God's Politics

the latest reports on immigration, housing, global warming, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Darfur, Utah mine deaths, torture, election, Peru earthquake, trade, Zimbabwe, and green building

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Immigration. Immigration activist deported to Mexico “Elvira Arellano, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who became a symbol in the nation’s immigration wars after she took sanctuary in a Chicago church last year, was deported late Sunday, authorities said.” Activist arrested in L.A. “Federal authorities Sunday arrested Elvira Arellano on a downtown city street, ending a yearlong standoff that intensified recently after the illegal Mexican immigrant began what was to be a nationwide campaign to push for new immigration reforms.” Mother loses fight to stay in US “Her eight-year-old son Saul was present in LA when his mother was arrested – a poignant detail as Ms Arellano’s campaign to remain in the country focused on the more than three million children of illegal immigrants who, like Saul, were born in the US and are therefore American citizens.”

Housing. Moving the homeless out of shelters, into homes “From New York to Dallas to Seattle, cities across the country are focusing not just on emergency shelter, but on getting the homeless homes. As a result, they’re seeing reductions in the numbers of chronically homeless people on their streets and in their shelters.”

Global warming. Warming Will Exacerbate Global Water Conflicts “Changing weather patterns will leave millions of people without dependable supplies of water for drinking, irrigation, and power, a growing stack of studies conclude.” Heathrow growth is focus of climate-change protests “The weeklong protest outside Heathrow highlights the momentum of climate change activism in Britain, where reducing carbon emissions has come to dominate public discourse.”

Iraq. Contractors in Iraq Have Become U.S. Crutch “While U.S. contractors have provided personal security to officials in other conflict zones, those in Iraq are now being used in all aspects of the struggle because, as the CRS report says, doing otherwise would require policymakers ‘to contemplate an increase in the number of U.S. troops, perhaps increasing incentives to attract volunteers or re-instituting the draft.'” Quiet areas of Iraq attacked “Missiles and mortar rounds Saturday struck areas of Baghdad and central Iraq where violence and civilian deaths had decreased in recent weeks, raising concern that insurgents were adapting their strategy around an increase in the number of U.S. troops.” US officer tried over Abu Ghraib “The court martial of the only US Army officer charged in connection with the abuse scandal at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison has begun.”

Iran-Iraq. Iran shells Kurdish villages in Iraq “Iraqi Kurdish officials expressed deepening concern yesterday at an upsurge in fierce clashes between Kurdish guerrillas and Iranian forces in the remote border area of north-east Iraq, where Tehran has recently deployed thousands of Revolutionary Guards.”

Israel/Darfur. Israel Returns Illegal African Migrants to Egypt “Israel sent approximately 50 African migrants, many reported to be Sudanese refugees from war-torn Darfur, back across the border to Egypt late Saturday night, a move that drew the condemnation of Israeli human rights advocates when it became known on Sunday.” Israel to Block New Refugees From Darfur “This spring, thousands of the refugees started moving north to sneak into Israel, in the belief it would allow them safety, freedom and jobs, the refugees said. Israel, which normally gets 700 to 800 asylum-seekers a year, received 2,300 in the first six months of the year.” Darfur refugees to be turned back “Israel said it would no longer allow refugees from Sudan’s Darfur region to stay after they sneak across the border from Egypt.”

Utah mine deaths. Many Pressures Led to Cave-In “In the small hours of Aug. 6, before the mountain came down around six men working to hollow it out, immense forces were concentrated on the far reaches of the Crandall Canyon coal mine. Not all of them came from within the groaning mountain.”

Torture. APA Rules on Interrogation Abuse “The American Psychological Association ruled Sunday that psychologists can no longer be associated with several interrogation techniques that have been used against terrorism detainees at U.S. facilities because the methods are immoral, psychologically damaging and counterproductive in eliciting useful information.”

Election – Democrats. Democratic Rivals Caution Against Swift Iraq Pullout “The leading Democratic presidential contenders sounded a note of caution about a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq in a largely civil debate Sunday morning that also returned to the familiar themes of experience and electability.”

Peru earthquake. In a Place of Solace, Finding Faith Among the Sorrow “The magnitude 8.0 quake killed more than 500 people and left thousands homeless. About 34,000 homes were destroyed, about 16,000 of them in and around Pisco. But the town’s residents have drawn faith from what they see as small miracles.”

Trade. U.S. action on free trade is left hanging “Just a day after Senate Republicans took the lead in scuttling an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws, House Democrats stiff-armed the Bush administration’s largest-ever trade deal and declared they would deny the White House the authority it needs to cut more deals.”

Zimbabwe. An economic noose tightens in Zimbabwe “The new enemies of President Robert Mugabe’s regime inhabit one of the country’s last productive sectors — manufacturing and retail. In an Orwellian twist to Zimbabwe’s downward spiral, more than 7,000 of them have been arrested and jailed in recent weeks, accused of breaching draconian new price controls.”

Green building. A House Made of What? “Some designers say straw is ideal for ‘green’ building because it recycles farm waste and saves energy by keeping interiors cool.”

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