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the latest news on Burma/Myanmar, SCHIP, Bush at UN, Ahmadinejad at UN, Iraq, Education report card, Immigration, Political advertising, Episcopal Church, and Religion poll
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Burma/Myanmar. Three killed as Myanmar troops battle protests “Seething crowds of Buddhist monks and civilians filled the streets of Myanmar’s main city protests in 20 years. Two monks and a civilian were killed, hospital and monastery sources said,” Burmese riot police attack monks “One protester is reportedly killed as Burmese police attack monks protesting against military rule.” Moment of truth for Myanmar’s military With reports of at least one monk killed by army fire in Yangon on Wednesday, it is clear the patience of Myanmar’s military rulers is running out over the escalating monk-led protests against their rule.” News Analysis: From Their Nation-Turned-Bunker, Burmese Generals Peer Out, and In “If the military junta that holds Myanmar in its grip sees enemies on every side, it is probably correct. Unloved by its people, condemned by most of the outside world, it has few allies to turn to in its hour of need.”


SCHIP. House Passes Children’s Health Bill “A broad House majority gave final approval last night to a $35 billion expansion of the popular children’s health insurance program, with members from both parties brushing aside a stern veto threat from President Bush to vote their support, 265 to 159.” House Votes to Expand Insurance for Kids “The House voted Tuesday to expand health insurance for children, but the Democratic-led victory may prove short-lived because the margin was too small to override President Bush’s promised veto.” House approves increased child healthcare but misses veto-proof margin “A bipartisan bill to expand a popular children’s health program won a crucial battle in Congress on Tuesday, but supporters may have lost the larger war.” House fails to veto-proof SCHIP expansion “The Democrat-led House yesterday failed to insulate its expansion of a health insurance program for low-income children from a promised veto, as Republicans rallied against the prospect of using tax dollars they say would insure illegal aliens and middle-class families.”



Bush at UN. Bush, at U.N., Announces Stricter Burmese SanctionsPresident Bush, calling on countries to live up to freedoms and rights promised by the United Nations almost six decades ago, on Tuesday announced tighter sanctions on Myanmar and denounced the governments of Belarus, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Zimbabwe as “brutal regimes” that should be confronted for their abuses.” Bush astounds activists, supports human rights “President Bush implored the United Nations on Tuesday to recommit itself to restoring human decency by liberating oppressed people and ending famine and disease.”


Ahmadinejad at UN. Iran says nuclear debate closed “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday declared debate over Iran’s nuclear programme “closed” – signalling continued defiance of UN resolutions calling for the programme’s suspension.” Iran President Vows to Ignore U.N. MeasuresIn a rambling and defiant 40-minute speech to the opening session of the General Assembly, he said Iran would from now on consider the nuclear issue not a “political” one for the Security Council, but a “technical” one to be decided by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.” At U.N., Iranian Leader Is Defiant on Nuclear Efforts “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Tuesday not to give in to pressure by “arrogant powers” trying to force him to abandon his nation’s uranium-enrichment program and unilaterally declared that as far as he is concerned, “the nuclear issue of Iran is now closed.”


Iraq . Sunni Insurgents in New Campaign to Kill Officials “Sunni Arab extremists have begun a systematic campaign to assassinate police chiefs, police officers, other Interior Ministry officials and tribal leaders throughout Iraq, staging at least 10 attacks in 48 hours.” Cholera ‘spreading in Iraq’ “More than 2,000 people in Iraq are suffering from cholera, which is spreading across the country, the World Health Organisation has said.” Private Security Puts Diplomats, Military at Odds “A confrontation between the U.S. military and the State Department is unfolding over the involvement of Blackwater USA in the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad square Sept. 16, bringing to the surface long-simmering tensions between the military and private security companies.”


Education report card. Report card shows gap between white, minority students “Math skills among fourth- and eighth-graders are showing steady improvement and fourth-graders’ reading scores are also rising, according to a federal report released Tuesday.” Math Scores Rise, but Reading Is Mixed “The results also showed that the nation had made only incremental progress in narrowing historic gaps in achievement between white and minority students, a fundamental goal of the federal law.”


