The Common Good

The latest news on the Recession, DREAM Act, Immigration, Health-Care Reform, Campaign Finance, FBI Investigated Activists, Oil Spill, Millennium Development Goals, Iran, Afghanistan, Mideast, and Select Op-Eds

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Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

Quote of the day. "We want to appeal to our governments not to step back from the commitments they have made, to make the best use of their own resources and to build up the resources of others for work together towards a world that we can be proud to live in - a world in which our responsibility for each other is truly and fully exercised, where we can really celebrate the life and welfare of all." Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, in a message to the United Nations on the Millennium Development Goals. (Ekklesia)

RELIGION IN THE NEWS

Pax Christi bishop calls for end of US-led war in Afghanistan "The American bishop who serves as president of Pax Christi USA has called for the end of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan."

After Day of Intense Talks, Muslim Leaders Unite Behind Community Center "Leaders of local and national groups declared that the planners have a constitutional right to build the center and that they would help the project move forward in the face of heated opposition."

US Muslim groups unite, see mosque near ground zero as test of rights "Muslim leaders, meeting at the New York site of the proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero, speak of their 'unified stance' against 'religious intolerance and bigotry.'

Christians Urge Bold New Plans to Achieve MDGs "Christians across the globe have called for bold new plans and real progress on the Millennium Development Goals as world leaders meet this week in New York."

George W. Bush led on AIDS. Will Obama? (Jim Wallis, CNN Belief) "Today, nearly four million Africans are on life saving HIV/AIDS medicines, up from 50,000 in 2002. President Bush's legacy in the fight against global AIDS is strong, but much more needs to be done.Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to continue that leadership. But today, his promise has yet to be kept. Fortunately, it's not too late for him to do so."

NEWS AT HOME

Recession over? Recession is officially over, but anxiety lingers "On the day that the Great Recession was officially declared to be part of history, President Obama confronted deepening angst from business leaders and ordinary Americans who have little faith that the recovery is for real." Great Recession ended in June 2009, but who knew? "With little fanfare, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared Monday that the so-called Great Recession is over, determining that the U.S. economy hit bottom in June 2009 and began a long, sluggish rebound." Recession's over, economists say to a skeptical public "The public reaction was only the latest evidence that, with unemployment high, job creation low, the housing market on life support and other day-to-day economic realities still bad, most Americans see little difference between the recession and current conditions."

DREAM Act. Senate to look at Dream Act for illegal immigrants "The Senate will consider Tuesday whether hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children should be placed on a path to citizenship." Students Spell Out Messages on Immigration "Dozens of college students lay down on South Beach on Sunday afternoon, but not to sunbathe. Most were immigrants in this country illegally, and their bodies, fully clothed, formed giant letters that spelled out a message for Floridians and one of their senators, complete with a human exclamation point: Call LeMieux!"

Immigration. Police defend status checks "Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, a strong critic of using police to enforce immigration laws, yesterday defended the city's participation in a controversial federal program that automatically checks the immigration status of everyone arrested."

Health-care reform. Short of Repeal, G.O.P. Will Chip at Health Law "Republicans are serious. Hopeful of picking up substantial numbers of seats in the Congressional elections, they are developing plans to try to repeal or roll back President Obama's new health care law."

Campaign finance. As Rules Shift, Donor Names Stay Secret "Nonprofit groups, which are not supposed to be primarily political, are becoming big players in midterm elections, in part because of the anonymity they afford donors." Groups allied to GOP boost their fundraising "Two affiliated groups led by a blue-chip cast of Washington Republican strategists have raised a combined $32 million so far this year, using new freedom from fundraising restrictions to create a parallel and unofficial Republican campaign to defeat Democrats in November."

FBI investigated activists. FBI improperly investigated activists, Justice Department review finds "FBI agents improperly opened investigations into Greenpeace and several other domestic advocacy groups after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and put the names of some of their members on terrorist watch lists based on evidence that turned out to be "factually weak,"

Oil spill. BP well sealed, but gusher of uncertainty remains "Despite the known tally of the tragedy - the 11 men killed in the April 20 rig blowout, the lost season for the tourism and seafood industries, the thousands of dead creatures - a full accounting remains studded with unknowns, largely because it will take years to understand the disaster's effects on the environment."

NEWS AROUND THE WORLD

Millennium Development Goals. U.N. foresees dramatic cuts in poverty "A decade ago, world leaders at the United Nations signed off on eight goals aimed at transforming the lives of the world's least fortunate - including cutting extreme poverty in half by 2015. Many Americans were skeptical; in a poll, only 8 percent thought that was possible." France boosts pledge to fight world poverty, urges others to follow suit "Nicolas Sarkozy, the French leader, was the first to accept U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's challenge for nations to deliver more resources to combat global poverty, ignorance and misery. He pledged to boost France's annual $10 billion contribution to the world's poorest people by 20 percent over the next three years." Anti-poverty summit a chance for Harper to rally countries to step up "On Tuesday, [Canadian] Prime Minister Stephen Harper will join a parade of world leaders who have begun addressing the gathering, each one exhorting their peers to redouble efforts toward specific targets aimed at improving the lives of the world's poor by 2015."

Iran. Iran under spotlight at UN summit "Officially, Ahmadinejad is scheduled to speak about development, as world leaders are discussing progress on poverty alleviation, but Iran's human rights record and controversial nuclear programme are likely lead the unofficial agenda surrounding his visit." Lindsey Graham says U.S. must prepare to attack Iran "Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Monday that the United States must be prepared to use military force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon - and added that the last-resort step should be taken with the goal of overthrowing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

Afghanistan. Afghanistan helicopter crash kills nine Nato troops "Nine members of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force have died in a helicopter crash in Zabul province, southern Afghanistan. The nationalities of those killed have not been released." Opposition Sees Gains After Afghan Voting "Opposition candidates are cautiously optimistic that they may have greatly improved their strength in the next Parliament, despite widespread charges of fraud and low voter turnout that may yet discredit the results of Saturday's election."

Mideast. Quartet to urge settlement freeze "The Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators is set to call on Israel to extend its settlement moratorium, in a bid to map out a peace deal within the next year."

OPINION

Pass the Dream Act (Editorial, Chicago Tribune) "Now the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act - Dream Act for short - could be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate this week. It's a good deal for them, and for the country."

The Wars' Continuing Toll (Editorial, New York Times) "The causes of suicide can be mysterious and solutions elusive. But advocates for troubled soldiers say the military can save more lives by acknowledging that it is overmatched and directing more people to outside help."

Sojourners' Daily Digest is a compilation of the top news related to our commitments of life and peace, economic and racial justice, and care of creation, with a special focus on news of the engagement of faith in public life.

Sojourners' Daily Digest is a compilation of the top news related to our commitments of life and peace, economic and racial justice, and care of creation, with a special focus on news of the engagement of faith in public life.

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