The Top 10 Stories of December 3, 2012
Quote of the Day.
“Now we have become a state!” Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, on United Nations General Assembly vote to enhance standing of the Palestinian state.
(New York Times)
1. ‘Fiscal cliff’ talks at a stalemate over tax hikes.
As the White House and Republican leaders enter the final month of negotiations to avoid a year-end “fiscal cliff,” both sides struck an uncompromising tone Sunday, as warnings mounted that they will be unable to forge an agreement to stop an automatic series of deep spending cuts and large tax hikes that could push the economy into recession.
2. Young immigrant activists cast a wider net.
After a boisterous three-day congress, more than 600 leaders of a national movement of young immigrants living in the country without legal papers voted to expand beyond their past demands for citizenship for young people, and to mobilize in support of a bill to legalize 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
(New York Times)
3. Egypt starts preparations for constitution referendum.
The Egyptian president's top legal adviser says the country's election commission has begun preparations for the referendum on a highly contentious draft constitution.
4. U.S. denounces Israeli settlement plans.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has criticized Israel's decision to build 3,000 settler homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. "In light of today's announcement, let me reiterate that this administration — like previous administrations — has been very clear with Israel that these activities set back the cause of a negotiated peace," Clinton said on Friday.
5. Brinksmanship on Obama Medicaid expansion for poor.
It's health care brinksmanship, with hundreds of billions of dollars and the well-being of millions of people at stake. President Barack Obama's health care law expands Medicaid, the federal-state health program for low-income people, but cost-wary states must decide whether to take the deal.
6. Pentagon reportedly planning to double size of its worldwide spy network.
The U.S. military plans to send hundreds more spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan that will more than double the size of its espionage network, it was reported Sunday. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon's military intelligence unit, is aiming to recruit 1,600 intelligence "collectors" — up from the several hundred overseas agents it has employed in recent years, sources told The Washington Post.
7. U.S. envoy hits China's stand in U.N. climate talks.
The top U.S. envoy to U.N. climate talks is challenging China's demand for favorable treatment in carbon emissions, rejecting the current division between rich and poor countries for a future treaty.
8. U.S. official points to end of 'war on terror.'
The U.S. military campaign against al-Qaeda should not be seen as a conflict without end, the Pentagon's chief lawyer has said in a speech that broached a rarely discussed subject among U.S. officials. The address by Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson on Thursday marked the first time a senior U.S. official publicly raised the possibility of an end to the so-called "war on terror," launched by former president George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.
9. D.R. Congo rebels demand negotiations.
Rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo have said they will retake the city of Goma if the government does not agree to negotiate with them by Monday. The M23 rebels completed their withdrawal from the strategic eastern city on Saturday, in compliance with an agreement reached between the group and a regional body.
10. Afghan army, police take increasing casualties.
More than 300 Afghan soldiers and policemen are dying each month as the Afghan national security forces assume increasing responsibility for the war, military officials said Monday.