Thursday, December 11, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST December 11, 2008

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New York Times
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-Calls for Governor to Quit in Scandal on Senate Seat
Leaders called for Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois to step aside, as elements of the case came into focus.

-Massacre in Congo, Despite Nearby Support
A spasm of violence is a study in the cruelty meted out by the armed groups fighting for power in eastern Congo and the problems that have plagued U.N. peacekeepers.

-Obama Team Set on Environment
Barack Obama picked a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Steven Chu, as his energy secretary.

-House Passes Auto Rescue Plan
The fate of the measure remained uncertain because of shaky support among Senate Republicans.

-Effort to Relax Pollution Limits Is Dropped
The Bush administration said Wednesday that it was abandoning its pursuit of two proposed regulations relaxing air-pollution standards for power plants, surprising both industry and environmentalists by ending its pursuit of one of the last remaining goals set out by Vice President Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force in 2001.

-Darfur, Another Year Later
The world is still waiting for Sudan to call off its murderous militias, stop obstructing deployment of a strengthened peacekeeping force and begin serious peace talks.

-Now They Say They Can Do It
Detroit's automakers should drop their increasingly untenable legal assault on California's efforts to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks.

-Mr. Rangel's Problems Roll On
There can be no clean start until the House ethics panel answers all of the questions about Representative Charles Rangel of Harlem.

Washington Post
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-Pakistan Closes Charity's Offices
U.N. had declared group a front for a Pakistani terrorist organization linked to Mumbai attacks.

-Federal judges hear Fla. Christian fraternity case
A Christian fraternity asked federal judges Wednesday to recognize the group as part of student life at the University of Florida, despite a school rule that bars Gator groups from discriminating based on religion.

Wall Street Journal
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-Graft Case Touches
Jesse Jackson Jr.
The scandal surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged attempt to sell a U.S. Senate seat widened on Wednesday, threatening to taint rising Democratic star Jesse Jackson Jr. and pull in one of the nation's biggest labor unions.

-Obama Gets Strong Support in New Poll
Obama is entering the White House with a huge reservoir of goodwill from an American public that is rooting for his success in the face of bad economic times.

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-That Barack Hussein Obama "name" thing
Should the incoming president use his middle name during next month's swearing in ceremony? It looks like Barack Obama will following in the tradition of other presidents. The issue has come up before, particularly from those who still want America to believe that our 44th president is either a Muslim, a foreigner who's ineligible to hold the office or the Antichrist. (He's neither!)

Fort Report
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-Obama mania grips the capital
By Mike Madden
With over 4 million expected for the inauguration, city services will be taxed to the max. But bar owners and locals with digs for rent hope to make bank. Hotel rooms for Barack Obama's inauguration are all booked, it's true. And yes, city officials expect up to 4 million people to flock to town next month to celebrate the first few moments of the Obama era. But even with an inaugural housing crunch, it's hard to fathom exactly what made the owners of a house in the Virginia suburbs -- a mile and a half away from the nearest subway stop -- think someone wanted to pay $10,000 to stay there for the week. In the District itself, people have gotten even more ambitious -- how else to explain the $40,000 townhouse rental listed Wednesday?

-RNC Field Sorts Itself Out
Although Gov. Rod Blagojevich's arrest is blotting out the sun in the political world, there has been a series of developments worth noting in the race to become the next chairman of the Republican National Committee.

-Can Obama Escape the Taint of Blagojevich?
By Massimo Calabresi / Washington
On more than one occasion during his stunning press conference on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald bluntly said he has found no evidence of wrongdoing by President-elect Barack Obama in the tangled, tawdry scheme that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich allegedly cooked up to sell Obama's now vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. But for politicians, it's never good news when a top-notch prosecutor has to go out of his way to distance them from a front-page scandal. And indeed, there are enough connections between the worlds of Blagojevich and Obama that the whole thing has the potential to grow beyond a colorful Chicago tale of corruption to entangle members of the presidential transition team, test Obama's carefully cultivated reformist image and distract the President-elect just as he is preparing to take office.,8599,1865370,00.html

-Al Qaeda Remains a Threat
The terrorist threat remains real and dangerous, Christopher Brown writes
By Christopher Brown
In the last several months, there have been a number of voices, both official and unofficial, eulogizing al Qaeda. These voices have sounded a note of increasing triumphalism over the terrorist organization's perceived general defeat, citing al Qaeda's increasing withdrawal from Iraq, loss of standing within the Islamic world, and movement to the peripheries of Africa and South Asia. Unfortunately, this celebration is premature and perhaps even dangerous.

-Democrats hurt by scandals
Blagojevich charges are more ammo for Republican Party
By Janet Hook | Washington Bureau
The charges against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich mark the latest in a series of scandals erupting around Democratic politicians-an ironic turn for a party that won control of Congress in 2006 in part by saying it would end a "culture of corruption" under Republican leadership.,0,7331110.story


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