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Brownback: Eyes on Africa

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Sen. Sam Brownback's eyes turn to Africa this week.[Manufacturer's Blog][1] reports: "Brownback noted that he has a lot of interest in foreign policy issues. The week after Thanksgiving, he will be traveling to the Congo and hopes 'to raise with my colleagues the plight of the people there. The same number of people who were lost in the tsunami are lost every 4 months in eastern Congo. A nine-nation war is raging, its the least-reported humanitarian disaster in the world.'Brownback has long been interested in ending violence in the Sudan. But he's got a tough fight on his hands in Washington to devote resources to ending the conflict.[the Washington Post][2] reports: "A little over a year ago, the first of the African Union troops were deployed in Darfur. The peacekeepers, from countries across the continent, were hailed as an African solution to African problems, with Darfur as the first major test." Last month, however, a House committee voted to eliminate the $50 million that lawmakers had supported to fund the mission, including ammunition, fuel, helicopters and other supplies that African Union officers say are essential to monitoring the violence in a vast, mountainous desert."On Friday, the Senate approved a bill called the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act encouraging the African Union to expand its force to 12,000 troops. Sens. Jon S. Corzine (D-N.J.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) are also seeking to restore funding."Other news and commentary today:Pat Roberts links[(Lasalute.net) Lawmakers seek translation help in terror fight:][3] U.S. and allied forces have seized millions of pages of documents, computer disks and other materials since Washington's declared war on terrorism after the September 11, 2001, attacks, which officials say are a potential treasure trove of information. But since only people with special security clearances are authorized to sift through the documents, many of which are not secret, translation and analysis "will take decades, if ever, to complete," said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra.[(CattleNetwork.com) Roberts Introduces Bill To Improve Security At Agribusinesses:][4] U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) today introduced legislation to better protect the nation from terrorists and illegal drug traffickers by improving security at sites where agricultural chemicals are stored. "It is critical that we think outside the box to continue to fight and win the war on terrorism," Senator Roberts said. "There is evidence that some of the 9/11 hijackers had training in agriculture. It is also no secret that highly hazardous and volatile chemicals are used in agriculture and should be secured from drug traffickers and terrorists."[(AP) Pentagon Probes Office Headed by Feith:][5] The Pentagon's inspector general said Friday it has begun an investigation into allegations that an office run by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's former policy chief, Douglas J. Feith, engaged in illegal or inappropriate intelligence activities before the Iraq war. ... The Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Pat Roberts of Kansas, asked the Pentagon inspector general in early September to investigate what Roberts called "persistent and, to date, unsubstantiated allegations that there was something unlawful or improper about the activities" of Feith's officeJim Ryun links [(Lawrence Journal-World)Ryun announces funding for lakes:][6] Federal funding for operation and maintenance at two Lawrence-area lakes was recently announced by U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kansas. The funding is a result of passage this month in Congress of the 2006 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Conference Report. Funding for Clinton Lake was listed at more than $1.78 million, and for Perry Lake was more than $1.99 millionHow to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][7] [1]: http://blog.nam.org/archives/2005/11/sen_brownback_k.php [2]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/20/AR2005112001063.html [3]: http://www.lasalute.net/article62512-lawmakers-seek-translation.html [4]: http://www.cattlenetwork.com/content.asp?contentid=13760 [5]: http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/35331.html [6]: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/nov/21/ryun_announces_funding_lakes/?sports [7]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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