the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds.
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Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green tips “Thousands of bloggers including a European Commissioner traded tips on Monday about how to confront climate change and other environmental problems in an Internet blitz. Organisers of the Oct. 15 U.N.-backed “Blog Action Day” said about 15,800 sites had signed up and were offering ideas to millions of people via blogs, or online diaries, ranging from planting more trees to how to recycle plastics.”

Turkey. Leaders in Ankara take steps to send in the troops “The Cabinet of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister, signed a motion calling for parliamentary authority to mount military action after a six-hour meeting, held amid intense public pressure, to retaliate against rebel Kurd attacks in Turkey and disgust at a US congressional vote accusing Ottoman Turkey of genocide against Armenians.” Iraqi Vice President in Turkey ” Iraq ‘s Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi arrived in Ankara on Tuesday in an apparent attempt to convince Turkey not to stage a cross-border offensive to fight separatist Kurdish rebels based in Iraq.” Iraq seeks talks on Turkey threat “Baghdad calls for urgent talks with Turkey after Ankara threatens a cross-border raid into northern Iraq.” Turkey threatens to attack Kurdish separatists in Iraq “The Turkish government said it would seek parliamentary approval this week to launch a major military operation into northern Iraq to attack Kurdish separatists based there, after days of cross-border shelling of suspected rebel positions.”

SCHIP. Bush urges Congress to negotiate on children’s healthcare bill “President Bush said he is ready to negotiate with congressional Democrats over a children’s health insurance program he vetoed, provided they make helping poor children the priority.” States May Reduce Number of Children In Insurance Plan “As political gridlock in Washington muddies the long-term funding outlook for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, some states are preparing contingency measures such as enrollment caps or cutting children from the rolls.”

Iran . Putin warning over force on Iran “Russian president says military intervention in Caspian Sea region would be unacceptable as he attends five-country regional summit in Tehran.” Putin in Iran for landmark visit “Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a landmark visit to Tehran for crucial talks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”

AIDS-Africa. HIV treatment ‘failing’ in Africa “More than a third of patients on HIV medication in sub-Saharan Africa die or discontinue their treatment within two years of starting it, a survey shows.”

India. India-US nuclear deal frozen “The controversial nuclear deal between India and the US has been put into “deep freeze” after the Indian prime minister told the US president, George Bush, “certain difficulties” had stalled the pact for the foreseeable future.” Nuclear Deal With India May Be Near Collapse “The main obstacle does not involve the specific terms of the agreement but rather India’s internal politics, including fears from leftist parties that India is moving too close to the United States,”

Mideast . US warns Israel and Palestinians “The US yesterday urged Israel and the Palestinians to work to overcome their differences before an international conference next month” Rice works to win support for fall Mideast summit “U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, engaging in one of her longest forays in Middle East diplomacy this year, said that she’s optimistic that Palestinian and Israeli leaders can reach a “serious and substantive” agreement that could be presented to a Middle East peace conference later this fall.” Rice Pushes Mideast Parties On Plan to Revive Peace Talks “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pressed Israelis and Palestinians to compromise on a plan to jump-start peace negotiations, describing the ending of their long conflict as one of the top goals of President Bush in the 15 months he has left in office.” Abbas: Remove all West Bank settlements prior to permanent agreement “Israel should dismantle all settlements in the West Bank even before the completion of negotiations on the permanent agreement with the Palestinian Authority, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday in Ramallah.”

Budget. Bush Stands His Ground on Budget “The White House and Congress are heading for what President Bush predicts will be a “fiscal showdown” at a time when the nation’s financial health has actually improved for the moment.”

Romney-Religious right. Gingerly, Romney Seeks Ties to Christian Right “As Mitt Romney has had to grapple with suspicions about his Mormon religion during his presidential run, he has tried in various ways to signal his kinship with evangelical Christians, who represent a crucial constituency of the Republican base but consider his religious beliefs to be heretical.”

Brownback-slavery apology. Brownback to pitch proposal apologizing for slavery “Senator Sam Brownback, a Republican trying to inject new life into his beleaguered presidential campaign, plans to offer a resolution this week for Congress to apologize for slavery and segregation.”

Canada . Tory majority seen as a long shot “MPs convene in Ottawa for a Throne Speech tonight that will be followed by a confidence vote that could defeat the government and trigger an election, Mr. Harper must decide whether he will gamble that his recent momentum will continue through an election campaign.” Dion faces power of the Throne “Mr. Harper wants to get busy with a more sweeping and ambitious agenda. The speech is likely to be dominated by five themes — re-affirming Canadian sovereignty and leadership on the world stage; keeping the economy strong, through strong management and tax cuts; strengthening the federation; implementing the government’s justice agenda; and, delivering on the environment.”


A Duty to the Wounded (Bob Dole and Donna E. Shalala, Washington Post) “It is time to decide — do we reform the current military and veterans’ disability evaluation and compensation systems or limp along, placing Band-Aids over existing flaws?”

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