The Common Good

The Top 10 Stories of December 2, 2011

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Quote of the day.
“Christians are a little bit countercultural when it comes to Advent. When much of the secular world is busy celebrating Christmas right now ... we’re busy being thoughtful and meditative and quietly joyful in getting ready for Christmas.” - Rev. Stanley Benecki, pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church on the Hilltop, Columbus OH.
(Columbus Dispatch)

1. Moderate Egyptians haunted by prospect of Islamist rule.
"With Islamist parties poised to win a majority of seats in Egypt’s parliamentary election, the country’s Christians and secular Muslims are growing desperate for ways to avoid the restrictions of an Islamic regime."
(Globe & Mail)

2. Jobless rate drops to 8.6 percent.
"The unemployment rate fell to a 2-1/2 year low of 8.6 percent in November and companies stepped up hiring, further evidence the economic recovery was gaining momentum."
(Reuters)

3. Democrats see advantage in payroll tax debate.
"Senate Democrats have put antitax Republicans in the position of opposing a tax cut for mostly middle-class Americans because it comes with a tax on a far smaller number of higher earners."
(New York Times)

4. Obama redirects $50 million to fight AIDS.
"President Obama declared a new day in the fight against AIDS in the U.S. and around the world as he unveiled a plan to make life-saving drug treatments available to millions more people."
(Los Angeles Times)

5. Who are undocumented immigrants?
"As the presidential candidates and Congress continue to debate illegal immigration, a new survey shows that almost two-thirds of the 10.2 million illegal immigrants in the United States have called the country home for longer than 10 years — and nearly half are also parents of a child."
(Politico)

6.  Climate push from poorest nations.
"The move puts the blocs on a collision course not only with many rich nations, but also with developing world partners such as China, India and Brazil."
(BBC)

7. Aung San Suu Kyi welcomes US engagement with Burma.
"Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has welcomed renewed US engagement with her long-isolated country, saying she hoped it would help to set it on the road to democracy."
(Guardian)

8. For Afghan woman, justice runs into unforgiving wall of custom.
"Even efforts guided by the best intentions to redress violence against women here run up against the limits of change in a society where cultural practices are so powerful that few can resist them, not even the president."
(New York Times)

9. Sanctions bite in Syria as oil giant Shell pulls out.
"Royal Dutch Shell said on Friday it would cease operations in Syria to heed new European Union sanctions against Damascus, deepening the international isolation of President Bashar al-Assad imposed over his violent crackdown on popular unrest."
(Reuters)

10. U.S. Senate passes Iran sanctions.
"The US Senate has unanimously approved economic sanctions on Iran targeting the country's oil industry, despite warnings the move could backfire."
(BBC)

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