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The latest news on AIDS, immigration, Iran, Iraq, pay discrimination, Sudan-Darfur, Mideast, World Bank, Russia, Poll- Bible is God’s Word, peace making, and select Op-Eds.
Full news summary:
Immigration. Bush defends reform “Firing back at conservative critics, President Bush defended his plan to overhaul immigration laws and accused its opponents of “trying to rile up people’s emotions” with misinformation.” Bush Takes On Conservatives Over Immigration “If you want to scare the American people, what you say is the bill’s an amnesty bill,” Mr. Bush said … “That’s empty political rhetoric trying to frighten our citizens.” Bush hits foes of alien bill “President Bush yesterday rebuked members of his own political party for trying to “frighten people” into opposing his immigration bill, prompting a quick backlash from some Republicans.” U.S. to raise citizenship, green card fees “Applicants will see an average 66% increase in July. Immigrant advocates call it a ‘wall’ for the poor but agency says it will speed service.”
AIDS. Bush to Seek Extension of AIDS Effort “President Bush will call on Congress today to provide $30 billion toward battling the global AIDS crisis over the first five years after he leaves office, a doubling of the current U.S. commitment. The increase in the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) would provide lifesaving treatment to 2.5 million people — about 1.4 million more than the program now serves.”
Iraq. U.S. toll in Iraq climbs “Six U.S. soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing attack and two more in a helicopter crash in Diyala, … Those fatalities and two others announced Tuesday brought the U.S. troop death toll in May to 117, making it the deadliest month for American forces this year,” 10 American Soldiers Killed in Iraq “U.S. officials have warned that the strategy of putting more American troops on the streets and in small combat outposts, part of a security plan launched in February, would lead to higher U.S. casualties. But Tuesday’s carnage suggested that the effort had not created a safer security environment.” Some Hitherto Staunch G.O.P. Voters Souring on Iraq“While a majority of Republican voters continue to support Mr. Bush and the Iraq war, including the recent increase in American troops deployed, there are concerns that the war is undermining the party’s political position.”
Iran. Iran links Iraq and nuclear issue “A senior Iranian official has said that direct Iran-US talks about security in Iraq will have an impact on the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme.” Rice wants UN to stand firm on Iran “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested the U.N. nuclear enforcement chief should stay out of a long-running diplomatic standoff with Iran.” Tehran charges 3 detained U.S. citizens as spies “Three Iranian Americans, including U.S. academic Haleh Esfandiari, have been charged with espionage and endangering national security, The charges, denied by relatives and colleagues of the three, were another example of Iran’s stepped-up accusations that the U.S. is trying to use internal critics to destabilize the government.” Tehran officials charge three Americans with spying “Iran charged three Americans with spying and national security offences yesterday in a move that intensified suspicion surrounding intellectuals with US ties.”
Pay discrimination. Justices’ Ruling Limits Suits on Pay Disparity “The Supreme Court made it harder for many workers to sue their employers for discrimination in pay, insisting in a 5-to-4 decision on a tight time frame to file such cases. The dissenters said the ruling ignored workplace realities.”
Sudan-Darfur. President Imposes New Sanctions on Sudan “In announcing new U.S. sanctions on Sudan, President Bush made clear his frustration with the inability of his administration and the United Nations to halt the violence in Darfur, which he has described as ongoing “genocide.” Bush’s action on Sudan may fall short “President Bush’s decision to exert new pressure on Sudan to end the violence in Darfur may have a limited effect because many of the people and businesses he targeted already are getting around existing sanctions, according to experts and business officials.” Bush orders Darfur sanctions after grassroots pressure “George Bush yesterday bowed before America’s most successful experiment in grassroots organisation – the coalition of Hollywood, religious groups and student activists on Darfur – and ordered economic sanctions against Sudan.” Oil May Allow Sudan to Escape Sanctions’ Pain“But the sanctions will do little to stem Sudan’s oil exports, which are the main source of the country’s wealth, analysts said. They also noted that existing sanctions against Sudan, which date back to 1997, have been unevenly enforced.”
in Darfur (Editorial, Christian Science Monitor) “Bush’s call for harsher sanctions should force China to exercise a stronger hand over its friends in Khartoum. If China doesn’t go along, the humanitarian crisis and the genocide in Darfur may only worsen.” A Big Enough Stick for Sudan (Michael Gerson, Washngton Post) “The choice here is far from obvious. Escalation has risks; if not done in earnest, it is better not to begin at all. America is understandably weary and distracted. But a question hangs over the history of our time: Are we too tired to oppose genocide?”
Mideast. Palestinian and Israeli Leaders to Meet Next Week, as Tensions Remain High Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, will meet next week, their offices said Tuesday, in a continuation of a Washington-sponsored dialogue that will inevitably focus on another round of Israeli-Palestinian warfare.” Hamas leader says attacks on Israel will go on “Khaled Mashal, the influential political leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, insists attacks on Israel will continue despite overwhelming Israeli retaliation that has cost scores of lives in the Gaza Strip in the past two weeks.”
World Bank. Bush to Pick Zoellick for World Bank “President Bush today plans to name Robert B. Zoellick, a career diplomat and trade negotiator, to head the World Bank, seeking to dispatch the leadership crisis that has gripped the institution under Paul D. Wolfowitz,” US diplomat to head World Bank “The White House moved last night to mend fences with the international community when it indicated it would nominate a respected veteran diplomat, Robert Zoellick, to replace Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank.”
Russia. Russia adds to arms race fears “Russia yesterday threatened a new cold war-style arms race with the United States by announcing that it had successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of penetrating American defences.” Russia claims new missiles negate shield “Russia tested new missiles that a Kremlin official boasted could penetrate any defense system, and President Vladimir Putin warned that U.S. plans for an anti-missile shield in Europe would turn the region into a “powder keg.”
Poll- Bible is God’s Word. Polls: Most believe Bible as God’s word – “More than three-quarters of Americans believe the Bible is literally the word of God or inspired by the word of God, according to a trio of Gallup surveys, with 19 percent saying the Good Book is a compendium of myth and legend.”
Peacemaking. In pictures Christians teams working for peace in divided Hebron BBC photo essay on Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron.
Essay The Shackles in the Shadows of History “In 1619, 12 years after Jamestown’s settlement, two British privateers sailed into the James River with African captives for sale. The Africans had Portuguese names; they apparently knew Christianity, according to John Thornton and Linda Heywood, a husband-and-wife team of Boston University historians. Those first Africans came from the kingdom of Ndongo, now Angola, which had been penetrated by Portuguese missionaries and traders who soon stopped praying with the Africans and started selling them.”
I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose. We Were Both Doing Our Duty. (Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Post) “Parents who lose children, whether through accident or illness, inevitably wonder what they could have done to prevent their loss. When my son was killed in Iraq earlier this month at age 27, I found myself pondering my responsibility for his death.”
The Dems’ healthcare gamble (Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times) “The best chance for reaching (or even nearing) universal healthcare coverage is a system of shared responsibility that requires government, individuals and business to all contribute. The ideas percolating in the states, and among the leading Democratic presidential contenders, move in that direction. But unless big employers also finally act on their stake in reform, healthcare for all is likely to remain out of reach – at great cost not only to the national interest but to corporate America’s own bottom line.”
Passing. Politician Carried On A Civil Rights Legacy“Parren J. Mitchell, 85, a Baltimore civil rights activist who became Maryland’s first black member of Congress in 1970, died May 28 … A founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and chairman of the House Small Business Committee, Mitchell (D) worked for years to ensure minority participation in contracts let under federal public works programs.”