Sunday, April 05, 2009

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - April 05, 2009

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New York Times
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-Suicide Attack at Pakistan Mosque
ISLAMABAD (AP) -- A suicide bomber attacked a crowded Shiite mosque south of the Pakistani capital on Sunday, killing 22 people and wounding dozens more, officials said.

-Even Rick Wagoner's Firing Got Lousy Mileage
EVEN among pitchfork-bearing populists, there was scant satisfaction when the White House sent the C.E.O. of General Motors to the guillotine.

-Pregnant (Again) and Poor
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: For all the American and international efforts to fight global poverty, one thing is clear: Those efforts won't get far as long as women like Nahomie Nercure continue to have 10 children.

-Defying World, North Koreans Launch Rocket
SEOUL - North Korea defied the United States, its allies and a series of U.N. resolutions by launching a rocket on Sunday that it said propelled a satellite into space but that much of the world viewed as an effort to prove it is edging toward the capability to shoot a nuclear warhead on a longer-range missile.

-Obama Urges Nuclear Arms Reduction
PRAGUE (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Sunday launched an effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, calling them ''the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War'' and saying the U.S. has a moral responsibility to lead as the only nation to ever use one.

-Karzai Vows to Review Family Law
KABUL, Afghanistan - President Hamid Karzai ordered a review on Saturday of a new law that has been criticized internationally for introducing Taliban-era restrictions on women and sanctioning marital rape.

-Executives Took, but the Directors Gave
LITTLE of the ire against outsize C.E.O. paychecks has been aimed at the people who signed off on them: corporate directors. Instead, the anger has been concentrated on the executives themselves, particularly those running companies at the heart of the financial crisis. And boards - thrust into the limelight only rarely, as when the directors of the New York Stock Exchange were in a legal battle over the pay collected by Richard A. Grasso - have managed to stay in the background.

-Louisiana, a Test Case in Federal Aid
Years before Washington spent $787 billion on a national stimulus bill, it staged an unintended trial run in Louisiana, a huge injection of some $51 billion for which historians find few, if any, precedents in a single state.

-Obama to Loosen Restrictions on Policy With Cuba
President Obama plans to abandon longstanding restrictions on family travel and remittances to Cuba, an administration official said Saturday, fulfilling a campaign promise in a pivotal swing state and signaling a possible warming of relations with the Castro government.

Washington Post
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-Which Way in Afghanistan? Ask Colombia For Directions.
By Scott Wilson
Can the United States take the lessons of Iraq to the faltering war in Afghanistan? The question loomed over the Obama administration's review of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which concluded with the president's recent decision to dispatch thousands of additional troops, eliminate insurgent sanctuaries and internationalize a conflict that is increasingly viewed as America's problem.

-The Real Baracketology
By Mark Reiter
More than any president since Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama relies on words. His claim on hoary words like "change" and "hope" presented a clear rationale for his unlikely candidacy. His eloquence lifted him out of the Jeremiah Wright firestorm that threatened to derail his candidacy in March 2008. But which of his words have had the most power? Now, in this time of tournament brackets, here is a Sweet 16 of Obamaisms from his speeches, writings, interviews, debates and on-the-fly remarks.

-Will Obama's Revolution Deliver Energy Independence?
By Steven Mufson
Steven Chu, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who is President Obama's energy secretary, recently gave a speech in which two key words never passed his lips. He talked about energy efficiency, electricity transmission lines and renewable energy sources. He waxed eloquent about technology and the need to fund energy research. But afterward, Chevron vice chairman Peter Robertson noted disconsolately that "it would be nice to hear a bit about oil and gas."

-Admirers, Hopeful of Change, Await U.S. President in Turkey
By Kevin Sullivan
ANKARA, Turkey, April 4 -- Shoe shiner Kasim Kirsakal sat outside a mosque, directly across from a bank using a poster of President Obama to promote low-interest loans.

-Study Supports School Vouchers
In District, Pupils Outperform Peers On Reading Tests
By Maria Glod
A U.S. Education Department study released yesterday found that District students who were given vouchers to attend private schools outperformed public school peers on reading tests, findings likely to reignite debate over the fate of the controversial program.

-GOP May Be Stuck on Cohesion
Top Leaders in the House Display a Tendency to Diverge
By Ben Pershing
On the House floor Thursday, Republicans registered their unanimous opposition to President Obama's budget proposal. Led by Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), the GOP adopted a simple and oft-repeated mantra: The Democrats' fiscal blueprint "spends too much, borrows too much and taxes too much."

Wall Street Journal

-Obama Outlines Disarmament Plan
PRAGUE -- Under a hazy spring sky, before a swelling Czech crowd, U.S. President Barack Obama called for an international effort to lock down nuclear weapons materials within four years, one of a host of steps he said would move the globe to nuclear disarmament.

-Stimulus Money Weighs on Illinois Mayoral Race
Scarcity of Direct Funds Forces Incumbent, Who Fashions Himself as a Local
Obama, to Scale Back Big Projects
The campaign for mayor of this struggling city has echoed the promise of President Barack Obama's first 100 days in office. While the four candidates have debated such municipal issues as street repairs and garbage collection, Tuesday's election also has reflected issues preoccupying the nation and the president: new jobs and the economic stimulus.

-To Russia With Love
Degrading the U.S. nuclear arsenal. President Obama met Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in London this week, and you'd have thought topics like the financial crisis and Iran would have more than filled the conversation. But when a U.S. President meets his Russian counterpart, the reflex left from the Cold War is always to sign another arms control deal. So here we go again.

Fort Report
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-Freed American U.N. aid worker leaves Pakistan
ISLAMABAD - An American U.N. worker abducted more than two months ago headed home Sunday, a day after he turned up unharmed alongside a road in western Pakistan with his hands and feet bound and pleading "Help me, help me."


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