The Common Good

The Top 10 Stories of March 22, 2013

Quote of the day.
"Indigenous people are coming together with many, many allies across the United States and Canada, and we will not allow these pipelines to cross our territories. Along with every single legal thing that can be done, there is direct action going on now to plan how to physically stop the pipelines." Phil Lane Jr., a hereditary chief from the Ihanktonwan Dakota in the state of South Dakota, speaking of three multibillion-dollar pipelines that are planned to transport oil from the Alberta tar sands.
(Guardian)

1. Senate Democrats on track to pass budget.
The nonbinding but politically symbolic measure would protect safety-net programs for the poor and popular domestic priorities like education, health research and federal law enforcement agencies from cuts sought by House Republicans, who adopted a far more austere plan on Thursday morning.
(Associated Press)

2. Schumer says immigration deal is nearly ready in the Senate.
A key member of a bipartisan Senate group said Thursday that the eight members are nearing agreement on a comprehensive plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws and will unveil a bill for consideration early next month.
(Washington Post)

3. Reid gun control bill includes background checks.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid demanded Thursday that any bill that passes the Senate on gun control include broader background checks, drawing a tougher line on the issue ahead of a contentious floor debate next month.
(Politico)

4. Poverty hits America's suburbs.
The number of suburban residents living in poverty rose by nearly 64 percent between 2000 and 2011, to about 16.4 million people, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of 95 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. That’s more than double the rate of growth for urban poverty in those areas.
(NBC News)

5. In Montana, Indian reservation’s children feel the impact of sequester’s cuts.
The public schools on the isolated, windswept Fort Peck Indian reservation here are at the frontier of the federal sequester, among the first to struggle with budget cuts sweeping west from Washington.
(Washington Post)

6. Once few, women hold more power in Senate.
With 20 female senators now in office, an all-time high, women have morphed from the curiosity they were for much of the 20th century into an important new force on key committees and legislation.
(New York Times)

7. Obama shifts tone on Israeli settlements.
President Barack Obama shuttled between the West Bank and Jerusalem on Thursday, prodding Palestinians and Israelis to restart peace talks as he acknowledged decades of frustration but insisted it’s in both sides’ best interest.
(McClatchy News)

8. New archbishop of Canterbury seen as advocate for the poor.
The new archbishop of Canterbury was formally enthroned Thursday, providing the Church of England and millions of members of the worldwide Anglican communion with a leader who — much like the new pope — has emerged as a strong advocate of social justice.
(Christian Science Monitor)

9. With drone base in Niger, U.S. gains strategic foothold in West Africa.
The newest outpost in the U.S. government’s empire of drone bases sits behind a razor-wire-topped wall outside this West African capital, blasted by 110-degree heat and the occasional sandstorm blowing from the Sahara.
(Washington Post)

10. Calls for inquiry into Syria 'chemical weapon attack.’
Syria's government and opposition have called for an inquiry into an attack that seems to have involved chemical weapons, both sides blaming each other.
(BBC)

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