Daily News Digest | Sojourners

Daily News Digest

The latest news on the Georgia-Russia conflict, China, Bolivia, Iraq, Energy, John Edwards, the Election, Commodity prices, Pakistan, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Israel and Palestine, and Isaac Hayes.

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Georgia-Russisa conflict. Georgia Retreats, Pleads for Truce; U.S. Condemns Russian Onslaught "The Georgian army, suffering massive casualties in the face of overwhelming Russian firepower, retreated from the breakaway region of South Ossetia on Sunday." Bush, Cheney Increasingly Critical of Russia Over Aggression in Georgia "The White House stepped up its criticism of Russia for escalating the conflict in Georgia, with President Bush warning Monday that Russia's 'disproportionate response' is unacceptable." Russians Push Past Separatist Area to Assault Central Georgia "The maneuver suggested that Russia's aims had gone beyond securing the enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to weakening the armed forces of Georgia." On Slog to Safety, Seething at West "It was the question of the day among exhausted Georgians: Where are the United States and NATO?" Georgia signs EU cease-fire pledge "Saakashvili says document was proposed by the French and Finnish foreign ministers."

China. Beijing Curbs Religious Rights "In this Olympic year, government officials have sharply tightened restrictions on religion, arresting leaders of unregistered 'house churches,' stepping up harassment of congregations, denying visas to foreign missionaries and shutting down places of worship, church members and religious activists said." Bush attends church, swim meet in Beijing "The president touches on religious freedom in talks with China's top leader. A dissident is reportedly stopped from attending the same worship service as Bush."

Bolivia. Bolivian Deadlock Remains as President, Foes Are Returned to Office "Bolivians voted Sunday to keep President Evo Morales in office, with unofficial returns on a recall referendum giving him a victory even larger than the one that put him in office more than two years ago." Recall Vote in Bolivia Seen as Win for Morales "While the early results pointed to strong support for Mr. Morales, they also revealed deep rifts in Bolivia, with voters rejecting by wide margins his policies in three prosperous lowland provinces ... By contrast, Mr. Morales, an Aymara Indian, appeared to win handily in highland provinces where poor, indigenous voters predominate." Bolivia's Morales hails poll win "The president congratulated the opposition governors who were re-confirmed in their posts and urged them 'to work together' with him."

Iraq. Iraq Private Sector Falters; Rolls of Government Soar "The number of Iraqi government employees has nearly doubled since 2005, while private businesses have failed to flourish."

Energy. Giant Retailers Look to Sun for Energy Savings "Chains are seizing a chance to bolster environmental credentials, and gain a tax advantage, by installing solar roof panels."

John Edwards. Behind a Meeting That Exposed Edwards's Affair "In an interview on Friday night on Nightline on ABC, during which Mr. Edwards acknowledged that he once had a relationship with Ms. Hunter, he said that Mr. McGovern was the one who reached out to him to arrange the July 21 meeting and that Mr. McGovern was in the hotel room that night."

Election. Social Initiatives on State Ballots Could Draw Attention to Presidential Race "Divisive social issues will be on the ballot in several states in November, including constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage in Arizona, California and Florida, and limitations on abortion in California, Colorado and South Dakota."

Commodity prices. A big surprise on gas "You may not believe it, but fuel is more affordable than it was during the early '60s." Relief for consumers: prices falling "After soaring for months, prices for oil, rice, and other commodities are going down."

Pakistan. Pressure builds on Pakistan's Musharraf "The ruling coalition has vowed to move forward with an impeachment process against the president. Even some of the unpopular leader's allies are urging him to quit." Al-Qaida says Musharraf appeases US "New tape from Ayman al-Zawahiri accuses Pakistan of turning security forces into US 'hunting dogs.'"

North Korea. US to keep North Korea on terrorism list "Today was earliest US could have taken Pyongyang from list in exchange for disclosure of nuclear activity." North Korea and South Korea: The gulf grows "Strife between the Koreas has increased since a tourist from the South was shot to death at a North resort. The ill will has been apparent at the Olympic Games."

Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe coalition talks resume "Power-sharing talks between Zimbabwe's governing Zanu-PF party and opposition officials resume in Harare."

Israel and Palestine. PA negotiator: Israel may make two-state solution impossible "Top negotiator Qureia says PA may demand binational state unless Israel withdraws to pre-1967 borders."

Isaac Hayes. Isaac Hayes, 65, a Creator of '70s Soul Style, Dies " With his lascivious bass-baritone and flamboyant wardrobe, Mr. Hayes developed a musical persona that was an embodiment of the hyper-masculine, street-savvy characters of the so-called blaxploitation films of the era." Cultural icon "How Isaac Hayes changed the course of black music." Isaac Hayes: A selective discography "The Isaac Hayes story and the Stax story are inseparable. The label launched Hayes and, as a writer and session man, he created some of its most memorable music."