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Today's Top Five

1. No progress in Korean hostage situation
The South Korean government, which last month banned travel to Afghanistan, has now ordered Korean organizations already in the country to pull out by the end of the month, the Associated Press reported. Reuters, meanwhile, reported that South Korean Christians are pulling back their short-term missions programs around the world this summer. However, there are few actual developments in the efforts to free the 21 Koreans from Saemmul Presbyterian Church being held by the Taliban.

The New York Times and others have quoted a letter from the hostages' families to presidents Bush and Karzai: "We do not want world order and principles to be undermined for the sake of the release and safe return of the Koreans. Saving these people, however, will also serve as an opportunity to reaffirm the precious values of humanity as a whole."

There has been deadly fighting between the Taliban and Afghan police in the district where the hostages are being held, but it appears unrelated.

2. Pentagon report criticizes seven military leaders' appearance in Christian video
Four generals and three other military officers appeared in uniform and "in official and often identifiable Pentagon locations" in a video for Christian Embassy, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. That's a violation of military rules, and "corrective action" should be taken, says a 47-page report from the Defense Department's inspector general.

"The overall circumstances of the interviews emphasized the speakers' military status and affiliation and implied they were acting within the scope of their official positions as DoD spokespersons," the report said.

3. Is Romney Mormon enough? Is Giuliani Catholic enough? While ...

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South Korea Orders All Aid Groups Out of Afghanistan
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August 2007

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