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Publication: Coffee Break
Pope prays during Last Supper staging

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   THE COFFEE BREAK - Monday, July 28, 2008             

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's political dealings of the past 
aren't good predictors of what will happen to the troubled 
lenders in the future, observers said.

The government-sponsored mortgage enterprises, which saw
their stocks tumble as they struggle to raise billions of
dollars in fresh capital, in the past successfully lobbied 
against more stringent regulation. Both entities have deep 
ties to campaigns of major party candidates, Sens. John
McCain, R-Ariz. and Barack Obama, D-Ill., The Washington
Post reported Thursday. 

Both McCain and Obama have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
advocates as advisers or on their campaign staffs, the 
newspaper said. After issuing statements commenting in 
general terms about the mortgage crisis and mentioning 
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac second, both political camps
have been quiet.

"You see a consensus developing that the current system 
is unsustainable," said David C. John, senior research 
fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "But
actually saying what has to happen next is a little bit
scary if you're in a campaign, especially if some of your
most prominent supporters have such deep ties to these 

Douglas W. Elmendorf, an economist at the Brookings 
Institution, said he hopes the mortgage crisis "shakes up"
the status quo.

"(If) the taxpayers end up putting in a significant amount
of money, which I think they will, members of  Congress 
will realize whatever their past views were, the futu
cannot be a replay of the past," Elmendorf said.

What are your thoughts on the mortgage crisis?

P.S. You can discuss this issue or any other topic in
the Coffee Break, forum. Check it out here...


See you at the water cooler,

Email Jeanie


         Mayor, in newsletter, offends tourists
Belmar, N.J., Mayor Ken Pringle has angered some residents 
of New York's Staten Island Borough with comments in a 
newsletter about women from the borough.  Pringle wrote in 
his July 4 newsletter that an "SI girl behaving badly" 
caused a ruckus at a Belmar club, the Staten Island Advance
reported Thursday.  "As the Staten Island girl was pummeling 
the Boonton girl's face, she used the hand she was still 
holding her drink glass in," the mayor wrote. "Now, we're
not sure if the glass was stuck to her hand cause of all 
the hair spray or if this is a technique Staten Island 
girls learn in Brownies, but we are thankful she left her
brass knuckles and straight razor in her other purse."
The mayor also made references to "guidos" -- often used
as a derogatory term for young Italian males -- saying 
they are "as welcome as, oh, Canada geese."  The slurs
led one Staten Island councilman to suggest his 
constituents "avoid (Pringle's) town like the plague."
Mario Flotta of Staten Island, who said he frequently
visits Belmar, said he was shocked and outraged by the
mayor's comments.  "It's surprising to know that a place
where tourism thrives and pays for pretty much everything
around here, that someone would make comments like this," 
he said.



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           Pope prays during Last Supper staging
Pope Benedict XVI attended a staging of the Stations of the
Cross, which trace the last hours of Jesus, Friday during
World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney.  The pontiff
appeared at St. Mary's Cathedral as part of the
re-enactment of the "Last Supper," the Australian
Broadcasting Corp. reported. He began with a prayer.
"Lord many people lack the food and drink to bring true 
joy. They do not know or have forgotten how you wish to 
meet them at the Eucharist and share with them your
humanity and divinity," Benedict said.  About 80 performers 
participated in the pageant at various Sydney landmarks as
part of the World Youth Day celebrations.  A group of
people tried to draw attention to the issue of sexual 
abuse by Roman Catholic priests was told it had to move 
from one location in Sydney's Hyde Park to another to
accommodate security measures for the pilgrims.  On
Saturday, the pope is to join a vigil of tens of thousands 
of Catholic youths who will sleep out at Randwick 
racecourse, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.  Up to 
500,000 people are expected to attend the Sunday mass
celebrated by Pope Benedict, the Herald reported.


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           Mandela plans quiet day as he turns 90
Former South African President Nelson Mandela planned to
spend his 90th birthday Friday quietly with his family.
But the festivities in Qunu, his home village in the 
southeast of the country, have mushroomed, the BBC reports. 
There will be a birthday dinner for 500 guests Saturday, a
concert and a soccer festival.  Mandela, the African 
National Congress leader who spent 27 years as a prisoner 
on Robben Island, is one of the most honored men in the 
world. His 90th birthday has already been marked by a 
concert in London and other international events.  One of
those who paid tribute to Mandela on the eve of his 
birthday was F.W. DeKlerk, the last white president of 
South Africa.  "After his inauguration, Nelson Mandela 
used his personal charm to promote reconciliation and to 
mold our widely diverse communities into an emerging 
multicultural nation," DeKlerk told reporters Thursday.
"This, I believe, will be seen as his greatest legacy."

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Copyright 2008 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International 

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