Tuesday, February 12, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST February 12, 2008

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New York Times
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G.M. Reports Quarterly Loss of $722 Million
Saying a slowing market had caused the swing to a loss, G.M. also announceda buyout offer to union employees to cut costs.
Gates, Truth and Afghanistan
The fact that Defense Secretary Robert Gates was permitted the candor thathe demonstrated last week is a measure of how bad things have gotten inAfghanistan.
No End in Sight
Some of the euphoria about the history-making aspects of the Hillary Clintonand Barack Obama campaigns is giving way to anxiety.
When Reality Bites
The Democratic policy unity is a mirage. If the Democrats actually win theWhite House, the tensions would resurface with a vengeance.
Clinton Bid Hinges on Texas and Ohio
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign increasingly believes that shemust win in the two states in March.
Study Foresees the Fall of an Immigration Record That Has Lasted a Century
If present trends continue, within two decades the nation's foreign-bornpopulation will surpass the historic 19th-century peak of nearly 15 percentof all residents, according to projections released Monday.
Further, because a vast wave of baby boomers will be swelling the ranks ofthe elderly, the so-called dependency ratio - the number of people below 18and above 64 compared with the number of those in the prime workingyears -will rise to 72 per 100 by 2050 from about 59 per 100 in 2005,according to the projections, by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. Theratio will be even higher if immigration subsides, the report found.

Pew Research center
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Patterns of Distinction
Super Tuesday revealed distinct -- and somewhat suprising -- voting patternsacross the nation that may shape the course ahead in the closely contestedDemocratic race.
Generation Now: How Young Voters Are Affecting Results at the Polls
Beyond the vote, the exit polls point to interesting differences -- andsimilarities -- between younger and older Democratic voters.
The Race Card: A Joker in the Primary Deck?
Race still plays a role in U.S. politics but it showed up in surprising waysin tallies from Democratic primary elections so far this year.
Does McCain Need Evangelical Voters?
Sizeable numbers of white evangelical Protestants are already part of McCain's coalition despite opposition from some religious conservatives. On theDemocratic side, Clinton will need to mobilize black Protestants while Obamahas not connected with Jewish voters.
The Gender Gap in News Interest
A look at the public's news interests over the past year shows continuingdifferences between women and men in the types of news stories that theyfollow very closely.
Campaign Coverage Reaches New High
With campaign coverage dominating (including 76% of the cable newshole),nearly a third of Democrats say the press has been too tough on Clintonwhile more Republicans say the press has been too easy on McCain than theother candidates.
What Americans Should But Don't Know About Religion
The U.S. is one of the most religious countries on earth, but Americans knowlittle about their own religion, let along the religions of others. Ascholar explains why that is dangerous for the nation. Read more
Bush Budget Gives States Little to Cheer About
President Bush's $3 trillion fiscal 2009 budget comes at a time when manystates face a budget shortfall; new restrictions on health insurance forchildren, Medicaid and other programs may add to their burdens.
26% - Muslim Americans Support for U.S. War on Terror
A relatively low number of U.S. Muslims (26%) view the U.S.-led war onterrorism as a sincere effort to reduce international terrorism. Check backevery weekday for another number in the news. Read more

Washington Post
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Voters Get Early Start at Polls in D.C., Md. and Va.
Voters line up for "Potomac Primary," eager to cast ballots in one of themost closely contested and historic presidential races ever.
The GOP's Diabolical Plot
Eugene Robinson | Democrats have enough to worry about without fabricatingRepublican flimflammery.
Travelers May Be Fingerprinted
European Commission will propose measure for visitors to Europe, includingU.S. citizens.
U.S. Latino Population Projected To Soar
Forecast Predicts Tripling by 2050
The number of Hispanics in the United States will triple by 2050 and
represent nearly 30 percent of the population if current trends continue,according to a report released yesterday. The study by the nonpartisan,Washington-based Pew Research Center also found that nearly one in fiveAmericans will be foreign-born in 2050, compared with about one in eighttoday. Asian Americans, representing 5 percent of the population today, areexpected to boost their share to 9 percent.
Which Party
Is More Divided?
Stumped - At this point, it's the Democrats -- but that could easily change.
Mr. Mukasey's False Fear
The attorney general wrongly opposes adjustments of sentences for crackcocaine offenses.
LAST YEAR, the U.S. Sentencing Commission passed and Congress let stand newsentencing guidelines lowering the draconian penalties for crack cocaine. InDecember, without need of congressional approval, the commission made thosechanges retroactive. As a result, nearly 20,000 inmates behind bars forcrack cocaine violations -- the majority of them African Americans -- willbe eligible for early release over the next three decades. These are welcomeand much-needed adjustments to a skewed system that imposes a five-yearmandatory prison sentence on someone caught with five grams of crack; adefendant would have to be caught with 500 grams of powder cocaine totrigger the same sentence.

The Fort Report
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Fla. puts national tourism ad out to blunt economic slowdown
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida is hoping to blunt the effect of asoftening economy with the state's first national tourism ad campaign aimedat persuading travelers to visit. Besides a 30-second TV spot, the roughly$9 million campaign that began Monday includes print advertising and a heavyemphasis on a Web-based promotion for Florida's top industry. Some cities -mostly cold, northern ones - will be targeted more intensely by thecampaign, state officials said.
Some Broward cities may raise property taxes
It wasn't supposed to increase taxes. But two weeks after voters approved astatewide tax-relief plan, in some Broward County cities officials say theymay hike taxes and fees to make up for the money lost. Officials fromDeerfield Beach, Lauderdale Lakes and Southwest Ranches say they haven'truled out increases, one of several options to recover dollars taken away byAmendment 1, approved by voters Jan. 29.
Evolution backers, opponents make points at Orlando hearing
They came from one end of Florida to the other, and with views on evolutionas far apart as the 800 miles that separate the Keys from the Panhandle.The Florida Department of Education held its final public hearing Monday onnew science standards that for the first time require evolution to be taughtin the state's public schools.
Paul won't back McCain, even if he's nominated
NEW YORK - Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidentialnominee, secured more major endorsements on Monday, including former FloridaGov. Jeb Bush and evangelical leader Gary Bauer. But there's one vote heshouldn't count on, from fellow presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul.
US Rep. Tom Lantos; escaped Holocaust to fight for human rights worldwide
WASHINGTON - US Representative Tom Lantos, who escaped the Nazis and grew upto become a forceful voice for human rights all over the world, has died. Hewas 80. The California Democrat, the only Holocaust survivor to serve inCongress, died early yesterday at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center inMaryland, said his spokeswoman, Lynne Weil. He disclosed last month that hehad cancer of the esophagus.
Obama Narrowly Leads McCain in AP Poll
Democrat Barack Obama would narrowly defeat Republican JohnMcCain if they were matched today in the presidential election, while McCainand Hillary Rodham Clinton are running about even, according to newgeneral-election sentiment since the Super Tuesday contests.


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