God's Politics

the latest reports on Korea, the Jose Padilla verdict, climate change, Utah mine deaths, Alberto Gonzales, immigration, Republican politics, New Orleans, the Mideast, Peru’s earthquake, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Iraq, the World Bank, South Africa, and Russia

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Korea. Seoul to help flood-ravaged North Korea “Leaders of the two Koreas are also to meet in Pyongyang, the North’s capital, this month for only the second summit since the peninsula was divided, with aid expected to be a key topic of discussion.” S Korea gives flood aid to North “International aid agencies are working with the government to identify those most in need, and have been distributing emergency supplies to the hardest-hit areas.” S Korea offers flood aid to North

The US has also said it will give $100,000 to relief groups for emergency supplies, but international aid officials say they are still awaiting approval from North Korean authorities for food deliveries to begin.”

Jose Padilla. Jury Convicts Jose Padilla of Terror Charges “Prosecutors and federal law enforcement officials called the conviction a reflection of their agencies’ hard work. However, legal critics said the verdicts show that terrorism suspects can be tried in criminal courts and that there was no reason for the Bush administration to have declared Padilla an ‘enemy combatant’ and to hold him for years without formal charges.” Padilla Is Guilty on All Charges in Terror Trial “Mr. Padilla, a Brooklyn-born convert to Islam who became one of the first Americans designated an “enemy combatant” in the anxious months after Sept. 11, 2001, now faces life in prison. He was released last year from a long and highly unusual military confinement to face criminal charges in Federal District Court here. ” US citizen found guilty of aiding terror groups “After his arrest in Chicago, Padilla was held for three years on a military brig in South Carolina. He was transferred to the Miami court in 2005. But, because he had been interrogated on the brig with no lawyer present, all the alleged evidence was deemed inadmissible. The key piece of physical evidence was a five-page form Padilla supposedly filled out in July 2000 to attend an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan.”

Climate change. Air travel latest target in climate change fight “As protesters plan an unspecified action this Sunday, aircraft engineers, scientists, and climate experts around the world are urgently assessing if technology, taxation, and rationing – or a combination of all three – is required to stop aircraft from overbalancing the climate-change equation.”

Mine deaths. Mine Rescuers Die, 6 Others Hurt “A cave-in Thursday night killed three rescue workers and injured at least six others who were trying to tunnel through rubble to reach six trapped miners, authorities said. Mining officials were considering whether to suspend the rescue effort.” 3 rescue workers killed, 6 injured in Utah mine “The mountain “bump” occurred about 6:30 p.m., as the group of more than 100 rescue workers continued to carefully tunnel through the collapsed Crandall Canyon Mine. Since Aug. 6, when a predawn cave-in buried the miners, regular seismic tremors have slowed the dig to a virtual crawl.”

Alberto Gonzales. FBI Director’s Notes Contradict Gonzales’s Version Of Ashcroft Visit “The typewritten notes, heavily censored before being turned over to the House Judiciary Committee, provide further insight into a tumultuous but secret legal battle that gripped the Justice Department and the White House in March 2004, after Justice lawyers determined that parts of the warrantless wiretapping program run by the National Security Agency were illegal.”

Immigration. Romney, Giuliani Escalate Their Immigration Fight “The two leading Republican presidential candidates have turned the GOP primary campaign into a nasty, week-long debate about illegal immigration, accusing each other of supporting efforts to give undocumented residents sanctuary from federal immigration laws.”

Politics – Republicans. For Giuliani, Ground Zero as Linchpin and Thorn “As Rudolph W. Giuliani campaigns around the country highlighting his stewardship of New York City after the Sept. 11 attacks, he is widely hailed for bringing order to a traumatized city. But he has also raised the hackles of rescue and recovery workers by likening his experience to theirs.” Illinois’ Hastert details decision to leave “As Hastert prepares to formally announce today his decision not to seek reelection to the Illinois seat he first won in 1986, he reflected on a political career in which he became the longest-serving Republican speaker.”

New Orleans. One Billion Dollars Later, New Orleans Is Still at Risk “While parts of the city are now substantially safer from possible floodwaters, others have changed little.”

