Tuesday, December 23, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST December 23, 2008

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New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Clinton Moves to Widen Role of State Dept.
As she prepares to helm the State Department, Hillary Rodham Clinton is seeking a bigger budget and an expanded role in dealing with global economic issues.

-The World According to Cheney
It must be exhausting to rewrite history as much as Vice President Dick Cheney has done in a series of exit interviews.

-A Race to the Bottom
It's time we refocused our lens on American workers and tried to see them in a fairer, more appreciative light. [...] Last year, before the economy went into free fall and before any talk of a government rescue, the autoworkers agreed to a 50 percent cut in wages for new workers at the Big Three, reducing starting pay to a little more than $14 an hour. That is a development that the society should mourn. The U.A.W. had traditionally been a union through which workers could march into the middle class. Now the march is in the other direction. Mr. Gettelfinger noted that his members "have not received any base wage increase since 2005 at G.M. and Ford, and since 2006 at Chrysler."

-Price of Lax Gun Laws
A strong correlation exists between weak state gun laws and higher rates of in-state murders, police slayings and sales of guns used in crimes in other states. [...] The study by the mayors' group isn't the first to document the link between weak gun laws and gun violence or the "iron pipeline" by which guns flow from states with weak gun laws into states with strong ones. Still, the numbers are startling. They explain why the gun lobby resisted their release, and they provide a powerful retort to those who claim tougher gun laws don't work.

-Sidebar: Bush v. Gore Set to Outlast Its Beneficiary
The Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore, issued eight years ago this month, was widely understood to work like that tape recorder in "Mission: Impossible." It was meant to produce a president and then self-destruct. "Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances," the majority famously said, "for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities."

-Young Muslims Build a Subculture on an Underground Book
Five years ago, young Muslims across the United States began reading and passing along a blurry, photocopied novel called "The Taqwacores," about imaginary punk rock Muslims in Buffalo. "This book helped me create my identity," said Naina Syed, 14, a high school freshman in Coventry, Conn.

-Kennedy Declines to Make Financial Disclosure
If she were applying to be, say, an undersecretary of education in Barack Obama's new administration, Caroline Kennedy would have to fill out a 63-item confidential questionnaire disclosing potentially embarrassing text messages and diary entries, the immigration status of her household staff, even copies of every résumé she used in the last 10 years.

-Clinton Is Out $13 Million She Lent Campaign
Having spent more than a year on a failed effort to win the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has officially recognized the multimillion-dollar toll that the campaign took on her personal assets.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-European Countries May Help Resettle Detainees
Nations that refused to take Guantanamo Bay prisoners under Bush begin discussions as an overture to Obama administration, officials say. [...] The Bush administration "produced the problem," Karsten Voigt, coordinator of German-American cooperation at the German Foreign Ministry, said in a telephone interview. "With Obama, the difference is that he tries to solve it."

-The Price Of Their Security
By Eugene Robinson
Understanding isn't the same as forgiving. The history-be-my-judge interviews that President Bush and Vice President Cheney have been giving recently help me understand why they acted with such contempt for our Constitution and our values -- but also reinforce my confident belief, and my fervent hope, that history will throw the book at them.

-Families Who Sued Libya See Their Victory Voided
U.S. Pact Nullifies $6 Billion Award in '89 Bombing Over Africa
By Kimberly Kindy
As the State Department reviews hundreds of claims from people who lost family members in Libyan-sponsored terrorist attacks, controversy is building over a case that is so low-profile it is sometimes called "the forgotten flight."

-Pakistani Jets Scramble As India Hardens Tone
All Options Open, Minister Says in New Delhi
By Rama Lakshmi
NEW DELHI, Dec. 22 -- In signs of growing regional tension since the Mumbai attacks last month, Pakistan scrambled fighter jets over several of its larger cities Monday, and India's foreign minister told a gathering of Indian diplomats in New Delhi that the country is keeping all its options open to bring the perpetrators of the attacks to justice.

-Political Choice Reveals Russia's Unsettled Mood
By Philip P. Pan
MOSCOW, Dec. 22 -- In late August, one of Russia's leading opposition figures addressed a small demonstration in downtown Moscow and laid into Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, comparing his rollback of democratic reforms to the attempted coup by Communist Party hard-liners in the last days of the Soviet Union.

-Beer-Loving Brazilians Adapt to the 'Dry Law'
By Joshua Partlow
One of the Hemisphere's Strictest Drunken-Driving Measures Shows Mixed Results
Of all the things you could say to a cop with an automatic weapon after he's pulled you out of the car on the side of the highway at midnight, Isaac Chaves chose: "I've had 15 beers."

Wall Street Journal

-U.S. Woes Open Door for China
The meltdown has tarnished the U.S. economic model, and may reduce Washington's influence. Conversely, China stands to benefit from the mess.


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