Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - March 31, 2009

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT rays.list@comcast.net and we'll be happy to send the full article.

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

-N. Korea to Try U.S. Journalists
SEOUL - Two American journalists detained in North Korea will be indicted and tried on charges of perpetrating "hostile acts" against the Communist state, a crime punishable by years in a labor camp, the North's state-run news agency reported on Tuesday.

-One Roadblock Too Many for G.M.
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S stunning decision to demand that Rick Wagoner resign as chairman and chief executive of General Motors was based on the wrong set of premises and raises the prospect that the administration will intervene too deeply in the automaker, seriously jeopardizing a transformation effort that has come a long way in the right direction.

-U.S. Decides to Release Detainee at Guantánamo
The Justice Department announced Monday that the administration had decided to release a detainee at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, a Yemeni doctor who the Bush administration once claimed had taken part in an anthrax program of Al Qaeda.

-Paying in Full as the Ticket Into Colleges
In the bid for a fat envelope this year, it may help, more than usual, to have a fat wallet. Facing fallen endowments and needier students, many colleges are looking more favorably on wealthier applicants as they make their admissions decisions this year.

-Haiti's Woes Are Top Test for Aid Effort
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Paul Collier, a leading poverty guru, spent a recent morning here waxing positive about how the world's economic freefall might prove the perfect moment for Haiti to sell more exports like T-shirts and mangoes to Americans.

-The Last Best Chance for Detroit
President Obama struck an acceptable compromise on Monday between two unappealing options: letting General Motors and Chrysler go bankrupt right away or giving them tens of billions of dollars more while hoping for the best. Instead, he decided to finance their operations for just a matter of weeks while forcing them to come up with a better plan to overhaul their businesses.

-Car Dealer in Chief
Some companies are in the steel business, some are in the cookie business, but General Motors is in the restructuring business. For 30 years, G.M. has been restructuring itself toward long-term viability. For all these years, G.M.'s market share has endured a long, steady slide. But this has not stopped the waves of restructuring. The PowerPoints have flowed, and always there has been the promise that with just one more cost-cutting push, sustainability nirvana will be at hand.

-Evolutionary Semantics, Texas-Style
The Texas Board of Education gave grudging support last week to teaching the mainstream theory of evolution without the most troubling encumbrances sought by religious and social conservatives. But the margins on crucial amendments were disturbingly close, typically a single vote on a 15-member board, and compromise language left ample room for the struggle to continue.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Blame for Downturn Not Fixed on Obama
6 in 10 Back His Handling of Economy
By Jon Cohen and Dan Balz
The number of Americans who believe that the nation is headed in the right direction has roughly tripled since Barack Obama's election, and the public overwhelmingly blames the excesses of the financial industry, rather than the new president, for turmoil in the economy, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

-Insurgent Threat Shifts in Pakistan
Assault on Police Academy Indicates Risk Has Moved Beyond Tribal Areas
By Pamela Constable
KABUL, March 30 -- The brazen occupation of a Pakistani police academy Monday by heavily armed gunmen near the eastern mega-city of Lahore was the latest indication that Islamist terrorism, once confined to Pakistan's northwest tribal belt, now threatens political stability nationwide.

-Clinton Calls Years of Afghan Aid 'Heartbreaking' in Their Futility
By Glenn Kessler
THE HAGUE, March 30 -- The billions of dollars spent in U.S. aid to Afghanistan over the past seven years have been largely wasted, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday.

-House Democrats Plan to Introduce Greenhouse-Gas Bill
By Juliet Eilperin
Key House Democrats will unveil legislation Tuesday that aims to cut the nation's greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, according to sources familiar with the bill who asked not to be identified.

-Palin's Political Problems Persist
By Chris Cillizza
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin continues to suffer growing pains as she attempts to build a national political operation in hopes of positioning herself as a viable presidential candidate in 2012. The latest bump in the road comes in the form of a Politico article -- headlined "Staff Infection: Allies Rip Palin Team" -- that features any number of juicy quotes that all point to one fundamental problem: there appears to be a significant disconnect between Palin's official governor's staff and the group of advisers that have grown up around her new leadership PAC.

