Beliefnet
God's Politics

The latest news on Iran, Colombia, the Justice Department, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, abortion, G-8, World Bank, Republican candidates, immigration, Colombia, and Brazil.

BREAKING NEWS: Rev. Jerry Falwell has died at age 73.

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Breaking News. Rev. Jerry Falwell dead at 73 “Evangelist Jerry Falwell died Tuesday after he was found unresponsive in his office.”

Iraq. U.S.: Insurgents likely seized missing troops – “The U.S. military said that three soldiers missing since their patrol was ambushed in the early hours of Saturday have likely been captured by an Al Qaeda-affiliated insurgent group.” End hunt for troops or else, al-Qaida tells US – “An al-Qaida-led group demanded yesterday that the US military end its massive search for three missing American soldiers.”Your soldiers are in our grip. If you want the safety of your soldiers then do not search for them,” the Islamic State in Iraq said in a statement on a website.”

U.S. scrambles to keep Kirkuk from igniting – “Tensions already are so high in Kirkuk that [Lt. Col. Michael] Browder says just one bomb with mass casualties might be enough to unleash a massive bloodletting. “Everybody’s right on the envelope,” he says. Such a scenario would significantly worsen problems throughout Iraq and beyond.”

Son of professor opposed to war is killed in Iraq – “Boston University professor Andrew J. Bacevich has been a persistent, vocal critic of the Iraq war, calling the conflict a catastrophic failure. This week, the retired Army lieutenant colonel received the grim news that his son had been killed on patrol there.”

Israel-Palestine. Israel drawn into Fatah-Hamas fighting – “Hamas gunmen attacked rival Fatah forces at a Gaza-Israel border crossing, killing at least five people and drawing gunfire from nearby Israeli troops, Palestinian officials said.” Palestinian Minister Quits, as Factions Battle On – “Mr. Qawasmeh, who has been unable to control either the Fatah or the Hamas forces, said he had not been given authority to direct the security forces that were supposed to be under his control.”

Iran. Inspectors Cite Big Gain by Iran on Nuclear Fuel– “Inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency have concluded that Iran appears to have solved most of its technological problems and is now beginning to enrich uranium on a far larger scale than before,” Tehran Both Warns And Reassures U.S. – “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned yesterday that Iran would retaliate against any U.S. strike on his country and urged U.S. troops to “pack their bags” and leave the Persian Gulf region. But during a visit yesterday to the United Arab Emirates, he also acknowledged that Tehran is “ready and prepared” to hold talks with the United States.”

Abortion. Pro-lifers ready for a comeback – “If traditional-values candidates took a beating in the 2006 elections, pro-life causes were pulverized. Although last month’s Supreme Court ruling to uphold the ban on partial-birth abortion was a welcome boost for pro-life forces, they are still recovering from last year’s defeats.” (Washington Times “Values Voters” Part 2 of 3) Abortion stances pose risks for Romney, Giuliani – “As they head into the second Republican debate of the campaign tonight in Columbia, S.C., the strategies Romney and Giuliani are employing to assuage social conservatives have grown more distinct.”

Justice department. Justice Dept.’s No. 2 to Resign – “Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty announced his resignation yesterday after 18 months on the job, becoming the fourth senior Justice Department official to quit amid the controversy surrounding the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys last year.” No. 2 at Justice Department resigns – “His exit marks the fourth resignation since the matter became public this year. It is all the more dramatic because of his high rank – deputy attorney general – in the Bush administration.” Resignation deals blow to Gonzales – “McNulty’s departure as the department’s day-to-day manager was widely expected but nonetheless represents a blow to the leadership of Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales, who has been battling for weeks to keep his job in the face of demands for his resignation by lawmakers from both parties.”

G-8. Rock Star Still Hasn’t Found the African Aid He’s Looking For – “With less than a month to go before the leaders of the Group of 8 nations gather at a Baltic Sea resort in Germany for their annual summit meeting, Bono, the rock star and antipoverty campaigner who helped sweet-talk, cajole and otherwise persuade them to make commitments to double aid to Africa, says most of them have fallen behind on their promise.”

World Bank. Bank’s Report Says Wolfowitz Violated Ethics– “A World Bank committee charged that Paul D. Wolfowitz violated ethical and governance rules as bank president by showing favoritism to his companion in 2005. I
n response, the Bush administration mounted a last-ditch global campaign to save Mr. Wolfowitz from being ousted from office.” World Bank panel finds Wolfowitz broke rules – “World Bank President Wolfowitz violated his contract, broke the bank’s code of conduct and trampled on numerous staff rules in arranging a promotion and a series of raises for his companion, a bank employee, according to a scathing report by an internal committee investigating the controversy.” Wolfowitz in four-letter tirade – “An angry and bitter Paul Wolfowitz poured abuse and threatened retaliations on senior World Bank staff if his orders for pay rises and promotions for his partner were revealed, according to new details published last night.”

Republican candidates. Republican presidential candidates stick to the playbook – “For months, top Republicans running for president have been striking the same three notes: They champion small government, a strong military and, in most cases, traditional values. That formula has propelled GOP victories for a generation. But increasingly, scholars and political strategists are casting doubt on its value in the 2008 race for the White House.”

Immigration. Top GOP Hopefuls Keep Distance on Immigration – “Senators from both parties and senior White House officials are hurrying to negotiate a deal that would give illegal immigrants a path to legal status after clearing criminal checks and paying fines. The plan would beef up border security and put new emphasis on enforcing workplace rules. … In the meantime, the leading Republican candidates for president are distancing themselves from the plan.”

Colombia. Colombia orders the arrest of 19 politicians – “The Colombian government ordered the arrest of 19 current and former officials Monday who are accused of signing a 2001 “devil’s pact” with outlawed paramilitary groups in which they promised to work together to “re-found Colombia.” Colombian Lawmakers Arrested – “The Colombian Supreme Court on Monday ordered the arrest of five more congressmen for alleged links with illegal paramilitary groups, bringing to 14 the number of lawmakers charged in the widening “para-politics” scandal that has shaken this Andean country and its conservative government.”

Brazil. Wealth’s power tested in Amazon murder case – “A rancher accused of masterminding the slaying of a U.S.-born Catholic nun went on trial Monday in a case widely viewed as a test of the impunity long enjoyed by wealthy Brazilian landowners in the Amazon.”

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