God's Politics

God's Politics

Duane Shank: Daily News Digest

The latest news at Virginia Tech memorial, Darfur, Global HIV/AIDS, Virginia Tech-the shooter, the victims, and on-going news, missiles in Europe, climate change, and select Op-eds.

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Full news summary:

Virginia Tech memorial. Thousands gather for on-campus memorial service – “As Virginia Tech remained in shock from Monday’s mass killing, thousands of grieving students, staff and family members gathered today for a memorial service during which President Bush asked those present to “reach out to those who ache for sons and daughters who will never come home.” Amid the anguish, solidarity and resolve – “The campus took tentative first steps toward rebounding from Monday’s horrific events, receiving condolences from President Bush even as school administrators announced that classes would resume next week.” Community shares tears, grief – “As the last light faded Tuesday night, thousands of Virginia Tech students, faculty, families and friends converged on the university’s grassy Drillfield to light candles against the darkness and raise them in remembrance of those lost in Monday’s massacre.” President Again Takes On Role of ‘Consoler in Chief’ – “President Bush addressed a somber convocation at Virginia Tech, telling thousands of grieving students, staff and family members huddled in the university’s basketball arena that “people all over this country are thinking about you, and asking God to provide comfort for all who have been affected.” At Virginia Tech, Trying to Explain the Unexplainable – “Sometimes, the Rev. William King says, the answers to the tough questions just don’t come. And when they do, they don’t come easily, or often they come up short. “There is an incredible temptation to explain, to domesticate, to tie up all the loose ends of something so horrible,” said King, the Lutheran campus minister at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., since 1984. “Sometimes, one just has to be quiet.”


Virginia Tech-the shooter. Shooter plotted in silent rage – “The 23-year-old student who went on a bloody rampage at Virginia Tech had prepared the attack for weeks – buying two semiautomatic pistols and writing a dark, hate-filled rant in his dormitory room before setting out with a backpack of ammunition to kill students and teachers,” He Wrote About Death and Spoke in Whispers, But Few Imagined What Cho Seung Hui Would Do – “They met across the professor’s desk. One on one. The chairman of the English department and the silent, brooding student who never took his sunglasses off.” Danger signs festered below aloof surface – “On a sprawling campus of more than 25,000, in a building of 895, he was one. A stoic face in the hallway. A silent classmate. To some, just “a creep.” Rage gestated inside him, but he still was just one. Rarely noticed. Insignificant. Gunman Showed Hints of Anger and Isolation– “Cho Seung-Hui rarely spoke to his own dormitory roommate. His teachers were so disturbed by some of his writing that they referred him to counseling. And when Mr. Cho finally and horrifyingly came to the world’s attention on Monday, he did so after writing a note that bitterly lashed out at his fellow students for what he deemed their moral decay.”


Virginia Tech-the victims. Intersecting on a Fateful Day, Lives That Spanned the Country and the World– “They may have been living in Blacksburg, Va., but they came from all over the world. And even many of those from places like Saugus, Mass., or Roanoke, Va., were undertaking global pursuits like studying French or German or majoring in international relations. But with one devastating act, the 32 men and women from places as far apart as Romania, Peru and Quebec were united in a horrifying fate,” Virginia Tech professor gave his life to save students – “Liviu Librescu had survived the Holocaust. He died Monday holding the classroom door shut against a youthful gunman. If you were lucky enough to have a choice, there were only two ways to go Monday morning on the campus of Virginia Tech: away from danger or toward it. Seventy-six-year-old engineering professor Liviu Librescu chose the second option, saved a classroom full of students and became a hero – at the cost of his life.” Remembering the Victims – A Washington Post photo gallery of those who died on April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech.


Virginia Tech-ongoing news. The official Virginia Tech Web site, and the student newspaper Collegiate Times blog.

Darfur. Sudan Flying Arms to Darfur, Panel Reports– “A confidential United Nations report says the government of Sudan is flying arms and heavy military equipment into Darfur in violation of Security Council resolutions and painting Sudanese military planes white to disguise them as United Nations or African Union aircraft.” Administration Still Weighing Sudan Options – “President Bush will use an appearance today at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to address the crisis in Darfur. But as of late yesterday, administration officials were still weighing how far the president will go after a last-minute gambit by the Sudanese president that seemed designed, at least in part, to head off coercive U.S. action.” Why Sudan is now allowing UN troops in Darfur – “International pressure from the United Nations, Arab leaders, and the United States played a role in Sudan’s concession this week to allow 3,000 UN peacekeepers into the country’s troubled Darfur region. So, apparently, did the image concerns of China.”


Missiles in Europe. U.S. pitching missile plan – “The Bush administration will step up its effort to build an anti-ballistic-missile system in Eastern Europe when high-ranking military and diplomatic officials travel to Brussels on Thursday to brief skeptical North Atlantic Treaty Organization members on the controversial project.”

Climate change. Climate change ‘security threat’ – “Britain has warned reluctant members of the United Nations that there are few greater threats to global security than climate change, delivering a stark message forecasting armed conflicts over scarce supplies of food, water and land.”


Global HIV/AIDS. Better global HIV treatment fails to reach children – “Two million people in poor countries are now being kept alive by Aids drugs, but children still lose out and more money will be needed to reach all those in need, according to a UN report.”


More killings, more fear (Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune) – “What our schools need is more people who can serve as antibodies, watching out for troubled students and offering them help. If any sense can come of such senseless killings it may simply be that we have to pay more attention to each other in times of peace, not just terror.”


A New Threat In Iraq (David Ignatius, Washington Post) – “While the Bush administration struggles to stabilize Baghdad, a major new threat is emerging in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq. If it isn’t defused, this crisis could further erode U.S. goals in Iraq — drawing foreign military intervention, splintering the country further and undermining U.S. hopes for long-term military bases in Kurdistan.”

Why we need religion (Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe) – “What prompts these ministers to stick their necks out? Why do they want to be allies of the police in neighborhoods where gangs are ruthless toward “snitches” and other good citizens? For that matter, why do they go into urban ministry in the first place? Surely there are easier, safer, or more lucrative ways to make a living. There are. But the ministers are driven by a Judeo-Christian moral calculus in which goodness and devotion to others are worth more than an easy, safe, or lucrative career.”

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