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God's Politics

The latest news on immigration, World Bank, Gordon Brown-PM, Bush and Blair, Iraq, Gaza, Colombia, promise keepers, and select Op-Eds.

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Full news summary:

Immigration. Accord on Immigration Reached – “The Bush administration and a bipartisan group of senators reached agreement on a sprawling overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws that would bring an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants out of society’s shadows while stiffening border protections” Senators in Bipartisan Deal on Immigration Bill– “If the bill becomes law, it would result in the biggest changes in immigration law and policy in more than 20 years.” Senators craft immigration compromise – “The plan to legalize most of the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants and to create a temporary-worker program would not start until steps were completed to strengthen border security and workplace enforcement.” Adversaries praise a relentless Kennedy – “Kennedy, the Senate’s consummate dealmaker — still indefatigable at 75 — pushed hard at his fellow Democrats, wavering Republican moderates, and even members of the Bush administration, insisting that the deal-makers work all night Wednesday to beat the deadline imposed by the Senate leadership.”


Compromise greeted with skepticism by advocates, opponents – “Advocates called the compromise bill a good starting point, but said they had serious concerns about many of its provisions,” Immigration deal feels heat from left and right – “Conservatives groups’ anger at yesterday’s immigration deal may be overshadowed only by that of some liberal and immigrant rights’ groups, which said they will fight to change or block the agreement.” Immigration bill faces a wall of opposition – “But the attacks from both left and right that met the proposal suggested the latest push for change, although representing a potential breakthrough, could again end in a stalemate.”


World Bank. Wolfowitz Resigns From World Bank– “Paul D. Wolfowitz, ending a furor over favoritism that blew up into a global fight over American leadership, announced his resignation as president of the World Bank after the bank’s board accepted his claim that his mistakes at the bank were made in good faith.” Wolfowitz resigns after battle – “Paul Wolfowitz lost his battle to hang on to his job as president of the World Bank, announcing his resignation after a bitter international controversy.” For Washington Insider, Job Was an Uneasy Fit – “others, including some friends and admirers, saw the seeds of Wolfowitz’s demise in the arc of his 34-year Washington career — a steady rise through the State Department and the Pentagon … Wolfowitz built a reputation as a foreign policy iconoclast, a mild-mannered intellectual with a steely ideological core, and an inept manager.”


Bush & Blair. Bush, Blair reaffirm their alliance – “President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair passionately defended one another and their wartime alliance, saying they still believed they did the right thing by invading Iraq and had confidence that history would one day validate that decision.” From one embattled leader to another, a fond farewell – “The language in the Rose Garden never seemed as rosy as it sounded when President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared to be competing over how much they admired each other.”


Gordon Brown-PM. Labor Party Picks Brown to Succeed Blair in Britain– “Opening a new era in British politics, the governing Labor Party confirmed that Gordon Brown, the chancellor of the Exchequer, had emerged as the sole candidate to assume the party leadership and thus succeed Prime Minister Tony Blair when he steps down in June.” Brown: A quest fulfilled – “After waiting 13 years to acquire his crown, Gordon Brown is king without a contest. For more than a decade Brown endured phases of misplaced hope when he assumed that Tony Blair was about to stand aside. Even worse, there were periods when he wondered whether he would ever get the top job.” Britain’s two prime ministers – “Britain began an unprecedented six week transitional government as Gordon Brown accepted his landslide nomination as Labour leader.”


Iraq. Congress and Bush Striving for Compromise on War Funds– “Congressional leaders and the White House began what they said they hoped were the final talks on an Iraq war spending bill as Democrats braced for potential defections by lawmakers leery of any compromise with President Bush.” 60 Die in Iraq; Study Warns of Collapse– “More than 60 people were killed and dozens wounded in mortar strikes, drive-by shootings, roadside explosions, sui
cide bombings and other violent attacks in Iraq, as a new study warned that the country was close to becoming a “failed state.”


Gaza. Israel targets Gaza for second day – “Israel today launched air strikes in Gaza for a second day running in response to continued rocket attacks from Hamas militants.” Tanks edge into Gaza, air strikes is intensify – “The Israel Defense Forces sent tanks a short way into the Gaza Strip for the first time since November yesterday in response to continued heavy rocket fire on southern Israel.” Fatah Troops Enter Gaza With Israeli Assent – “Israel this week allowed the Palestinian party Fatah to bring into the Gaza Strip as many as 500 fresh troops trained under a U.S.-coordinated program to counter Hamas,” 9 killed in Gaza Strip as Israel targets Hamas – “Ratcheting up its response to militant rocket attacks, Israel moved tanks across its border with the Gaza Strip and pounded Hamas targets in a series of air strikes Thursday and early Friday, killing nine Palestinians and wounding more than 40, medical officials said.”


Colombia. Colombian leader denies link to paramilitaries – “President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia has made an impassioned plea to be seen as a warrior against terrorism, despite a scandal linking his political allies with rightwing death squads.” From the Colombian jungle, word of vanished hostages – “An escaped captive tells of seeing a politician and 3 Americans alive. On April 28, Pinchao escaped a camp in this country’s eastern jungle lowlands where several hostages were being held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Pinchao claims he saw the Americans and Betancourt the day he fled.”


Promise Keepers. Christian men called back to fill ‘Gap’ – “Christian men are being called back to the Mall this fall for a 10th-anniversary celebration of the 1997 Promise Keepers “Stand in the Gap” event that attracted about 1 million followers for prayer and worship.”


Op-Ed.


Tony Blair’s Unshaken Logic (Michael Gerson, The Washington Post) – “More than that of any other world leader, Blair’s foreign policy approach is a rigorous, logical argument. Like advancements in communications and the global economy, political challenges, Blair contends, have “immediate impact, an ability to cross frontiers.” Irresponsible and failing states become bases of operation for terrorist, crime and drug syndicates. This chaos is tamed, in his view, by promoting economic development, treating killer diseases, fighting global warming and achieving peace in the Middle East.”


China Up Against the Wall (Nat Hentoff, Village Voice) – “Next March, China will start the longest Olympic torch march in history, described by the Associated Press as “an 85,000-mile, 130-day route that will cross five countries and scale Mount Everest.” Among those cheering on the route will be celebrators – but also some involved in a growing worldwide campaign to boycott the “Genocide Olympics” and otherwise shame China for its deep criminal involvement in Darfur as Sudan’s chief investor, arms supplier, and protector at the U.N. Security Council.”


The GOP’s Crisis of Faith (E. J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post) – ” It isn’t always easy to notice, but this year’s Republican presidential campaign has become the occasion for the collapse of conservative orthodoxy. In Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, every leading candidate declared independence from some piece of dogma or another.”

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