The Common Good

The Top 10 Stories of July 3, 2012

Quote of the day.
“I’m not hoping for the job of my dreams. I just want to be gainfully employed.”  Malcolm Byrd, a Marine Corps veteran, on the difficulty he and other vets have in finding jobs.
(New York Times)

1. Nuns cover 2,700 miles to rally in D.C.
A group of nuns who took to the road 2,700 miles ago reached Washington Monday carrying the same message they began with: "Reasonable revenue for responsible programs."
(CNN Belief Blog

2. Poor land in jail as companies add huge fees for probation.
In an effort to improve revenue, courts are turning to businesses that specialize in collections, resulting in costs that can reach thousands of dollars for a minor traffic offense.
(New York Times

3. Fewer workers cross border, creating U.S. farm labor shortage.
A crackdown on illegal immigration, more job opportunities in Mexico and rising fees charged by smugglers are reducing the number of workers who cross the U.S. border illegally each year to help make up more than 60 percent of U.S. farmworkers.
(McClatchy Newspapers)

 4. This U.S. summer is what global warming looks like.
If you want a glimpse of some of the worst of global warming, scientists suggest taking a look at U.S. weather in recent weeks. Horrendous wildfires. Oppressive heat waves. Devastating droughts. Flooding from giant deluges. And a powerful freak wind storm called a derecho.
(Associated Press

5. N.C. Gov. Perdue vetoes fracking bill.
Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed legislation on Sunday that would have paved the way for North Carolina to drill for natural gas through a water and chemical intensive process known as fracking.
(Raleigh News & Observer/McClatchy)

6. Syrian army attacks rebels, Turkey scrambles F16s.
The Syrian army pressed attacks on rebels on Tuesday, bombarding the city of Douma near Damascus, and Turkey said it had scrambled F-16 fighters the previous day after Syrian helicopters flew near its border.

7. U.S. adds forces in Persian Gulf, a signal to Iran.
The United States has quietly moved significant military reinforcements into the Persian Gulf to deter the Iranian military from any possible attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuz and to increase the number of fighter jets capable of striking deep into Iran if the standoff over its nuclear program escalates.
(New York Times)

8. Signs grow that Pakistan may reopen NATO supply line to Afghanistan.
U.S. and Pakistani officials have expressed optimism that Islamabad is close to reopening its Afghan border to NATO troop supplies after a seven-month blockade, a move that could significantly reduce tension between the two countries.

9. Militants raid Timbuktu mosque.
Islamist militants in Mali have attacked one of the most famous mosques in the historic city of Timbuktu, residents say. Armed men broke down the door of the 15th-Century Sidi Yahia mosque, a resident told the BBC.

10. Brazilian inmates offered reduced sentences for reading books.
Brazil’s “Redemption through Reading” program, announced in June, is the latest in a long series of efforts seeking to educate the incarcerated in an effort to reduce recidivism and give convicts a different view of the world “outside.”
(Toronto Globe & Mail)

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