segunda-feira, 26 de janeiro de 2009

Latest developments on the home and diplomatic fronts

Ken Camp | GOP Links Nomination to Torture Prosecutions
Ken Camp, The Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate: "In an effort to derail the nomination of Attorney General-designate Eric Holder, it seems Senate Republicans are now resorting to extortion. They'll confirm Holder if he promises not to prosecute any Bush Administration officials for any involvement in acts of torture, according to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse(D-RI). Anyone familiar with the criminal justice system - especially those with experience as prosecutors or judges - should know that a prosecutor should make no determination about who to prosecute before he or she has all the facts, and particularly not in response to legislative pressure."

US Weighs Strategies to Stem Home Foreclosures
Peter Y. Hong and Maura Reynolds, The Los Angeles Times: "The Obama administration is promising an aggressive fight against the rising tide of home foreclosures, but officials have yet to decide what strategy -- or combination of strategies -- they will use. Among the possibilities being pushed by various interest groups are a six-month foreclosure moratorium, a doubling of the mortgage interest deduction, a tax credit for those who buy homes and a federally sponsored mortgage refinancing program. But it's been two years since foreclosures began to mount. And government and the financial industry have been unable to agree on a plan largely because they cannot resolve a central issue: How should losses be divided between borrowers and lenders?"

Experts: Mitchell as US Mideast Envoy Revitalizes Peace Process
Agence France-Presse: "The choice of former US senator George Mitchell as special envoy to the Middle East shows that President Barack Obama is serious about changing the direction of US policy in the Middle East, experts say. Several names were floated over the past weeks as possible special envoys to the region, including those of Dennis Ross, former president Bill Clinton's envoy to the region, and former US ambassador to Cairo Daniel Kurtzer."

And last but not least:

Obama to Let California Set Its Own Auto Emissions Standards
Kim Chipman, Bloomberg: "President Barack Obama is set to allow California to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions for autos, reversing a Bush administration ruling, people familiar with the matter said. More than a dozen other US states may then adopt the same standards, which are opposed by automakers. Obama, who will discuss his energy and environmental plans tomorrow, also will start finalizing new rules requiring cars and light trucks to be more fuel-efficient, the people said."

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