Monday, April 21, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS April 21, 2008

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New York Times
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-Obama Struggles to Win White Vote In Rural Pennsylvania
MUNCY VALLEY, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Barack Obama's efforts to woo whitevoters in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary have been hurt by his commentson small town bitterness and his association with an outspoken pastor,residents of Muncy Valley say.

-In Push Before Vote, Obama Sharpens Tone
READING, Pa. - Senator Barack Obama sharpened his tone against SenatorHillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday as the six-week Pennsylvania primarycontest raced to a close, with the rivals marshaling extensive resources ina battle for undecided voters and delegates that could determine whether theDemocratic nominating fight carries on.

-Millionaires' Amendment
Politics loves money, and wealthy candidates have a big advantage when theyrun for public office. We fear that field will never be level, but federalcampaign finance law does give a much-needed break to candidates whoseopponents spend a lot of their own money on their campaigns.

-Protecting a Basic Freedom
The effort to enact a federal shield law for journalists got a much-neededbipartisan boost last week. Speaking before a press group, Senator JohnMcCain announced his support for the Free Flow of Information Act. Themeasure would give reporters limited protection against being compelled toreveal confidential sources in federal court. Senator Barack Obama andSenator Hillary Clinton officially signed on as co-sponsors.

-Making Your Money Last as Long as You Live
EVEN for people who have built up a decent nest egg, deciding how to use itis one of the demands of early retirement. The good life may be withinreach, but the financial logistics still require careful attention.

-Carter Says Hamas Open to Peace Deal
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Hamas would accept a deal creating a Palestinian statein the West Bank and Gaza Strip if it was approved by Palestinians in avote, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said on Monday after talks withHamas leaders.

-20 Bodies Found in Sea Near Bahamas
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) -- The bodies of 20 migrants have been recovered fromthe sea near the Bahamas after their boat apparently capsized, the U.S.Coast Guard said Monday as it searched for survivors.

-France Tries to Limit Olympics Fallout
PARIS - After a wave of anti-French protests in China, President NicolasSarkozy of France is sending three top officials there this week in adiplomatic charm offensive to limit the political and economic fallout fromthe controversy surrounding the preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games.

-Merck Profit Jumps on Gain
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Drugmaker Merck (NYSE:MRK) & Co.'s on Monday reportedthat its profit almost doubled in the first quarter due to a $1.4 billiondistribution from a partner drug company; its sales were slightly higherthan a year ago.

-Eli Lilly Profit Doubles on Higher Sales
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Drug maker Eli Lilly and Co. said strong sales forCymbalta and Cialis helped double its first-quarter profit, but resultsmissed Wall Street expectations.

-List of McCain Fund-Raisers Includes Prominent Lobbyists
Senator John McCain has staked his campaign for the presidency in large parton his reputation as a reformer intent on curbing the influence of money inpolitics.

Washington Post
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-What's the Matter With Obama
Traveling the country the past few months, I have encountered habitualRepublican voters so entranced by Barack Obama's potential to lead thenation that they plan to vote for him in November. Once Hillary Clinton'ssupporters return to the fold, Obama Republicans could produce a Democraticpresidential landslide. But Obama's recent missteps jeopardize their supportand imperil his election.

Justices to Hear Challenge of Law That Affects Self-Funded CandidatesWealthy, self-financed congressional candidate Jack Davis says theMcCain-Feingold Act's "Millionaire's Amendment," which raises thecontribution limits for opponents of wealthy, self-financed candidates, isnot only unfair but also unconstitutional, and his lawyers will try topersuade the Supreme Court of that tomorrow.

-Hunger Pains for Mubarak
It's well known that the run-up in oil prices in recent years has had theunpleasant consequence of enlivening autocrats in oil-producing countries,from Vladimir Putin and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Hugo Chávez. Now the latestswing in global commodities seems to be triggering a reverse effect: Asprices for bread and rice soar, dictators are tottering.

-Election Year Folly
Mr. McCain's irresponsible economic plan
WITH ONE significant exception, the essence of Sen. John McCain's speech oneconomic policy last week could be summed up as, "Let's just get me elected,and then we can talk seriously." Of course, the presumptive Republicannominee is far from the first candidate, and he's certainly not the only onein this campaign, to put political advantage over telling unpleasant truths.
This is why he deserves credit for an element that is minor, as far asdollar amounts go, but still politically risky: his proposal to requirewealthier seniors to pay higher premiums for prescription drug coverage.
This would affect just 5 percent of seniors, with incomes of more than$164,000 a year per couple, and it would bring in only about $2 billion overfive years. But it is one sensible step in the battle to control Medicarespending, and the howls of outrage with which it was greeted by Democratsillustrate the difficulty of dealing with entitlement spending.

-Mr. Bush's Train Wreck
The president raised a legitimate concern in his climate speech. Too badhe's the cause of it.

-In Search of an AIDS Vaccine
Rededication follows disappointment.
LAST FALL, after trials of a promising AIDS vaccine from Merck & Co. cameback with alarming results, they were canceled. Health experts knew thesignificance of that, but when The Post reported on the enormity of thesituation last month, many were astounded. Not only did the vaccine notprotect trial participants from infection with HIV, the virus that causesAIDS, but it also appeared to make them more susceptible to contracting thedisease. At least a half-dozen other trials were stopped or put on hold. TheMerck disappointment was branded as a "catastrophe" by one scientist and assetting the race for a cure "back to square one" by others. The hyperbole isunderstandable, but some perspective is in order.

-Anchorage mayor to challenge Stevens for Senate
JUNEAU, Alaska -- The mayor of Anchorage plans to run for the Senate seatheld by Ted Stevens since 1968, he said Sunday, ending months ofspeculation.

Fort Report
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-White House challenges release of visitor logs
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration is challenging a court ruling thatWhite House visitor logs are public documents, saying releasing the recordswould infringe on the separation of powers.


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