The Common Good

The Top 10 Stories of April 4, 2013

Quote of the day.
“Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores, and thereby speed the day when ‘every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.’" Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., assassinated 45 years ago today.
(A Time to Break Silence)

1. States move quickly, divergently on gun laws.
Even as momentum for new gun legislation wanes in Washington, lawmakers across the country are fashioning their own response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, resulting in a patchwork that tightens restrictions in some places and eases them in others.
(Los Angeles Times)

2. Business balks at immigration deal.
A deal between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor groups on visas for low-skilled workers was supposed to clear a path for an immigration reform package in the Senate. Instead, some business groups are grumbling about the deal, and they’re gearing up for a lobbying battle on Capitol Hill.
(Politico)

3. Hagel warns of deep, new cuts to defense budget.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the Pentagon on Wednesday to brace for further cuts in defense spending and said the military needs to make fundamental changes in the way it operates to cope with new fiscal realities.
(Washington Post)

4. Domestic drones gain ground.
Get ready for the game of drones. The unmanned aerial vehicle industry could pump millions of dollars and thousands of jobs into states already chafing from sequestration and looking to inject new funds into their local economies. 
(Politico)

5. As child care costs rise, families seek alternatives.
Child care costs have nearly doubled since the mid-1980s, but the portion of families paying for care has dropped, according to a new Census Bureau report. The report suggested that more families appear to be availing themselves of alternatives, including care provided by relatives and after-school programs.
(New York Times)

6. U.S. to deploy anti-missile system to Guam.
The United States will deploy a sophisticated anti-missile defense system to Guam in response to North Korean threats to U.S. military bases in the Pacific, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
(Washington Post)

7. Syrian guerrilla fighters sent to Iran for training.
The Syrian government is sending members of its irregular militias for guerrilla combat training at a secret base in Iran, in a move to bolster its armed forces drained by two years of fighting and defections. 
(Reuters)

8. Power struggle gripping Iran ahead of vote.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not going quietly. With only three months to go in his second and last presidential term, he has raised a series of controversies intended, experts say, to reshape his public image and secure the support of dissatisfied urban Iranians for his handpicked successor, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei.
(New York Times)

9. Amazon tribe threatens to declare war amid row over Brazilian dam project.
An Amazonian community has threatened to "go to war" with the Brazilian government after what they say is a military incursion into their land by dam builders.
(Guardian)

10. Desmond Tutu wins Templeton prize.
Desmond Tutu, a clarion voice from the pulpit during South Africans' struggle against racial apartheid, has won the $1.7 million Templeton prize for advancing the "spiritual liberation" of people around the world.
(Guardian)

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