The Common Good

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Bangladesh. Bangladesh: 10,000 feared dead "Up to 10,000 people are feared to have died in Bangladesh's worst cyclone in more than a decade." Bangladesh storm toll tops 3,000 "Aid poured into Bangladesh today as the death toll from Cyclone Sidr spiralled above 3,000, with fears that thousands more bodies have yet to be found." Cyclone hits poor hardest "Bangladesh has a good record when it comes to dealing with natural disasters - it is home to a plethora of local and foreign NGOs and aid agencies. The question now is whether or not these organisations can between them help form a plan of action to help the poor and dispossessed."


Iraq. U.S. Says Attacks in Iraq Fell to the Level of Feb. 2006"The American military said Sunday that the weekly number of attacks in Iraq had fallen to the lowest level since just before the February 2006 bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra," U.S. urges Iraqis to capitalize on fall in violence "U.S. officials called on Iraqi politicians to take advantage of a sharp fall in the levels of violence to bring about the national reconciliation that will be needed to sustain lasting security in Iraq." Democrats Say They Won't Back Down on War "Democrats in Congress failed once again Friday to shift President Bush's war strategy in Iraq, but insisted that they would not let up. Their explanation for their latest foiled effort seemed to boil down to a simple question: "What else are we supposed to do?"


President. For Bush, Advances But Not Approval "The war in Iraq seems to have taken a turn for the better and the opposition at home has failed in all efforts to impose its own strategy. North Korea is dismantling its nuclear program. The budget deficit is falling. A new attorney general has been confirmed despite objections from the left."


Congress. Off for Break, Congress May Still Face Stalemate"Congress departed on Friday for a two-week break, leaving behind a stack of unfinished work as a major farm bill became the latest victim of a stalemate that has bedeviled Congress all year." Partisanship kills Senate farm bill "The Senate's failure to end debate and move to a vote dashed the hopes of a wide coalition of organizations that had worked to ensure this farm bill would improve child nutrition, increase investments in food stamp programs and benefit taxpayers by trimming government subsidies to large corporate farms."


Pakistan. Supreme court backs Musharraf "Pakistan's supreme court today rubber-stamped President Pervez Musharraf's contested re-election victory in October, after he purged the court of hostile judges." U.S. Hopes to Arm Pakistani Tribes Against Al Qaeda A new and classified American military proposal outlines an intensified effort to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as part of a broader effort to bolster Pakistani forces against an expanding militancy, U.S. Secretly Aids Pakistan in Guarding Nuclear Arms"But with the future of that country's leadership in doubt, debate is intensifying about whether Washington has done enough to help protect the warheads and laboratories, and whether Pakistan's reluctance to reveal critical details about its arsenal has undercut the effectiveness of the continuing security effort."


Children's health insurance. Children without health insurance lose out on learning at school "While Congress and President Bush squabble over health insurance for low-income children, school officials nationwide are scrambling each day to find affordable medical care so that sick and needy students can continue to learn."


Food pantries. Food Pantries Struggling With Shortages "Operators of free food banks say they are seeing more working people needing assistance. The increased demand is outstripping supplies and forcing many pantries and food banks to cut portions."


Iran. As U.S. presses for more sanctions, nations remain divided on Iran "As Iran expands its capacity to enrich uranium for what the Bush administration charges will become a nuclear weapons program, the international community is pursuing two diplomatic tracks that may be at cross purposes and lead to military action rather than a peaceful solution." Iran eyes nuclear options abroad "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to discuss with Arab nations a plan to enrich uranium outside the region in a neutral country such as Switzerland." Iran nuclear work 'not worth war' "Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi has called on Iran to suspend its controversial nuclear work to avert what she says is a mounting threat of war with the US.

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