God's Politics

The latest news on Iran capturing British soldiers, Elizabeth Edwards, Iraq-Congress, Iraq deputy prime minister injured, Iraq- shell lands near Secretary-General, US military, Christians flee-, DC voting rights, immigration, Sudan-Chad, and select Op-Eds.

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BREAKING NEWS. Iran captures British sailors. Iranian Military Seizes 15 British Sailors in Iraq Waters – “The Iranian military seized 15 British naval personnel in the waters off Iraq early this morning, the British Ministry of Defence said today in a statement posted to its Web site.”UK sailors captured at gunpoint – “Fifteen British Navy personnel are taken at gunpoint by Iranian forces, the UK defence ministry says.”

Iraq deputy prime minister injured. Iraq deputy PM injured in blast – “Iraqi Deputy PM Salam Zaubai is injured in a double bomb attack near his home in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.” Deputy Prime Minister Wounded in Suicide Attack – “Two bodyguards and two others were killed, and another 10 were wounded, five of them bodyguards.”

Elizabeth Edwards. Edwards Says Wife’s Cancer Has Returned – “John Edwards,the North Carolina Democrat, said Thursday that his wife’s cancer had returned in incurable form. He proclaimed that he would continue his bid for the presidency, saying, “The campaign goes on strongly.” Cancer Worsening, Edwards’s Wife Says – “Standing in the same courtyard that hosted their wedding reception three decades earlier, former senator John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced that her breast cancer has recurred and has severely worsened. But they pledged, jointly, to carry on with his bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.” John Edwards’ wife’s cancer returns – “in the midst of her husband’s second run for the White House, she was told by doctors that the cancer had returned in a metastasized and incurable form. Nevertheless, Elizabeth and John Edwards, in revealing the news, said he would continue running for president.”

Iraq-Congress. Liberals Relent on Iraq War Funding – “Liberal opposition to a $124 billion war spending bill broke last night, when leaders of the antiwar Out of Iraq Caucus pledged to Democratic leaders that they will not block the measure, which sets timelines for bringing U.S. troops home.” Democrats See Growing Support From Liberal Members for Bill Setting Iraq Deadline – “when the House opened its war debate, the loudest opposition was beginning to fade, particularly from liberals who had argued that the proposal would not end the war fast enough. Leaders of the Out of Iraq Caucus gave their blessing to a handful of Democrats to change their votes, saying it was not in their interest to impede the measure,” Democrats scramble for votes on war legislation – “As the House opened debate on a proposal that would force the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by September 2008, Democratic leaders scrambled to round up the votes they need in their biggest showdown to date with the White House over the war.”

Iraq-shell lands near Secretary-General. As U.N. Chief Meets Premier of Iraq, the Zone Is Shelled – “A mortar shell fired into the heavily fortified Green Zone landed about 80 yards from the home of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki on Thursday while he and the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, were holding a news conference to mark Mr. Ban’s first visit to Baghdad.”

Iraq-US military. Army Revises Upward Number of Desertions in ’06 – “A total of 3,196 active-duty soldiers deserted the Army last year, or 853 more than previously reported, according to revised figures from the Army. … Some Army officers link the recent uptick in annual desertion rates to the toll of wartime deployments and point to the increasing percentage of troops who are on their second or third tours in Iraq or Afghanistan.” GAO looks at gaps in Iraq arms security – “Four years after invading Iraq, the U.S. military still does not know how many tons of explosives were stolen from the country’s massive prewar stockpiles or how many weapons caches remain unsecured,” Hussein-era arms linked to fatalities – “A newly declassified government report says that half of American troop deaths in Iraq have been caused by explosives left over from Saddam Hussein’s regime and that even four years after the war began the US military has failed to conduct an adequate inventory of Hussein’s weapons depots.”

Iraq-Christians flee. With no safe place to go, Christians fleeing country – “The flight of Iraq’s Sunni and Shiite Muslims from their homes under threat of violence has earned much attention, but Iraq’s Christian community has also been targeted and is steadily dwindling as well. Although they make up only about 5% of Iraq’s population, Christians make up nearly 40% of the refugees fleeing Iraq, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.”

DC voting rights. House Vote on D.C. Seat Thwarted – “Republicans derailed a vote on a bill giving the District its first full seat in the House of Representatives by trying to tie the legislation to a drastic weakening of the city’s gun-control laws.” D.C. voting rights bid stalls in House – “Republicans derailed efforts to give the District congressional representation when they injected the city’s gun ban into the debate and turned an expected vote into a tumult.”

Immigration. Immigration Reform Revisited – “A bipartisan proposal for comprehensive immigration reform that would allow millions of illegal immigrants to participate in a guest-worker program and possibly gain citizenship was introduced in the House,” Gutierrez pushes immigration bill – “Congress failed last year to enact a comprehensive immigration bill, but Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said they would try again with a measure that would set guidelines for legalizing the status of many illegal immigrants while bolstering security at the U.S. borders.” Doubts Arise on Immigration Bill’s Chances – “behind the scenes, there was much more uncertainty than celebration among proponents of what would be the most substantial overhaul of immigration laws in two decades.” Immigration bill moves to tighter enforcement – “The chief House proponents of a path to citizenship for illegal aliens also embraced stricter enforcement, arguing they need to move that direction if they hope to pass a bill this year.”

Sudan-Chad. Sudan ‘in Chadian bombing raid’ – “Chad’s government has accused the Sudanese military of bombing two locations in the east of the country which borders Sudan’s Darfur region. It said Sudan’s air force was carrying out systematic bombing operations.”

Op-Ed. Teach the Bible in public schools (Stephen Prothero, Christian Science Monitor) – “Biblical illiteracy is not just a religious problem. It is a civic problem with political consequences. How can citizens participate in biblically inflected debates on abortion, capital punishment, or the environment without knowing something about the Bible? Biblically illiterate Americans are easily swayed by demagogues on the left or the right who claim – often incorrectly – that the Bible says this about war or that about homosexuality.”

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