Sunday, July 13, 2008


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New York Times
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-U.S. Considers Increasing Pace of Iraq Pullout
The Bush administration is considering the withdrawal of additional combatforces from Iraq beginning in September, and one factor is a need for moretroops in Afghanistan, officials said.

-Protected by Washington, Fannie and Freddie Grew
Helped by their lobbying, the imperiled mortgage finance companiesresistedstronger oversight as they expanded.

-Posturing and Abdication
The Bush administration made clear on Friday that it will do virtuallynothing to regulate the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. With noshame and no apology, it stuck a thumb in the eye of the Supreme Court,repudiated its own scientists and exposed the hollowness of Mr. Bush'sclaims to have seen the light on climate change. [...] While George W. Bushno longer denies the science of climate change, he still insists on puttingthe concerns of industry over the needs of the planet.

-It Takes a School, Not Missiles
Greg Mortenson has spent less than one-ten-thousandth as much as the Bushadministration to help fight terrorism in Pakistan. Instead of blowingthings up, he builds schools. [...] He builds schools in isolated parts ofPakistan and Afghanistan, working closely with Muslim clerics and evenpraying with them at times. The only thing that Mr. Mortenson blows up areboulders that fall onto remote roads and block access to his schools.

-The Shame of Postville, Iowa
A court interpreter breaks his silence after being offended by the crueltyof the prosecutions of nearly 400 undocumented workers in an Iowameatpacking plant. [...] Under the old way of doing things, the workers,nearly all Guatemalans, would have been simply and swiftly deported. But ina twist of Dickensian cruelty, more than 260 were charged as seriouscriminals for using false Social Security numbers or residency papers, andmost were sentenced to five months in prison. [...] Dr. Camayd-Freixas'sessay describes "the saddest procession I have ever witnessed, which thepublic would never see" - because cameras were forbidden.

-No Ice Cream, Senator?
Barack Obama may make it to the Rose Garden, but he'll still be an orchid.For all his attempts to act like a sturdy American perennial, he's a genuinehothouse flower, and everything he is and does is cultivated. [...] WhetherObama was irritated that he had slipped up and exposed his daughters or wasannoyed that his kids were exposing more delicious details about hisfinicky, abstemious tastes, we'll never know.

-History Deleted at the White House
After watching wholesale lots of the Bush administration's most importante-mails go mysteriously missing, Congress is trying to legislate against anyfurther damage to history. The secrecy-obsessed White House is, of course,threatening a veto - one more effort to deny Americans their rightful accessto the truth about how their leaders govern or misgovern.

-Believing Is Seeing
Digitally altered photographs can easily fool the eye but they often leavetelltale footprints that allow them to be unmasked as forgeries.

-Architecture: In Changing Face of Beijing, a Look at the New China
BEIJING - If Westerners feel dazed and confused upon exiting the plane atthe new international airport terminal here, it's understandable. It's notjust the grandeur of the space. It's the inescapable feeling that you'repassing through a portal to another world, one whose fierce embrace ofchange has left Western nations in the dust.

-Dissident's Tale of Epic Escape From Iran's Vise
After three days on the run, Ahmad Batebi picked his way down a rocky slopeto the stream that marked Iran's border with Iraq. His Kurdish guides, whohad led Mr. Batebi, an Iranian dissident, through minefields and dodgednighttime gunfire from border guards, passed him to a new team of shadowyhuman smugglers.

-A Child Jockey's Rise on the Steppes of Mongolia
KHUI DOLOON KHUDAG, Mongolia - The boy rode the stallion in a trot aroundthe camp, cooling it down after a long gallop across the steppe. He washumming his favorite Mongolian hip-hop songs, by groups like Tatar, Flashand Guy 666.

Washington Post
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-Pope says to speak out on Australia sex scandal
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict arrived in Australia on Sunday for aninternational Catholic youth festival and promised to apologize for a sexualabuse scandal that has rocked the church in the country. The 81-year-oldpontiff arrived in Sydney after more than 20 hours of flying from Rome tostart the 10-day trip, the longest of his pontificate so far and the firstto the Pacific.

-The Mullahs Say Maybe
Missiles fly as Tehran toys with an international offer of negotiationsabout its nuclear program. WHAT SHOULD be made of the latest mix ofmessages from Iran? Just over a week ago, the Iranian foreign ministerresponded ambiguously to a new international proposal for negotiations overTehran's nuclear program, saying the regime was open to talks but making nomention of a condition that it freeze the program's expansion. On Wednesdayand Thursday, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps made a show of firingoff missiles from its arsenal, including one that it claims could reachIsrael. Then on Friday, the state news agency reported that the government'stop nuclear negotiator would meet in Geneva next weekend with the EuropeanUnion's foreign policy chief to discuss the freeze proposal and Iran'sresponse.

-Overstating Our Fears
Sen. John McCain has repeatedly characterized the threat of "radical Islamic extremism" as "the absolute gravest threat . . . that we're in against."Before we simply accept this, we need to examine the nature of the terroristthreat facing our country. If we do so, we will see how we have allowed thespecter of that threat to distort our lives and take our treasure.

-Juvenile Justice
Some changes would improve legislation in the Senate. SINCE 1974, federallaw has required that juveniles picked up for breaking the law be keptseparate from alleged adult offenders -- and for good reason. Juveniles heldin adult facilities are more likely to be attacked, more likely to commitcrimes once released and more likely to commit suicide than those held infacilities that house only minors. This week, the Senate Judiciary Committeeis scheduled to consider reauthorizing an updated version of the 1974 bill.The Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2008strengthens protections for juveniles while safeguarding judicial discretionto deal with exceptional cases. It also calls for preservation and expansionof programs that have been particularly effective in combating delinquencyand crime among youth, including mentoring and after-school supervision. Thebill should be passed, with some changes.

