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The latest news on Darfur, Congress, Burma, Iran, Iraq-Senate, Iraq Christians, Death penalty, Arms sales, Nuclear weapons, and Presidential politics-Republican
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Darfur. Outrage at Darfur troop killings “A rebel attack that killed at least 10 African Union troops at one of their army bases in Sudan’s Darfur region has sparked international condemnation.” Sudan Rebels Kill 10 Darfur Peacekeepers “Rebel forces stormed a small African Union base in northern Darfur and killed at least 10 peacekeepers, leaving behind charred armored vehicles and bombed-out barracks in an unprecedented attack on the beleaguered mission.” Darfur Rebels Kill 10 in Peace Force “Hundreds of Darfurian rebels overran an African Union peacekeeping base in the central Darfur region of Sudan in a surprise raid over the weekend, killing at least 10 soldiers, possibly kidnapping dozens more and seizing supplies that included heavy weapons,”

Congress. Taxes, Health Lead Hill Agenda “Out of a political stalemate over Iraq, domestic policy is surging to prominence on Capitol Hill, with Republicans and Democrats preparing for a time-honored clash over health care, tax policy, the scope of government and its role in America’s problems at home.” Why Bush resists child health bill “President Bush heads into only the fourth veto of his presidency with most of America’s health establishment and nearly two-thirds of the Congress arrayed against him.”


Burma. UN envoy extends Burma mission “The UN special envoy tasked with brokering a compromise in the Burma crisis extended his mission into today after holding talks with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but failing to gain an audience with the pivotal military leader, General Tan Shwe.” U.N. Envoy Tries to Ease Tensions in Myanmar “More arrests were reported overnight and hundreds of monks remained in detention after leading the biggest challenge to the junta since it took power 19 years ago. Human rights groups and diplomats said the death toll was far higher than the 10 reported by the junta.” The monk’s tale: ‘We cannot turn back’ “We cannot turn back now. Whether it takes a month, a year or more, we will not stop.” With his russet-red robes pulled around his knees, rocking back and forth on a low, wooden stool, the senior monk spoke quietly but determinedly.”


Iran. US sticking to diplomacy on Iran, says UK envoy “The outgoing British ambassador to the United States, Sir David Manning, insists the US remains committed to the diplomatic route over Iran rather than contemplating air strikes, despite recent sabre-rattling from the White House.” Iran in deal to cut Iraq arms flow “Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has secured a pledge from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to help cut off weapons, funding and other support to extremist militiamen in Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Saturday.”


Iraq-Senate. Democrats’ Chances to Alter Iraq Strategy Dwindling “Senate Democrats’ failure to reach agreement with wavering Republicans on legislation to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq forced party leaders to concede that they are running low on options for altering President Bush’s war strategy this year.”


Iraq Christians. Iraqi Christians forced to leave “Islamic militants are increasingly targeting Christians, especially in the Iraqi capital, forcing an exodus that has cut deeply into the long-standing minority community. Although meaningful numbers are hard to come by, the last Iraqi census, conducted in 1987, counted 1 million Christians. National aid groups estimate between 300,000 and 600,000 Christians remain today among an estimated 25 million people.”


Death penalty. Texas Planning New Execution Despite Ruling “Though several other states are halting lethal injections until it is clear whether they are constitutional, Texas is taking a different course, risking a confrontation with the court.”


Arms sales. U.S. Is Top Arms Seller to Developing World ” The United States maintained its role as the leading supplier of weapons to the developing world in 2006, according to a Congressional study”



Nuclear weapons. US dismantling unneeded nuclear warheads ahead of schedule “The United States is dismantling unneeded nuclear warheads at a faster pace than forecast as it substantially reduces its atomic arsenal under terms of an arms control treaty with Russia, government officials said yesterday.”


Presidential politics-Republican. Christian right is split over GOP field “Barely three months before the voting for a new president begins, the religious right has yet to unite behind a Republican candidate, heightening concerns among evangelical leaders that social liberal Rudolph W. Giuliani will capture the party’s nomination.” Giuliani Inspires Threat of a Third-Party Run “Alarmed at the possibility that the Republican Party might pick Rudolph W. Giuliani as its presidential nominee despite his support for abortion rights, a coalition of influential Christian conservatives is threatening to back a third-party candidate.” Gingrich Decides Against Presidential Bid “Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich on Saturday decided against running for president in 2008, less than a day after the Republican indicated publicly that he would spend the next month exploring the viability of a White House bid.”

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