Thursday, April 13, 2006

News roundup 04.13.2006

The long war in Iraq

The Los Angeles Times:
BAGHDAD — As a political deadlock continues over the formation of a new Iraqi government, Shiite Muslim leaders have launched a new offensive in favor of beleaguered Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari by trying to drive a wedge between Kurds and Sunni Arabs who oppose Jafari's winning a full term in office.
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
After three years in which the U.S. government allocated more than $20 billion for Iraqi reconstruction, a bill making its way through Congress adds only $1.6 billion this year, just $100 million of it for construction - not of schools or power stations, but of prisons.
The Washington Post: "Iraq Reconstruction Teams Delayed at State Department"

The Christian Science Monitor:
The escalation of sectarian bloodshed that followed the bombing has driven 6,600 families from their homes, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent and the Iraqi government. The houses mushrooming around this neighborhood are an indication that the separation of Iraq's Arab Shiites and Sunnis is accelerating, threatening the country's long-term unity.
The Jerusalem Post:
The Arab League called the meeting to work up ways to form a "united front" to help stabilize the country. But Mubarak's comments this weekend stoked concerns among Iraq's Shi'ite and Kurdish leaders that the Sunni-dominated league, which is based in Cairo, is biased against them.

The New York Times:
Still, nuclear analysts called the claims exaggerated. They said nothing had changed to alter current estimates of when Iran might be able to make a single nuclear weapon, assuming that is its ultimate goal. The United States government has put that at 5 to 10 years, and some analysts have said it could come as late as 2020.
BBC News:
So given these limitations, the IISS believes it would take Iran at least a decade to produce enough HEU for a single nuclear weapon.

Dr Barnaby agrees.

"The CIA says 10 years to a bomb using highly enriched uranium and that is a reasonable and realistic figure in my opinion," he said.
The A.P. via the Washington Post: "Iran Vows Not to Back Away From Enrichment"

The Baltimore Sun:
TEHRAN, Iran // A day after Iran announced that its engineers had reached a new, more advanced stage in uranium enrichment, a top nuclear official said yesterday that the nation planned to expand its nuclear program by installing and operating thousands of centrifuges in the coming years.
Knight Ridder via the Boston Globe: "US urges a strong response to Iran"

Bloomberg News: "ElBaradei Visits Iran Seeking Controls on Uranium Enrichment"

BBC News: "UN watchdog puts pressure on Iran"

Reuters via China Daily: "China to send envoy to Iran, urges restraint"

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad congratulated the Iranian nation and government on the occasion of IRI's joining of the world nuclear club here Wednesday in a meeting with Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani.
The L.A. Times via the Baltimore Sun:
If President Bush were to order military action, most respondents said they would support airstrikes against Iranian targets, but only about one in four said they would support the use of American ground troops in Iran.
Knight Ridder via the Seattle Times:
TEHRAN, Iran — Apart from a few schoolyard rallies and celebratory newspaper headlines Wednesday, Iran's first day in the nuclear club was subdued, with workaday Iranians still more preoccupied with pollution and unemployment than possible retaliation from U.S.-led Western powers.
Leaker in chief

The Washington Post: "Libby Wasn't Ordered to Leak Name, Papers Say"

The A.P. via the San Francisco Chronicle:
"We have found the weapons of mass destruction," Bush said in an interview with a Polish TV station. "We found biological laboratories."

Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said Wednesday that Bush was relying on information from the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency when he said the trailers seized after the 2003 invasion were mobile biological laboratories. That information was later discredited by the Iraq Survey Group in its 2004 report.
Fire Rummy

The Los Angeles Times on the latest general to call for a new SecDefense:
In an interview, Batiste said negative feelings about Rumsfeld were widespread among generals he served with. He added that there was an almost universal belief that the secretary did not treat military leaders and their opinions with respect.

"It speaks volumes about the leadership climate within the Pentagon," Batiste said. "Civilian control is absolutely paramount, but in order for it to work, there is a two-way street of respect and dialogue that has to exist."
Massachusetts healthcare

The Los Angeles Times (campaign move):
But Romney exercised his line-item veto power to overturn eight portions of the bill, including a $295-per-worker assessment on businesses that was seen as essential to the bill.

Some critics described the fee as a tax on business, and in call-in radio shows over the weekend many small-business owners told the governor that the assessment was a burden. In vetoing the provision, Romney said the fee was "not necessary to implement or finance healthcare reform."

The governor also vetoed a section of the bill that would have extended dental benefits to adult Medicaid recipients, at an annual cost of $75 million.

Legislative leaders have vowed to override Romney's vetoes.
The Boston Globe on the financial difficulties that may be in this bill's future: "As Romney signs bill, doubts arise about revenues"


The A.P. via the San Francisco Chronicle: "Brown Won't Serve As La. Parish Adviser"


Bloomberg News:
A Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll this week shows most Republicans support proposals to give legal status to undocumented workers and legislation that combines tougher enforcement of immigration laws with new temporary-worker programs.

That 64 percent of Republican voters support this two-part approach may be good news for President George W. Bush, who has endorsed a similar proposal. These results indicate Republican voters are at odds with legislation approved by party lawmakers in the House of Representatives last year that only emphasized tougher enforcement and the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the Mexican border.
The Los Angeles Times:
WASHINGTON — Most Americans say the United States should confront the challenge of illegal immigration by both toughening border enforcement and creating a new guest-worker program rather than stiffening enforcement alone, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.

By a solid 2-1 margin, those surveyed said they would prefer such a comprehensive approach, which a bipartisan group of senators has proposed, to an enforcement-only strategy, which the House of Representatives approved in December. Support for a comprehensive approach was about the same among Democrats, independents and Republicans, the poll found.
The Congress

Bloomberg News:
The poll found that registered voters favor Democrats by 49 percent to 35 percent as the party they would like to see win their congressional district this year. Democrats are preferred even on issues that often favor Republicans, such as taxes and the budget deficit, and lead by wide margins on traditional Democratic strengths like Social Security and health care.
The Los Angeles Times:
SAN DIEGO — Voters replacing the disgraced former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham were swayed more by party labels and name recognition than boiling issues like corruption and immigration, analysts said Wednesday.

As a result, two familiar faces — Democrat Francine Busby and Republican Brian Bilbray — will probably face each other in a June runoff that, for all intents, could look a lot like Tuesday's free-for-all.


Post a Comment

<< Home