the latest news on Turkey, Deaths in custody, Abortion, Iraq Sudan-Darfur, Burma, Russia, Immigration, Illegal weapons, Muslim-Christian common ground, Evangelicals and climate change.

Nobel prize-Literature. Doris Lessing wins Nobel prize “The British author Doris Lessing has won the 2007 Nobel prize for literature. Lessing, who is only the 11th woman to win literature’s most prestigious prize in its 106-year history, is best known for her 1962 postmodern feminist masterpiece, The Golden Notebook.” Nobel to Lessing, Incisive Voice of Women’s FateDoris Lessing, the Persian-born, Rhodesian-raised and London-residing novelist whose deeply autobiographical writing has swept across continents and reflects her engagement with the social and political issues of her time, won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature.”

Nobel prize-Peace. Al Gore Awarded Nobel Peace Prize “Former vice president Al Gore and a United Nations panel that monitors climate change were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work educating the world about global warming and advocating for political action to control it.” Gore wins Nobel peace prize “The Norwegian committee praised Mr Gore … for his strong commitment to the struggle against climate change. “He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted,”

Turkey. Turks threaten to ‘play hardball’ with US “Turkey recalled its ambassador in Washington and warned that it would “play hardball” to persuade the US Congress to abandon a bill recognising the historic persecution of Armenians.” Tensions Rise in Turkey on Two Fronts “The Turkish government warned that a congressional committee vote labeling the mass killings of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire as genocide would “endanger relations” with the United States,” Turkey recalls ambassador to US “Turkey’s private NTV television station reported that Ankara had withdrawn its ambassador to Washington and there have been a number of demonstrations in the country.” Turks Angry Over House Armenian Genocide VoteIn uncharacteristically strong language, President Abdullah Gul criticized the vote by the House Foreign Relations Committee in a statement to the semi-official Anatolian News Agency, and warned that the decision could work against the United States.” Military Seeks Alternatives in Case Turkey Limits AccessLoss of access to military installations in Turkey would force the United States to send more supplies for Iraq through other countries and could cause short-term backups in fuel shipments and deliveries of critical equipment,”

Deaths in custody. Study: 2,002 Died in Custody in 3 Years “More than 2,000 criminal suspects died in police custody over a three-year period, half of them killed by officers as they scuffled or attempted to flee, the government said Thursday.” U.S. Reports 2,002 Deaths in Arrests in 2003-5 “The study, the first federal assessment of deaths related to arrests by state and local agencies, was based on responses from 47 states and the District of Columbia.”

Iraq . U.N. Report on Iraq Details An ‘Ever-Deepening’ Crisis “A U.N. report outlined an “ever-deepening humanitarian crisis” in Iraq, with thousands of people driven from their homes each month, ongoing indiscriminate killings and “routine torture” in Iraqi prisons.” Iraq bomb in toy cart hits children in playground “A bomb hidden in a cart of toys killed two children and wounded 17 others in a playground in northern Iraq on Friday … The attack came the day after U.S. forces killed nine children and six women in an air strike northwest of Baghdad targeting suspected al Qaeda leaders.” Sunni insurgents form alliance against US “Six Iraqi insurgent groups took a step towards unifying the factions fighting the US by announcing the creation of a political umbrella organisation.”

Abortion. Legal Status Doesn’t Deter Abortion “Women are just as likely to get an abortion in countries where it is outlawed as they are in countries where it is legal,” Legal or Not, Abortion Rates CompareMoreover, the researchers found that abortion was safe in countries where it was legal, but dangerous in countries where it was outlawed and performed clandestinely.” 536,000 childbirth deaths a year More than half a million women still die every year in pregnancy or after childbirth in spite of two decades of efforts to bring down the toll,”

Sudan-Darfur. Restraint urged after Sudan split “The US has called on the ruling parties of north and south Sudan to exercise restraint after the ex southern rebels withdrew from the unity government.” Darfur peace talks encounter obstacles “U.N. negotiators are scrambling to preserve upcoming Darfur peace talks threatened by escalating violence in the troubled region and the unraveling of a separate political accord that ended two decades of civil war in Sudan’s south.”

Burma . China joins in strong statement to Myanmar “China joined Western powers for the first time to deplore Myanmar’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations and call for political dialogue in a statement issued Thursday by the U.N. Security Council.”

Russia . Putin threat over nuclear treaty “Mr Putin said that Moscow is planning to dump the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty (INF) – signed in a landmark deal between the US and Soviet Union in 1987 – unless countries like China are included in its provisions.” Russia urges US missile ‘freeze’ “Russia has called on the US to “freeze” plans to employ missile defence facilities in eastern Europe.”

Immigration. Crackdown Upends Slaughterhouse’s Work ForceAcross the country, the federal effort to flush out illegal immigrants is having major effects on workers and employers alike. Some companies have reluctantly raised wages to attract new workers following raids at their plants.” Calif. law bars landlords from asking tenants’ immigration status “California is again forging its own path on immigration reform by becoming the first state to prohibit landlords from asking tenants’ immigration status.”

Illegal weapons. US Says Illegal Weapons Exports Growing “Missile technology, fighter jet parts, night vision goggles and other U.S. wartime equipment increasingly are being illegally smuggled to potential adversaries, such as China and Iran,”

Muslim-Christian common ground. In Open Letter, Muslims Seek Cooperation With Christians as a Step Toward Peace “Scores of Muslim clerics, theologians and academics issued an open letter yesterday to all Christian leaders saying the two religions need to work more closely together, given that they share the basic principles of worshiping one God and loving thy neighbor.” To read the full text of the letter, click here:

Evangelicals and climate change. Poll reveals strong support amongst US Evangelicals for tackling climate change “More evidence emerged yesterday that opinions amongst Evangelical Christians over climate change have changed significantly in the last couple of years. A poll of US Evangelicals found that nine out of ten Evangelicals believe that the US should seek to curb its global warming pollution, regardless of what other nations do.”

Guess Who Came to the Evangelicals’ Dinner (Dana Milbank, Washington Post) “In the wildly popular “Left Behind” series of evangelical Christian novels, the Antichrist takes the form of the secretary general of the United Nations, sets up an abortion-promoting world government and becomes the Global Community Supreme Potentate. Last night, the National Association of Evangelicals met for dinner at the Sheraton in Crystal City. The keynote speaker? Why, the Antichrist himself. Actually, the NAE, the umbrella group for the nation’s evangelical denominations, brought in the real U.N. secretary general, Ban-Ki moon of South Korea,”


Meanies And Hypocrites (E. J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post) “Conservatives claim to be in favor of stable families, small businesses, hard work, private schools, investment and homeownership. So why in the world are so many on the right attacking the family of Graeme Frost?”

The Hamiltonian Ground(David Brooks, New York Times) “You’d think that in this and every election, the Republicans would want to continue this tradition. You’d think that they’d start every election by putting themselves at the kitchen tables of middle-class families with ambitious kids. Their first questions would be: What are the barriers to their mobility? What concrete help do these people need to realize their dreams? Yet at the Republican economic debate in Michigan this week, there was no talk of that.”

The Economic Elephant At the GOP Debate (Michael Gerson, Washington Post) “But it would have been useful for Republicans to confront a large economic fact during their economic debate. Though the disparities in earnings between whites and minorities have narrowed over the years, the disparities of wealth remain dramatic.”

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