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COLUMBIA, S.C.SANFORD: TROUBLE WILL IMPROVE ME

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, still clinging to office after admitting to an extramarital affair, wrote in an opinion piece released Sunday that God will change him so he can emerge from the scandal a more humble and effective leader.

"It's in the spirit of making good from bad that I am committing to you and the larger family of South Carolinians to use this experience to both trust God in his larger work of changing me, and from my end, to work to becoming a better and more effective leader," Sanford wrote in the opinion piece widely published online Sunday by South Carolina newspapers.

Some lawmakers have called for Sanford to resign, and one state senator plans hearings on whether state money was used to facilitate the trysts. A criminal probe found nothing illegal.

JERUSALEM

Israel rejects U.S. call for construction halt

Israel on Sunday rejected a U.S. demand to suspend a planned housing project in east Jerusalem, threatening to further complicate an unusually tense standoff with its strongest ally over settlement construction.

Israeli officials said the country's ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, was summoned to the State Department over the weekend and told that a project made up of 20 apartments developed by an American millionaire should not go ahead.

Settlements built on captured lands claimed by the Palestinians have emerged as a major sticking point in relations between Israel and the Obama administration because of their potential to disrupt Mideast peacemaking.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday told his Cabinet there would be no limits on Jewish construction anywhere in "unified Jerusalem."

NEW DELHI

India rebuffs a U.S. demand on emissions

India stood firm Sunday against Western demands to accept binding limits on carbon emissions even as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed optimism about an eventual climate change deal to India's benefit.

"There is simply no case for the pressure that we — who have among the lowest emissions per capita — face to actually reduce emissions," India's minister of environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh, told Clinton and her visiting delegation in a meeting.

WASHINGTON

Banks share facts about bailout money

The internal watchdog overseeing the government's financial bailout is pressing Treasury to seek more information from banks that receive taxpayer assistance, brandishing his own bank survey as evidence that such data can be obtained.

More than eight out of 10 banks responding to Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky's survey said money they received from the government had been used for loans or to avoid reduced lending.

Fewer than a third of the 360 banks surveyed said their lending levels would have been lower without money from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Banks also reported using the money for additional cushions of capital or to buy other institutions.

Elsewhere

TIBURON, Calif.: City officials want to photograph every car and use the license plate information to solve crimes in the town of 9,000. Proponents say it is a sensible precaution crossing no privacy lines.

COLUMBIA, S.C.SANFORD: TROUBLE WILL IMPROVE ME 07/19/09 [Last modified: Sunday, July 19, 2009 10:55pm]
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