God's Politics

Iraq-Senate, Iraq-military, Iran, Middle East, North Korea, Canada-Colombia, Senate, pverty tour, death penalty stay, divorce, Darfur, Canada-Cree nationhood, Church and sex abuse.
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Iraq. Just another day in Iraq: 100 more fathers, mothers, sons and daughters killed “The dispatch of 28,000 extra troops to Iraq starting in January, and the more aggressive deployment of the US army in the country, is not working. At best it is moving violence from one area of Iraq to another.”

Iraq-Senate. Senate sets all-nighter on Iraq war “Frustrated that Republicans won’t allow a straight up-or-down vote on their proposal to withdraw troops from Iraq in the next 120 days, Senate Democrats announced that they will insist that Republicans wage their filibuster the old-fashioned way — through the night.” Democrats Plan to Keep Senate in Session All Night for Iraq VoteSenate Democrats said they would keep the Senate in session through the night on Tuesday in an effort to highlight Republican resistance to allowing a simple majority vote on a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq.” Congress faces all-nighter “Senate Democrats are planning an all-night session tonight, daring Republicans to engage in an old-fashioned filibuster over Iraq troop withdrawals rather than just threatening one.”

Iraq-military. Bigger troop buildup possible, Pace says “The U.S. military is weighing new directions for Iraq, including an even bigger troop buildup if President Bush thinks his “surge” strategy needs a further boost, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.” Exit Strategies “If U.S. combat forces withdraw from Iraq in the near future, three developments would be likely to unfold. Majority Shiites would drive Sunnis out of ethnically mixed areas west to Anbar province. Southern Iraq would erupt in civil war between Shiite groups. And the Kurdish north would solidify its borders and invite a U.S. troop presence there.” Ban presses U.S. to use ‘caution’ in leaving Iraq “U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged U.S. policy-makers to exercise “great caution” in considering any rapid withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq.”

Iran. Cheney pushes Bush to act on Iran “The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President George Bush leaves office in 18 months, the Guardian has learned. The shift follows an internal review involving the White House, the Pentagon and the state department over the last month. Although the Bush administration is in deep trouble over Iraq, it remains focused on Iran. A well-placed source in Washington said: “Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo.”

Middle East. Bush Renews Mideast Efforts “President Bush launched a diplomatic effort yesterday to revive the long-moribund Middle East peace process, announcing aid to the Palestinian government and calling for an international conference this fall aimed at paving the way for the creation of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel.” US to broker Middle East summit “The ambitious conference would bring together Israelis, Palestinians and Arab governments in an as yet unannounced location. Playing a central role would be the Middle East group to which Tony Blair has been made special envoy – the Quartet, which is made up of the US, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union.”

North Korea. North Korea nuclear talks under way “Negotiators today gathered in Beijing for the next – and more difficult – phase of totally dismantling North Korea’s nuclear programme.”

Canada-Colombia. Free trade could help Colombia renounce violence: Harper “Prime Minister Stephen Harper placed Canada firmly on the side of Colombia’s government Monday, launching a passionate defence of free trade with this and any country that is struggling to overcome a violent past.”

Senate. Webb lauds freshman power “Sen. James H. Webb Jr. says a new political power emerged in the Senate during the immigration debate: a group of freshman Democrats who bucked the chamber’s leaders and sided with American workers, and who now turn their attention to bringing accountability to the war in Iraq.”

Poverty tour. On Tour to Highlight Poverty, Edwards Tries to Shift Race’s Focus “From the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans to the Mississippi Delta to this town where Martin Luther King Jr. began his Poor People’s Campaign almost four decades ago, John Edwards’s message has been the same: Americans living in poverty are working hard but need more help from the federal government and their wealthier countrymen.” Edwards tries to regain stride with poverty tour “I want to shed a light on the poverty that still exists in America,” Edwards said after meeting with poultry workers in Canton. “Second, what can be done to fix it.” Edwards began a three-day, eight-state tour Monday that will take him from the rural poverty of the Mississippi Delta to the inner-city neighborhoods of Cleveland to the mountain hollers of Appalachia.”

Death penalty stay. Georgia Board Grants Stay Of Execution to Consider Case “One day before he was to die by lethal injection, convicted cop killer Troy Davis received a 90-day stay of execution Monday from a Georgia clemency board, allowing him time to press his case that he has been the victim of mistaken identity. The prosecution’s case against Davis, 38, has crumbled in the 16 years since he was sentenced to death.”

Divorce. No-fault law tied to rise in divorces “No-fault divorce laws represent a modest but potent factor in the nation’s high divorce rates, a study says. “The best evidence suggests that no fault-divorce increases the divorce rate on the order of 10 percent,”

Darfur. Opposition to Darfur resolution “A draft Security Council resolution to authorise deploying a joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan’s Darfur region has run into opposition. … Sudan’s UN ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad said the draft UN resolution should be more Sudan-friendly and drop “irrelevant and alien issues” like the threat of sanctions.”

Canada-Cree nationhood. $1.4B deal gives Cree promise of nationhood “Leaders of the 16,500 Cree of northern Quebec announced a historic $1.4-billion deal with Ottawa yesterday, … If ratified in a referendum in October and approved by Parliament, it will see the Cree take control of all policing, courts and social and economic development in their communities — and perhaps eventually form their own state within Canada.”

Church and sex abuse. Church Paying $2 Billion Abuse Bill “The cost of clergy sex abuse for America’s Roman Catholic Church has hit a breathtaking new benchmark: The massive settlement approved Monday in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has pushed the price beyond $2 billion nationwide.” Payout Is Bittersweet for Victims of AbuseAs abuse victims sobbed in the courtroom, a judge approved a $660 million settlement yesterday between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and 508 people who had filed suit over sexual abuse by clergy members.”

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