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God's Politics

The latest news on Kids Count, Iraq, Faith & Politics, Farm bill, Childrens health insurance, investigations of Congress, AG Gonzales, Afghanistan, US-India nuclear deal, Darfur, Faithworks-UK, and select commentaries.
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Farm bill. House Rejects Farm Bill Overhaul “Farm state lawmakers, allied with House Democratic leaders, last night easily defeated a proposal for a major overhaul of traditional farm programs that would have pared subsidies to big growers and spread benefits more broadly.”


Childrens health insurance. Democrats rush bill, Republicans charge “House Republicans yesterday accused Democrats of trying to ram through a $50 billion expansion of a children’s health insurance program without their input or adequate time for debate.”


Investigations of Congress. Federal Lawmakers From Coast to Coast Are Under InvestigationMore than a dozen current and former lawmakers are under scrutiny in cases involving their work on Capitol Hill. And that number may be less extraordinary than the number of separate corruption investigations into which they have been drawn.”


AG Gonzales. FBI Chief Disputes Gonzales On Spying“FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III yesterday contradicted the sworn testimony of his boss, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, by telling Congress that a prominent warrantless surveillance program was the subject of a dramatic legal debate within the Bush administration.”


Iraq. Iraqi lawmakers take their time “Missing from Thursday’s session of the Iraqi parliament were about half of the members, including the speaker, the former speaker and two former prime ministers. Also missing: a sense of urgency.” Iraqi government in deepest crisis “Iraq is in the throes of its worst political crisis since the fall of Saddam Hussein with the new democratic system, based on national consensus among its ethnic and sectarian groups, appearing dangerously close to collapsing, say several politicians and analysts.”


Teens march across U.S. to protest war “Two teens from opposite coasts are marching across the country for peace, hoping to gain followers and attention with each step.”


Afghanistan. Korean hostages alive in Afghanistan, says official “The remaining 22 South Koreans kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan are alive, the Afghan deputy interior minister said on Friday, hours after the passing of the latest deadline set by the group.”


US-India nuclear deal. U.S. to Announce Nuclear Exception for IndiaThree years after President Bush urged global rules to stop additional nations from making nuclear fuel, the White House will announce on Friday that it is carving out an exception forIndia, in a last-ditch effort to seal a civilian nuclear deal between the countries.” U.S.-India nuclear agreement left to interpretation “The Bush administration assured Congress in a classified briefing yesterday that its nuclear deal with India does not circumvent U.S. law, although the briefers conceded that some language is deliberately vague to help both sides save face.”


Darfur. Hopes rise over new Darfur peace initiative “Darfur’s numerous rebel groups will meet next week in what diplomats describe as the best opportunity for working towards peace in the war-torn region of western Sudan for more than a year.” Climate change escalates Darfur crisis “Competition for water – in refugee camps, between farmers and herders, and between countries – has long sparked conflict in the arid region and forms one of the main causes of the war in Sudan’s Darfur region. But the trouble is only beginning, as it becomes clear that dramatic climate change will have its sharpest effects in Africa, leading to rising hardship, massive population displacement, and, in some cases, all-out war.”


Kids Count. Teen death, dropout, birthrates falling “Child well-being has improved in six of 10 key areas, including death and dropout rates and teen birthrates, says the 2007 Kids Count Data Book. But the nation still has high rates of underweight babies, child poverty and single-parent homes, said the 18th annual publication, released yesterday by Annie E. Casey Foundation.”


Faith & Politics. Romney considers future speech addressing his Mormon faith “Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he’ll probably deliver a speech explaining the role his Mormon faith plays in his political life, but he argued he’s made strong gains among evangelicals despite questions about his religion.”


Faithworks-UK. ‘Be a Change Agent’, says Faithworks “Faithworks has urged Christians to become ‘change agents’ in their local communities following the Government’s praise of faith groups in its Third Sector Review this week.”


Commentary.


The Kind Of Village It Takes (Michael Gerson, Washington Post) “Recent books and studies seem to indicate disturbing sexual trends among evangelical Christians. And this time we’re not talking about their pastors or political leaders. The new attention is on evangelical teenagers, who reportedly start sex earlier than their mainline Protestant peers.”


How riots changed us (Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune) “Four decades after the race ‘uprisings’ in Newark and Detroit, it is instructive to compare the way we were then with the way we are now.”

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