Daily News Digest

By Duane Shank 3-03-2008

Presidential primaries, Credit crisis, A new Religious Right? Green for Lent, UK child poverty, Andean crisis, Somalia, Russian election, Israel-Palestine, Iraq-US troops, Iran-Iraq, Iran-nuclear, Darfur, and Opinion.

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Presidential primaries. Clinton and Obama swing the spotlight to Ohio "With less than two days to go before Tuesday's crucial primary elections, Democratic presidential contenders Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama barnstormed across Ohio on Sunday," Poor, hungry and ready to vote in Ohio "Low-income people who are less inclined to vote are talking with a new urgency about the importance of the presidential race and how it could affect their daily lives." Can national security appeal save Clinton's candidacy? "With time running out on her dream, Hillary Clinton kicked off a two-day bus tour of Ohio with a dire warning about rival Barack Obama and a plea for support from a state uniquely positioned either to breathe new life into her struggling campaign or to end it."

Credit crisis. Credit crunch worries economists "The cascading fallout from the subprime loan crisis, barely a cloud on the horizon a year ago, is now viewed by experts as the economy's gravest threat." Credit Crisis May Make College Loans More Costly "Many college students across the nation will begin to see higher costs for loans this spring, while others will be turned away by banks altogether as the credit crisis roiling the U.S. economy spreads into yet another sector,"

A new Religious Right? Huckabee at forefront of evangelical revival "Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign may be nearing its end, but those around him say he won't disappear and is poised to claim political leadership of conservative evangelicals."

Green for Lent. Going green for Lent "Across New England, a small but growing number of Christians are pledging to reduce energy usage as part of the 40 days of sacrifice and charitable deeds leading up to Easter."

UK child poverty. Increase childcare funding to tackle poverty, Brown told "Gordon Brown will be warned that he risks missing his target of halving poverty unless there is a massive increase in spending on child care for working families."

Andean crisis. Chavez in Farc raid 'war' warning "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has warned Colombia a strike against Farc rebels inside Venezuela like that in Ecuador on Saturday could start a war." Chavez Warns of War With Colombia "Venezuela and Ecuador ordered troops to their borders with Colombia, sharply raising tensions after Colombia killed a top rebel leader on Ecuadorean soil." After Deadly Assault on Guerrillas, Chávez Orders Troops to Colombian Border "Calling a Colombian military strike that killed a guerrilla commander "a cowardly assassination," Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez closed his country's embassy in Colombia and ordered tanks, planes and thousands of troops to the 1,300-mile border the two countries share."

Somalia. US bombs Islamist town in Somalia "An Islamist-held town in Somalia is hit by missiles in a US operation against "a known terrorist".

Russian election. Putin Aide Secures His Assured Victory in Russian Vote "His election choreographed by the Kremlin, Dmitri A. Medvedev secured a predictably commanding victory on Sunday to become Russia's next president." Russia election 'not free or fair' "European observers this morning condemned Russia's presidential election, won overwhelmingly by Dmitry Medvedev, as "not fair" and a denial of the "democratic potential" of the country's voters."

Israel-Palestine. Abbas breaks contact with Israel "Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has suspended contact with Israel in protest at an assault on Gaza which has killed about 100 people," Palestinian President Suspends Peace Talks "Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas suspended peace talks with Israel following a spasm of violence in the Gaza Strip that has left more than 100 Palestinians dead since Wednesday as Hamas has continued its campaign of rocket strikes." Israeli official threatens Hamas as Olmert defends use of force "Israel's defense minister threatened Sunday to move against Hamas leaders in Gaza as the next step in a confrontation that on Saturday reached its deadliest level in years." Gaza Pitfalls in Every Path"But Israel's military and economic pressure on Gaza, the menacing rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and the ensuing chaos that reached new heights this weekend have highlighted a fundamental tangle in that plan: As long as Hamas controls Gaza, it can subvert negotiations between Israelis and moderate Palestinians whenever it sees fit."

Iraq-US troops. Iraq Needs Strides in Economy and Governance to Cut Attacks, a Top General Says "The former No. 2 American commander in Iraq says that, without economic and political progress, it will not be possible to reduce substantially the current level of violence there."US Iraq troops 'insult to region' "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said the presence of foreign forces in Iraq is a humiliation and an insult to the region."

Iran-Iraq. Iranian Leader, in Baghdad, Hails 'New Chapter' in Ties with Iraq "As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Iraq's leaders, the first visit by a Middle Eastern head of state since the U.S.-led invasion, he engaged a country in which Iran's influence is deepening but also provoking growing criticism from Iraqis." Ahmadinejad's Iraq visit bolsters Iran's influence "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Baghdad on a landmark visit described by both friend and foe as a crowning moment for Tehran's growing power here and its deepening influence across the Middle East."

Iran-nuclear. UN to vote on new Iran sanctions "The UN Security Council is expected to vote in favour of new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme. Western powers suspect Iran may be developing nuclear weapons and want new sanctions in addition to those imposed in 2006 and 2007." Vienna Meeting on Arms Data Reignites Iran Nuclear Debate "Last Monday, the chief United Nations nuclear inspector gathered ambassadors and experts from dozens of nations in a boardroom high above the Danube in Vienna and laid out a trove of evidence that he said raised new questions about whether Iranhad tried to design an atom bomb."

Darfur . Scorched-Earth Strategy Returns to Darfur "The attacks by the janjaweed, the fearsome Arab militias that came three weeks ago, accompanied by government bombers and followed by the Sudanese Army, were a return to the tactics that terrorized Darfur in the early, bloodiest stages of the conflict."


Frail or firm, let faith guide your vote (Tim Ahrens, Columbus Dispatch) "I know the people in my congregation integrate many factors into their electoral decision-making. They consider the moral and ethical character of each man and woman. There are personal moral issues that touch them deeply. Their faith affects how they view these issues."

A path out of poverty(Oliver "Buzz" Thomas, USA Today) "The U.S. economy has moved from its base of manufacturing and agriculture to one of information and technology. The majority of our citizens are now paid for what they know rather than what they do. When knowledge becomes the commodity that drives an economy, education is the only ticket in. In fact, a high-quality education is the only long-term solution to poverty in the highly competitive economy of the 21st century."

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