Mideast. Events Prod U.S. to Make New Push for Mideast Deal “After seven years of violence and terrorism, stagnation and unilateralism, the United States has finally decided to re-engage, pushing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinians to talk about peace. Both Mr. Olmert and Mr. Abbas may be weak, but both are also desperate for accomplishment. And the landscape is very different than it was seven years ago.” Israel to Get $30 Billion in Military Aid From U.S. “The new aid to Israel will average $3 billion a year on a sliding scale, an increase of about 25 percent from current figures, to begin in October 2008. That year, American economic aid to Israel, which has a vibrant, growing economy, is scheduled to end. Uniquely, officials said, the new deal allows Israel to spend 26.3 percent of the aid on arms from Israel’s domestic military industry; the rest of the money must be spent on American equipment.” Giuliani anti Palestinian state “Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has said he is not in favour of the creation of a Palestinian state, contradicting current US policy. In an essay, he said it was not in the US interest to help create a state that, he said, would support terrorism.”

Peru earthquake. Hundreds Dead in Peru Earthquake “Victims of Peru’s deadliest earthquake in more than 35 years were pulled from the rubble of adobe huts and dust-covered buildings on Thursday, as tens of thousands of people displaced by the disaster sought shelter.” Toll Climbs in Peru; Areas Lack Water and Power “A day after an earthquake struck Peru’s southern coast, officials put the toll at 437 and said it was sure to rise.” Search for Peru quake survivors “Rescuers are continuing into a third day the hunt for survivors of the earthquake that hit Peru’s central coast, as fresh tremors shake the area.”

Zimbabwe. Allies Not Likely to Push Mugabe to Change “Southern Africa’s political leaders gathered Thursday in Lusaka, Zambia, to discuss Zimbabwe’s political and economic collapse, but it appeared unlikely that they would press its president, Robert G. Mugabe, to change any of the policies that critics said had brought his nation to ruin.” Zimbabwe rejects calls for change at summit “The Zimbabwean government dismissed growing disquiet at the impact of its economic collapse on its neighbours yesterday, telling a summit in Zambia of regional leaders that there was no need for political reform or talks with its opponents.”

Venezuela. Latin leaders mum on Chavez’s proposals “Chavez, who was granted power to rule by decree by the National Assembly in January, defended his proposal as ‘a transfer of power to the people.’ The constitutional revisions must be approved by the National Assembly before being put to voters in a referendum. The proposals run counter to the trend of open markets and non-military government in other Latin American nations, including Chile, Colombia and Mexico. But Thursday, even those governments chose not to challenge the Venezuelan leader.”

Iraq. Ex-Marine pleads not guilty in Iraqis’ deaths “During the radio conversation, according to the affidavit, Nazario said he was asked, ‘Are they dead yet?’ — to which he responded, ‘Negative.’ Nazario said he was then told to ‘make it happen.’ He then allegedly grabbed one of the men, took him into the next room and shot him. Afterward, Nazario emerged and said, ‘Who else wants to kill these guys, because I don’t want to do it all myself.'” Shiite militia infiltrates Iraqi forces “Mahdi militia members have infiltrated much of the country’s security apparatus, including the army, where they reportedly intimidate and bribe troops and commanders to look the other way as militants execute their brutal sectarian “cleansing” agenda.”

World Bank. World Bank criticized for ties to timber firm “For five years, the Washington-based World Bank Group has been trying to save one of Earth’s last great forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But the bank’s private-sector arm is also an investor in a company that is drawing criticism for its connections to logging operations there.”

South Africa. Apartheid murder plotters guilty “Five former security officials in South Africa’s apartheid regime have received suspended prison sentences for plotting to kill an anti-apartheid activist.” Apartheid minister pleads guilty “Mr Vlok received a 10-year suspended prison sentence under a plea bargain by admitting he ordered the security police to kill the Reverend Frank Chikane, a leading anti-apartheid activist, in 1989.”

Russia. Russia’s resurgent military “As a newly self-confident, oil-rich Russia teams up with China in joint military exercises Friday, it is moving to reclaim the former Soviet Union’s status as a global military power.” Russia ‘renewing bomber patrols’
“Russia is resuming a Soviet-era practice of sending its bomber aircraft on long-range flights, President Vladimir Putin has said. Mr Putin said the move to resume the flights after a 15 year suspension was in response to security threats posed by other military powers.” Russia to renew bomber flights “In a reference to the US, Mr Putin said the halting of long-range bomber flights after the Soviet Union’s collapse had affected Russia’s security because other nations had continued such missions.”

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