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Duane Shank: Daily News Digest

posted by God's Politics

the latest reports on Iraq and Congress, Gordon Brown’s PM bid, Blair’s legacy, Iran, immigration, Darfur, Republican candidates, the World Bank, and select op-eds

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Full news summary:

Iraq-Congress. House Approves Revised War Bill – “The House pushed through its second plan to fund the Iraq war and reshape war policy, approving legislation that would provide partial funding for the conflict but hold back most of the money until President Bush reports on the war’s progress in July.” Senators push for war funding deal – “Seeking to end the partisan standoff over funding the war in Iraq, politically moderate senators from both parties pressed their efforts to find a compromise that could put new requirements on the Iraqi government without holding up money for U.S. troops.” President Open to Benchmarks in Iraq Measure- “Hours before the House approved a plan to finance the Iraq war only through midsummer, President Bush offered his first public concession to try to resolve the impasse on war spending, acknowledging rising pressure from his own party and the public.” Iraqi Lawmakers Back Bill on U.S. Withdrawal- “A majority of members of Iraq’s parliament have signed a draft bill that would require a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers from Iraq and freeze current troop levels. The development was a sign of a growing division between Iraq’s legislators and prime minister that mirrors the widening gulf between the Bush administration and its critics in Congress.”


Iraq-unlikely dissent. Dissent in an unlikely place – “President Bush could hardly have picked a better private liberal arts college to find a welcoming audience for a commencement address than St. Vincent, a Catholic school run by a loyal former White House aide in a conservative region. Yet consider what has taken place here since Bush was invited for today’s speech: Students vigorously debated the invitation at a town-hall meeting last month. A former St. Vincent College president wrote a scathing newspaper essay saying Bush had no place on the campus. About a quarter of the tenure-rank faculty wrote an open letter to Bush challenging the Iraq war as contrary to Roman Catholic doctrine.”


Gordon Brown announces PM bid. Brown announces leadership bid – “Gordon Brown vowed that he would “listen” and “learn” today as he formally announced his candidacy to succeed Tony Blair.” Brown launches UK leadership bid – “Gordon Brown has said he has the “new ideas and vision” to govern Britain as he launched his long-awaited Labour leadership campaign.” Blair backs Brown as successor – “After years of obfuscation over who he would like to see replace him at No 10, the prime minister said he would be “absolutely delighted to give my full support to Gordon”. Brown May Loosen U.K. Ties to Bush – “Brown, 56, has more knowledge and experience regarding the United States than perhaps any British leader in history, … But analysts here say the British public’s toxic feelings toward Bush and the Iraq war — and Blair’s unyielding support for both — mean that Prime Minister Brown will have to maintain a certain distance from the White House, at least until next year’s presidential election.”



Blair legacy. The Legacy: Tony Blair, Prime Minister, 1997-2007 – “Tony Blair has apologised for his mistakes and admitted that his legacy in the eyes of many people will be dominated by Iraq when he stands down as Prime Minister.” Blair Ends a Decade of Stewardship- “He announced the end with much the same flourish as, 10 years ago, he initiated a decade in power that became known as his era. By turns pensive, boastful and humble, Tony Blair made a final pitch to his followers to accept that, whatever else, he did what he thought was right.”


Immigration. Senate nears immigration overhaul – “With a deadline looming next week, senators locked in intense, secret negotiations over how to overhaul America’s broken immigration system say they are closing in on a “grand bargain.” Senate GOP sees compromise near on immigration bill – “Senate Republican leaders said they are close to hashing out a compromise with Democrats on a new immigration bill, saying that a deal was “within our grasp.”


Darfur. Republicans in Congress Press Bush for Sanctions on Sudan – “In the latest attempt to exert pressure on Sudan over the killing in the Darfur region, a group of conservative to moderate Republicans in Congress demanded that President Bush impose sanctions against the government for its failure to rein in the violence.” China appoints special envoy for Darfur – “China announced the appointment of a special envoy dedicated to the Darfur crisis yesterday as Beijing faces international pressure to do more to resolve the conflict and the possibility of an Olympic boycott if it fails to act.”


Iran. Six nations agree to ask Iran to resume enrichment talks – “Senior diplomats representing the United Nations Security Council and Germany agreed yesterday to resume negotiations
with Iran in a bid to persuade it to stop its uranium enrichment program. Nicholas Burns, the US undersecretary of state for political affairs, said Washington has agreed to suspend sanctions and is prepared to negotiate face to face with Iran for the first time in 28 years.”


Republican candidates. Romney Works to Put Skeptics’ Doubts to Rest – “In national polls, Mr. Romney is still sometimes in single digits. But his more immediate problem, given his need to do well among Republican primary voters in the first contests early next year, may be the continued concerns of many conservative Christians about his religion – some evangelicals view Mormonism as something akin to a cult – and his relatively recent shift from supporter of abortion rights to opponent.” Political Memo: Can the G.O.P. Accept Giuliani’s Abortion Stance? – “with Rudolph W. Giuliani one of the front-runners for the Republican nomination, the question inevitably arises: … Can a supporter of abortion rights, even one with caveats and qualifications, make it to the top of the Republican Party in 2008?”


World Bank. Europeans Press Wolfowitz to Quit as Bank Chief – “European leaders have told the Bush administration that Paul D. Wolfowitz must resign as president of the World Bank in order to avoid a vote next week by the bank’s board declaring that he no longer has its confidence to function as the bank’s leader,” Europe calls for Wolfowitz to go – “But his case seemed increasingly like a lost cause amid indications of mounting European pressure, particularly from Germany, that Mr Wolfowitz, formerly the number two at the Pentagon during the Iraq war, should quit now.”


Op-Eds.
A Legacy Overshadowed (E. J. Dionne Jr, Washington Post) British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s announcement that he’s stepping down won’t quell the anger felt among so much of the antiwar left. But my own reaction is a deep sadness that he tarnished a formidable legacy.


Giuliani’s Abortion ‘Gaffe’ (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post) Instead of discussing what a decent society owes women and what it owes soon-to-be-born infants, and trying to balance the two by politically hammering out regulations that a broad national consensus can support, we debate the constitutional niceties of a 35-year-old, appallingly crafted Supreme Court decision.



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