The Common Good

The Top 10 Stories of May 13, 2013

Quote of the day.
‘‘I can’t pretend it’s not difficult to be reviled and maligned. But any time you can reach across the divide and work with people that are not like you, that’s what God calls us to do.’’ Martha Mullen, on why she helped to arrange the burial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev at a small Islamic cemetery in rural Virginia.
(Boston Globe/AP)

1. IRS field office singled out groups that ‘criticize how the country is being run.’
At various points over the past two years, Internal Revenue Service officials singled out for scrutiny not only groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names but also nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution.
(Washington Post)

2. Immigration debate attracts wide swath of lobbyists.
As senators begin debate on the so-called Gang of Eight’s proposal, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people here illegally, hundreds of lobbyists representing tech companies, agriculture interests, and students, along with families living here illegally, have flanked Capitol Hill to ensure members of Congress address their needs.
(McClatchy News)

3. Renewed drive to ease sequester.
Sequestration was supposed to be a meat ax slashing large chunks of the federal budget, but Congress is poised to turn it into Swiss cheese. The shortlist for the next round of possible sequester saves includes cancer patients, medical researchers, hungry seniors, poor people, and pre-schoolers.
(Politico)

4. Pediatricians take on gun lobby — carefully.
To pediatricians, gun control is a public health issue, not a political one. But they're treading a fine line, and they know it. The American Academy of Pediatrics has begun a renewed push to try to get Congress to pass gun control measures, sending more than 100 pediatricians to Capitol Hill earlier this month.
(NBC News)

5. President Obama stares down the second-term curse.
The combination of clever and determined Republican resistance on nearly every front, bad luck, Obama’s overconfidence in his capacity to leverage a decisive reelection victory into legislative clout, and his own administration’s past mistakes have left the president feeling deeply frustrated, even angry — and eager to find a way to recapture the offensive.
(Politico)

6. Benghazi depositions to examine Clinton's role.
The Republican chairman of the House oversight panel is asking a veteran diplomat and a former chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff for sworn testimony about their investigation into the deaths of four Americans at a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.
(Associated Press)

7. Nawaz Sharif 'ready to hit ground running' as he heads for Pakistan win.
The full scale of Nawaz Sharif''s thumping victory in Pakistan's general election became clear on Sunday, making it far more likely the country's next prime minister will be able to govern without coalition deals and be free to push through what supporters see as a potentially revolutionary agenda.
(Guardian)

8. Conflict shatters Timbuktu’s soul.
Four months after French forces intervened in northern Mali to prevent jihadists from gaining more territory, the conflict is increasingly evoking similarities to the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
(Washington Post)

9. Afghans on U.S. bases losing jobs after years of devoted service.
The 11-year Western military occupation of Afghanistan has been a boon for the Afghan workforce, providing thousands of jobs for interpreters, mechanics, cleaners, and drivers. But with bases being torn down and equipment shipped out as combat troops prepare to leave next year, many Afghan workers are no longer needed.
(Chicago Tribune)

10. Muhammad Yunus appeals to west to help Bangladesh's garment industry.
The Nobel laureate and social activist Muhammad Yunus has asked western consumers and businesses to help reform Bangladesh's booming but unregulated garment industry after the deaths of more than 1,000 people last month in the collapse of a factory in the capital, Dhaka.
(Guardian)

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