Daily News Digest

By Duane Shank 2-26-2008

The latest new on Democratic debate, Primaries, Religion in the U.S. Housing, Health care, Economy, Cuba, Violence against women, Pakistan, Iraq-Turkey, Iraq-US forces, Iran, Kenya, Faith and politics features, Op-Eds, and Passings.

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Democratic debate. "Presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama will debate today at Cleveland State University in Ohio. The event will be broadcast at 6 p.m. Pacific time (9 p.m. Eastern) on MSNBC."

Primaries. Democrats turn up heat in flurry of Ohio stops "Only one Democratic candidate was in Ohio on the eve of today's big debate in Cleveland, but the state was still the centerpiece of an increasingly nasty battle that could settle the nomination." Democratic Governors See McCain As Formidable "Democratic governors from states likely to help decide the 2008 presidential election see Republican Sen. John McCain as a potentially formidable opponent whose life story and reputation for political independence make him a threat in November," McCain Says He Could Lose Over War Issue "John McCain said Monday that to win the White House he must convince a war-weary country that U.S. policy in Iraq is succeeding. If he can't, ''then I lose. I lose,'' the Republican said. He quickly backed off that remark."

Religion in the U.S. Poll Finds a Fluid Religious Life in U.S. "More than a quarter of adult Americans have left the faith of their childhood to join another religion or no religion, according to a survey of religious affiliation by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life." Catholic tradition fading in U.S. "Evangelical Christianity has become the largest religious tradition in this country, supplanting Roman Catholicism, which is slowly bleeding members," Shifting borders of faith "A new map of faith in the USA shows a nation constantly shifting amid religious choices, unaware or unconcerned with doctrinal distinctions. Unbelief is on the rise. And immigration is introducing new faces in the pews, new cultural concerns, new forces in the public square." In Major Poll, U.S. Religious Identity Appears Very Slippery "America has always been a competitive religious marketplace, but a major survey released yesterday shows a country increasingly exploring different faith identities and ways of worship."

Housing. Housing slump causes U.S. to weigh another big bailout "the government is already working overtime in a bid to prevent the current credit turmoil from deepening: Federal agencies and private-sector players are considering a range of new policies, including some that would result in the government buying troubled mortgages and refinancing them." Foreclosure Aid Rising Locally, as Is Dissent"As the Bush administration and Congress consider proposals to ease the home foreclosure crisis, local governments across the country have been lending money to imperiled homeowners and confronting some opposition."

Health care. Spending on Health to Rise Dramatically "By 2017, total health care spending will double to more than $4 trillion a year, accounting for one of every $5 the nation spends, the federal government projects. The 6.7 percent annual increase in spending-nearly three times the rate of inflation-will be largely driven by higher prices and an increased demand for care,"

Economy. Bush Cool to States' Call for Public Works Projects "President Bush rebuffed appeals from the nation's governors to increase spending on roads, bridges and other public works as a way to revive the economy."

Cuba. Cuban Americans' attitudes shift "Many Cuban Americans are growing weary of the U.S. government's attempts to isolate Cuba, a hard-line stance that militant Cuban exiles have largely dictated for the last four decades, and has yet to yield any real changes there."

Violence against women. UN Urges End to Violence Against Women "Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched a global campaign to intensify efforts to end violence against women, specifically calling on men to combat the problem."

Pakistan . Blast Kills Surgeon General of Pakistani Army "A top Pakistani Army general was killed when a suicide attacker approached his car at a traffic light in Rawalpindi and blew himself up." Bomber kills Pakistan surgeon general "In separate deadly attacks, a suicide bomber killed the army's surgeon general and seven other people, and gunmen burst into the offices of a British-based aid group in northern Pakistan, shooting four local staffers to death and burning down their building."

Iraq-Turkey. Iraq denounces Turkish offensive "The Iraqi government has denounced a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq in some of the strongest terms heard since the operation began last week." Iraq denounces Turkey incursion "A statement from the government on Tuesday said that the move was a violation of Iraq's sovereignty and demanded an immediate cessation of fighting."

Iraq-US forces. Pentagon Releases Projections for Forces "The Pentagon is projecting that when the United States troop buildup in Iraq ends in July there will be about 8,000 more troops on the ground than when it began in January 2007."

Iran. Khamenei hails Iran 'nuclear win' "Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has hailed Iran's "great victory" over its nuclear programme. Mr Khamenei praised President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's handling of the issue." Major Powers Discuss Iran Strategy "After two years of faltering diplomatic efforts, the United States and the world's other major powers met yesterday to discuss new inducements to lure Iran to the negotiating table.." Europeans Plan Incentives, as Iran Says Sanctions Won't Halt Nuclear Program "at the United Nations, Iran's ambassador said that his country would continue to defy Security Council directives to halt the program, and that documents cited as possible evidence of Iran's effort to develop nuclear weapons were "forgeries."

Kenya . Bid to break Kenya deadlock "Kofi Annan, former UN secretary-general, has relaunched mediation efforts in Kenya in an attempt to resolve its post-election political crisis which has killed at least 1,500 people." Annan Has Sharp Words for Kenyans as Talks Stall "Kofi Annan, the former U.N. secretary general who is trying to broker a political peace treaty in Kenya, expressed rare public frustration, blasting Kenya's leaders for failing to compromise."

Faith and politics features.

How Would Jesus Vote? (Amy Sullivan, Washington Post) "As an evangelical who worked in Democratic politics before entering journalism, I'm used to getting looks from liberals who are embarrassed for me when I use the E-word to describe myself."

It's Not Your Father's Religious Right (David Kuo, Washington Post) "Who will govern the new religious right? History may look back at this Republican primary season and judge that answering that question -- not determining the nominee -- could be its greatest significance."

Our Flagging Faith in the GOP (Samuel Rodriguez Jr., Washington Post) "It's mmigration, stupid. That's the message from Hispanic faith voters -- the de facto swing vote in this year's presidential election."

I Voted for Obama. Will I Go Straight to. . . ? (Joe Feuerherd, Washington Post) "Like most Maryland Democrats, I voted for Sen. Barack Obama in the recent Potomac Primary. By doing so, according to the leaders of my church, I put my soul at risk."


A War We Must End (John Podesta, Ray Takeyh and Lawrence J. Korb, Washington Post) "Despite the Democratic presidential candidates' expressed commitment to ending the war in Iraq, there is unease among the party's base. Some ardent activists have suggested that upon election, a new Democratic president will come under inordinate pressure to sustain the U.S. military commitment."


Johnnie Carr, 97; a Civil Rights 'Spark Plug' "Johnnie Carr, 97, who joined childhood friend Rosa Parks in the historic Montgomery bus boycott and kept a busy schedule of civil rights activism up to her final days, died Feb. 22 in Baptist Health Hospital in Montgomery, Ala. Mrs. Carr succeeded the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association in 1967 and held the post until her death."

Douglas Fraser, 91; Led United Auto Workers in Tough Times "Douglas A. Fraser, who led the United Auto Workers union through dark hours in the U.S. auto industry in the 1970s and '80s, has died. He was 91."

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