May 2, 2007

TOP STORIES * April 26-May 2

Republican-Backed Voter Suppression Alleged

Former Justice Department employees say the White House used Republican political appointees to prevent thousands of poor and minority voters from registering ahead of the 2006 midterm elections, McClatchy Newspapers reports.

They say the appointees inflated fraud concerns to justify tough voter ID rules that were later overturned as unconstitutional, pushed a database method that caused three states to “mistakenly” disqualify “tens of thousands” of new registrations, and pushed U.S. attorneys to prosecute voter fraud cases favored by Republicans in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Washington.

New Orleans: No Home to African Americans

African Americans face discrimination in their search for housing in the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina, according to a year-long study in which African and Caucasian “testers” applied to rent the same apartments but got different results.

Nearly 60 percent of all landlords didn’t return phone calls from African Americans, wouldn’t show them apartment units or give them applications, and offered the same rental units to Caucasian applicants for less money.

Iraq’s Christian Flight Continues

Thousands have fled Mosul and Baghdad under death threats from Islamists who say will kill Christians if they do not pay a special religious “tax” for non-Muslims.

Romeo Hakkari, a Christian parliamentarian in Iraq’s Kurdish region, says hundreds of Christians, who numbered half a million before the war, have resettled in Kurdistan; the rest have fled the country.

Sources:

“Housing discrimination cited in N.O.”
The Advocate (LA), April 25, 2007

“Campaign against alleged voter fraud fuels political tempest”
McClatchy, April 19, 2007

“Iraq: Christians face mounting threats, MP says”
ADNKronos, April 27, 2007

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