Quote of the day.
"I never thought there was the possibility of getting that close to a dog before. There were nights when it was so cold out that I would have him crawl into my sleeping bag with me just so I could stay warm." Marine Cpl. Joseph Singer, on his bonding with a bomb-sniffing dog while in Afghanistan.
1. Celebration begins for first Native American to be sainted.
The Roman Catholic Church began final preparations Wednesday for what will be a watershed event in the church’s relationship with Native American cultures: the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk Indian who lived in the 17th century, who on Sunday will become the church’s first Native American saint.
2. Court panel says U.S. marriage act is unfair to gays.
A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled that gay Americans are a class of people who deserve the same kinds of constitutional protections as many other victims of discrimination.
(New York Times)
3. Activists want climate change on presidential debate agenda.
Despite a year that has produced unprecedented ice melts in the Arctic and Greenland, a devastating drought across much of the country and hundreds of record high temperatures around the world, the subject of climate change has managed to remain in the deep freezer of presidential politics.
(Miami Herald/McClatchy News)
4. Job benefits growing faster than wages.
Employers are boosting benefits faster than wages, handing out stingy pay raises but making up for it by paying more for health insurance and other benefits, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
5. CIA seeks to expand drone fleet.
The CIA is urging the White House to approve a significant expansion of the agency’s fleet of armed drones, a move that would extend the spy service’s decade-long transformation into a paramilitary force, U.S. officials said.
6. Malala Yousafzai can make smooth recovery.
Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl flown to Britain for treatment after being shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in Pakistan, has the potential to make "pretty much a full recovery," her doctors have said.
7. Deadly blast strikes Lebanon's capital.
At least eight people have been killed and many others wounded by a huge bomb that exploded in a street in central Beirut, according to Lebanese fire department and witnesses. Ambulances rushed to the scene of Friday's blast in the Ashafriyeh district, a mostly Christian neighbourhood, as smoke rose from the area.
8. Turkey calls on major powers to intervene in Syria.
Turkey has called on the U.S., Britain and other leading countries to take immediate action to intervene in Syria to prevent a looming humanitarian "disaster" that it says threatens the lives of millions of internally displaced people and refugees as winter approaches and could soon ignite a region-wide conflagration.
9. Colombian peace talks launched.
Negotiators from the Colombian government and left-wing Farc rebels have set the stage for their first direct talks for a decade. After almost 50 years of conflict, the two sides launched the peace process at a hotel in Norway, with negotiations expected to last months.
10. Saudi Arabia plans to be powered entirely by renewable energy.
Saudi Arabia, the world''s biggest oil producer, has plans to become 100% powered by renewable and low-carbon forms of energy, according to an influential member of the royal family.