God's Politics

the latest reports on Iraq and Congress, Iran, the minimum wage, Virginia Tech, Darfur, abortion, trafficking, capital punishment, George McGovern, and the passing of Boris Yeltsin

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Iraq-Congress. Democrats Back Date for Start of Iraq Pullout– “Congressional Democrats agreed to ignore President Bush’s veto threat and send him a $124 billion war spending bill that orders the administration to begin pulling troops out of Iraq by Oct. 1.” Democrats set date to begin troop pullout – “Setting in motion a promised showdown with the White House, Democratic congressional leaders united behind an emergency war spending measure that requires the president to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq no later than this fall.” Bill to limit U.S. in Iraq advances – “The Democrat-controlled Congress moved to limit U.S. combat operations in Iraq immediately and withdraw troops as early as July, hardening its stance for a veto showdown with President Bush over war funding.”

Iraq-war. Iraq Blast Kills 9 GIs, Injures 20 At Outpost – “A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-rigged truck into a U.S. military outpost near Baqubah on Monday, killing nine soldiers and wounding 20 in one of the deadliest single ground attacks on U.S. forces since the start of the war in Iraq,” Despair stalks Baghdad as plan falters – “Trying to get into the centre of Baghdad earlier this week offered one view of how far away the Americans and Iraqi authorities are from gaining control here.” Huge outcry halts work on Baghdad’s ‘Great Wall’ – “The U.S. military calls it the Great Wall of Adhamiyah, outraged Iraqis have dubbed it the Sectarian Wall and Arab commentators are drawing dark comparisons with the security barrier Israel is building in the West Bank.” Frustration Over Wall Unites Sunni and Shiite – “The unexpected outcry about the proposed construction of a wall around a Sunni Arab neighborhood has revealed the depths of Iraqi frustration with the petty humiliations created by the new security plan intended to protect them.”

Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech Struggles to Return to Normal– “On its first day of classes after the shooting that left 33 dead and 24 injured, the campus was still struggling to decide how to resume a semblance of a normal life.” Classes Resume Amid Empty Desks – “It would not be a normal day. But it would be a collective effort toward one. Everywhere, there were signs of someone trying to move on.”

Minimum wage. A deal is set on minimum wage hike – “The first federal minimum wage hike in a decade will boost starting pay for hourly workers from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour under an agreement between congressional Democrats, a deal that couples the increase with nearly $5 billion in business tax cuts to draw political support from Republicans.” A Deal on the Minimum Wage(New York Times editorial) – “Congress is to be commended for making the minimum wage bill a priority and should look for every opportunity to send it to Mr. Bush. But to really move the nation in a new direction, lawmakers will have to temper their enthusiasm for never-ending tax cuts.”

Darfur. Sudanese want action on Darfur – “among both opposition politicians and ordinary people in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, there appears to be a growing sense of impatience with the government’s inability to work with the international community to stem the crisis in Darfur.”

Iran. Rice Urges Iran To Attend Mideast Meeting on Iraq – “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Iran not to boycott a conference next week of the major countries and parties with a stake in the future of Iraq, at which the United States and Iran would have an opportunity for senior-level talks.” EU agrees Iran nuclear sanctions – “EU foreign ministers have agreed to implement sanctions against Iran after its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. The sanctions go further than those already agreed by the United Nations.” U.S. targets arms flow to, from Syria and Iran – “The United States has imposed sanctions on 14 foreign people, companies and government agencies, including the Syrian navy and air force, as it boosts efforts to stop transfers of advanced weaponry to and from Iran and Syria.” Britain to rethink relations with Iran – “Britain is to protest formally to Iran as part of a “recalibration” of relations with the Islamic Republic since the seizure of 15 sailors and marines in the Shatt al-Arab waterway this month.”

Abortion. Vote could end Mexico’s abortion subculture – “Mexico City’s Legislative Assembly is scheduled to vote today on a measure that would legalize abortion in this city of more than 8 million people. The legislation, which is expected to win approval, could signal the demise of a subculture that profits from the desperation of thousands of women.”

Trafficking . When American Dream Leads to Servitude – “Although human trafficking has been a federal crime since 2000, efforts in the New York State Assembly to criminalize human trafficking and provide services for its victims have yet to succeed while advocates and politicians struggle to reconcile competing concerns over punishment and assistance.”

Capital punishment. Drugs Used in Executions May Cause Paralysis, Pain for Conscious Inmates – “The cocktail of drugs used for lethal injections is unreliable and could render inmates paralyzed but not unconscious, unable to cry out as they experience excruciating pain and eventually suffocate, according to a new scientific analysis.”

Opinion. Cheney is wrong about me, wrong about war (George McGovern, Los Angeles Times) – “VICE PRESIDENT Dick Cheney recently attacked my 1972 presidential platform and contended that today’s Democratic Party has reverted to the views I advocated in 1972. In a sense, this is a compliment, both to me and the Democratic Party. Cheney intended no such compliment. Instead, he twisted my views and those of my party beyond recognition.”

Passing. Boris N. Yeltsin, Who Buried the U.S.S.R., Dies at 76 – “Boris N. Yelstin, the burly provincial politician who became a Soviet-era reformer and later a towering figure of his time as the first freely elected leader of Russia, presiding over the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the demise of the Communist Party, died yesterday in Moscow.” Boris Yeltsin – “While Gorbachev presided over the decline of the Communist party and the end of the Soviet empire in eastern Europe, it was Yeltsin, Russia’s first elected president, who buried the Soviet Union itself.” Clinton to attend Yeltsin’s funeral – “The former US presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush senior will be among a host of world leaders expected to attend the funeral in Moscow tomorrow of Boris Yeltsin, the Kremlin announced this morning.”

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