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the latest news on Common ground, immigration, Burma, Turkey, Iraq, Africa, Us Army, Darfur, Armenia, Ontario election, Gulf Coast, LA homeless, Medical Care. Oral Roberts U, Religious Right for Romney, and commentary
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Common ground. Signs of a truce in America’s divisive culture war? “calls for a truce are coming from a group of leaders from the Evangelical and progressive communities, long at odds with each other. They’re pointing the way toward common ground on the most polarizing issues, with aims of a new civility and concrete progress.” Islamic scholars write open letter to Christian leaders “More than 130 prominent Islamic scholars have written to Christian leaders around the world, calling for greater understanding between the two religions and warning that the world’s future may depend on peaceful relations between Muslims and Christians.”


Immigration. Judge Suspends Key Bush Effort in Immigration “A federal judge in San Francisco ordered an indefinite delay of a central measure of the Bush administration’s new strategy to curb illegal immigration.” Effort to Curb Illegal Workers’ Hiring Blocked “A federal judge barred the Bush administration from launching a planned crackdown on U.S. companies that employ illegal immigrants, warning of its potentially “staggering” impact on law-abiding workers and companies.” Judge blocks crackdown on hiring of illegals “U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer issued an order saying the agencies could not go forward with plans announced in August to send letters warning employers they face stiff penalties… if they hire workers whose Social Security numbers do not match their names.”


Burma . Only now, the full horror of Burmese repression of monks emerges “Harrowing accounts smuggled out of Burma reveal how a systematic campaign of physical punishment and psychological terror is being waged by the Burmese security forces as they take revenge on those suspected of involvement in last month’s pro-democracy uprising.”


Turkey-Iraq. Worried Iraqi Officials Urge Calm as Turkish-Kurdish Conflict Escalates “Turkish armed forces’ escalation of bombing and shelling in northern Iraq, along with threats of a broad ground incursion across the border, has alarmed and surprised Iraqi officials, who say the problems Turkey faces from rebel groups can be solved peacefully through diplomacy.” Kurds call on Turkey not to attack “The regional government of Iraq’s northern Kurdish region has called on Turkey not to carry out its threat to mount an armed cross-border incursion.”


Iraq . Major US base in Iraq attacked “The attack happened yesterday at Camp Victory, a sprawling garrison and headquarters of American forces in Iraq, according to the US military statement.” Increased violence continues in Iraq “A recent jump in violence across Iraq continued Wednesday, with at least 16 people killed and 45 wounded in various attacks, including seven involving improvised bombs. More than 55 people were killed and more than 110 were wounded on Tuesday.” Marines Press to Remove Their Forces From IraqThe Marine Corps is pressing to remove its forces from Iraq and to send marines instead to Afghanistan, to take over the leading role in combat there,”


Africa . Report: African Conflicts Cost Billions “About $18 billion a year has been drained from Africa by nearly two dozen wars in recent decades, a new report states, a price some officials say could’ve helped solve the AIDS crisis and created stronger economies in the world’s poorest region.” Wars have cost Africa an estimated $284 billion since 1990“Years of bloody conflict in Africa have drained funds from education, health care and battling diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and advocacy groups have now put a price tag on the continent’s recent battles.”


US Army. Gates urges funds for a smarter Army“Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said the Army needed more money, not just to make up for the losses suffered in Iraq but also for chronic underfunding since the end of the Cold War.” Gates Says Military Faces More Unconventional Wars “Speaking to a gathering of current and retired soldiers, Mr. Gates sketched out a vision for making the Army better at conducting wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, which he said would “remain the mainstay of the contemporary battlefield for some time.”


Darfur . ‘Dozens dead’ in Sudan Darfur raid “At least 40 civilians were killed in a Sudanese air and ground assault on the Darfur town of Muhajiriya, according to the rebel group that controls the area.”



Armenia.
Turkish fury at US ‘genocide’ vote “Turkeytoday condemned a US congressional committee for approving a resolution that recognises the 1915 massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide.” House Panel Raises Furor on Armenian GenocideTurkish officials warned that if the resolution was approved by the full House, they would reconsider supporting the American war effort in Iraq.”


Ontarioelection. A majority built on faith “Ontario Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty cruised to a majority last night on a crest of anxiety over faith-based schools as voters gave him a second mandate to continue his middle-of-the-road reforms to the health and education systems.” McGuinty’s Liberals roll to majority “After he ran a carefully scripted election campaign that left little to chance, Ontarians rewarded Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty with his second majority mandate.”


Gulf coast. US debates evacuation of Gulf coastline “The United States is working on a multi-billion-dollar plan to depopulate vast swaths of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico in a move which it is hoped would help re-establish a natural barrier against the catastrophic flooding caused by the likes of Hurricane Katrina.”


LA homeless. L.A., homeless advocates reach deal on sidewalk sleeping “The legal settlement involves a 2003 lawsuit brought by skid row residents who complained they were being arrested for sleeping on sidewalks, despite having nowhere else to go. Under the new deal, the homeless can sleep on sidewalks from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. anywhere in the city as long as they do not block access to doorways or driveways or completely block the sidewalk.”


Medical care.U.S. children often lack quality medical care“In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that America’s children received appropriate medical care only 46 percent of the time when they visit health professionals, faring even worse than adults and raising serious questions about the quality of care delivered by the world’s most expensive health system.”


Oral Roberts U. Professors Sue Oral Roberts PresidentA suit filed by three former professors charges financial, political and personal irregularities by the president of Oral Roberts University, including a claim that he illegally mobilized students to campaign for a Republican mayoral candidate.”


Religious Right for Romney. Evangelical leaders warm to Romney “Two social conservative leaders – in surprise moves yesterday – criticized fellow evangelical and Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, while praising another party hopeful, Mitt Romney, a Mormon. Still, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and American Values President Gary Bauer hope the former Massachusetts governor will passionately express his pro-life views at the Values Voter Summit.” Letter Urges Conservative Christians to Support Romney “The writer, Mark DeMoss, a publicity agent whose clients include the Rev. Franklin Graham, wrote the five-page letter, urging the recipients to “galvanize support around Mitt Romney, so Mr. Giuliani isn’t the unintended beneficiary of our divided support among several candidates.” Memorandum From Mark DeMoss (pdf) Christian activist puts Republicans on notice “Conservative Christians are ready to abandon the Republican Party if the GOP nominee supports abortion rights — even if that means Hillary Clinton becomes president.”


Commentary.


Common ground at work “We’re a divided country. Americans loathe politicians. So nothing gets done in Washington, right? Cal and Bob give a glimpse of what bipartisanship looks like – and what it can achieve. Cal Thomas is a conservative columnist. Bob Beckel is a liberal Democratic strategist. But as longtime friends, they can often find common ground on issues that lawmakers in Washington cannot. Their new book, Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America, arrived in book stores this week.”

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