Saturday, December 20, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST December 20, 2008

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New York Times
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-Congo Warlord Seeks a Bigger Stage
Gen. Laurent Nkunda, who opposes Congo's president, has taken the nation to its most dangerous point in years.

-Survivor: Detroit
For Detroit to become viable again, the next administration must help Michigan's auto industry shrink and become more energy efficient.

-Where Does It All Go?
The federal government has struggled, unsuccessfully, to find a long-term solution to the piling up of nuclear waste at temporary storage sites around the country.

-From Munich to Mumbai
Given the complex nature of the attacks in Mumbai, the Indians should be praised, not criticized, for their careful gathering of intelligence and planning of counterattacks.

-U.S. Aid Should Be Earned
Only those countries with a commitment to democracy should be eligible to receive American aid for programs intended to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth.

-Obama Reshapes White House for Domestic Focus
Barack Obama has signaled that he intends to keep real power over domestic issues close at hand.

Washington Post
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-UAW's Sacrifices Look More Like Surrender
Terms of federal loan deal erase many of the key differences in wages and benefits between union and non-union auto workers, labor experts say. For decades after its founding in 1935, the United Auto Workers stood as a powerful model for the American labor movement, an influential organization that historians credit with uplifting living standards for all working Americans.

-Steeped in Washington's Ways
Obama's pick for top intelligence post is a former four-star admiral known for his intellect, candor.

-Obama names Holdren, Lubchenco to science posts
President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday named a Harvard physicist and a marine biologist to science posts, signaling a change from Bush administration policies on global warming that were criticized for putting politics over science.

-Moscow: U.S. to Weaken Treaty
Foreign official says U.S. would defy arms-control pact by removing limits on missiles, bombers.

-Complaint Filed Over Stevens Trial
Whistle-Blower Alleges That U.S. Purposely Withheld Evidence
By Del Quentin Wilber
A federal employee with extensive knowledge of the investigation and corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has filed a whistle-blower complaint alleging that the government intentionally withheld evidence and committed other misconduct.

-Franken Takes Lead in Minn. Senate Race
The board wrapped up work Friday in the phase of the recount that resolves disputed ballots. Franken led by 262 votes.

-The Secularist's Corner - Barack Obama Makes An Inaugural Mistake
Barack Obama has selected televangelist Rick Warren, author of "ThePurpose-Driven Life" and an outspoken opponent of abortion rights and same-sex marriage, to deliver the invocation at his inauguration Jan. 20. Why? What was he thinking when he picked this particular religious spokesman-a publicity hound who fights against causes of great moral importance to many of Obama's supporters-for such a prominent role in the inauguration? I consider this Obama's first big misstep, and not only because of Warren's stance on abortion and gay rights. He represents a combination of evangelicalism and boosterism , in the tradition of Norman Vincent Peale and Billy Graham, that is a particularly repugnant part of American religious tradition. Many have suggested that the choice of Warren puts him in a position to succeed Graham as the nation's best-known pastor. No religious leader should occupy the role that Graham played in successive administrations-as an unofficial counselor to presidents, a predictable functionary on all ceremonial occasions, and a spokesman for one brand of religion. It is a brand of religion that has always been allied with American anti-intellectualism, and that is yet another reason why Obama's choice is so puzzling and disturbing. How wonderful it would have been if a humanist had been included in the inaugural ceremony for the first time. Secularists, unlike evangelicals, voted overwhelmingly for Obama. It is truly disappointing to me to see Obama catering those who make up a significant share his enemies and disregarding the views of his friends.

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-Military recruiters having no trouble filling quotas
In a crumbling economy, jobs disappear and opportunities fade. But one employer always has openings: the U.S. military.,0,1493841.story

-Restore hope, fund stem cell research
By Shawn Friedkin
With a simple stroke of his pen, the new president can restore hope to tens of millions of disabled Americans by once again making embryonic stem cell research eligible for federal funding.,0,5561819.story

Fort Report
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-Congress has grown more religiously diverse
Study finds few are unaffiliated on Capitol Hill
By Brian C. Mooney
Protestants still constitute a majority of the Congress of the United States, but in terms of religious beliefs, the House and Senate, just like the constituencies they represent, are more diverse than they were nearly a half-century ago, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

-Mother of Palin daughter's boyfriend arrested
Alaska State Troopers have arrested the mother of Bristol Palin's boyfriend on drug charges. Sherry L. Johnston was arrested Thursday after troopers served a search warrant on a Wasilla home. The 42-year-old Johnston has been charged with six felony drug counts. Troopers did not identify the drug involved in a brief mention on the agency's Web site.


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