Daily News Digest

By Duane Shank 11-30-2007

the latest news on Katrina housing, Food banks, measles, Immigration, Iraq, Australia_Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, Israel, AIDS, Gays in military, Christian-Muslim.

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Katrina housing. As FEMA closes trailer parks, housing advocates worry about hurricane evacuees' future "Dozens of Hurricane Katrina evacuees still living in FEMA trailer parks will have to find new housing today as the agency works to shutter the temporary facilities."

Food banks. Food Banks, in a Squeeze, Tighten Belts"Food banks around the country are reporting critical shortages that have forced them to ration supplies, distribute staples usually reserved for disaster relief and in some instances close." Hunters help supply meat for food banks "Sportsmen have donated their kills for years, but this hunting season the meat comes at a time of rising need, with food banks across the country reporting increases in the number of people asking for help."

Measles. Globally, Deaths From Measles Drop Sharply "Worldwide deaths from measles have fallen by two-thirds since 2000, the result of stepped-up immunization efforts and the distribution of vitamin A capsules in developing countries,"

Immigration. GOP's bitter 'sanctuary' dispute " The issue of cities that shield illegal immigrants from being reported to federal authorities has emerged as a divisive issue in the presidential race." Immigration is GOP hot button "A long-running dispute between Republican presidential rivals Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani centers on a term without a clear meaning: sanctuary city." Latino Immigrants' Children Found Grasping English "Most children of Hispanic immigrants in the United States learn to speak English well by the time they are adults, even though three-quarters of their parents speak mainly Spanish and do not have a command of English." Most U.S.-Born Latinos Speak Fluent English "Almost all Hispanic adults born in the United States to immigrant parents speak fluent English, even though most of their parents do not,"

Iraq. Iraqis' Quality of Life Marked By Slow Gains, Many Setbacks "As violence continues to dip across Iraq, U.S. officials say they will increasingly shift their barometers of success from security to basic services -- electricity, gasoline, water and sanitation -- that reflect whether life for Iraqis is returning to normal." Iraq Lacks Plan on the Return of Refugees, Military Says "As Iraqi refugees begin to stream back to Baghdad, American military officials say the Iraqi government has yet to develop a plan to absorb the influx and prevent it from setting off a new round of sectarian violence." Iraq's numbers don't add up, U.S. says "As U.S. forces begin to scale back in Iraq, the military is becoming increasingly reliant on Iraqi forces to report a wide array of crucial statistics, from the number of attacks on the local infrastructure to how many Iraqi civilians have been killed or wounded."

Australia-Iraq. Iraq pledge by Australia PM-elect "Australia's prime minister-elect says the country's 550 combat troops will leave Iraq by the middle of 2008." Australia to pull out of Iraq "The move is likely to disappoint Washington, which counted Australia as one of its few staunch allies in the unpopular war in Iraq until Rudd won a landslide victory in Saturday's general election."

Pakistan. Musharraf Defends Actions After Taking Oath"President Pervez Musharraf was sworn in to a second five-year presidential term today, a day after stepping down as military chief." Musharraf pledges to end state of emergency in Pakistan "Hours after being sworn in for a new term as president, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said he hoped to end the country's state of emergency Dec. 16, a move that could resolve most complaints from his Western backers before parliamentary elections in early January." Musharraf to end emergency rule "A swift end to the state of emergency has been a major demand of Musharraf's western allies, including Gordon Brown and George Bush. But the concession was immediately rebuffed by an opposition alliance headed by the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif,"

Iran. EU and Iran in key nuclear talks "EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana is meeting Iran's top nuclear negotiator just hours before reporting to the UN on the Iranian nuclear issue." On Nuclear Seesaw, the Balance Seems to Shift to Iran "Nine months after the United Nations Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on Iran to press it to stop enrichment, and threatened more if it refused, Iran has steadily increased its enrichment of uranium," Experts divided over Iranian missile capabilities "yes, no and maybes are about all international defense analysts can offer when it comes to separating proven capabilities from propaganda in the debate over Iran's ballistic missiles - weapons with ranges from a few miles to thousands that travel into outer space before falling back to earth to strike a target." Iran's reformers to U.S.: Let's talk "Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Shirin Ebadi are among several key Iranian public figures saying that only direct, unconditional talks with the US can ease spiraling tensions."

Israel. PM to Haaretz: Two states, or Israel is done for "If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Haaretz. Israel risks apartheid-like struggle, says Olmert "Israel's prime minister issued a rare warning yesterday that his nation risked being compared to apartheid-era South Africa if it failed to agree an independent state for the Palestinians. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Ehud Olmert said Israel was "finished" if it forced the Palestinians into a struggle for equal rights." Washington: No place yet for Syria in peace process "U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said it is difficult to see how Syria can fit into the renewed peace process. "Syria is a state that supports terror, including Hezbollah and Hamas,"

AIDS. Clinton vows to fight AIDS "AIDS remains a plague of biblical proportions," the New York senator told hundreds of church members gathered at the annual Global Summit on AIDS and the Church at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. "Where ignorance and prejudice builds, AIDS thrives. Stigma is one of the real evils that has to be combated."

Gays in military. A New Push to Roll Back 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' "Twenty-eight retired generals and admirals plan to release a letter on Friday urging Congress to repeal a law that allows gay men and lesbians to serve in the military but only if they keep their orientation secret."

Christian-Muslim. Vatican temperate to Muslims "An Oct. 13 letter from 138 Muslim leaders to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders asking for dialogue got a warm but noncommittal response from the Vatican yesterday, while a similar missive from Protestants apologized for the Crusades."

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