Daily News Digest

By Duane Shank 1-16-2008

Republican Michigan primary, Democratic debate, Jobs disappear, Mideast, Iraq, French base, India-China, Bhutto, Kenya, Baby boom, Evangelical-Muslim dialogue, Gandhi, Darfur, Faith & sports, and Commentary.

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Republican Michigan primary. Romney racks up a win in Michigan "Mitt Romney, the son of a former Michigan governor, won the Republican primary in his native state Tuesday, registering his first major win in the GOP nominating process, salvaging his candidacy and further muddying a presidential race with no front-runner." Romney Wins Michigan GOP Primary "Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney resoundingly won the Michigan presidential primary, seizing his first big victory in the Republican competition and blunting the momentum of his chief rival, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.)." No G.O.P. Anchor in Sight "The convincing victory by Mitt Romney in the Michigan primary means three very different states - with dissimilar electorates driven by distinctive sets of priorities - have embraced three separate candidates in search of someone who can lead the party into a tough election and beyond President Bush." Candidates abandoning small-government ideology "For most of the past year, almost every Republican presidential contender tried to present himself as the real Reagan conservative, without questioning whether Ronald Reagan's antigovernment message was applicable in 2008."

Democratic debate. Clinton, Obama Distance Selves From Talk of Race "After a week of bitter intraparty disputes over the issue of race, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) extended an olive branch to Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and declared that she and the other Democratic presidential candidates are "all family" Obama, Clinton: Let's avoid clashes over race, gender "Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama insisted they don't want to turn their historic campaigns into a clash over race or gender, blaming their staffs and supporters for a recent war of words over race." Democrats most obliging in their bid for Nevada "The three leading Democratic candidates for president tussled over a proposed nuclear waste dump, energy policy and gun use in a restrained debate that explored issues key to voters who will caucus here Saturday."

Jobs disappear. Blue-Collar Jobs Disappear, Taking Families' Way of Life Along "Middle-aged men moving in with parents, wives taking two jobs, veteran workers taking overnight shifts at half their former pay, families moving West - these are signs of the turmoil and stresses emerging in the little towns and backwoods mobile homes of southeast Ohio, where dozens of factories and several coal mines have closed over the last decade,"

Mideast. Bush, ending Mideast tour, promises to return to advance peace talks "President Bush said that achieving peace in the Middle East would remain a priority goal for his last full year in office and promised that he'd return to the region to monitor developments." Bush ends tour optimistic on peace "George Bush, the US president, has ended his tour of the Middle East by saying he was "optimistic" a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians can be reached." Bush: Olmert's government is stable enough to withstand peace process "U.S. President George W. Bush left Israel last convinced that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's coalition was stable enough to advance the peace process, a senior Western diplomat said. And that, according to the diplomat, was one of the purposes of Bush's trip:" 19 Palestinians killed in Gaza raid "Israeli troops launched a major incursion into the Gaza Strip yesterday, killing at least 18 Palestinians, including the son of Gaza's most powerful Hamas leader, in the heaviest fighting for more than a year."

Iraq. Rice, in Baghdad, Praises New Law "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a surprise visit to Iraq on Tuesday to brief Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and other top politicians about President Bush's recent talks with Arab leaders and to praise recent legislative progress." Iraqi Spending to Rebuild Has Slowed, Report Says "Highly promising figures that the administration cited to demonstrate economic progress in Iraq last fall, when Congress was considering whether to continue financing the war, cannot be substantiated by official Iraqi budget records,"

French base. France Announces Base in Persian Gulf "President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Tuesday that France would establish a military base in the United Arab Emirates, making it the only Western power other than the United States to have a permanent defense installation in the strategic Persian Gulf region."

India-China. India seeks nuclear ties with China "Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, has called for closer nuclear ties between New Delhi and Beijing." China, India say growing ties could 'change face of Asia, even the world' "Leaders of the world's two fastest growing major economies, China and India, set out sweeping goals Monday to build trade and put behind them decades of hostility and mistrust."

Bhutto. Bhutto's Last Day, in Keeping With Her Driven Life "Since her return from exile more than two months earlier, Bhutto had been in nearly constant motion, trying to outflank her political opponents and hoping desperately to stay one step ahead of the sniper's bullet that, she told friends, was "always waiting for me."

Kenya. Protester killed in Kenyan police clash "One protester was killed in the western Kenyan town of Kisumu and thousands dispersed by teargas in a nationwide police crackdown to suppress opposition rallies against the bitterly disputed re-election of president Mwai Kibaki." Kenyan Opposition Wins a Skirmish "opposition leaders prevailed in the first political skirmish since the disputed election, installing their candidate in the influential position of the Parliament's speaker."

Baby boom. U.S. experiences baby boomlet in 2006 "Bucking the trend in many other wealthy industrialized nations, the United States seems to be experiencing a baby boomlet, reporting the largest number of children born in 45 years."

Evangelical-Muslim dialogue. Evangelical Christians and Muslims meet for historic dialogue "The second meeting of an Evangelical Christian- Muslim Dialogue took place in Tripoli last week, and was heralded by participants as an important step forward in understanding between two faith traditions that have often been at loggerheads."

Gandhi. Gandhi's ashes to rest at sea, not in a museum "Some of the final ashes of Mohandas Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence, who helped found modern India, will be scattered in the Arabian sea following intervention by his descendants to prevent a museum displaying them."

Darfur. Darfur Gets McGrady's Attention "By the time Houston Rockets all-star Tracy McGrady 's five-day visit to three refugee camps for Darfur 's displaced residents in eastern Chad ended last summer, he had lost about 10 pounds from a lack of food and some restless nights. On his last night in this war-torn region of central Africa, McGrady cried and couldn't stop staring at the ceiling of his tent."

Faith & sports. Rules, Faith Conflict "Juashaunna Kelly, a Theodore Roosevelt High School senior who has the fastest mile and two-mile times of any girls' runner in the District this winter, was disqualified from Saturday's Montgomery Invitational indoor track and field meet after officials said her Muslim clothing violated national competition rules."


Big fuss over small differences (Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune) "In primary election campaigns, the fighting is often vicious because the differences are so small. That helps to explain why, despite so many more urgent foreign and domestic issues on the table in the Democratic presidential campaign, so much attention has been riveted lately on distractions."

A Piece of Dr. King's Dream (Kevin Merida, Washington Post) "If King could look out on the presidential campaign trail, he would see a woman and an African American leading the field of Democratic candidates. But over the past several days, he also would have noticed something else -- a bristling debate about leadership in the streets vs. leadership in the suites,"

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