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The latest news on SCHIP, Ahmadinejad at Columbia, Burma, Autoworkers strike, Jena 6, Gordon Brown, North Korea, United Nations, Immigration, Presidential primaries, Income in Canada, Canadian no confidence, and Worship
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SCHIP. Showdown in Congress over child healthcare “With a popular children’s health insurance program set to expire this week, US lawmakers who want to expand it are scrambling to find enough votes to withstand a probable veto of their legislation.” GOP Senator Says Bush Should Put Health Bill Before Policy Goal “A senior Senate Republican accused President Bush yesterday of holding a bipartisan expansion of the popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program hostage to his broader policy goals of using tax deductions to help people afford private health insurance coverage.” Congress Set for Veto Fight on Child Health CarePresident Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress prepared Monday for a showdown over the future of health insurance for more than 10 million children.”


Ahmadinejad at Columbia. Ahmadinejad, at Columbia, Parries and PuzzlesHe said that there were no homosexuals in Iran – not one – and that the Nazi slaughter of six million Jews should not be treated as fact, but theory, and therefore open to debate and more research.Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, aired those and other bewildering thoughts in a two-hour verbal contest at Columbia University yesterday, providing some ammunition to people who said there was no point in inviting him to speak.” Ahmadinejad’s Day One in New York: A Hostile Reception, a Rambling Talk “As he prepared to deliver a speech at Columbia University, the university’s president, Lee Bollinger, introduced the Iranian leader as a man who appeared to lack “intellectual courage,” had a “fanatical mind-set” and may be “astonishingly undereducated.” “Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator,” Bollinger told Ahmadinejad.” Iran leader dismisses nuclear plans “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, told Americans yesterday his country had no nuclear weapons programme, but then called his own credibility into question by insisting it had no gay people either.”


Burma . Burmese protesters defy warning “Tens of thousands of monks and civilians in Burma’s main city Rangoon have defied military warnings and staged new anti-government protests.” Burmese Junta Warns Monks of Crackdown “Myanmar’s military junta issued its first warning after a month of widening antigovernment demonstrations, saying it was prepared to crack down on the Buddhist monks who are at the heart of the protests.” Bush plans to pressure Myanmar“In a show of support for anti-government protesters in Myanmar, President Bush plans to announce toughened sanctions today to build on U.S. pressure against the military government there.” Myanmar sanctions “President George W. Bush is set to announce new U.S. sanctions against Myanmar over human rights as the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering of world leaders gets under way.”


Iraq . What Defines a Killing as Sectarian? “On Sept. 1, the bullet-riddled bodies of four Iraqi men were found on a Baghdad street. Two days later, a single dead man, with one bullet in his head, was found on a different street. According to the U.S. military in Iraq, the solitary man was a victim of sectarian violence. The first four were not.”

Autoworkers strike. Workers At GM Walk Off The Job “The autoworkers union called its first national strike in more than three decades against General Motors, sending thousands of workers streaming from plants across the country even as both sides prepared to resume negotiations on a new contract.” In G.M. Strike, Both Sides See a CrossroadsThe length of the walkout may hinge on the answers to two crucial questions: How long can the U.A.W. afford to stay out?” A clash of auto titans “they have both reached the peak of their careers just as their organizations are struggling to reverse deep, long-term losses. That is why the United Auto Workers union’s strike against General Motors Co. is not only the clash of two giants of the American auto industry but of two men, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and Rick Wagoner, GM’s chief executive and chairman.”


Jena 6. White supremacist backlash builds over Jena case “No sooner did tens of thousands of African-American demonstrators depart the racially tense town of Jena, La., last week after protesting perceived injustices than white supremacists flooded in behind them.”


Gordon Brown. ‘I will not let Britain down’ “Gordon Brown yesterday used his first conference speech as Labour party leader to make a direct appeal to the conservative instincts of middle Britain, vowing to create an aspirational society based on the foundations of duty, respect and responsibility.” Key themes from the PM’s speech “Brown spells out what he stands for.”


North Korea. North Korea denies Syria nuclear link “North Koreatoday dismissed reports that it was providing nuclear material for Syria as allegations “fabricated by lunatics”. Pyongyang’s forceful denial followed an attack by Israeli warplanes in northern Syria earlier this month.”


United Nations. World leaders set to address UN “The United Nations’ annual general assembly is due to begin its formal session, with speeches by the US and Iran keenly awaited.” U.N. chief calls for action on global warming “Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned world leaders at a climate change summit on Monday that “the time for doubt has passed,” and urged them to act quickly to save future generations from the devastating effects of global warming.”


Immigration. U.S. sues Illinois for blocking immigration crackdown “Department of Homeland Security officials, saying that Illinois is complicating their efforts to reduce illegal immigration, have sued the state to overturn an Illinois law that virtually blocks employers from taking part in a program designed to verify whether new employees are legally entitled to work in the U.S.” U.S. sues Illinois over immigration law “The Bush administration took the gloves off Monday in its fight over immigration enforcement, suing the state of Illinois for banning use of a federal system that checks whether workers are in the United States legally. Southern Baptists, push immigration reform “Moral leadership of churches is needed on this issue, and more churches must get involved. In particular, support of conservative evangelical churches such as the Southern Baptists could be the tipping point toward compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform.”


Presidential primaries. Can broken primary system be fixed? “Florida’s defiant decision to hold its presidential primary weeks earlier than both national parties dictate highlights one inescapable fact: There’s no easy fix for this mess of a presidential nominating system.”


Income in Canada. Mid-income earners are stuck in neutral “Decades of economically buoyant times have failed to drive up the fortunes of middle-income Canadians, who have found their average earnings stalled, a new study indicates.Fresh Statistics Canada figures show ”the rich are getting richer,” several economists interviewed yesterday said, yet most of their good fortune hasn’t found its way to vast numbers of working Canadians.”


Canadian no confidence. Opposition leaders gear up for confidence vote “The opposition will be given an opportunity to defeat Mr. Harper’s Conservative minority in a confidence vote that must follow a Throne Speech on Oct. 11. So the opposition leaders have been spelling out minimum conditions for lending the government their support.” Conservatives’ survival in hands of Liberals: NDP House leader “The federal Liberals will determine whether the minority Conservative government survives or Canada is thrown into another election, New Democrats predicted yesterday.”


Worship. Worship Goes Big-Screen and Hi-Fi, With Direct-Deposit Tithing “Technology Raises Fears of a Lost Reverence – At First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Prince George’s County, parishioners who don’t make it to church on time are directed to an overflow room to watch the Sunday service on a huge projection screen. If they can’t make it to church at all, they can catch the service online, anytime.”


Op-Eds.


Injustice is bigger than Jena 6 (Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune) “We black Americans seem to need a major event or outrage every so often that revives our mass energies in ways that remind of us the 1960s civil rights movement. In the 1980s we had mass arrests at the South African Embassy to protest apartheid. In the 1990s there was the Million Man March to redeem black fatherhood and proper role modeling. In 2007 we have the “Jena 6.”


A Little Rock Reminder (Juan Williams, Washington Post) “Fifty years ago this week, President Dwight Eisenhower risked igniting the second U.S. civil war by sending 1,000 American soldiers into a Southern city. The troops, with bayonets at the end of their rifles, provided protection for nine black students trying to get into Little Rock’s ‘s Central High School.”


The Right Fight for Democrats (E. J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post) “This week’s showdown over children’s health insurance is the first skirmish in the new battle for universal health coverage. It is also the first confrontation between the president and Congress fought out almost entirely on terms set by the new Democratic majority. On no spending issue do Democrats have broader public support — or more Republican allies — than on expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.”

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