The Common Good

The Top 10 Stories of October 9, 2012

Quote of the day.
"We wouldn't accept or want a world in which Russia or China or Iran is claiming authority to kill alleged enemies of the state based on secret evidence of the executive branch alone. And yet that's the authority we're asserting." Mary Ellen O'Connell, University of Notre Dame law professor, on why she believes drone killings are illegal under international law.
(Los Angeles Times)

1. Number of religion-less Americans doubles over two decades.
One-fifth of U.S. adults say they are not part of a traditional religious denomination, new data from the Pew Research Center show, evidence of an unprecedented reshuffling of Americans’ spiritual identities that is shaking up fields from charity to politics.
(Washington Post)

2. Romney foreign-policy speech takes tough tone but proposes few changes.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney slammed his rival’s international strategy as weak Monday in a speech at Virginia Military Institute. But many of the remarks in his critique didn’t pass the truth test, and despite his tough tone, the foreign-policy positions he outlined hewed close to those already held by President Barack Obama.

3. Weighing the effect of an exit of centrists.
A potent combination of Congressional redistricting, retirements of fed-up lawmakers and campaign spending by special interests is pushing out moderate members of both parties, leaving a shrinking corps of consensus builders.
(New York Times)

4. Cloning and stem cell work earns Nobel.
Two scientists who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday helped lay the foundation for regenerative medicine, the hotly pursued though still distant idea of rebuilding the body with tissues generated from its own cells.
(New York Times)

5. Justice in Libya presents dilemma for Obama White House.
Should it rely on the FBI, treating the assaults on the two U.S. compounds like a regular crime for prosecution in U.S. courts? Can it depend on the dysfunctional Libyan government to take action? Or should it embrace a military option by ordering a drone strike — or sending more prisoners to Guantanamo Bay?
(Washington Post)

6. Radicalism prompts warnings in France.
Jewish and Muslim leaders were warned on Monday of rising anti-Semitism among young Muslims, two days after the police arrested 11 men and fatally shot one in raids in a handful of cities aimed at young radical French Muslims.
(New York Times)

7. Turkey sends fighter jets to Syrian border.
Turkey has confirmed it is deploying more fighter jets to an airbase close to the border with Syria, amid artillery exchanges along its tense southeastern border with Syria.
(Al Jazeera)

8. Greece raises security for Angela Merkel's Athens visit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has arrived in Greece amid heavy security for her first visit since the eurozone crisis erupted nearly three years ago. Thousands of people who blame Germany for forcing painful austerity measures on Greece have streamed into central squares carrying anti-Merkel banners.

9. Rural India marches on Delhi over landless poor.
So far the marchers, 50,000-strong according to the organizers, have covered around 80 kilometers, not even a quarter of the distance they hope to travel. Their march will take another three weeks.

10. One in eight of world population going hungry.
One out of every eight people in the world is chronically undernourished, the United Nations' food agencies said on Tuesday, and aid groups warned that rising food prices could reverse gains in the fight against hunger.

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