Daily News Digest

By Duane Shank 12-17-2007

the latest news on Poverty, Farm bill, Presidential politics, Budget, Turkey-Iraq, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Climate change, Anglican communion and selected Op-Ed.

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Poverty. More families seek aid "More people are requesting emergency food aid and more homeless families with children are seeking shelter, concludes a 23-city survey released today by the U.S. Conference of Mayors." Fund to help pay heating bills already half gone "Even before the frigid Ohio winter officially begins, the program that helps low-income, elderly and disabled Ohioans pay their heating bills is tapping money set aside for cooling costs next summer." Report Says That the Rich Are Getting Richer Faster, Much Faster "The increase in incomes of the top 1 percent of Americans from 2003 to 2005 exceeded the total income of the poorest 20 percent of Americans, data in a new report by the Congressional Budget Office shows. The poorest fifth of households had total income of $383.4 billion in 2005, while just the increase in income for the top 1 percent came to $524.8 billion, a figure 37 percent higher."

Farm bill. Farm bill keeping subsidies is OKd in Senate "The Senate on Friday approved a farm bill that would continue to funnel billions of dollars in subsidies to wealthy landowners and farmers who are earning record-breaking prices for their crops, rebuffing a concerted campaign by some senators to shift money to conservation, nutrition and deficit reduction." Senate Passes Huge Farm Bill "Ending a six-week impasse, the Senate approved a $286 billion farm bill that would authorize significant new spending for farm programs, food stamps and conservation but would make only modest changes in the nation's traditional agricultural subsidy system."

Presidential politics. In Iowa, politics goes on despite the holidays "Never in the history of Iowa's first-in-the-nation contests have campaigns been put so clearly in the awkward position of having to intrude on the holiday season while hunting for votes." Candidates Collect Endorsements in Final Days in Iowa "The Democratic presidential candidates pressed across Iowa on Sunday as they began to make their closing arguments to voters before the holidays, with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton clearly buoyed by her endorsement Sunday from The Des Moines Register. The Republicans, who are also locked in a competitive battle with just 18 days before the Jan. 3 caucus, made most of their appearances on the talk shows."

Budget. Democrats Tighten Spending in Latest Version of Bill "Congressional Democrats completed work last night on a sprawling, $515.7 billion domestic spending bill that would shave billions from cherished Democratic programs but would challenge President Bush's tough line on domestic spending with billions of dollars for added veterans care, border security and Southeastern drought relief." Democrats, Staying Within Spending Limit, Draft Budget with Domestic Emphasis "Congressional Democrats readied a $516 billion budget that grudgingly sought to meet President Bush's overall spending target while shifting money into domestic Democratic priorities like health care and education." Bush's Budget Wins May Cost Him "As Congress stumbles toward Christmas, President Bush is scoring victory after victory over his Democratic adversaries.

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