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The latest news on Iraq, nuclear weapons, Gaza, immigration, U.S. military, AG Gonzales, politics, law, faith and politics, poverty, Darfur, Russia, and Iran.
Immigration. Reid presses Bush over GOP votes “The top Senate Democrat said that President Bush must prove he can deliver more Republican votes before Democrats will put the immigration bill, which collapsed last week, back on the Senate schedule.” GOP senators getting visit from boss on immigration “For just the second time in his presidency, President Bush will travel up to Capitol Hill today to meet with Republican senators at their weekly policy luncheon – a visit designed to underscore his commitment to legislation that is increasingly important to his legacy, particularly immigration reform.” Putting faith in search for rights “Clergy, worshipers join to demand immigration changes Maria Alvarez and Jeanette Hernandez believe that no matter where they worship, where they work or how they got to America, the Roman Catholic Church calls on them to bear each other’s burdens.” 3 Guardsmen Charged With Human Smuggling“Three members of the Texas National Guard helping patrol the Mexican border have been charged with human smuggling after federal agents found one of them in uniform driving a van crammed with 24 illegal immigrants north of Laredo”
Iraq. US signals permanent stay in Iraq “In Washington and among American military officers in Iraq, the idea of establishing permanent US bases there is under discussion – with one official citing as an example the decades-long presence of US troops in Korea. The aim would be to keep American soldiers on Iraqi soil well into the century” US arms Sunni dissidents “The US military has embarked on a new and risky strategy in Iraq by arming Sunni insurgents in the hope that they will tackle the extremist al-Qaida in Iraq.” Civilian Toll in Iraq At ‘Higher Levels’ “Despite the recent U.S. military buildup in Baghdad, insurgent and militia attacks persist and “civilian casualties continue to mount” in Iraq as a whole, according to a report released Monday by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.” U.S. Warns Iraq That Progress Is Needed Soon“The top American military commander for the Middle East has warned Iraq’s prime minister in a closed-door conversation that the Iraqi government needs to make tangible political progress by next month to counter the growing tide of opposition to the war in Congress.”
US military. Nominee to Head Joint Chiefs Sees Current Strain on Military “Adm. Michael G. Mullen, the Bush administration’s choice to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is deeply concerned that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are straining the U.S. military and he probably would seek political solutions to those conflicts,” Army misses recruiting target “The Army missed its May recruiting goal by nearly 400 soldiers, or just over 7%, marking the first time in almost two years the service has fallen short and renewing questions about whether the war in Iraq is having a long-term effect on the well-being of the Army.”
AG Gonzales. In Senate Vote, G.O.P. Fights Off Gonzales Rebuke“Senate Republicans blocked a symbolic no-confidence vote against Attorney General Alberto G. Gonzales, dismissing the measure as an irrelevant gesture, though Democrats had hoped it might intensify pressure on Mr. Gonzales to resign.” Senators Block Vote on Gonzales “On a 53 to 38 roll call, Democrats fell seven votes short of the 60 needed to invoke cloture and begin the debate on a resolution condemning Gonzales. Seven Republicans broke with the administration and refused to support the attorney general.”
Politics. Disaffected conservatives set a litmus test for ’08 “these critics, who call their organization American Freedom Agenda, are hardly leftists. They represent what they insist is agrowing group of disaffected conservatives who are demanding that the Republican Party return to its traditional mistrust of concentrated government power.”
Law. Judges Say U.S. Can’t Hold Man as ‘Combatant’ “The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled that the president may not declare civilians in this country to be “enemy combatants” and have the military hold them indefinitely. The ruling was a stinging rejection of one of the Bush administration’s central assertions about the scope of executive authority to combat terrorism.”
Faith and politics. Democrats hope to win conservatives with displays of faith, morals “This time, it’s the Democrats who are talking about faith in politics and the Republicans with a religion problem.” Converting the Faith Community “For organizers of last week’s forum in Washington on religion and politics, featuring the three leading Democratic presidential candidates, the aim was to broaden the religious “values agenda.” Presidential candidates connecting to voters through religion “Last week was Faith Week on the presidential campaign trail. This June, you can barely open a newspaper or watch a politician on television without hearing him or her attest to the power of prayer and faith.” A Tentative First Step in Bridging the Gap Between Faith and Politics“Monday night’s forum at which leading Democratic presidential candidates discussed faith and politics left a number of issues unarticulated.”
Poverty. Bono and Friends Open Bid to Make World Poverty a Focus of ’08 Race “Irish rocker Bono launched a $30 million bid to turn global poverty into a 2008 campaign theme, enlisting help from the rich and famous and a small army of Washington insiders. Dubbed One Vote ’08, the group held its kickoff event at a Capitol Hill church”
Darfur. Justice sought for Darfur war crimes “All last week, two dozen lawyers from the U.S. and Sudan huddled here in elegant Mayfair, joining forces for an American Bar Assn. program that aimed to train the African lawyers to gather witnesses and evidence for upcoming war crimes prosecutions.”
Gaza. Gaza factional fighting intensifies “Fighters from the armed wing of Hamas have stormed a compound belonging to forces loyal to the Palestinian president in the Gaza Strip as factional fighting in the Occupied Territories intensified.” Hamas threatens assault on Fatah “Militants from the armed wing of Hamas have threatened attacks on security positions in Gaza belonging to Palestinian rivals Fatah.” At least 11 die in Hamas-Fatah clashes “At least 11 Palestinians were confirmed dead yesterday in clashes between Fatah and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and more than 40 were injured, hours after an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire was implemented”
Nuclear weapons. Report: Risk of nuclear warfare rising “The world’s top military powers are gradually dismantling their stockpiles of nuclear arms, but all are developing new missiles and warheads with smaller yields that could increase the risk of atomic warfare, a Swedish research institute said Monday.”
Russia. Putin ‘not kidding’ on missile threat, Yushchenko warns “Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said he took seriously Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent threat to target Europe with ballistic missiles, and said such talk has heightened his country’s desire to quickly join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”
Iran. U.N. Monitor Urges Defusing of Stalemate Over Iran “The director general of the United Nations nuclear inspection agency warned Tehran and Washington for the first time on Monday that their yearlong stalemate over Iran’s nuclear activities was turning into a “brewing confrontation” that he said “urgently needs to be defused.”