Sunday, June 22, 2008


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New York Times
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-Gay couples across California trade weekend vows
Same-sex couples across California exchanged vows and wedding bands on thefirst weekend since the state began allowing gays and lesbians to legallymarry. The city of West Hollywood, a staunch advocate of marriage rightsfor gays and lesbians, hosted a daylong marriage marathon Saturday, whenabout 100 same-sex couples planned to wed in ceremonies officiated bycouncil members and administrators.

-Inside a 9/11 Mastermind's Interrogation
The story of an analyst who interrogated Khalid Shaikh Mohammed withoutharsh tactics offers the closest look to date at the C.I.A.'s interrogationprogram.

-Mr. Bush, Lead or Leave by THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Two years ago, President Bush declared that America was "addicted to oil,"and, by gosh, he was going to do something about it. Well, now he has. Nowwe have the new Bush energy plan: "Get more addicted to oil."Actually, it's more sophisticated than that: Get Saudi Arabia, our chief oilpusher, to up our dosage for a little while and bring down the oil pricejust enough so the renewable energy alternatives can't totally take off.Then try to strong arm Congress into lifting the ban on drilling offshoreand in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It's as if our addict-in-chief is saying to us: "C'mon guys, you know youwant a little more of the good stuff. One more hit, baby. Just one more tokeon the ole oil pipe. I promise, next year, we'll all go straight. I'll evenput a wind turbine on my presidential library. But for now, give me one morepop from that drill, please, baby. Just one more transfusion of that sweetoffshore crude." It is hard for me to find the words to express what amassive, fr audulent, pathetic excuse for an energy policy this is. But itgets better.

-India's Growth Outstrips Crops
India's supply of arable land is second only to that of the U.S., but itmust buy some foods on international markets, exacerbating a global foodcrisis.

-Op-Ed Columnist: The Two Israels
To travel through the West Bank and Gaza these days feels like travelingthrough Israeli colonies. You whiz around the West Bank on new highwaysthat in some cases are reserved for Israeli vehicles, catching glimpses ofPalestinian vehicles lined up at checkpoints.

-Mugabe Rival Is to Pull Out Of Election: MDC
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai waspreparing to announce he was pulling out of a run-off presidential election,a source in his party said on Sunday, after President Robert Mugabe'ssupporters attacked his rally. The source in the opposition Movement forDemocratic Change said Tsvangirai would cite violence and strong-arm tacticsby Mugabe's pro-security forces and militia for his decision to withdrawfrom the June 27 vote. "A decision has been taken that it is not worth ourwhile to go into the election because of the violence and because (theruling) ZANU-PF has decided on the outcome already," the MDC source said oncondition of anonymity.

-South Korea and U.S. Reach Deal on Beef Imports

-Obama Urges Mayors to Focus on Urban Growth, but Not to Expect IncreasedFederal Aid
Senator Barack Obama told the nation's mayors on Saturday that current urbanpolicy was obsolete and needed to be replaced by a model that focused onrational metropolitan growth rather than chiefly on inner-city crime andpoverty.

-Questions for Charlie Crist: Is He the Ticket?
As the popular governor of Florida and a Republican known for supportingrelatively progressive causes, you are often mentioned as a possible runningmate for Senator McCain. It's been said that you could deliver Florida forhim in the November election and lend him some overall centrist appeal. It'svery flattering that people would even consider that a notion.

Washington Post
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-The Saudi Spigot
Riyadh is about to open the oil tap wider, but what happens when it's tappedout?
WHEN PRESIDENT Bush traveled to Saudi Arabia in mid-May to plead for anincrease in oil production, his friend King Abdullah resisted him. U.S.consumers might be straining to afford gasoline, the Saudi monarch said, butthe best he could do would be an additional 300,000 barrels a day, raisingtotal output to 9.45 million barrels a day. Now, however, the Saudis haveimproved their offer. In response to appeals from U.N. Secretary General BanKi-moon and others, the kingdom has signaled its willingness to open thespigots wider, by 200,000 barrels a day above what it promised Mr. Bush.After months of blaming the spike in oil prices on speculators, the Saudishave finally admitted, tacitly to be sure, that the root cause isinsufficient supply. An official announcement of expanded production willpro

-Drill Deeper
Could this be the long-awaited start of a real debate on energy security inthe United States?
IF THERE IS a silver lining in the price of gasoline shooting past $4 agallon, it's that it has sparked an intense debate in the United Statesabout its energy security -- or lack thereof. President Bush and Sen. JohnMcCain (R-Ariz.) have given the impression that relief for drivers lies inoff-shore drilling and the construction of nuclear power plants. In fact,those solutions wouldn't produce results for years. But if this level ofpassion and debate continues through the fall election and is followed up byaction, the nation will be better off.

-Survey: Three in 10 U.S. Adults Admit Race Bias
While prejudice affects views of Obama, his strengths and McCain's age couldbe bigger factors in November election, Post-ABC News poll shows. Lingeringracial bias affects the public's assessments of the Democrat from Illinois,but offsetting advantages and Sen. John McCain's age could be bigger factorsin determining the next occupant of the White House.

-Hate Groups' Newest Target
White Supremacists Report an Increase in Visits to Their Web Sites
Sen. Barack Obama's historic victory in the Democratic primaries, celebratedin America and across much of the world as a symbol of racial progress andcultural unity, has also sparked an increase in racist and white supremacistactivity, mainly on the Internet, according to leaders of hate groups andthe organizations that track them.

-Plan to Fingerprint Foreigners Exiting U.S. Is Opposed
The airline industry and embassies of 34 countries, including the members ofthe European Union, are urging the U.S. government to withdraw a plan thatwould require airlines and cruise lines to collect digital fingerprints ofall foreigners before they depart the United States, starting in August2009.

