January 8, 2005: Headlines: Iraq: Congress: virginiamn: Coleman leaves Iraq; on way to Afghanistan

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Coleman leaves Iraq; on way to Afghanistan

Coleman leaves Iraq; on way to Afghanistan

Coleman leaves Iraq; on way to Afghanistan

Coleman leaves Iraq; on way to Afghanistan

Senator spends time with troops; discusses election with officials

Bill Hanna

Mesabi Daily News

Last Updated: Saturday, January 08th, 2005 11:24:57 PM

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait - The meeting with 100 sheiks was going well - a good candid give-and-take with leaders of the Sunni minority in Iraq that are not exactly thrilled with the upcoming elections because they are sure to not win a government majority.

"It was kind of a like a town meeting back in our country, just like many held on the Iron Range, where people strongly voice their opinions," said U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn.

Then a shell exploded about 500 meters away, shaking the building in Baghdad where the meeting was being held.

"Iíll tell you, the Iraqi security people didnít flinch. They just went about their business. It was just another day in Baghdad," Coleman said in a telephone interview with the Mesabi Daily News on Saturday.

The senator made the call from Kuwait City at about 2 p.m. CST, or midnight there, following his day in Iraq. He was to leave today for India along with a small delegation of U.S. senators that includes Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to tour some of the tsunami-devastated areas of that country. The group travel will later in the week to Afghanistan.

Coleman left Iraq feeling good about the Jan. 30 elections, the first free and democratic ones ever in the country, despite what has been escalating violence.

"A United Nations official who will be helping with his 13th election told me that this is the best one he has seen as far as preparation by local officials. We certainly have violence problems in some areas, but thatís not the case in 14 of the 18 Iraqi provinces," Coleman said.

"The elections are going to happen and that is going to be good news for this whole area. There are great challenges, but the people are excited about the elections."

Coleman, who wore a flak jacket and helmet while in Iraq, also met with members of the Minnesota 134th National Guard unit and had dinner with some of them.

The senator said troop morale is high, but Guard members also voiced some of their concerns.

"The separation from family is of course tough. And there are also worries about whether their stay will be extended. But the overall morale is strong," Coleman said.

"These people take a lot of pride in what they do. And I am filled with pride for what they are doing and how they are handling it."


Bill Hanna covers politics and the IRRRB and writes editorials and columns. He can be reached by phone at 741-5544 or e-mail at bill.hanna@mx3.com.

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.

January 8, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 8 2005 No: 367 January 8, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Zambia RPCV Karla Berg interviews 1,374 people on Peace 7 Jan
Breaking Taboo, Mandela Says Son Died of AIDS 6 Jan
Dreadlocked PCV raises eyebrows in Africa 6 Jan
RPCV Jose Ravano directs CARE's efforts in Sri Lanka 6 Jan
Persuading Retiring Baby Boomers to Volunteer 6 Jan
Inventor of "Drown Proofing" retires 6 Jan
NPCA Membership approves Board Changes 5 Jan
Timothy Shriver announces "Rebuild Hope Fund" 5 Jan
More Water Bottles, Fewer Bullets 4 Jan
Poland RPCV Rebecca Parker runs Solterra Books 2 Jan
Peace Corps Fund plans event for September 30 Dec
RPCV Carmen Bailey recounts bout with cerebral malaria 28 Dec
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RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.

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Story Source: virginiamn

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Iraq; Congress



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