The Common Good

The Top 10 Stories of May 20, 2013

Quote of the day.
"Today, and it breaks my heart to say it, finding a homeless person who has died of cold, is not news. Today, the news is scandals, that is news, but the many children who don't have food — that's not news. This is grave. We can't rest easy while things are this way." Pope Francis, in unscripted comments answering questions at a huge international gathering of Catholic associations in St. Peter's Square.
(Reuters)

1. Larger union that enforces immigration opposes bill.
A labor union representing 12,000 federal officers who issue immigration documents will join forces on Monday with the union representing deportation agents to publicly oppose a bill overhauling the immigration system that is making its way through the Senate, arguing that the legislation would weaken public safety.
(New York Times)

2. Military sex abuse victims seek VA help.
More than 85,000 veterans were treated last year for injuries or illness stemming from sexual abuse in the military, and 4,000 sought disability benefits, underscoring the staggering long-term impact of a crisis that has roiled the Pentagon and been condemned by President Barack Obama as "shameful and disgraceful."
(Associated Press)

3. Newtown parents to Illinois: Ban high-capacity clips.
The grieving mother of a 6-year-old killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School joined Illinois Democrats on Sunday in calling for a statewide ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
(Chicago Tribune)

4. Suburban poverty soars.
Poverty is growing faster in the suburbs than anywhere else in the United States, soaring 64% over the past decade. That was more than twice the growth rate of the urban poor population.
(CNN)

5. Myanmar leader making landmark White House visit.
Former general Thein Sein on Monday becomes the first Myanmar president to be welcomed to the White House in almost 47 years, crowning a dramatic diplomatic rehabilitation for his nation after years of international isolation.
(Associated Press)

6. Outlook dim as Syria diplomacy gathers force.
The world's diplomats will make a major new push in the coming days for negotiations to end Syria's civil war, but their chances of achieving a peace deal look as remote as ever.
(Reuters)

7. Iraq death toll stirs fears of civil war.
The death toll in Iraq from four consecutive days of violence has reached at least 140 people, stirring fears that rising sectarian conflicts could lead the country into civil war.
(Al Jazeera)

8. Effort to strengthen an Afghan law on women may backfire.
Preserving any protections long-term appears to be in question, as the country’s tiny women’s rights movement faces an unenviable decision: leave intact the only law that attempts to halt such abuses, or continue to present changes to Parliament and run the risk that a growing conservative bloc could dismantle the law entirely.
(New York Times)

9. Activists bristle as India cracks down on foreign funding of NGOs. 
Amid an intensifying crackdown on nongovernmental groups that receive foreign funding, Indian activists are accusing the government of stifling their right to dissent in the world’s largest democracy.
(Washington Post)

10. Pakistan army chief meets incoming prime minister.
Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, who heads Pakistan’s powerful army and holds significant sway over civilian affairs, visited the incoming prime minister Saturday in what the military described as a show of support for stronger democracy and greater stability as the nation struggles with an economic meltdown and continued insurgent attacks.
(Washington Post)

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