God's Politics

The latest news on the Iran-British release, Iraq-President v. Congress, Evangelicals against slavery, Iran- secret raids, U.S. military, European missile defense, Ukraine, Global warming, and select op-eds and editorials.

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Full news summary:

BREAKING NEWS. Iran ‘to release British sailors’ – “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says 15 British naval personnel captured in the Gulf will be freed.” Iranian leader says he’ll free Britons – “He said the captives, who were seized while on patrol in the northern Persian Gulf on March 23, would be taken to Tehran airport at the end of the news conference that he was addressing.”

Iran-British troops. Talks with Iran lift hopes of deal – “British officials last night held direct talks for the first time with Iran’s influential chief international negotiator on the 15 military personnel seized in the Gulf, raising hopes of breaking a 12-day stalemate.” Britain has few options in Iran standoff – “British diplomats have had several options at their disposal to resolve the 12-day standoff with Iran over the capture of 15 sailors and marines. The only problem is that most of them are fraught with perils of their own.” Captors Release Kidnapped Iranian Diplomat in Baghdad– “An Iranian diplomat kidnapped by armed men wearing uniforms of the Iraqi security forces was freed on Tuesday, Iraq’s foreign minister said, adding that he continued to work to free five Iranians held separately by American military forces and was optimistic that they would be released soon.” Seizure of Britons Underlines Iran’s Political Split– “Behind the seesaw crisis of Iran’s detention of 15 British sailors and marines lies an internal Iranian struggle pitting radicals, aligned with the president, against more pragmatic officials concerned about the country’s growing isolation.”

Iraq-President v. Congress. Bush blasts war bill delay – “President Bush warned that some American soldiers might have to stay longer in Iraq if Congress does not quickly deliver a war spending bill that he can sign, and he lashed out at Democratic leaders as “irresponsible” and accused them of making the war “a political dance.” For Bush, Fighting Democrats And Doubts – “He strode alone into the Rose Garden and complained that “it has now been 57 days” since he asked Congress for more money for the Iraq war and still has not gotten it. For President Bush, the fight over war-spending legislation has become the only talking point” Impasse may quickly lead to military cuts, Bush says – “President Bush declared that the military may suffer quick and devastating cuts if the Democrat- controlled Congress does not submit a war funding bill to his liking by mid-April,” Tussle Over Iraq Bill Reminds Many of Bitter 1995– “Memories of the rancorous 1995 budget fight between President Clinton and leaders of the Republican revolution are casting a distinct shadow over the current impasse between President Bush and Congressional Democrats on Iraq. Each side believes it can apply lessons learned from that earlier battle to its strategy in the current showdown.”

Iran-secret raids. US is said to advise militants on raids in Iran – “The United States has been secretly advising and encouraging a Pakistani militant group that has carried out a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran, ABC News reported yesterday, citing US and Pakistani intelligence sources.”

U.S. military. Is US Army bent to the breaking point? – “When some 4,500 soldiers heard over the weekend that they’d be deploying to Iraq earlier than expected, many saw it as yet another inconvenience that military personnel must endure. But to some in Washington, the announcement is a glaring sign that the Army really is straining and that its well of rested, trained, and equipped soldiers is running dry.”

European missile defense. U.S. steps up missile system push in Eastern Europe – “The Bush administration has begun to step up its efforts to build a controversial missile defense system in Eastern Europe, launching a public push in recent weeks to counter bitter opposition in Russia and overcome fears of a new arms race elsewhere on the continent.”

Ukraine. Ukraine president presses early election, warns against violence – “Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko demanded in a face-to-face confrontation that the prime minister accept early parliamentary elections and warned against violent street protests – noting pointedly that as president he commands the military.” Ukraine’s PM rejects president’s decree calling early election – “Ukraine was in the grip of its most serious political crisis since the Orange Revolution yesterday after its prime minister Viktor Yanukovich defiantly vowed to sink plans by president Viktor Yushchenko to hold early elections.”

Evangelicals against slavery. Slavery campaign closes gaps among U.S. evangelicals– “U.S. evangelical Christians are divided on global warming, the minimum wage and other issues, but they are united behind a new campaign to end modern slavery around the world.”

Global Warming. Is Earth near its ‘tipping points’ from global warming? – “Earth is spinning toward many points of no return from the damage of global warming, after which disease, desolation and famine are inevitable, say scientists involved in an international report due Friday on the effects of climate change.”


Super-sized rush to decide ’08 (Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times) – “So it goes in the super-sized presidential campaign of 2008. Candidates are attracting the largest crowds ever seen this far from the first primaries, raising the most money and generating the most media attention. … And yet the size, scope and speed of the 2008 race are transforming the process of picking the president in discouraging ways.”

In California, welfare ain’t broke (Dennis Boyle, director of the California Department of Social Services from late 2004 through April 4, 2007, Los Angeles Times)- “…in response to changes last year in the federal welfare law, the Schwarzenegger administration has proposed drastic changes to the CalWORKs program, including cutting aid to thousands of children who already receive a reduced monthly check because their parents are not meeting work requirements, have reached time limits on benefits or are ineligible immigrants. This plan should be rejected.”

It Didn’t End Well Last Time(New York Times) – “Not since the Roaring Twenties have the rich been so much richer than everyone else. In 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, the top 1 percent of Americans – whose average income was $1.1 million a year – received 21.8 percent of the nation’s income, their largest share since 1929.”

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