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Duane Shank: Daily News Digest

posted by God's Politics

The latest news on abortion ruling, Darfur, Iraq war, Virginia Tech shooting, Iran, immigration, global warming, presidential politics, and select editorials.

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Full news summary:

Abortion ruling. Partial-birth abortion ban upheld – “The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a federal law prohibiting partial-birth abortion, marking the first time a specific abortion procedure has been successfully outlawed.” High Court Upholds Curb on Abortion – “The Supreme Court broke new ground yesterday in upholding federal restrictions on abortion, with President Bush’s two appointees joining a court majority that said Congress was exercising its license to “promote respect for life, including the life of the unborn.” In Reversal, Justices Back Ban on Method of Abortion – “The Supreme Court reversed course on abortion, upholding the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in a 5-to-4 decision that promises to reframe the abortion debate and define the young Roberts court.” Abortion law is upheld – “Experts on both sides of the abortion divide predicted the ruling would encourage state and federal governments to impose tighter regulations on abortion, but said there was no indication the high court was any closer to reversing Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision that guaranteed women the right to terminate a pregnancy.” The complete Court opinion.

Abortion ruling politics. Ruling Draws Lawmakers Toward Political Minefield – “The Supreme Court ruling resurrects the politically charged issue of reproductive rights just in time for the 2008 campaign season, but it may not be a fight the Democrats want.” Court Ruling Catapults Abortion Back Into ’08 Race- “Both sides in the abortion struggle predicted that the Supreme Court’s decision would escalate the drive for new abortion restrictions in state legislatures and push the issue of abortion rights – and the Supreme Court – squarely into the 2008 presidential election.” Ruling opens abortion debate for ’08 – “The Supreme Court decision upholding a federal ban on partial-birth abortion predictably pleased the Republican presidential contenders and disappointed Democratic candidates.” Abortion foes to push for stricter limits – “Elated and emboldened, antiabortion activists in state after state are planning to push for stringent new limits on second- and third-trimester abortions in the hope of building on their victory in the Supreme Court.”

Iraq war. Wave of Bombings Continues in Iraq – “Bombs ravaged Baghdad in five horrific explosions aimed mainly at Shiite crowds, killing at least 171 people in the deadliest day in the capital since the American-led security plan for the city took effect two months ago.” Car bombs kill at least 172 in Baghdad – “Four of the bombs targeted predominantly Shiite Muslim neighborhoods, sparking heated criticism of the security plan and heightening fears of revenge attacks and death squad killings.” Bombers Defy Security Push, Killing at Least 158 in Baghdad – “The attacks followed brazen bombings that demonstrated the insurgents’ ability to circumvent the U.S. and Iraqi security plan for Baghdad, and renewed fears of reprisal killings by Shiites.”

Iraq war funding. Democrats Would Make Iraq Timetable in Bill ‘Advisory’ – “Congressional Democratic leaders are moving to make their proposed timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq “advisory” as they seek to reconcile two versions of war spending legislation into a single bill” No budge on Iraq war funding bill – “Moving closer to a showdown over funding the war in Iraq, President Bush and congressional Democratic leaders emerged from a much-anticipated White House meeting without progress toward ending an impasse over an emergency spending bill.” No Solution in Sight as Bush and Lawmakers Discuss Iraq Spending Measure- “Mr. Bush met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the White House for nearly an hour, the first face-to-face discussion since the House and Senate passed emergency Iraq spending bills last month with provisions to end the war.”

Virginia Tech shooting. Gunman Sent Video During Lull In Slaughter – “Cho Seung Hui paused Monday morning during the shootings at Virginia Tech to stop at a post office and mail to NBC News in New York a disturbing package of pictures, writings and video before returning to the rampage.” Gunman sent video manifesto – “Days before he massacred 32 people at Virginia Tech and took his own life, Cho Seung Hui concocted a vicious and meticulous multimedia plan for how he hoped to be remembered. He got his wish Wednesday night.” Officials Knew Troubled State of Killer in ’05- “Campus authorities were aware 17 months ago of
the troubled mental state of the student who shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech,” Gunman had presented an ‘imminent danger’ in 2005 – “The student who is accused of the murderous rampage that claimed 33 lives at Virginia Tech presented an imminent danger in 2005, when, campus police said today, two women complained that he was stalking them by computer and telephone.” U.S. a worldbeater at owning guns – “Although no place in today’s world is immune to the kind of senseless violence that devastated Virginia Tech, much of the globe remains transfixed by what one European newspaper described as “the defining feature of the United States to the outside world.” In an Instant, Bright Futures Become Memories – “Their names are emerging now, the roster of the slain. Their stories are emerging, too. People who knew them, people who loved them, search for words.” Profiles of those who died.

