Saturday, June 14, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS - June 14, 2008

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New York Times
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-Plan Would Lift Saudi Oil Output to Highest Ever
Saudi Arabia's plan to boost production next month was seen as a sign thatthe Saudis are nervous about the political and economic effect of high oilprices.

-In Midwest, Rising Waters and Fears of Worse
Continued flooding has raised the prospect of a year like 1993, when therewas widespread misery and an economic cost of $20 billion.

-Tim Russert, 58, NBC's Face of Politics, Dies
Mr. Russert, moderator of "Meet the Press," was a fixture on television onSunday mornings and election nights.

-A Moment of Clarity in Baghdad
As the Bush administration pushes for a legal agreement to extend theAmerican military presence in Iraq, the Iraqis are pushing back. That is apositive sign.

-Courting Conflict
Judges must be impartial - in both appearance and reality - so federal lawsensibly requires that they disqualify themselves from cases if they ownstock in a company that is a party in the matter. It would be best if alljudges ordered their investments to avoid conflicts. But the issue is mostacute for Supreme Court justices, who cannot be replaced by another jurist.
When Supreme Court justices recuse themselves, they risk altering importantdecisions and blocking the court from doing its job.

-Taliban Free 1,200 in Attack on Afghan Prison
In a brazen attack, Taliban fighters assaulted the main prison in thesouthern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday night, blowing up the mud walls,killing 15 guards and freeing around 1,200 inmates. Among the escapees wereabout 350 Taliban members, including commanders, would-be suicide bombersand assassins, said Ahmed Wali Karzai, the head of Kandahar's provincialcouncil and a brother of President Hamid Karzai. "It is very dangerous forsecurity. They are the most experienced killers and they all managed toescape," he said by telephone from Kandahar. A Taliban spokesman, QariYousuf Ahmadi, said that the attack was carried out by 30 insurgents onmotorbikes and two suicide bombers, and that they had freed about 400Taliban members, The Associated Press reported.

-Legal Drugs Kill Far More Than Illegal, Florida Says
From "Scarface" to "Miami Vice," Florida's drug problem has been portrayedas the story of a single narcotic: cocaine. But for Floridians, prescriptiondrugs are increasingly a far more lethal habit.

-China Increases Lead as Biggest Carbon Dioxide Emitter
China has clearly overtaken the United States as the world's leading emitterof carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas, a new study has found, itsemissions increasing 8 percent in 2007. The Chinese increase accounted fortwo-thirds of the growth in the year's global greenhouse gas emissions, thestudy found.

-Campaigns Unable to Agree on Series of Meetings
In almost every campaign appearance this week, Senator John McCain has beenleaning on Senator Barack Obama to accept his offer to engage in a series of10 one-on-one town-hall-style meetings, a format that worked well for Mr.McCain in the primaries.

-Justices Come Under Election-Year Spotlight
Thanks in no small part to Justice Antonin Scalia's dire warning thatgranting Guantánamo detainees access to habeas corpus "will almost certainlycause more Americans to be killed," the Supreme Court finds itself on theverge of becoming something that it has not been for many election cycles -a campaign issue.

Washington Post
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-A Marriage Form Will Just Be Icing On Our Cake
I have an elaborate fantasy about the morning of my wedding day. It will bea cool summer morning, a weekday. At breakfast, our 8-year-old, Jacob, won'tcomplain that food is getting stuck in his brand-new braces. When Ruth, 4,puts on her own shoes, she'll get the right shoe on the right foot. Ellenwill unlock the garage and arrange all our bikes in the driveway. We'll ridethe five miles down to the Alameda County clerk's office. The kids will getrestless waiting out in the hall. Finally, some random person in the clerk'soffice will be ready for us. She'll be a little bored because she hasmarried so many other gay couples in the past few weeks. She won't care thatEllen and I are wearing shorts and T-shirts. Ellen will write a check. Theclerk will fill out some forms.

-GAY MARRIAGE: Calif. Episcopal Dioceses Split on Issue
As California clerks prepare to issue civil marriage licenses to same-sexcouples starting Tuesday, some Episcopal dioceses say they will marry gaysand lesbians, while others are urging caution.

-The New 'I Do'
The Way We're Handling It Is Pretty Half-Baked
Hold the champagne. Or at least the California sparkling wine. This weekshould be a joyous one for those of us who believe in the right to marry theperson you love. A month after the California Supreme Court overturned thestate's ban on same-sex marriage, gay couples will be able to walk intocounty offices here and secure the same marriage license to whichheterosexual couples such as my wife and I are entitled.

