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The latest news on Iraq-Senate, Iran-UK Soldiers, Homeless in New Orleans, Iraq- war, Iran-U.S. are games, Congo, Senator Webb’s gun incident, equal rights, prayers for Tony Snow, and select op-eds.

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Full news summary:

Iraq-Senate. Senate Backs Pullout Proposal – “Senate Democrats scored a surprise victory yesterday in their bid to force President Bush to end the Iraq war, turning back a Republican amendment that would have struck a troop withdrawal plan from emergency military funding legislation.” Senate Backs a Pullout Date in Iraq War Bill– “The Senate went on record for the first time on Tuesday in favor of a withdrawal date from Iraq, with Democrats marshaling the votes they needed to deliver a forceful rebuke to President Bush’s war policy.” Senate Democrats defy veto threat, keep Iraq timeline – “Despite repeated threats from President Bush to veto any bill setting a timeline for a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, the Democratic-controlled Senate for the first time signaled support for legislation calling for most troops to come home within year.”

Iraq-war. McCaffrey Paints Gloomy Picture of Iraq – “An influential retired Army general released a dire assessment of the situation in Iraq, based on a recent round of meetings there with Gen. David H. Petraeus and 16 other senior U.S. commanders. “The population is in despair,” retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey wrote in an eight-page document compiled in his capacity as a professor at West Point. “Life in many of the urban areas is now desperate.”

Iran-UK sailors. UK reveals Iran dispute evidence – “Satellite data proves 15 navy personnel being held in Iran were 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters when they were seized, UK defence officials say.” Latest talks fail in Iran-Britain standoff – “A diplomatic standoff between Britain and Iran over the capture last week of 15 British sailors and marines threatened to escalate as an intense new round of diplomacy failed to end the crisis.” Blair Pushes Iran for Release of Captives – “Tensions escalated between Iran and the West over 15 Britons held by the Iranians, with Prime Minister Tony Blair warning that Britain’s’s campaign to free them would move into a “different phase” if they were not released.”

Iran-U.S. war games. U.S. Opens Naval Exercise in Persian Gulf – “In a calculated show of force, the United States Navy began a major exercise in the Persian Gulf, a move that Bush administration officials said was part of a broader strategy to contain Iranian power in the region.” War games begin in Persian Gulf = “American warplanes screamed off two aircraft carriers as the U.S. Navy staged its largest show of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, launching a mammoth exercise meant as a message to the Iranians.”

Congo. After Congo Vote, Neglect and Scandal Still Reign– “Congo’s fledging government is now trying to stitch the nation back together, as if it ever existed meaningfully at all. But a recent 1,200-mile trip across the country – by plane, truck, motorbike, hiking boots and dugout canoe – shows the Congo-size obstacles that are not going away.”

Sen. Webb gun incident. Webb Is Vague About Gun Incident – “U.S. Sen. James Webb expressed support yesterday for a top aide caught with a handgun in a Senate office building but shed little light on his role in what he described as an “unfortunate” situation.”

Equal rights. New Drive Afoot to Pass Equal Rights Amendment – “Federal and state lawmakers have launched a new drive to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, reviving a feminist goal that faltered a quarter-century ago when the measure did not gain the approval of three-quarters of the state legislatures.”

For your prayers. White House Spokesman’s Colon Cancer Has Returned – “White House press secretary Tony Snow has often said he “felt that cancer was stalking me.” Yesterday it caught up with him again. Snow, 51, who beat colon cancer two years ago, disclosed that it has returned and spread to his liver, delivering a brutal blow to his family and friends and to a White House already reeling under a relentless barrage of bad news.”

Homeless in New Orleans.
Surge in homeless hits New Orleans – “Already taxed to the breaking point on many fronts, the city has a homeless population that is now approximately double what existed before the storm – in a city half its previous size. Facing a severe shortage of affordable housing, displaced residents returning to the city along with an influx of construction trade workers are being forced to sleep in everything from cars to flooded-out houses to long-abandoned motels, as Katrina relief workers from across the country still struggle to fill gaping holes in the city’s social services.”

Op-Eds.
Bush and Democrats: Enemies who need each other (Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times) – “Because neither side can set a sustainable course on its own, their choice is either to continue colliding in polarized confrontations like Tuesday’s Senate vote narrowly approving a time limit for withdrawal, or to seek agreement on a strategy for Iraq that a broader coalition in Congress and the country might support.”

An Antiwar Tide on The Rise (E.J. Dionne, Jr., Washington Post) – “Within three weeks, the United States could face a constitutional crisis over President Bush’s war policy in Iraq. The president and his allies seem to want this fight. Yet insisting upon a confrontation will be another mistake in a long line of bad judgments about a conflict that grows more unpopular by the day.”

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