ranks to join all but two Democrats in supporting the resolution.” A Symbolic Vote Is a Sign of Bitter Debates to Come– “The symbolic House vote on Friday opposing the American troop buildup in Iraq was an act of Congressional defiance that lays the groundwork for an even more bitter and ultimately more consequential clash over whether and how lawmakers might restrict President Bush’s authority to prosecute the war.”

Mideast. Cloud over Mideast talks – “Differences over how to deal with an emerging Palestinian governing coalition of Hamas and Fatah clouded preparatory talks for a three-way meeting Monday between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Israeli and Palestinian leaders.” For Rice, High-Stakes Shuttle Diplomacy – “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday shuttled between meetings with Palestinian and Israeli leaders, seeking to lay the groundwork for a successful three-way summit Monday in the face of Israeli anger at a new Palestinian government that includes the militant group Hamas.” Rice Tries to Hold Together Plan for Mideast Talks– “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice struggled Sunday to hold together her ambitious plan to restart Middle East peace talks, even as arguments continued over a new Palestinian unity government in a signal that the Bush administration’s renewed peace push might have arrived at a bad time.”

Iran. Iran alleges U.S. link to militant attack – “Bullet cartridges bearing a U.S. insignia and English lettering were among the weaponry seized last week from Sunni militants suspected of killing 11 members of Shiite-dominated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, Iranian officials said Sunday.” Iran shuts down website critical of president – “An Iranian website fiercely critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been shut down in an apparent fresh crackdown on anti-government dissent on the internet.”

Poverty in Iraq. One-third of Iraqis live in poverty – “A third of Iraqis live in poverty, according to a study released under United Nations auspices, dire findings for a nation that enjoyed widespread prosperity less than three decades ago. The report, produced by a division of the Iraqi government and the United Nations Development Program, examined access to, and the quality of, a wide range of basic needs.”

Minimum wage. Familiar Problem Stalls Minimum Wage Bill – “after six weeks in power, the Democratic-led House and Senate have yet to agree on a final bill. The obstacle is the same one that stymied Republicans time after time when they had control: paralyzingly thin margins in the Senate.”

Presidential campaign. As Clinton Runs, Some Old Foes Stay on Sideline – “conservative fund-raisers and organizers acknowledge that the grass-roots hatred for Mrs. Clinton and her husband has subsided substantially since they left the White House.” No Retreat on Iraq Stance, McCain Insists– “Senator John McCain arrived in Iowa on Saturday to begin testing one of the biggest questions so far of his presidential campaign: Can he win as an all-out supporter of the war in Iraq?” Obama Take
s First Campaign Trip South
– “Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) took his presidential campaign to the heart of the Deep South for the first time this weekend, tailoring his campaign message to associate himself with the civil rights movement.” Romney Supports ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ – “Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R), who once advocated allowing gays to serve openly in the military, said that he does not think the Pentagon should change its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the midst of the Iraq war.”

Anglican church. Archbishop of Canterbury Appears to Chide Faction of Anglicans – “Facing a possible church fracture over the issue of homosexuality, the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion reminded bishops of the need for humility as church leaders gathered Sunday for services on the island of Zanzibar.” Anglican Seeks to Ease Church’s Conflict Over Gays – “The Anglicans’ spiritual leader, faced with a deepening rift over homosexuality and scripture in the worldwide Anglican Communion, called Sunday for humility among bishops as the conflict threatened to fracture the church.”

Religion gap. Narrowing the Religion Gap? – “What a matchup between churchgoing Democrats and secular-minded Republicans may supply, though, is welcome moderation in our debates over issues like abortion, gay marriage and stem-cell research. God knows, both sides of the ideological divide have fundamentalists in need of taming.”

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