Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday 5/16 Reading List

Here's some interesting articles from today's news:
  • President Obama today named Jon Huntsman, the Republican governor of Utah, as the United States' new ambassador to China. Huntsman's name has been one tossed around as a contender for the Republican nomination in 2012, so this may be a politically astute move for Obama, as a means of both making a bipartisan gesture and neutralizing a possible opponent.
  • Some students at Notre Dame University are raising loud objections to President Obama speaking at their commencement this weekend. The objectors are raising issues with a Catholic-affiliated university giving an honorary degree to a president who is openly pro-choice (a position counter to that of the Catholic Church), and plan to boycott the ceremony and protest instead.
  • In India, the Congress Party won an unexpected landslide victory in its elections, which ended today. The party drew a considerable base of support, thanks to its rural development programs that supported the poor and provided a stable government despite the unstable economy.
  • Pope Benedict XVI completed his trip around the Middle East yesterday to mixed reviews. Inevitably, he is being compared to his predecessor, John Paul II, whose trip to Israel is still considered historic in the interfaith community. While it does not seem that Pope Benedict committed any major faux pas, he has come under criticism for his lack of emotion at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial, and for coming close to criticizing Israel's construction of a wall between them and the Palestinians.
  • Congress continues its path toward a climate bill-- but the results to date present more compromises than many environmentalists were expecting.

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