The Common Good

The Top 10 Stories of April 10, 2012

Quote of the day.
"People who grew up within the war on terror are asking, what does it mean to be a Nato ally? Is India our worst enemy? We are bombarded by all this information and there is a deep need for answers. That leads to religious inquiry.” Maha Jehangir, a 30-year-old consultant, speaking of why wealthy, educated Pakistani women are drawn to conservative Islam.

1. No grand jury for Trayvon case.
The special prosecutor assigned to investigate the Trayvon Martin case will not be using a grand jury to determine whether to arrest George Zimmerman.
(Miami Herald/McClatchy Newspapers)

2. Birthrate for teens is lowest in history.
Teen births are at their lowest level in almost 70 years, federal data report today. Birthrates for ages 15-19 in all racial and ethnic groups are lower than ever reported.
(USA Today)

3. Food stamps helped reduce poverty rate.
The food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, reduced the poverty rate by nearly 8 percent in 2009, the most recent year included in the study, a significant impact for a social program whose effects often go unnoticed by policy makers.
(New York Times)

4. Raising the floor on pay.
As the nation’s economy slowly recovers and income inequality emerges as a crucial issue in the presidential campaign, lawmakers are facing growing pressure to raise the minimum wage, which was last increased at the federal level to $7.25 an hour in July 2009.
(New York Times)

5. Making the border less enticing to cross.
U.S. Border Patrol agents are taking a more proactive tactic to deter migrants: asking Mexican and Central American TV and radio stations and newspapers for the opportunity to tell of the dangers of crossing illegally.
(Los Angeles Times)

6. Syrian opposition says 1,000 killed in last 8 days.
A spokeswoman for the Syrian National Council says troops loyal to President Bashar Assad have intensified their onslaught in opposition areas despite saying it would accept a U.N. peace plan.
(Associated Press)

7. North Korea says ready to launch rocket.
Isolated and impoverished North Korea said on Tuesday it was ready to go ahead with its proposed long-range rocket launch, an announcement that sparked immediate condemnation from South Korea and Russia and a plea from China, its main ally, for calm.

8. Egypt constitution panel halted.
A court in Egypt has suspended the 100-member assembly appointed last month to draft the country''s new constitution. … They said women, young people and minorities were under-represented.

9. Saudi activists fight through their fear.
Even in a kingdom where police often materialize before a protest placard can be raised or a cry of dissent can be shouted, the uprisings across the region have inspired rumblings of discontent.
(Chicago Tribune/Los Angeles Times)

10. Government comfortable with pipeline timelines; aboriginals consider lawsuit.
The federal government’s decision to put a cap on how long environmental assessment hearings can drag on isn’t expected to affect the Northern Gateway pipeline project, but aboriginal reaction to the change probably will.
(Toronto Globe & Mail)

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