God's Politics

The latest news on G-8, immigration, Darfur, sanctuary, Russia, Iraq, federal budget, Senegal, nuclear weapons and the Mideast.
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Immigration-this morning’s news. Immigration Bill in Doubt After Vote “A fragile compromise that would legalize millions of unlawful immigrants risks coming unraveled after the Senate voted early Thursday to place a five-year limit on a program meant to provide U.S. employers with 200,000 temporary foreign workers annually.”

Immigration-the newspapers. Immigration bill supporters beat back key change “Supporters of a bipartisan immigration bill on Wednesday rebuffed one of the most serious challenges so far, defeating a measure that could have denied legalization to many illegal immigrants and moving the complicated legislation a step closer to passage in the Senate.” Senate Rejects Most Efforts to Change Immigration BillThe Senate signaled support for major provisions of a comprehensive immigration bill by rejecting many proposed amendments, including one that would have made it much harder for many illegal immigrants to achieve legal status.” Immigrant Measure Survives Challenges “The plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration system survived its most serious challenges, when the Senate defeated amendments to disqualify hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from legalization and to extend visas to hundreds of thousands more relatives of U.S. citizens” White House surprised at GOP anger over speech “President Bush did not intend to single out his conservative supporters for criticism in a speech on immigration reform last week and was “surprised” that his remarks angered Republicans, White House spokesman Tony Snow said.”

Sanctuary. A mother’s plight revives the sanctuary movement “Sanctuary, in antiquity the practice of providing refuge in a sacred place, has been revived in a rather dramatic fashion by an undocumented Mexican cleaning woman trying to evade deportation by holing up in a Chicago church. … That was nine months and 18 days ago. Since then, her act of civil disobedience has helped spark a new sanctuary movement.”

G-8. Leaders scramble to salvage climate plan “The world’s industrial powers scrambled last night to rescue one of the most contentious G8 summits in the organization’s history after the United States rejected German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cherished climate-change agenda.” At Group of 8 Meeting, Bush Rebuffs Germany on Cutting EmissionsAs leaders of wealthy nations converged on a Baltic Sea resort for their annual meeting, the White House effectively derailed a climate change initiative backed by one of President Bush’s strongest European allies, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.” G-8 Leaders Trade Conflicting Views on Warming “As thousands of protesters clashed with police nearby, President Bush and leaders of other industrial nations traded markedly opposing views on how to combat global warming.” Thousands of Protesters Foil Some German Security Measures and Clash With the PoliceSeveral thousand protesters clashed with riot police officers, who used tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators blocking roads and railways leading to the site of the meeting. Eight police officers were injured, and 15 demonstrators were detained,”

Russia. Calmer Talk From U.S. and Russia “Russia and the United States appeared to step back from their confrontation over American plans for installations in Europe relating to a missile shield, as President Bush said Russia was not a threat to Europe and the Russian foreign minister withdrew a threat to pull out of a conventional arms treaty.” PM to press Putin on reforms “Stephen Harper will press Russian President Vladimir Putin today to bolster human rights and democratic reform in his country amid increasing anxiety over repression and human-rights violations.”

Iraq. Twin bombings near Shiite shrine in Baghdad “Two nearly simultaneous car bombs rocked the district containing Baghdad’s most revered Shiite Muslim shrine in an apparent attempt to escalate sectarian bloodshed and derail the latest security plan. … The U.S. military, meanwhile, announced the deaths of four more soldiers in the last two days. That brings to at least 3,503 the number of U.S. military personnel killed since the start of the Iraq war,” Bombs Hit Shiites in Baghdad; Turkish Threats Grow Acute “Thirty-four bodies were also found strewn about the capital, the latest evidence of a rising toll of sectarian killings more than three months after the beginning of the increase in American troops. At least 167 bodies have been found in Baghdad in the first six days of June,” Turkish officials say troops entered Iraq to chase rebels “Hundreds of Turkish soldiers crossed into northern Iraq on Wednesday pursuing Kurdish guerrillas who stage attacks on Turkey from hideouts there, Turkish security officials and an Iraqi Kurd official said.”

Federal budget. House Boosts Clean Energy, Veteran Funds “Democrats gave big increases to programs aimed at making cars and buildings more energy efficient and boosting research and development of alternative energy sources in legislation approved Wednesday by the House Appropriations Committee.”

Darfur. Tentative Deal Reached for Darfur Peacekeeping Force “The United Nations and the African Union struck a tentative deal to end disagreement over the command of a 23,000-soldier joint peacekeeping force proposed for Darfur.” Amnesty Launches ‘Eyes on Darfur’ Site “Atrocities in western Sudan as well as injustices in Zimbabwe, Lebanon and Burma have prompted American scientists to assist human rights organizations by devising tracking techniques using satellite imagery.” Young voices join chorus against Darfur “Since they founded the project “Dollars for Darfur” last summer, Nick Anderson of Conway and Ana Slavin of Sherborn have helped raise more than $300,000 for the cause through a series of benefits organized by high school students on two popular websites.”

Senegal. World Briefings: Senegal sees oil as anti-poverty tool “As the Group of Eight meets this week in Germany, one African leader is hoping to use the new flood of oil profits for a novel cause: combating poverty in Africa’s non-oil-producing nations. “Energy and infrastructure — those are the new links,” said Senegal’s octogenarian president, Abdoulaye Wade, in an interview in Dakar before he left for the G-8 meeting.”

Nuclear weapons. U.S. speeding up nuclear disarmament “The Energy Department will announce today that it has accelerated its program to dismantle surplus nuclear weapons by more than 50% and has already met its goal for the fiscal year, about four months early.”

Mideast. Abbas and Olmert Delay Meeting; Withheld Funds at Issue “A meeting scheduled for Thursday between the prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has been postponed, largely over what appeared to be the issue of the conditions under which Israel would turn over tax revenues it collects for the Palestinians.” Fatah to Israel: Let us get arms to fight Hamas “Senior Fatah officials in the Gaza Strip have asked Israel to allow them to receive large shipments of arms and ammunition from Arab countries, including Egypt. The group says it needs the weapons to counter attacks by Hamas, which has an overwhelming advantage in the Gaza Strip.”

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