-DOCTRINAIRE: Kennan Had a Vision. Things Aren't So Clear Now.
James Monroe had one, and so should we. That seems to be the theory behindthe rampant and premature speculation among national security wonks aboutwhat kind of new doctrine President Obama or President McCain would use toguide U.S. foreign policy. But let's not get carried away thinking aboutwhat a McCain or Obama doctrine might be. In today's complex world, apresident doesn't need to have a one-size-fits-all template for handlingforeign affairs. In fact, the next president would be better off withoutone.

-EDUCATION: Ads Hope to Inject U.S. School Challenges Into White House Race
Amid a presidential campaign dominated by debate about the economy and thewar in Iraq, an advertising campaign scheduled to debut in Northern Virginiaand elsewhere tomorrow is seeking to spotlight challenges facing U.S.schools.

-Colorado Voters Will Be Asked When 'Personhood' Begins
A proposal to define a fertilized human egg as a person will land onColorado's ballot this November, marking the first time that the question ofwhen life begins will go before voters anywhere in the nation.

Miami Herald
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-Candidates' views clash on detainees
Although both John McCain and Barack Obama advocate closing the Guantánamoprison camps, they offer different visions on handling the detainees.

-IN MY OPINION: Paper's troubles make leaving even harder
Three years ago, I returned to The Miami Herald after a decade away. Abrilliant colleague greeted me in the newsroom with a handshake: ''Welcomeback to newspapers,'' he said. ``It's like joining the railroads in 1897.''

-Analysis: Obama revels in contrasts with McCain
Barack Obama has found something that eluded him during the primary season -contrast. And, he's basking in it. "He will not bring change," Obama alwaysasserts, rightly or wrongly, of rival Republican John McCain. "I will."

-Tamp down war fever over Iran
The war of nerves over the possible development of nuclear weapons in Iranintensified last week with a provocative display of missile testing by thePersian nation at the same time that U.S. and British warships engaged inmaneuvers in the Persian Gulf. As ominous as all this sounds, however, thereis less here than meets the eye.

-Problem in Pakistan poses threat to all
When a suicide car bomb killed scores of people at the gate of the IndianEmbassy in Kabul a few days ago, the shock waves reached Washington. Theattack was a grim reminder that Pakistan's army and military intelligenceare still more worried about archenemy India than about curbing militants intheir own country. This poses a huge problem for Afghanistan -- and for theUnited States.

Palm Beach Post
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Fort Report
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-Essay: Divided They Fall
Consider the Republican Party. Many Republicans dislike John McCain with apassion that has lasted for years. Asked to explain, they refer to theMcCain-Feingold campaign-finance-reform law (which they thought, incorrectlyas it turns out, would bite Republicans more than Democrats), or hisopposition (since rescinded) to the Bush tax cuts, or what they regard ashis tiresome and preening routine as a maverick. They resent his mutual loveaffair with the press (which he jokingly refers to as "my base"). Theyremember a lot of foolish talk a while back about how McCain might switchparties and become a Democrat. And yet almost all of these McCain haterswill vote for him in November.,9171,1821662,00.html

-Glow Fading?
The latest NEWSWEEK Poll shows Barack Obama leading John McCain by only 3points. What a difference a few weeks can make. A month after emergingvictorious from the bruising Democratic nominating contest, some of BarackObama's glow may be fading. In the latest NEWSWEEK Poll, the Illinoissenator leads Republican nominee John McCain by just 3 percentage points, 44percent to 41 percent. The statistical dead heat is a marked change fromlast month's NEWSWEEK Poll, where Obama led McCain by 15 points, 51 percentto 36 percent.

-Vital suburban voters squarely on the fence
Want to know which presidential candidate is going to win Florida's 27electoral votes? Drive by the SuperTarget on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. insouth-central Pasco County, wind through mile after mile of beige stucco inthe Meadow Pointe development, then turn into the entrance of the WrencrestRensselaer neighborhood.

-Sticking A Wrench In The Gearbox
Maybe, just maybe, a bunch of delegates to the Democratic Convention inDenver will change their minds at the last minute. Maybe there is an outsidechance that between now and the last week of August a critical mass willdecide that Barack Obama is not their guy -- that, to the surprise of oneand all, Hillary Rodham Clinton is to be the 2008 nominee after all.

-Obama, McCain agree on many once-divisive issues
For Amy Rick, the 2008 presidential election is a win-win situation. BothBarack Obama and John McCain support an expansion of stem-cell research thatshe has battled for in vain under President Bush.,0,1800667.story

-Cynthia McKinney to represent Greens on ballo
Green Party delegates selected former Democratic Congresswoman CynthiaMcKinney of Georgia as the party's presidential nominee on Saturday inwrapping up their convention in Chicago, Ruth Weill, the party's nationalconvention coordinator, said.,0,869646.story

-Clinton wants states to reassert powers
Former president Bill Clinton kicked off the centennial gathering of theNational Governors Association here yesterday with a challenge to states toreassert themselves to help the country combat what he called profoundchallenges of globalization and inter-dependency.

-Not backing Obama - but he listened
Today we have a cornucopia of column items -- including details on thelow-profile wedding of a Magic player, a meeting between cops of both theHollywood and real-life variety and a debate over who's the best congressmanOrange County's ever had. But first we're going to take a look at one ofyour neighbors -- a man who just may be the most influential evangelicalleader you've never heard of.,0,87621.column?track=rss

-Despite 800 billion barrel potential, oil shale a hard sell
Can industry overcome hurdles to tap rich fuel veins in West? Along thewestern slope of the Rocky Mountains lies a possible path toward energyindependence. The world's largest deposit of oil shale is hidden here,beneath a landscape dotted by pinyon pines and twisted junipers.


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