Monday, April 06, 2009

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - April 06, 2009

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New York Times
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-The New Debtors' Prisons
Here is a tale that sounds like it comes right from the pages of "Little Dorrit," Charles Dickens's scathing indictment of Victorian England's debtors' prisons. Unfortunately, it is happening in 21st-century America.

-North Korean Missile Launch Was a Failure, Experts Say
North Korea failed in its highly vaunted effort to fire a satellite into orbit, military and private experts said Sunday after reviewing detailed tracking data that showed the missile and payload fell into the sea. Some said the failure undercut the North Korean campaign to come across as a fearsome adversary able to hurl deadly warheads halfway around the globe.

-Time Is Short as U.S. Presses a Reluctant Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - President Obama's strategy of offering Pakistan a partnership to defeat the insurgency here calls for a virtual remaking of this nation's institutions and even of the national psyche, an ambitious agenda that Pakistan's politicians and people appear unprepared to take up.

-At Least 92 Die in Earthquake in Italy
L'AQUILA, Italy - More than 90 people died and tens of thousands were left homeless when an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 shook central Italy early Monday morning, seriously damaging buildings in the mountainous Abruzzo Region east of Rome, officials said.

-Six Car Bombs Kill 30 in Iraq
BAGHDAD -- A series of six car bombs exploded in or near Baghdad on Monday, killing more than 30 people and wounding scores more, according to witnesses and the police.

-Obama Seizes on Missile Launch in Seeking Nuclear Cuts
PRAGUE - Hours after North Korea's missile test, President Obama on Sunday called for new United Nations sanctions and laid out a new approach to American nuclear disarmament policy - one intended to strengthen the United States and its allies in halting proliferation.

-A Rich Education for Summers (After Harvard)
Lawrence H. Summers plays down his stint in the hedge fund business as a mere part-time job - but the financial and intellectual rewards that he gained there would make even most full-time workers envious.

-A List of the Most Wanted, by the E.P.A.
Albania Deleon started a business eight years ago to instruct and certify workers in the safe removal of asbestos. It was a growth industry, and pretty soon her company, Environmental Compliance Training in Methuen, Mass., was the largest in the state.

-Turkey Wants U.S. 'Balance'
LONDON - Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is a man of brisk, borderline brusque, manner and he does not mince his words: "Hamas must be represented at the negotiating table. Only then can you get a solution."

Washington Post
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-Blacks at Odds Over Scrutiny of President
By Krissah Thompson
Jeff Johnson knows how to make his audiences squirm. The young, black radio and TV political commentator waits for the discussion to turn to the topic being talked about ceaselessly, incessantly, ad nauseam: the meaning of the barrier-breaking election of Barack Obama.

-In Turkey, Obama Stresses Partnership, Peace
By Michael D. Shear, Kevin Sullivan and Debbi Wilgoren
ANKARA, Turkey, April 6 -- President Obama reached out to the Muslim world today, telling this country's Grand National Assembly that the United States "is not and never will be at war with Islam" and visiting the memorial to the founding father of the modern Turkish republic.

-Research Links Poor Kids' Stress, Brain Impairment
By Rob Stein
Children raised in poverty suffer many ill effects: They often have health problems and tend to struggle in school, which can create a cycle of poverty across generations. Now, research is providing what could be crucial clues to explain how childhood poverty translates into dimmer chances of success: Chronic stress from growing up poor appears to have a direct impact on the brain, leaving children with impairment in at least one key area -- working memory.

-Documents In Stevens Case Are Requested
Material Linked to Alleged Misconduct
By Del Quentin Wilber
A federal judge yesterday ordered the Justice Department to give him documents concerning allegations of misconduct by the team that prosecuted former senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) on corruption charges. The order by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan comes days after the Justice Department said it would ask Sullivan to throw out Stevens's conviction and indictment. The judge is scheduled to hear Tuesday from the department about the motion.

-Parents of U.S. Journalist Jailed in Iran Can Visit Her
By Thomas Erdbrink
TEHRAN, Iran, April 5 -- Authorities in Tehran told the parents of an imprisoned Iranian American journalist Sunday that they could see their daughter Monday, the family's attorney said. Reza Saberi and his wife, Akiko, arrived in Iran early Sunday to show support for their U.S.-born daughter, Roxana, who also holds an Iranian passport and has been in custody in Tehran since January for allegedly buying alcohol, which is prohibited in the Islamic republic. Iranian officials have also said that she was working as a journalist without the necessary press credentials.

-On Energy, Free at Last
Fareed Zakaria
Energy independence sounds like such a great idea. if only we could be free ... of what, exactly? The single biggest energy exporter to the U.S. is Canada. And even the petrostates we don't like have to sell us oil at whatever price the market sets. We buy lots from Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. He denounces us, we denounce him, but we happily do business together. After all, what else is he going to do with his oil, drink it?

-Health Care's Year
By E.J. Dionne Jr.
Yes, this is the year Congress will finally give every American access to health insurance. Getting there won't be pretty. But for the first time since the passage of Medicare in the 1960s, the forces favoring action on health-care reform are stronger than the forces of cynicism and obstruction.

-Steady Through This Storm
By Ricardo J. Caballero
President Obama recently stated that he is a big believer in "persistence," and he provided examples of how he will persist in many areas of economic policy. That word and his examples gave me more hope for the future of the U.S. economy than I have had in some time.


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