-Building Russian-U.S. Bonds
By Dmitry A. Medvedev
MOSCOW -- It is hard to dispute the pessimistic assessments of the Russian-American relationship that prevailed at the end of last year. Unfortunately, relations soured because of the previous U.S. administration's plans -- specifically, deployment of the U.S. global missile defense system in Eastern Europe, efforts to push NATO's borders eastward and refusal to ratify the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. All of these positions undermined Russia's interests and, if implemented, would inevitably require a response on our part.

-Detroit Dissonance
Tough Love for Carmakers, Pillows for Wall St.
By Eugene Robinson
Through a series of logical decisions, the Obama administration has maneuvered itself into an illogical and uncomfortable place. The president is telling Detroit to shape up or die while at the same time politely asking Wall Street, whose recklessness and greed caused this economic crisis, if it would be so kind as to accept another heaping helping of taxpayer funds.

-Israel's New Government
Will the Obama administration accept Binyamin Netanyahu's dodge on Palestinian statehood? TODAY the Israeli parliament will probably approve a new government that, from Washington's point of view, looks problematic. Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu had a rocky relationship with the Clinton administration when he last held the post in the late 1990s. His new coalition is dominated by nationalists and religious fundamentalists; his choice for foreign minister has proposed stripping Arabs of citizenship unless they pledge their loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state. Arab leaders are sounding the alarm about a coalition that, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat charged on the opposite page Saturday, exemplifies "some of the worst traditions in Israeli politics."

Wall Street Journal
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Bibi and Barack Can Unite on Iran
Israel's new government is an 'obstacle' only to unrealistic goals.
Enemies of the American-Israeli alliance could not have conjured a scenario more fraught with potential for misunderstanding. In Washington, a new president is reaching out to the Muslim world, including Iran. In Jerusalem, the government about to take office represents the disillusionment of the Israeli public with 15 years of failed peace talks. For President Barack Obama, power is a means to encourage the rational self-interest of opponents. For Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, power is the means of defending his people from irrational hatred. Mr. Obama's mandate is for change; Mr. Netanyahu's is for survival.

-A Showdown on Voting Rights
In Texas Case, a Divide Over How Far Minorities Have Come
Don Zimmerman got elected to the local utility board in 2002. One of his goals was to move the polling station from a neighbor's inconveniently located garage to an elementary school three blocks away. His effort barely registered among the 3,500 residents of Mr. Zimmerman's suburb, Canyon Creek. But it turned out to have much broader ramifications. It prompted a case now before the Supreme Court that could bring the biggest change in election law since 1965, when Congress passed the Voting Rights Act.

Go to the links for the following articles:

-Key points for car buyers in Obama's plan
Key points
Three ways the government hopes to jump-start car buying: The government will protect consumer warranties from General Motors and Chrysler vehicles. Congress and the Obama administration are considering using parts of the economic stimulus package to give consumers a "generous credit" when they replace older, less fuel-efficient cars and buy new vehicles. Consumers who purchase new cars between Feb. 16 and the end of the year may be able to deduct the cost of any sales and excise taxes on their annual income taxes filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Fort Report
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Obama Officials Think Krugman Is Naive: Newsweek's Evan Thomas
Newsweek's Evan Thomas, who has the big cover story on the rather prickly relationship between the White House and Paul Krugman, offered a rather surprising insight into the relationship between the two. Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, the longtime magazine scribe said that the Obama administration is not "too crazy about Krugman" (no surprise, considering how much criticism Krugman has laid on the White House's economic policies) and that, in private, they "think he is naïve."

Palm Beach Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Insurers shun those taking certain meds
Trying to buy health insurance on your own and have gallstones? You'll automatically be denied coverage. Rheumatoid arthritis? Automatic denial. Severe acne? Probably denied. Do you take metformin, a popular drug for diabetes? Denied. Use the anti-clotting drug Plavix or Seroquel, prescribed for anti-psychotic or sleep problems? Forget about it.


[Send your comments about articles to Rays.List@Comcast.net]

No comments: