News briefs: Sheehan plans to run against Pelosi unless she seeks to impeach Bush

By Jenette Sturges

CRAWFORD, Texas – Cindy Sheehan, the soldier’s mother who galvanized the anti-war movement, said Sunday that she plans to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unless she introduces articles of impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks.

Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush. That’s when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington after a 13-day tour starting next week from the group’s war protest site near Bush’s Crawford ranch.

“Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership,” Sheehan told The Associated Press. “We hired them to bring an end to the war. I’m not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn’t be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money.”

Arab League to dispatch delegation to Israel for peace talks

JERUSALEM – The 22-country Arab League will send envoys on a historic first mission to Israel this week to discuss a sweeping Arab peace initiative and how it might prop up embattled Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli and Arab diplomats said Sunday.

The announcement came the same day Israel’s Cabinet approved the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners, hoping to bolster Abbas in his power struggle with the Islamic militant Hamas.

An official League visit would be a diplomatic coup for Israel. The League historically has been hostile toward the Jewish state, but has grown increasingly conciliatory in response to the expanding influence of Islamic extremists in the region – a concern underscored by Hamas’ violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last month.

Jordan’s foreign ministry said the Jordanian and Egyptian foreign ministers would arrive in Jerusalem on Thursday for talks with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other Israeli officials.

Bake sale profits from this Saturday will go toward feeding hungry kids

The Great American Bake Sale is coming to Urbana’s Market at the Square. The host, Friends Against Children’s Empty Tummies (FACET), will be selling baked goods this Saturday at the Urbana farmers’ market, from 7 a.m. to noon.

Money raised will go to Share Our Strength, a national organization dedicated to feeding the 12 million children at risk of hunger in America.

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Champaign Chamber of Commerce accepting nominations

The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for its Citizen of the Year and Small Business of the Year awards. The honors are given every year to a resident who demonstrates an ongoing commitment to community involvement and a business that has made significant contributions to the community and the local economy.

Nominations are accepted from anyone and self-nominations are allowed.

Applications may be returned to the Chamber offices, 1817 S. Neil St., Champaign, by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 27.

World and national briefs from The Associated Press. Local briefs compiled by Jenette Sturges.