The Common Good

Daily News Digest

the latest news on Budget, Immigration, Iraq-US veterans, Iraq-cost, Iraq-refugees, US Catholic Bishops, Iran, Pakistan, Burma, Military spending, African economy, Foreclosures, Child care, and selected Op-Eds.

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Budget. Bush Veto Sets Up Clash on Budget "A budget dispute erupted into a full-scale battle Tuesday as President Bush vetoed the Democrats' top-priority domestic spending bill and the party's Senate leader threatened to withhold war funding if the president does not agree to pull out of Iraq." Bush vetoes health and education bill "President Bush, escalating his budget battle with Congress, vetoed a spending measure for health and education programs prized by congressional Democrats." Bush, Confident on Economy, Vetoes Domestic Spending Bill "As if to underline his confidence in the economy's self-sufficiency, Mr. Bush on Tuesday vetoed a bill for $150.7 billion, nearly $10 billion more than he wanted, for education, health care, job training and other domestic programs."



Immigration. Spitzer Dropping His License Plan"Gov. Eliot Spitzer is abandoning his plan to issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, saying that opposition is just too overwhelming to move forward with such a policy." NY gov drops plan to issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrant "The Democratic governor introduced the plan two months ago with the goal of increased security, safer roads and an opportunity to bring immigrants "out of the shadows." Opponents charged the scheme would make it easier for would-be terrorists to get identification, and make the country less safe."

Iraq-US veterans. Troops' Mental Distress Tracked "Soldiers who have served in Iraq are suffering substantially greater mental distress several months after leaving the combat zone than when they first return home -- with one out of five active-duty Army soldiers and more than 40 percent of Army reservists needing treatment," Iraq war veterans often delay mental reactions "Six months after their deployment ended, the number of soldiers referred for mental health care was nearly three times as high as when they first returned, and the number reporting relationship problems with their families and others had quadrupled,"


Iraq-cost. Report Puts Hidden War Costs at $1.6T "The economic costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to total $1.6 trillion -- roughly double the amount the White House has requested thus far, according to a new report by Democrats on Congress' Joint Economic Committee."


Iraq-refugees. U.S. accused of ignoring crisis for 4.5 million displaced Iraqis "The U.S. government is "unforgivably slow" in resettling Iraqi refugees and has failed to coordinate with its Arab allies to address the suffering of an estimated 4.5 million displaced Iraqis,"


US Catholic Bishops. George elected to lead bishops "Nearly 85 percent of the nation's Catholic leaders meeting here on Tuesday chose George to serve as the next president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops." Chicago cardinal to lead bishops' group "The cardinal elected Tuesday to lead the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops' conference was already one of the most influential men in the American church." Outgoing leader of US Conference of Catholic Bishops voices alarm over Iraq"Increasingly frustrated by the war in Iraq and worried about bellicose talk toward Iran, the outgoing president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops described the situation in Iraq yesterday as "unacceptable and unsustainable" and called for the Bush administration to work with Iran and Syria to stabilize the region."


Iran. Is Iran seeking to reduce tension? "Iran is defiant in a row with the West over its disputed atomic plans but may be seeking to ease tension with the United States by trying to restrain Shi'ite militias in Iraq and restricting arms crossing the border."


Pakistan. Pakistani police arrest Imran Khan "Pakistani police today arrested Imran Khan, one of the country's few opposition leaders to have escaped arrest after the imposition of emergency rule by General Pervez Musharraf." Khan arrested at Pakistan rally "The former cricketer said that he had been trying to start a student movement against General Pervez Musharraf's emergency rule when he was arrested on leaving Lahore's Punjab University campus on Wednesday." In Interview, Musharraf Defends Rule by Decree"Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, rejected an appeal by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to lift his state of emergency, insisting in an interview that it was the best way to ensure free and fair elections."


Burma. Myanmar bending, U.N. is told "The U.N. envoy to Myanmar told the Security Council on Tuesday that the country's military regime had bowed slightly to international pressure to talk to its opposition but still holds tightly to power." Burma arrests continue "Burma's military regime has continued with arrests of pro-democracy activists even as a UN human rights envoy meets senior government officials during a five-day visit to investigate the brutal suppression of September's uprising."


Military spending. Romney, Thompson propose big hikes in defense spending "Republican presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney want to boost defense spending sharply, tying increases to the size of the nation's economy, but analysts argued Tuesday that such a link makes little sense."


African economy. Reforms Boosting African Growth, Says World Bank "Africa's prospects for economic growth are improving as a result of policy reforms as well as better governance, the World Bank has reported." Africa 'sees benefits of growth' "The economic outlook for Africa is improving after a decade of growth of 5.4% for the continent that matches global rates, the World Bank has said. The trend indicates that a fundamental change is occurring in Africa,"


Foreclosures. Foreclosures nearly double from year ago: report "Cities in California, Florida and Ohio dominated the 25 U.S. metro areas with the highest home foreclosure rates, though rates jumped in most of the top regions during the third quarter,"


Child care. Parents, businesses experiment with child care at work "A wave of employers experimenting with ''parenting at work'' policies that allow workers to bring their children, including infants, into the office. The practice blurs the line between office and home life, and is designed to help parents balance the delicate juggle of those two worlds."


Op-Ed


Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda(Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times) "In the wake of 9/11, some of us pleaded for a "patriot tax" on gasoline of $1 or more a gallon to diminish the transfers of wealth we were making to the very countries who were indirectly financing the ideologies of intolerance that were killing Americans and in order to spur innovation in energy efficiency by U.S. manufacturers."

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