God's Politics

The latest news on Pelosi in Syria, global warming, Pope Benedict-new book, Iraq-President v. Congress, Mideast arms sales, Presidential candidate fundraising, Darfur, Marcus Borg, and the passsing of note-Coach Eddie Robinson.

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Full news summary:

Iran-British sailors. British sailors arrive home – “Fifteen British sailors and marines held captive by Iran for nearly a fortnight arrived back in London today, as Tony Blair warned Tehran against what he called its continued support for terrorism.” ‘No deal done with Iran’ – Blair – “Prime Minister Tony Blair has insisted no deal was done to free 15 Royal Navy crew members, as they arrived at Heathrow after being held in Iran.” Captured navy crew return to UK – “The crew, freed by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a “gift” to the British people on Wednesday, landed at Heathrow Airport at 1200 BST.” Iran frees sailors as a ‘gift’ to Britain – “The standoff between Britain and Iran ended as abruptly as it began when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called a news conference to announce that Tehran would free 15 British sailors and marines taken captive 12 days ago for allegedly trespassing in Iran’s coastal waters.”

Iraq-President v. Congress. Bush takes the fight to Democrats on Iraq war – “Denouncing Democrats from coast to coast for trying to limit his freedom of action in Iraq, President Bush is betting – as he often has – that when it comes to national security, confrontation works better than conciliation.” Bush Tells Troops Pullout Would Be Accepting Defeat FORT IRWIN, Calif.- “President Bush brought his confrontation with Congress over funding of the war in Iraq to the huge armed forces training facility here in the Mojave Desert, telling troops that to withdraw before “the job is done” would be tantamount to accepting defeat.”

Pelosi in Syria. Pelosi challenges Bush policy by visiting Syria – “The speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, delivered a powerful challenge to the Bush administration’s stewardship of American interests in the Middle East by breaking with its policy of isolating Syria and holding talks in Damascus with President Bashar Assad.” Pelosi makes a wave in Syria – “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a widely anticipated meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, bringing with her a message that Israeli leaders were open to renewing long-dormant peace negotiations, and drawing intensified criticism from the Bush administration and its allies.” Pelosi Meets Syrian President Despite Objections From Bush – “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met Syria’s president in a hilltop palace in Damascus in a visit that came despite the Bush administration’s objections and appeared to underline Syria’s gradual emergence from years of international isolation.” Pelosi’s Delegation Presses Syrian Leader on Militants– “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her delegation said they had frank words with President Bashar al-Assad and other senior Syrian officials, pressing the president over Syria’s support for militant groups and insisting that his government block militants seeking to cross into Iraq and join insurgents there.”

Mideast arms sales. Israel’s Protests Are Said to Stall Gulf Arms Sale– “A major arms-sale package that the Bush administration is planning to offer Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf allies to deter Iran has been delayed because of objections from Israel, which says that the advanced weaponry would erode its military advantage over its regional rivals.”

Presidential candidate fundraising. Obama’s Campaign Takes In $25 Million – “Sen. Barack Obama raised at least $25 million for his presidential campaign in the first quarter of the year, nearly matching Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s record-setting total and making it all but certain that Democrats will face a costly and protracted battle for their party’s nomination.” Obama fundraising shakes up Dems’ race – “Sen. Barack Obama’s announcement that he has raised nearly as much money as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton this year, bringing in $25 million for his presidential bid from a wide array of contributors, shakes up the race and makes it clear no Democrat will enjoy the early dominance the former first lady had been trying to establish.”

Global warming. Climate Panel Confident Warming Is Underway – “The newest international assessment of the consequences of Earth’s warming climate has concluded with “high confidence” that human-generated greenhouse gases are already triggering changes in ecosystems on land and sea across the globe.” U.N. Draft Cites Humans in Effects of Climate Shift– “The latest United Nations assessment of the role of humans in global warming has found with “high confidence” that greenhouse gas emissions are at least partly responsible for a host of changes already under way, including longer growing seasons and shrinking glaciers.”

Darfur. UN warns of Darfur ‘catastrophe’ – “The new United Nations humanitarian chief has warned of the “crying need” for political action to bring peace to Sudan’s Darfur r

In a report to the UN security council, John Holmes said 2.2 million people had fled their homes in Darfur, and the number of displaced civilians has risen dramatically in Chad and the Central African Republic.”

Pope Benedict-new book. Pope’s book accuses rich nations of robbery – “An extract published from his first book since being elected pope highlighted the passionately anti-materialistic and anti-capitalist aspects of his thinking. Unexpectedly, the Pope also approvingly cited Karl Marx and his analysis of contemporary man as a victim of alienation. … It includes Benedict’s thoughts on the parable of the Good Samaritan, who went to the aid of a traveller shunned by other passers-by after he had been stripped and beaten by robbers. While many commentators accuse the rich nations of not acting like the Samaritan, the Pope goes a big step further and compares them to the thieves.”

Marcus Borg. Theologian urges a new way of looking at Jesus “For me, to believe a set of statements is impossible,” Borg says. What is possible, he argues, is to “belove” Jesus and walk in his path. “For the past 300 years,” Borg says, “faith was a matter of believing a list of beliefs about Jesus. The list varied among Christians – that Jesus was the son of God, that he was born of a virgin, that the tomb was empty on Easter morning. “But in the pre-modern world, before about 1600, the object of belief was never a statement,” he says. “It was always a person. To believe meant to ‘belove’ a person. To ‘belove’ Jesus means more than simply loving Jesus. It means to love what Jesus loved. That is at the heart of Christianity.”

Passing of note-Coach Eddie Robinson. Eddie Robinson, 88, Pioneer Grambling Coach, Is Dead – “Eddie Robinson, who in 55 seasons as the football coach at Grambling State University won a record number of games, mentored scores of future professional players and helped bring racial awareness to a segregated Southern society, died late Tuesday night in Ruston, La. He was 88 and lived in Grambling, La.” Coach Broke Ground and Records – “Coach Eddie Robinson won nine black college national championships and 408 games at Grambling State University, but following his death at age 88 late Tuesday night, he was remembered most as a pioneer whose legacy extended beyond sports

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