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-Calif. firefighters battle hundreds of blazes
Wildfires were scattered around Northern California on Sunday in the heartof wine country and in remote forests, the latest in what has become anunusually destructive year.,0,1061528.story

-Naomi sorry for assault, but still mad at airline
Model Naomi Campbell says she is sorry she assaulted two police officersduring a dispute about lost luggage aboard a British Airways plane. But shehas refused to apologize to the airline, accusing it of racism.,0,5990643.story

Miami Herald
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-Guantánamo: An American embarrassment
The astonishing series of articles about the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay,Cuba, published in this newspaper last week should dispel any doubts aboutthe need to shut down this inmate compound. The stories, written byreporters for McClatchy Newspapers, describe a dysfunctional system that hasoften jailed the wrong people and has been of little use in producing theintelligence that our country desperately needed after the 9/11 attacks.

-Let's talk frankly about race By LEONARD PITTS JR.
Someone is going to think this column is racist. That person -- he or shewill be white -- will be unable to point to so much as a semicolon thatsuggests I believe in the native superiority of my, or any other, race.Rather, the accusation will be based in the fact that the column discussesrace, period. It's a phenomenon I've seen many times, most recently when afriend of mine told me that a friend of hers regards me as racist because Iwrite about race. To which I gave my standard answer: If that's how itworks, I'll start writing about money. Then I'll be a billionaire. I offerthe foregoing as a gesture of solidarity with an elementary school teacherin California who wrote to ask my opinion of two incidents that happened inher class. In the first, a white boy -- we'll call him Bobby -- disagreedwith a black boy. The black boy, who had been explaining something about hisfamily to the teacher, told Bobby he would not understand because he waswhite. Bobby said this was racist. In the second, Bobby complained that aclassmate had called him a white boy. The classmate was a white girl. Bobbysaid she was racist. For those of you playing along at home, here are twosalient facts: 1) according to his teacher, Bobby frequently complains aboutracism against white kids; 2) 85 percent of the students at the school arewhite kids. So, what do I think?

-Where are the Arab moderates?
As Islamists continue to gain strength throughout the Middle East, manyAmericans ask: ``Where are the Arab moderates?'' For an answer, I recommendan important new book called The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation,written by one of the most thoughtful analysts in the region, formerJordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher, who played a key role in draftingthe 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East ''road map'' backed bythe White House.

-Only bipartisanship can strengthen foreign policy By DAVID S. BRODER
Judging by the rhetoric coming out of the Obama and McCain campaigns lastweek, the United States is fated to endure another four years of bitterforeign policy partisanship whoever wins this election. The rival nomineesclashed on the proper approach to the war on terrorism, the way to handlethe major world trouble spots including Iraq and the approach America shouldtake on everyone from Raúl Castro to the Iranian mullahs.

-AP: Billions more needed to secure US embassies
Despite an intensive $4 billion drive to protect U.S. embassies, at least150 American missions abroad fall short of security standards put in placeafter deadly bombings, The Associated Press has learned. It will cost twicethat amount to replace or renovate just the most vulnerable ones, accordingto documents the AP reviewed.

-Poll: Race relations have long way to go
A poll of Americans found broad support for Barack Obama but painted a moredivided picture on matters of personal prejudice. As Sen. Barack Obamaopens his campaign as the first black politician on a major-partypresidential ticket, nearly half of all Americans say race relations in thecountry are in bad shape, and three in 10 acknowledge feelings of racialprejudice, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Asia Times
Iran and religious diplomacy
Bishop John Bryson Chane
The world isn't experiencing a clash of civilizations, it is witnessing thebeginning of a "dance" in which civilizations are finding each other for thefirst time, says Chane, the Episcopal bishop of Washington and a leadingvoice of religious diplomacy, notably with Iran. His efforts have beencalled naive, but he tells Kaveh L Afrasiabi he feels "extravagantly uniquenew ways of diplomacy are being discovered with religion playing a key part"

Fort Report
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-Activists to color Democratic convention
Many heading to Denver to demand social change and blast party leaders
A nude-in with bodies arranged to spell out "Peace," music with a message,civil disobedience, direct confrontation and radical cheerleading. Thatfunky fusion of protest, performance and pompoms.

-Obama and McCain - flip-flop, flip-flop
THERE IS no "straight talk." There isn't "a different kind of politics."
There are just two men who really want to be president. In their zeal towin the White House, Barack Obama and John McCain already own enoughflip-flops to hang out comfortably in Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville,"right next to John Kerry and Mitt Romney.

-McCain has given enough to religious conservatives

-Embrace oil drilling over environmental imperialism by Charles Krauthammer
Gas is $4 a gallon. Oil is $135 a barrel and rising. We import two-thirds ofour oil, sending hundreds of billions of dollars to the likes of Russia,Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. And yet we voluntarily prohibit ourselves fromeven exploring huge domestic reserves of petroleum and natural gas. At atime when U.S. crude oil production has fallen 40 percent in the last 25years, 75 billion barrels of oil have been declared off-limits, according tothe U.S. Energy Information Administration. That would be enough to replaceevery barrel of non-North American imports (oil trade with Canada and Mexicois a net economic and national security plus) for 22 years.

-Voters still trying to figure out what makes Obama tick
We are barely at the beginning of the long period in which most Americanswill give their first serious scrutiny to the presidential candidates...Weare barely at the beginning of the long period in which most Americans willgive their first serious scrutiny to the presidential candidates and decidewhether Barack Obama or John McCain will get their vote.

- Jim Webb: Obama's answer to McCain?


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