-What We'll Miss by David S. Broder
Tim was one of the most fearless journalists in the business and a generousfriend.

-Seoul's Beef Beef
The Bush administration and Congress must rescue free trade with SouthKorea. There is no reason for South Koreans to fear beef from the UnitedStates. Seoul banned it five years ago after U.S. officials confirmed a caseof mad-cow disease in an American herd. But the health risk, never great,has long since faded; Americans have been consuming meat with nomad-cow-related problems, and the World Organization for Animal Healthdeclared U.S. beef fit for consumption last September. This fulfilledSeoul's final condition for lifting the ban, and, in April, newly electedPresident Lee Myung-bak announced that it would indeed end.

-Countrywide Gave Special Attention To Lawmakers
Lender's Chief Executive Offered Incentives to VIPs
In 2004, Sen. Kent Conrad was hunting for a lender for a $1.07 millionmortgage on his vacation home in Bethany Beach, Del., when an old friendhanded him the phone number of Angelo Mozilo.

-Seeking Common Ground in Faith
Area Jews and Muslims Are Pioneers in Nationwide Effort
For the first time in five Sundays of gatherings, the small group ofWashington area Muslims and Jews around the fireside table seemed like itwas about to move from polite chat on religious history to somethingunavoidably combustible: Zionism.

-I'm Not Anti-Islam; Islam is Anti-Me'
Sally Quinn Interview | VIDEO: Ayaan Hirsi Ali explains why she left Islamand became an atheist.

-Critics Study Possible Limits to Habeas Corpus Ruling
Affirming Right to Challenge Detention Is Considered by Some a Taking ofFederal Power
The White House and allies in Congress have begun exploring how to limit thescope of this week's Supreme Court ruling that says suspected terroristsheld at Guantanamo Bay have the right to challenge their detentions infederal court.

Miami Herald
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-CUBA: Cuba 'chokes' dissident support
The Cuban government is putting the squeeze on dissidents, citing Bushadministration rules to keep them from receiving aid from U.S. groups.
Apparently abusing Bush administration rules that restrict who can sendmoney to the island, the Cuban government is cutting off resources to humanrights activists who had been receiving cash from exile groups in Miami.

-Even the playing field for women By ELLEN GOODMAN
So is the glass half full or half empty? Or to pick a better metaphor, isthe ''highest, hardest'' glass ceiling now half shattered by the 18 millioncracks, or does it look as impermeable as ever after this unsuccessfulbattering? [...] Mourning is not too strong a word to describe what I'vebeen hearing in the last few days. No sooner had the speech ended than aHillary fundraiser received an e-mail from the Democratic National Committeeasking her to raise money for Barack Obama. She said, tersely, they didn'teven wait for the body to cool. The next day, with Hillary waving goodbye onThe New York Times' Page 1, there was an article on Michelle Obama's clothesin the Styles section. Back to the first lady beat, sighed a reader.

-Pay attention to Pakistan
The most urgent foreign policy problem that the next U.S. president willface won't be Iraq. Nor will it be Iran. The next terrorist attack onAmerica is likely to originate, according to the top U.S. militarycommander, Adm. Mike Mullen, in a place you've probably never heard of: theFATA. That's the acronym for the Federally Ad ministered Tribal Areas ofnorthern Pakistan.

-Obama considering overseas tour
To bolster his credibility on foreign policy, Sen. Barack Obama may visitseveral countries this summer, his advisors said. Sen. Barack Obama maydepart this summer from his road warrior tour of election battlegroundstates to take a trip around the world, one intended to shore up hiscredentials on foreign policy. With a foreign trip under discussion in theObama camp, any itinerary almost certainly would include a stop in Iraq. That would be his first trip to the war zone since early 2006. It would bedesigned to answer Republican presidential candidate John McCain's criticismthat anti-war Obama can't talk credibly about withdrawing U.S. forces sincehe hasn't been on the ground there since the 2007 troop buildup brought somemilitary success.

Fort Report
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-U.S. Should Flunk Electoral College, Sen. Nelson Says
Saying the United States should "abolish this archaic way we electpresidents," Florida's Sen. Bill Nelson argued in a Tampa news conferenceFriday for eliminating the Electoral College. Inspired by the Floridafiascos in both the 2000 and this year's presidential primaries, Nelson saysit's time for presidential election changes both in primaries and in thegeneral election.

-Lawmakers Near Deal On Surveillance Bill
Wiretap Orders Begin Expiring Soon
A bipartisan group of congressional negotiators neared a deal yesterday oncontroversial wiretapping legislation that could be unveiled as early asnext week, according to Capitol Hill sources and civil liberties advocatesmonitoring the talks.


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