ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

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March 2, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include: 
 

U.S.
 
General news
  • 7 U.S. soldiers wounded after Afghan naval base attacked (Reuters)
  • Cruiseline: 22 passengers robbed in Mexico resort (CNN)
  • National gas prices up 18 cents in last two weeks (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • House GOP leaders announce vote on jobs creation package as early as next week (The Hill)
 
Presidential Election 
  • Romney wins Michigan, Arizona, in big night (CNN)
  • Presidential race highlights California GOP convention (KPBS)
  • Obama mocks GOP on gas price issue (USA Today)
  • Poll: Romney overtaking Santorum nationally (The Hill)
  • UAW to protest Romney at Daytona 500 (Detroit News)
  • Maher donates $1 million to Obama super pac  (USA Today)
  • Santorum says he “almost threw up” after reading JFK speech on separation of church, state (Washington Post)
 
WORLD 
  • Karzai urges Afghans to avoid violent retaliations over Koran burnings  (Washington Post)
  • Children left behind in world’s city boom: UNICEF (RawStory)
  • Nigeria unrest: Suicide bomb targets church in Jos (BBC)
  • Iran poised for big nuke jump (UT San Diego)
 
HEALTH 
  • FDA adds new safety warnings to statin drugs (USA Today)
  • Why doctors die differently (Wall Street Journal)
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

 

WORLD 

Karzai urges Afghans to avoid violent retaliations over Koran burnings  (Washington Post)
 
February 26, 2012 -- President Hamid Karzai on Sunday urged Afghans to avoid violent retaliation for the burning of a pile of Korans at the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan last week and called for the punishment of those behind the act, which sparked nationwide protests.
Karzai also voiced his support for NATO’s decision Saturday to recall its personnel from Afghan ministries after two U.S. service members were killed by an Afghan security official in the country’s heavily protected Interior Ministry earlier in the day. Karzai described the move as “temporary” and justifiable in the face of the attacks and spreading protests.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/karzai-urges-afghans-to-avoid-violent-retaliation-over-koran-burnings/2012/02/26/gIQA9WshbR_story.html?hpid=z2
Children left behind in world’s city boom: UNICEF (RawStory)
 
February 28, 2012 -- More than one billion children now live in crowded cities around the world but too many are stuck among the poorest of the poor without electricity, water or education, a UN report said Tuesday.
“Urbanization leaves hundreds of millions of children in cities and towns excluded from vital services,” the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said.
In a few years, the report said, the majority of children will grow up in towns or cities rather than rural areas. Children born in cities already account for 60 per cent of the increase in urban population.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/28/children-left-behind-in-worlds-city-boom-unicef/ 
Nigeria unrest: Suicide bomb targets church in Jos (BBC)
 
February 26, 2012 -- A suicide car bomber has killed at least three people at a church in the troubled central Nigerian city of Jos, sparking reprisals by Christian youths.
Witnesses said the suicide bomber drove his car into the prominent Church of Christ during morning prayers.
The radical Islamist sect Boko Haram later said that it carried out the attack.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17169935
Iran poised for big nuke jump (UT San Diego)
 
February 18, 2012 -- Iran is poised to greatly expand uranium enrichment at a fortified underground bunker to a point that would boost how quickly it could make nuclear warheads, diplomats tell The Associated Press.
They said Tehran has put finishing touches for the installation of thousands of new-generation centrifuges at the cavernous facility - machines that can produce enriched uranium much more quickly and efficiently than its present machines.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/feb/18/ap-exclusive-iran-poised-for-big-nuke-jump/
 
US
 
Presidential Election
 
Romney wins Michigan, Arizona, in big night (CNN)
 
February 29, 2012 --  A relieved Mitt Romney headed back to the campaign trail Wednesday after sweeping crucial primaries in Arizona and his childhood home of Michigan to revitalize his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
Romney needed to win both states, but especially Michigan -- where he grew up when his father was governor -- to assert his ability to overcome the conservative challenge from former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
 
A Santorum victory in Michigan would have raised questions about how strong a candidate Romney is within his own party.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/28/election/2012/primaries/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
 
Presidential race highlights California GOP convention (KPBS)
 
February 24, 2012 -- Newt Gingrich spoke in person. Mitt Romney sent former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. And supporters of Rick Santorum and Ron Paul made their presence felt too. A Field Poll out this week showed Romney with a six point lead over Santorum in California. But state party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro said the race remains fluid ahead of some big contests in the next couple of weeks.
"I think Super Tuesday is gonna decide a lot," said Del Beccaro. "If it's a mixed decision or a split decision, then I think California becomes very relevant - and I think we'll be involved in the decision as to who the presidential nominee is gonna be."
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/feb/24/presidential-race-highlights-calif-gop-convention/ 
Obama mocks GOP on gas price issue (USA Today)
 
February 23, 2012 -- President Obama said today that only a long-term energy strategy can help bring down rising gas prices, and he mocked Republicans for seeking to turn higher prices at the pump into an election-year issue.
"Last week, the lead story in one newspaper said, 'gasoline prices are on the rise, and Republicans are licking their chops,'" Obama said during remarks at the University of Miami. "Only in politics do people root for bad news. ... You pay more, they're licking their chops."
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/02/obama-mocks-gop-on-gas-price-issue/1#.T0rLj_WQsf4
Poll: Romney overtaking Santorum nationally (The Hill)
 
