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Duane Shank: Daily News Digest

The latest news on climate change, Iran, Lebanon, immigration, Iraq, Richardson’s announcement, faith and politics, Darfur, Colombia, and select editorials.

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Full news summary:

Immigration. Strife over immigration bill as debate begins in the Senate – “even before lawmakers voted 69 to 23 to begin the debate, the bill’s opponents promised a bruising fight, taking to the Senate floor to protest the way the measure was written, the way it will be debated and what it would do.” Immigration Compromise Faces New Opposition – “The Senate voted to move forward on an overhaul of immigration laws, but even proponents of the delicate compromise proposal conceded that the furor over the deal was surpassing their expectations and endangering the plan.” Critics in Senate Vowing to Alter Immigration Bill– “Lawmakers from both parties are seeking to alter a comprehensive immigration bill substantially.” Senate to open debate on immigration bill – “The Senate voted to begin debate on an immigration-reform bill, turning aside objections from senators who said the legislation is being rushed and acting even as Senate offices were being flooded with calls and faxes urging the deal be blocked.” Time to Scrutinize Bill Begins – “a breakdown of what the bill does, and where critics have said it falls short.”


Iraq. Iran’s plan to force US out of Iraq – “Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.” Democrats drop insistence on Iraq withdrawal timeline – “Scrambling to send President Bush an emergency war spending bill he will sign, Democratic leaders have decided to drop their insistence on a timeline for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq.”


Richardson announces. New Mexico Gov. Richardson officially enters presidential race – “Flanked by local Latino leaders and a large contingent of politicians from his home state, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson formally entered the 2008 presidential campaign Monday, saying that his thick resume offered him an ability unmatched by others in the race to tackle the country’s problems at home and abroad.”

Faith & politics. Evangelicals at a Crossroads As Falwell’s Generation Fades – “Although Falwell’s personal influence had been waning for years, his death at age 73 last week threw into stark relief the current headless state of the political movement he founded with the establishment of the Moral Majority in 1978.”


Iran. American Scholar Is Charged in Iran – “Noted American scholar and Potomac resident Haleh Esfandiari has been charged with “seeking to topple the ruling Islamic establishment,” Tehran’s state-controlled television reported yesterday.” Iran Accuses American of Revolution Plot – “The Islamic Republic of Iran yesterday accused a prominent American academic it imprisoned two weeks ago of conspiring to foment a velvet revolution there.”


Climate change. Global carbon emissions in overdrive – “From 2000 to 2004, emissions grew at a rate of 3 percent a year – more than the highest rates used in recent key UN reports.” Worldwide carbon dioxide emissions soar – “Warnings about global warming may not be dire enough, according to a climate study that describes a runaway-train acceleration of industrial carbon dioxide emissions.”


Lebanon. Lebanese bombardment renewed – “Lebanese forces today renewed their bombardment of a Palestinian refugee camp where hundreds of Islamist militants have vowed to fight to the “last shot”. Shelling of the Nahr al-Bared camp just outside the northern port of Tripoli, Lebanon’s second largest city, started at dawn,” Lebanese Army and Islamists Battle for 2nd Day– “Lebanese tanks and artillery pounded a Palestinian refugee camp in this northern Lebanese city for the second straight day on Monday, battling members of a radical Islamist group and raising concerns for thousands trapped inside.” Lebanon Confronts A Fierce Adversary – “A little-known Islamic militant group based in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon battled government troops Monday in some of the country’s fiercest fighting since the civil war ended in 1990,” Lebanon’s stability under fire – “An obscure Palestinian group with ties to Al Qaeda and perhaps to Syrian intelligence has emerged virtually overnight as the latest threat to Lebanon’s fragile stability.”


Darfur. In Darfur, some Arabs now fight alongside rebels – “Rebel leaders claim that dozens of janjaweed commanders are joining their struggle against the Sudanese government after promises of land, cattle, and money proved worthless.”
Speakers urge Angelenos to aid Darfur – “Sunday’s observance was developed after two Jewish organizations, the American Jewish Committee and Jewish World Watch, approached First AME and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to find ways to spur further activism. Eventually, the effort was joined by a coalition of dozens of religious and human rights groups, including the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Islamic Center of Southern California and the UCLA African Studies Center.”


Colombia. Paramilitary Ties to Elite In Colombia Are Detailed – “Top paramilitary commanders have in recent days confirmed what human rights groups and others have long alleged: Some of Colombia’s most influential political, military and business figures helped build a powerful anti-guerrilla movement that operated with impunity.”

Editorial. (Washington Times) – Traditional values and voters – “In 2004, voters who emphasize traditional values played a crucial role in re-electing President Bush and increasing Republican control of both chambers of Congress. In 2006, however, traditional-values voters were unable to stem the Democratic tide, and, based on exit-polling data, some even contributed to it. Last year Democrats captured control of both bodies of Congress by defeating six incumbent Republican senators and winning 30 House seats held by Republicans.”

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