Daily News Digest

By Duane Shank 3-19-2008

the lastest news on Obama and race, Iraq, D.C. gun case, Economy, Homeowners, Justice Revival, Mission by immersion, Tibet, Mideast, Colombia, and Editorials

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Obama on race. Obama calls for racial healing "Sen. Barack Obama 's sweeping speech on race Tuesday marked an attempt to wrench his campaign out of a polarizing diversion and to reignite a discussion of the country's potential for moving beyond racial division," Obama Urges U.S.: 'Move Beyond Our Old Racial Wounds' "The speech drew praise for its forthright expression of black-white divisions and for its call to all Americans to begin to reconcile those differences. Whether it will solve the potentially serious political problems that Wright's long-standing relationship with Obama has created is a far different question," Obama's speech on race may have saved his campaign "Analysts said Barack Obama's remarks will likely reaffirm his popularity among African-American voters and ease concerns among upscale white suburban voters about the controversial opinions of his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. But it isn't likely to sway many working-class white Democrats."

Economy. Stocks Rally as Fed Cuts Key Interest Rate "The Federal Reserve reduced short-term interest rates for the sixth time in six months, capping an extraordinary series of measures it has taken to stabilize financial markets." Fed Slashes Key Interest Rate, and Stocks Soar "The Federal Reserve took another aggressive step in its campaign to prevent a deep and devastating recession yesterday, cutting a key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point." Can't Grasp Credit Crisis? Join the Club Raise your hand if you don't quite understand this whole financial crisis. It has been going on for seven months now, and many people probably feel as if they should understand it. But they don't, not really.

Homeowners. Democrats Draft Plans for Distressed Homeowners "After the collapse over the weekend of one of Wall Street's biggest investment banks, Democrats in Congress said they plan to move quickly on legislation aimed at stabilizing financial markets by helping as many as 2 million homeowners avoid foreclosure."

D.C. gun case argued. Court Weighs Right to Guns, and Its Limits "A majority of the Supreme Court appeared ready on Tuesday to embrace, for the first time in the country's history, an interpretation of the Second Amendment that protects the right to own a gun for personal use." Justices Appear Skeptical Of D.C.'s Handgun Ban "A majority of the Supreme Court indicated a readiness yesterday to settle decades of constitutional debate over the meaning of the Second Amendment by declaring that it provides an individual right to own a gun for self-defense." Supreme Court appears to favor individual gun rights "The 2nd Amendment right to "keep and bear arms" finally had its day in the Supreme Court, and the long-held view that it protected the rights of gun owners appeared poised to win a historic victory."

Justice Revival. Christians urged to do more to aid the needy "Revival in Columbus aimed at inspiring people to serve - Leaders of some of the area's biggest churches say they want to redefine what it means to be a Christian. They plan to hold a three-day justice revival next month to get people out of the pews and into the city to help reduce poverty and aid people in need."

Mission by immersion. A different kind of mission "Call it reverse mission, or mission through immersion. Either way, an alternative is emerging to conventional notions of what mission entails. Instead of the idea of mission as outreach to bless the less fortunate with faith or provide relief, in the immersion paradigm, missionaries go to accept hospitality, show gratitude, listen and return home with bigger hearts and broader perspectives."

Iraq. Bush speech hails Iraq 'victory' "Speaking at the Pentagon, Mr Bush said "removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision". And he went on to say that the recent "surge" of US troops to Iraq has brought about "a major strategic victory in the broader war on terror"." McCain sees Iraq success as key to all Middle East issues Arizona Sen. John McCain tours the Middle East this week as the presumptive "Republican presidential nominee, and his support of the Iraq war is well known. Less well known is how the war fits into his overall view of the region: He sees it as the linchpin to almost everything." 5 years after: Flowers, ruins "On Baghdad's battered streets, signs of the progress made over the past year mingle uneasily with the debris of the violent upheaval that has torn Iraq apart over the past five years." Iraq sectarian groups boycott conference "Influential Shiite and Sunni groups boycotted a conference on Iraqi reconciliation Tuesday, as U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney traveled north to meet with Kurdish leaders."

Tibet . Dalai Lama disavows violence "Faced with accusations from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that the unrest in Tibet was "organized, premeditated, masterminded and incited" by the Dalai Lama, the 72-year-old Nobel Peace laureate and spiritual leader of Lama Buddhism moved to defuse that accusation," China Steps Up Its Accusations Against the Dalai Lama"China called on Tuesday for an international investigation of the Dalai Lama, accusing him of masterminding the violent Tibetan protests spreading across China, but the Tibetan religious leader denied those claims and invited observers to scour his office." Brown to meet Dalai Lama "Gordon Brown has today urged the Chinese government to exercise restraint in its handling of the situation in Tibet and confirmed that he will meet the Dalai Lama when he visits Britain."

Mideast. Suspended peace talks resume in Jerusalem "Talks between top Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have formally resumed, two weeks after Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas suspended the process over an Israeli operation in Gaza that killed 120 people." Egypt brokering Hamas-Israel deal on long-term Gaza truce "Israel and Egypt are conducting intensive negotiations in an effort to reach a long-term cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, which would include reopening the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt."

Colombia. Colombia pledges no more cross-border raids on rebels "After 14 hours of debate, the Organization of American States approved on Tuesday - with U.S. misgivings - a resolution that rejected Colombia's March 1 bombing raid on a guerilla camp inside Ecuador."


Mr. Obama's Profile in Courage (New York Times) "We can't know how effective Mr. Obama's words will be with those who will not draw the distinctions between faith and politics that he drew, or who will reject his frank talk about race. What is evident, though, is that he not only cleared the air over a particular controversy - he raised the discussion to a higher plane."

Obama on race (Los Angeles Times) "No single speech will recalibrate America's consideration of race and politics, but we are closer today, thanks to this remarkable address, to facing our history and perfecting our nation."

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