Immigration. New York, Faulting U.S., Says It Will Pay for Cancer Care for Illegal Immigrants “Gov. Eliot Spitzer, stepping into a brewing battle between federal and state health officials over emergency medical care for illegal immigrants, called a new federal directive to limit coverage “morally and clinically and legally wrong” and said he was prepared to sue the federal government over it.” Immigrant Detention Center Proposed in Va. “Virginia officials said that they are considering a proposal to build a 1,000-bed detention center where illegal immigrants arrested for certain crimes could be held until federal officials deport them.” Towns Rethink Laws Against Illegal ImmigrantsIn the past two years, more than 30 towns nationwide have enacted laws intended to address problems attributed to illegal immigration, from overcrowded housing and schools to overextended police forces.”


Civil rights-Little Rock 9. On 50th Anniversary, ‘Little Rock Nine’ Get a Hero’s Welcome “This time around, the Little Rock Nine pulled up at the high school in three white stretch limousines. Five decades ago, they had to walk through a gantlet of jeering whites shouting venomous threats. Tuesday, fans swarmed them for autographs and pictures.” Little Rock Nine mark 50th anniversary “The Little Rock Nine, who as students were escorted by federal soldiers into the all-white Central High School because they were black, marveled at the celebrity-like fanfare they received on the 50th anniversary of the event Tuesday. But they cautioned that racial divides still exist.”


Political advertising. MoveOn Pays The Times $77,508 for Ad Cost “MoveOn.org said yesterday that it paid The New York Times $77,508 after the newspaper revealed that its advertising department had undercharged the organization for an advertisement that ran two weeks ago and proved controversial.” Political ads likely to run up $100 million tab “Presidential candidates, the political parties and interest groups will spend at least twice as much as they did in 2003-04 on TV ads before nominees are chosen, campaign advertising experts say.”


Episcopal church. Episcopal bishops promise ‘restraint’“Episcopal leaders, who are struggling to hold together their increasingly divided church and maintain its place in the global Anglican Communion, pledged anew to “exercise restraint” in consecrating another openly gay bishop.” Episcopal Bishops Reject Anglican Church’s OrdersAfter nearly a week of talks at their semiannual meeting in New Orleans, the House of Bishops adopted a resolution that defied a directive by the Anglican Communion’s regional leaders, or primates, to change several church policies regarding the place of gay men and lesbians in their church.”


Religion poll. Knowledge lacking of Islam, Mormonism “Most Americans say they know little to nothing about the practices of Islam and Mormonism but say their own religious beliefs have little in common with either of these faiths, according to a national survey released Tuesday.” Public split on Muslims, Mormons “Americans” attitudes about Muslims are more negative now than in years past, while a slim majority of the public expresses a favorable view of Mormons, according to a national religious poll released yesterday.”


Op-Eds.


Will Bush veto his own priority? (Ronald Brownstein, Los Anggles Times) “The tragedy in Washington’s escalating confrontation on children’s healthcare is that the legislation Congress is on track to approve this week with substantial bipartisan support advances precisely the goal President Bush claims as his priority.”


Can She Reach Religious Voters?(Michael Gerson, Washington Post) “As Clinton methodically consolidates her hold on the Democratic presidential nomination, Republicans are facing, in the words of her spiritual biographer Paul Kengor, “the most religious Democrat since Jimmy Carter.” And this introduces an unpredictable element into a wide-open election.”


A to-do list for the next president (John Hughes, Christian Science Monitor) “What kind of world awaits America’s next president? From energy and poverty to illegal immigration and Medicare, the agenda is very full.”


A bipartisan way out of Iraq (Rep. Joe Sestak, Christian Science Monitor) “There is a bipartisan “way ahead” in Iraq if viewed in terms of progress for America’s security and not solely Iraq’s, with a strategy that focuses on our national interests in this conflict, not just the interests of Iraqis. Ending this war is necessary. But how we end it is of even greater importance for both our security and our troops’ safety.”

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