Darfur. Bush Presses Sudan on Darfur, Citing Possible U.S. Sanctions – “President Bush invoked the powerful imagery of the Holocaust to intensify pressure on Sudan, warning that the United States would impose stiff economic sanctions and seek others from the United Nations if President Omar Hassan al-Bashir does not bring a quick end to the brutal violence in Darfur.” Bush warns Sudan over Darfur crisis – “President Bush that the United States would expand and tighten economic sanctions on Sudan if efforts by the United Nations to bring peace to Darfur did not bear fruit soon.” Bush Unveils And Delays Sanctions For Sudan – “President Bush unveiled a new package of sanctions against Sudan for failing to cooperate with international efforts to end what he described as the “genocide” in the Darfur region — but promptly postponed it to give the U.N. secretary general time to pursue a diplomatic solution to the crisis.”

Iran. Atomic Agency Confirms Advances by Iran’s Nuclear Program – “Iran has now begun enriching small amounts of uranium in more than 1,300 centrifuges at a newly opened underground site at its main nuclear complex, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s top inspector said.” Iran begins producing nuclear fuel, says UN watchdog – “Iran has begun producing nuclear fuel in its underground uranium enrichment plant, a confidential UN atomic watchdog document said, ratcheting up its defiance of the United Nations.” US accuses Iran of supplying arms to Taliban – “The war of words between the US and Iran has spilled into Afghanistan after US allegations that Iran is secretly supporting the Taliban insurgency. The charges, expressed in carefully calibrated language, represent the first time senior US officials have publicly aired rumours that have circulated privately in Afghanistan since last year.”

Immigration. Public favors giving illegal immigrants a break – “While Congress and the White House remain divided over what to do with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the USA, a new poll shows the American public appears to have reached a consensus on the question. A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken last weekend found that 78% of respondents feel people now in the country illegally should be given a chance at citizenship.”

Global warming. Could global warming cause war? – “For years, the debate over global warming has focused on the three big “E’s”: environment, energy, and economic impact. This week it officially entered the realm of national security threats and avoiding wars as well.”

Presidential politics. Thompson tests conservative waters – “Evidence of former Sen. Fred Thompson’s presidential appeal to victory-seeking conservatives is growing, including drawing more than 50 House Republicans yesterday to hear his pitch” Thompson Meets With House GOP; Does Not Say if He’s a Candidate – “Former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) met with more than 50 Republican House members on Capitol Hill, fielding questions about his views on issues such as abortion and immigration and even his relationship with his first wife,”

Editorials.

No More Delay on Darfur(New York Times) “Tougher American sanctions – and tougher action from the Security Council – are long overdue. Unfortunately, Mr. Bush decided to delay them further to give the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, more time to try to cut a deal with Sudan to admit an international peacekeeping force that may be too small to stop the killing.”

The court takes on abortion (Chicago Tribune) “The battle over a medical procedure that critics refer to as partial-birth abortion has been long and bitter, and it is a long way from being over.” Denying the Right to Choose(New York Times) “The Supreme Court has handed the Bush administration and other opponents of women’s reproductive rights the big political victory they were hoping to get from the conservative judges President Bush has added to the bench.” A Shift on Abortions (Washington Post) “Yesterday’sSupreme Court ruling upholding the ban on the procedure known as partial-birth abortion is not apt to prevent any abortions: Most likely, the tiny percentage of women who would have undergone this admittedly gruesome procedure will instead opt to terminate their pregnancies by another procedure.” A limited and humane decision (Washington Times) “The limited and careful 5-4 ruling upholds the broadly bipartisan Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which outlaws intentional partial-birth abortion with exceptions for endangerment to a mother’s life.”



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