February 26, 2012 -- Gallup’s tracking poll shows GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney overtaking rival Rick Santorum nationally, after a tumultuous February that saw the presumptive front-runner trail by double digits in many national polls.
Numbers released Sunday show Romney with the support of 31 percent of likely GOP voters with Santorum at 29 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich comes in third with 15 percent support.
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/212619-romney-leads-obama-in-gallup-poll
UAW to protest Romney at Daytona 500 (Detroit News)
 
February 26, 2012 -- The United Auto Workers will fly a banner over the Daytona 500 NASCAR race on Sunday, reminding voters of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's opposition to the auto bailout.
The Detroit-based union will pay to fly a plane and banner from 10:30-11:30 a.m. that will read "Mitt Romney: Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" — a reference to a headline on a November 2008 New York Times op-ed that Romney wrote opposing a U.S. bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. The union also protested Romney's appearance on Friday at Ford Field in Detroit.
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120226/POLITICS01/202260313
Maher donates $1 million to Obama super pac  (USA Today)
 
Stephen Colbert mocked President Obama for encouraging super PAC contributions, but fellow political comedian Bill Maher is chipping in -- to the tune of $1 million.
During a live performance last night, broadcast by Yahoo!, Maher announced he would give a cool million to a group backing Obama's re-election.
"I would like to announce tonight a donation to the Obama super PAC which has the very unfortunate tongue-twister name Priorities USA Action," Maher said.
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2012/02/maher-donates-1m-to-obama-super-pac/1#.T0rLWvWQsf4
Santorum says he “almost threw up” after reading JFK speech on separation of church, state (Washington Post)
 
Former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) on Sunday defended a statement he made last October in which he said that he “almost threw up” when he read John F. Kennedy’s 1960 Houston address on the role of religion in public life.
The statement by Santorum marks the GOP contender’s latest defense of his long-held views on the separation of church and state, although in his Sunday appearance he doubled down on the colorful language he employed in his October speech at a New Hampshire college.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/post/santorum-says-he-almost-threw-up-after-reading-jfk-speech-on-separation-of-church-and-state/2012/02/26/gIQA91hubR_blog.html?tid=pm_pop
General news
7 U.S. soldiers wounded after Afghan naval base attacked (Reuters)
 
February 26, 2012 -- Seven U.S. military trainers were wounded on Sunday when a grenade was thrown at their base in northern Afghanistan, police said, as anti-Western fury deepened over the burning of the Koran at a NATO base.

Despite an apology from U.S. President Barack Obama, riots raged across the country for a sixth day on Sunday against the desecration of the Muslim holy book at a NATO air base at Bagram. Some protesters hoisted the white Taliban flag.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/26/us-afghanistan-shooting-suspect-idUSL4E8DQ03N20120226
Cruiseline: 22 passengers robbed in Mexico resort (CNN)
 
February 27, 2012 -- Twenty-two Carnival Cruise Lines passengers were robbed of valuables and their passports during a shore excursion in the Mexico seaside resort of Puerto Vallarta, cruise officials said late Saturday.
 
The passengers were robbed Thursday during a guided trail excursion, according to a statement released by the cruise line.
 
 National gas prices up 18 cents in last two weeks (San Francisco Chronicle)
 
February 26, 2012 -- The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped 18 cents over the past two weeks.
That's according to the Lundberg Survey of fuel prices, released Sunday, which puts the price of a gallon of regular at $3.69.
Midgrade costs an average of $3.83 a gallon, and premium is at $3.95.
Of the cities surveyed, Denver has the nation's lowest average price for gas at $3.07. San Diego has the highest at $4.24.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/02/26/national/a160043S68.DTL
 
House GOP leaders announce vote on jobs creation package as early as next week (The Hill)
 
February 28, 2012 -- GOP leaders said on Tuesday that the House is set to vote on a package of job-creation bills as soon as next week.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who spearheaded the effort to bundle six bipartisan bills together, told reporters on Capitol Hill that the chamber would vote on the “Jumpstart Our Business Startups,” or JOBS Act, in a little over a week.
 
Health
 
FDA adds new safety warnings to statin drugs (USA Today)
 
February 29, 2012 -- Federal health officials are adding new safety warnings about risks of memory loss and elevated blood sugar to statins, a widely prescribed group of cholesterol-lowering medications.
 
The Food and Drug Administration announced several labeling changes to medicines like Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor.
 
Labeling on all such drugs will warn of memory loss and confusion reported among certain patients taking statins. The problems were generally not serious and went away after patients stopped taking the drugs, according to the FDA.
 
Why doctors die differently (Wall Street Journal)
 
February 25, 2012 -- Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. It was diagnosed as pancreatic cancer by one of the best surgeons in the country, who had developed a procedure that could triple a patient's five-year-survival odds—from 5% to 15%—albeit with a poor quality of life.
Charlie, 68 years old, was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice and never set foot in a hospital again. He focused on spending time with his family. Several months later, he died at home. He got no chemotherapy, radiation or surgical treatment. Medicare didn't spend much on him.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203918304577243321242833962.html?mod=googlenews_wsj