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God's Politics

The latest reports on Values voters, UK troops in Iraq, Budget cuts, Iran, Darfur, Mideast, wiretapping, and select op-eds
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Values voters. Black voters eyed for new values party “Black traditional-values voters, credited with making up the margin that re-elected President Bush in 2004, would be prime targets to join a pro-life third-party protest movement, some on the religious right say.” For a Trusty Voting Bloc, a Faith Shaken “with the 2008 race taking shape, religious conservatives say they sense they have taken a tumble. Their issues are no longer at the forefront, and their leaders have failed so far to coalesce around a candidate,”

UK troops in Iraq. UK soldiers may be home sooner  “All British troops could be out of southern Iraq by the end of next year, senior government officials said in their most optimistic assessment yet of the security situation there.” Troops may be out of Iraq by end of 2008, says Brown “The Prime Minister said he was planning to reduce the total number of troops from 5,500 to 2,500 by next spring and held out the possibility of a total pull-out of British troops by the end of 2008.” Britain to Halve Its Force in Iraq “Since President Bush has made clear that American troops will remain heavily committed in Iraq at least through his administration’s end in January 2009, it appears that the tight alliance on Iraq forged between Mr. Brown’s predecessor, Tony Blair, and Washington is fraying.”

Budget cuts. Bush faces GOP foes on budget cuts “The president is pushing to cut and even eliminate some popular domestic programs that pump billions of dollars into the states. Many congressional Republicans, wary of the potential fallout from the loss of funds, have joined Democrats to oppose the cuts.”

Iran. Tehran students denounce Ahmadinejad “Dozens of students opposed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s human rights record confronted the leader and his supporters Monday at the country’s most prestigious university”. Rare protest targets Iranian president “About 100 students staged a rare protest against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling him a "dictator" as he gave a speech at Tehran University marking the beginning of the academic year.”  Iran students heckle Ahmadinejad  “Despite tight security measures by the organisers, a scuffle ensued between opponents and supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”

Darfur. Sudanese Troops Attack Darfur Rebel Zone “In a widening offensive, Sudanese forces on Monday attacked a southern Darfur town controlled by the only rebel group that has signed a peace deal with the government.” Sudan attacks Darfur peace partner “Sudanese government troops and allied militias have attacked a town controlled by the only Darfur rebel group to sign a 2006 peace deal.”

Mideast. Jerusalem may be part of peace deal, says Israel “A senior Israeli cabinet minister said yesterday that Israel may be willing to divide Jerusalem with the Palestinians as part of a future peace agreement.”

Wiretapping. Democrats Seem Ready to Extend Wiretap Powers “Two months after insisting that they would roll back broad eavesdropping powers won by the Bush administration, Democrats in Congress appear ready to make concessions that could extend some crucial powers given to the National Security Agency.”

Immigration. Debate over immigration tests the nation “Both sides hit the books as debate over immigration tests the nation. Not satisfied with throwing statistics back and forth, both sides of the immigration debate have drawn on American history to make their points. And they go far beyond the "we are a nation of immigrants" refrain.” Localized immigration enforcement on rise “Local and state law enforcement agencies throughout the country are taking unprecedented steps to police illegal immigration, a responsibility historically reserved for the federal government.” Ex-Mexico Prez: Racists Stop Immigration “Former Mexican President Vicente Fox said Monday that the United States is letting racism dictate its policies, especially when it comes to immigration.”

Op-Ed. A Culture War Treaty (E. J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post) “a new generation of evangelical leaders, tired of the rancid partisanship, is breaking away from the culture wars. The reach of this new evangelical politics will be tested with the release tomorrow of a statement under the very biblical title "Come Let Us Reason Together." The question for the future is how many in the evangelical ranks will embrace this call. Organized by Third Way, a group that is close to many leading moderate Democrats, the statement calls for "first steps toward bridging the cultural divide between progressives and evangelicals."

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