Thursday, June 12, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS - June 12, 2008

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New York Times
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-Interrogation for Profit
Congress should approve measures to make war-zone contractors liable forcriminal behavior and to assign the F.B.I. to inquiries into contractorcrimes. [...] Operating free of the restraints of military rule and ethics,some of these corporate thugs turned up in the torture scandal at the AbuGhraib prison and walked away with impunity. Others are now believed to bein the employ of the Central Intelligence Agency at secret prisons thatremain outside the rule of law, exempted even from the weak 2006 rules oninterrogating prisoners.

-The Sex Speech
Now, it's up to Barack Obama to give a speech about gender that mighttrigger a useful national conversation about women in leadership.

-Obama Aide Quits Under Fire for His Business Ties
The resignation of James A. Johnson highlights the challenge Barack Obamafaces in living up to his goal of not surrounding himself with people withties to special interests.

-American Aid Is Seized in Zimbabwe
Food for schoolchildren was ordered to be given to backers of PresidentRobert Mugabe, the U.S. ambassador said.

-American Exception: Unlike Others, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend in
A couple of years ago, a Canadian magazine published an article arguing thatthe rise of Islam threatened Western values. The article's tone was mockingand biting, but it said nothing that conservative magazines and blogs in theUnited States do not say every day without fear of legal reprisal.

-Democrats Offer Plans to Revamp Schools Law
Democrats are dividing into camps as they debate a new course for educationpolicy after President Bush leaves office.

-Pakistan Angry as Strike by U.S. Kills 11 Soldiers
American air and artillery strikes killed 11 Pakistani paramilitary soldiersduring a clash with insurgents on the Afghan border on Tuesday night, adevelopment that raised concerns about the already strained Americanrelationship with Pakistan.

-News Analysis: An Anger in Korea Over More Than Beef
When tens of thousands of South Koreans spilled into central Seoul onTuesday in the country's largest antigovernment protest in 20 years, thepolice built a barricade with shipping containers. They coated them with oiland filled them with sandbags so protesters could not climb or topple themto march on President Lee Myung-bak's office a couple of blocks away.

-U.S. Life Expectancy Reaches Record
For the first time, U.S. life expectancy has surpassed 78 years, thegovernment reported Wednesday. The increase is due mainly to fallingmortality rates in almost all the leading causes of death, federal healthofficials said. The average life expectancy for babies born in 2006 wasabout four months greater than for children born in 2005.

-Report Takes Aim at 'Model Minority' Stereotype of Asian-American Students
The image of Asian-Americans as a homogeneous group of high achievers takingover the campuses of the nation's most selective colleges came under assaultin a report issued Monday.

Washington Post
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-The Unvetted Vetter
Say this for Sen. Barack Obama: He is a lot quicker in these post-Jeremiah Wright days to walk away from controversy caused him by others. By the timehe finished distancing himself from Jim Johnson, his former vicepresidential vetter, Johnson must have felt like he was on Mars.

-The Politics of Divorce
In a week in which John McCain and Barack Obama have gone at each other over tax policy, health care and Iraq, the buzz in the blogosphere concerns avery different subject. Her name is Carol McCain.

-Let Love Rule
Forty-one years ago, the Supreme Court struck down a Virginia lawpreventing marriage between African Americans and whites.

-Decline Of the Senate
Sen. Arlen Specter, age 78, was feeling miserable Monday following
chemotherapy the previous Friday. But believing the best antidote was hardwork, Specter took the Senate floor with a speech that contrasted sharplyfrom the partisan oratory now customary in the chamber.

-A Courageous Commutation
Mr. Kaine spares the life of a man on death row.
VIRGINIA GOV. Timothy M. Kaine (D), a confidant of Barack Obama's and thefirst governor outside Illinois to endorse the senator's bid for theDemocratic presidential nomination, is routinely mentioned as avice-presidential prospect. Many politicians in his position might bend orsuspend principle to keep such prospects alive. But this week, Mr. Kainecommuted the death sentence of a mentally deficient triple killer to life inprison without parole. Under the circumstances, the decision, which couldwell provide convenient fodder for Republican attack ads in a nationalcampaign, was courageous as well as fair-minded and fact-based.

-U.S. Releases Footage of Clash
Pakistan claims skirmish with militants resulted in an air strike thatkilled 11 of its troops. [...] But Pakistani and U.S. officials have givenwidely differing accounts of an event that threatens to further sourrelations between key allies in Washington's war on terror _ a partnershipalready unpopular among Pakistanis.

-Canadian Government Apologizes For Abuse of Indigenous People
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered a long-anticipated apologyyesterday to tens of thousands of indigenous people who as children wereripped from their families and sent to boarding schools, where many wereabused as part of official government policy to "kill the Indian in thechild."

-Southern Baptists target political arena
America's largest evangelical denomination adopted a resolution on politicalengagement on Wednesday signaling its intention to flex its muscles in theNovember presidential election.

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-Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes most powerful celebs list for fifth time
Oprah Winfrey led Forbes magazine's list of the 100 most powerfulcelebrities, reflecting the talk- show host's income and ability toinfluence audiences.,0,7325231.story

-Gov. Crist's strengths and weaknesses as a running mate
Strengths: Popular in a major electoral state, Crist could deliver Florida for McCain - and with it, 27 electoral votes. As a moderate, he would reinforce McCain's appeal to independents and Democrats. His tough record on crime could appeal to conservatives.,0,7873849.story

-Troubling surge in underweight babies
The percentage of underweight babies born in the U.S. has increased to itshighest rate in 40 years, according to a new report that also documents arecent rise in the number of children living in poverty. The data on lowbirth weights is worrisome because such babies - those bornat less than 5.5pounds - are at greater risk of dying in infancy or experiencing long-termdisabilities. The findings were released today in the annual Kids Countreport on the health and well-being of America's youth, which measures thestates in 10 categories. "Well-being indicators have largely gotten betterfor teens, and they've gotten worse for babies," said Laura Beavers,coordinator of the Kids Count project for the Annie E. Casey Foundation.,0,218814,print.story

Fort Report
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-DUST-UP: The Obama-McCain veepstakes
Ezra Klein likes Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for Obama and Sen. JoeLieberman for McCain. Megan McArdle says Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wouldhelp McCain's chances, but Republicans would be wise to save his star powerfor a future White House run.

-Redefine the vice presidency
The No. 2 spot has historically been a weak position, with a few notable -and recent - exceptions. It has also served as the petri dish forpartisanship, beginning in the campaign season. Cal and Bob see another way.


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