Daily News Digest

By Duane Shank 03-11-2008

The latest news on Immigration, Economy, Campaign, Scandal, "New sins," Women leaders, Iraq deaths, Cost of war, Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine, Kenya, Iran, and Opinion.

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Immigration. GOP aims to force immigration debate "House Republican leaders will introduce a petition drive today to force Democrats to debate immigration this year, using a Democrat-sponsored bill to box them into taking a stand on employers who hire illegal immigrants."

Economy. Many more going bankrupt "Bankruptcy filings have surged 22 percent in Massachusetts this year, as more people are unable to afford their rising mortgage payments or refinance their homes to pay bills, according to court filings and bankruptcy attorneys."

Campaign. Obama shuns VP talk, says he's No. 1 "If she is serious about considering him for the job, he says he is not interested and adds that she does not even have the standing to extend such an offer." Ticket-Sharing Talk Dominates Day's Campaign Activity "Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama hardly sounded like potential running mates Monday, with Obama accusing his rival of "gamesmanship" and the campaigns sparring over who is more qualified to be commander in chief."

Scandal. Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring "Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who gained national prominence relentlessly pursuing Wall Street wrongdoing, has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month,"

"New sins." Vatican lists "new sins," including pollution "Thou shall not pollute the Earth. Thou shall beware genetic manipulation. Modern times bring with them modern sins. So the Vatican has told the faithful that they should be aware of "new" sins such as causing environmental blight." Archbishop gives warning of 'new sins' "Illegal-drug use, genetic manipulation, polluting the environment and a variety of social and economic injustices are today's "new sins," said Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary - a Vatican body that grants absolutions and issues decisions on matters of conscience."

Women leaders. Women urge larger role in easing world's ills "Of nearly 200 nations worldwide, just 14 are run by women presidents or prime ministers. Only nine of 189 ambassadors to the United Nations are women. And by most accounts, women hold less than 1 percent of corporate management positions worldwide. That may have more than a little to do with why so many people in the world remain poor, hungry, ill, uneducated and at war."

Iraq deaths. 8 U.S. troops, 14 Iraqis die in wave of insurgent bombings "Bombers unleashed a wave of explosions in Baghdad and north of the capital Monday, including two attacks that killed eight U.S. service members in the deadliest day for the military this year," 8 U.S. troops among dead as blasts rock Iraq cities "Five U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi civilian were killed Monday in a suicide bombing while chatting with shopkeepers in central Baghdad, part of an uptick in high-profile attacks that has rattled the capital after months of diminished violence. Early today, the U.S. military announced that three more soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb Monday in Diyala province."

Cost of war. Invasion worth it? "Five years after U.S. and British forces swept into Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein, many Iraqis are asking if the violence and upheaval that turned their lives upside down was worth it. The human cost is staggering -- anywhere between 90,000 and 1 million Iraqi civilians killed, according to various estimates; nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers dead; while 4 million Iraqis are displaced." Exhaustive review finds no link between Saddam and al Qaida "An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network."

Afghanistan. Afghan deaths soar to 8,000 in 2007 "The United Nations has delivered a grim assessment of the conflict in Afghanistan, reporting that violence increased sharply last year and resulted in the deaths of more than 8,000 people, at least 1,500 of them civilians."

Israel-Palestine. Abbas: Israel, Hamas struck cease-fire; Israel denies it "Even as Israel's leadership denied that a deal was reached with Hamas on a cease-fire, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas insisted that such an agreement was reached, through Egyptian mediation." Talks, but No Truce, Accompany Lull in Gaza Violence "A senior Israeli official and leaders of militant groups in Gaza have held talks with Egyptian officials in recent days, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel denied that Israel was engaged in talks to broker a truce, despite several days of relative quiet near the Gaza border."

Kenya. A Block-by-Block Bid for Peace "If it is easy to find horror stories in Kibera, it is also possible to find Luos who hid Kikuyus in their houses, Kikuyus who kept Luos from being massacred, and so many small gestures of trust and urgent conversations between friends such as Osodo and Kyalo that countered a violent momentum taking hold."

Iran. U.N. Alleges Nuclear Work By Iran's Civilian Scientists "Iranian nuclear engineer Mohsen Fakhrizadeh lectures weekly on physics at Tehran's ImamHosseinUniversity. Yet for more than a decade, according to documents attracting interest among Western governments, he also ran secret programs aimed at acquiring sensitive nuclear technology for his government."


Sharing the Pain (Bob Herbert, New York Times) "Now that the economic crunch is reaching those near the top of the pyramid, there is finally a sense that the U.S. is facing a real crisis."

Liberals' McCain Problem (E. J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post) "Liberals who have sung the praises of John McCain in the past confront a fascinating test of consistency, integrity and political commitment now that McCain is the virtually certain Republican presidential nominee."

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