Daily News Digest

Headlines: Gene Variation May Raise Risk of HIV

Gene Variation May Raise Risk of HIV., Study Finds
A genetic variation that once protected people in sub-Saharan Africa from malaria may have left them more vulnerable to infection by HIV. A 25-year study tracing infections revealed that African Americans who carried the variation were 50 percent more likely to acquire HIV than African Americans who did not. More than 90 percent of people in Africa carry this variation, as do about 60 percent of African-Americans.

Obama and McCain Expand Courtship of Hispanics
Latino voters have complained in the past that politicians view them as a one-issue bloc, concerned only about immigration. But Obama and McCain are taking care to avoid that trap, emphasizing a number of issues important to the community, and investing in campaign tactics never before afforded to Hispanic voters.

Warrant for Sudanese President Is Talk of Security Council
In a closed session Wednesday, the UN Security Council began its first discussion on Sudan since prosecutors at the International Criminal Court requested an arrest warrant for Sudan's president. Russia and China voiced concerns about the possibility that the Council could intervene to forestall the prosecution.

The Online Candidate Confronts Critical Netroots
The third annual Netroots Nation convention begins today in Austin, Texas. The convention, formerly YearlyKos, bills itself as "the most concentrated gathering of progressive bloggers to date," with about 2,000 bloggers, activists, office-holders, vendors and others expected to attend. The convention comes as some in the Netroots are questioning Senator Obama's commitment to their values.

Candidate Calls Insult to Muslim Americans Overlooked
Barack Obama said on Tuesday that The New Yorker cover depicting him and his wife as Muslim terrorists insulted Muslim Americans. The progressive magazine The Nation, meanwhile, unveiled a cartoon prepared for its August 4 issue, which satirizes the satirical New Yorker illustration.

Obama Unveils Plan to Protect U.S.
Wednesday at Purdue University, Obama criticized the Bush administration for failing to protect the United States from weapons of mass destruction and went on to detail his new national security strategy. He also issued a nine-page document titled, "Confronting 21st Century Threats."

Just Mad for Obama
Obama is now leading in California by 24 points (54 percent v. 30 percent), a number which has been steadily growing since January. The natural divide within the state is apparent when comparing the 62 percent Obama v. 24 percent McCain statistics from coastal voters, with the inland statistics of 44 percent McCain v. 35 percent Obama. Inland voters make up less than one-third of the Californian voting body.

Mandela at 90
This Friday July 18, the international symbol of freedom and peace — Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela — will turn 90 years old. TheRoot.com reflects on his lifetime of monumental achievements.

President Obama: Monumental Success or Secret Setback
As the election nears, black voters of all stripes express their concerns of how an Obama presidency would change the face of African American politics for the better and for the worse. "If Obama becomes the president, every remaining, powerfully felt black grievance and every still deeply etched injustice will be cast out of the realm of polite discourse. White folks will just stop listening."

Sports
Fires Put Damper on Local Outdoor Sports Scene
California wildfires are thwarting plans for this summer's outdoor sports season for morning joggers and competitive athletes alike. High-profile events like the Western States Endurance Run, the Tevis Cup Ride, and the Donner Lake Triathlon have all been cancelled, and a number of popular hiking, horseback, and mountain bike trails in the Santa Cruz mountains have been affected by local fires.

Entertainment
Al Reynolds: Clearing the Air About Star, Homosexuality
Star Jones' ex-husband Al Reynolds battles rumors on the Internet, aggressively asserting his heterosexuality, saying he still loves his ex-wife, and explaining that he'll use his position in the public eye "as an opportunity to educate and motivate people."

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