April 19, 2007

TOP STORIES * April 12-18

A Sunni House Divided

Thousands of Iraqi Sunnis fleeing Shia militias are finding no peace in Sunni districts, where they are threatened by insurgents who seek to create “pure pro-insurgency neighborhoods” and suspect the newcomers of being spies or criminals, according to the Institute for War & Peace Reporting.

Insurgents also target fellow Sunnis who question the violence, as well as people in mixed Sunni/Shia marriages, of which there are 6.5 million in Iraq today.

Abortion’s Rhetorical Question

A federal appellate court is hearing arguments over a 2005 South Dakota abortion law that requires doctors to tell patients they will be terminating “the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” and that they are “ending the mother-child relationship.”

A judge called it “ideology,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, but proponents say the language defends the “right” to motherhood.

BIA Stalls on Cherokee “Freedman” Vote

The Cherokee Nation faces a court battle, with almost $300 million in federal funding at stake, over its vote to remove 2,700 “freedmen” — descendents of African American slaves of Cherokee Indians — from tribal membership. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has so far refused to approve the vote to exclude the freedmen, who would lose their medical benefits.

Sources:

“Insurgents distrust displaced Sunni”
Institute for War & Peace Reporting (U.K.), April 13, 2007

“Appeals judges pepper lawyers with questions in South Dakota abortion case”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 11, 2007

“Vote to remove freedmen not yet approved”
Associated Press, April 13, 2007

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