The Top 10 Stories of July 3, 2013
Quote of the day.
“If I made someone squirm, then so be it. Sango UMC is not going to be a congregation that talks about issues and solutions. We are going to be part of the solutions to the problems we face in our community. We are going to get our hands dirty as we live like Jesus and help others.” Rev. Willie Lyle, newly-appointed pastor of Sango United Methodist Church, Clarksville Tenn., who spent the week before his first sermon living on the street to experience homelessness.
(The (Nashville) Tennessean)
1. Wildfires’ size, intensity, and impact are increasing.
Volatile weather patterns marked by shortened winters, stifling heat waves, and prolonged droughts. New housing developments encroaching on fire-prone lands. Shrinking budgets for fire-prevention measures.
2. Crucial rule is delayed a year for Obama's health law.
In a significant setback for President Obama’s signature domestic initiative, the administration on Tuesday abruptly announced a one-year delay, until 2015, in his health care law’s mandate that larger employers provide coverage for their workers or pay penalties.
(New York Times)
3. Immigration votes will echo into 2014, 2016 elections.
The nation’s immigration debate has become an epic struggle between two of the nation’s most potent political forces, the growing, crucial Latino vote and the well-funded, highly motivated conservative movement.
4. Border package would be a boon for big defense contractors.
The border security plan the Senate approved last week includes unusual language mandating the purchase of specific models of helicopters and radar equipment for deployment along the U.S.-Mexican border, providing a potential windfall worth tens of millions of dollars to top defense contractors.
5. Hints surface that NSA building massive, pervasive surveillance capability.
Despite U.S. intelligence officials’ repeated denials that the National Security Agency is collecting the content of domestic emails and phone calls, evidence is mounting that the agency’s vast surveillance network can and may already be preserving billions of those communications in powerful digital databases.
6. Bolivian president's jet rerouted amid suspicions Edward Snowden on board.
Bolivia reacted with fury after a plane carrying the country's president home from Russia was diverted to Vienna amid suspicions that it was carrying the surveillance whistleblower, Edward Snowden. France and Portugal were accused of withdrawing permission for the plane, carrying the president, Evo Morales, from energy talks in Moscow, to pass through their airspace.
7. Egyptian army in crisis talks as Morsi deadline looms.
Egypt's army has been holding talks with government and protest leaders, as the deadline it set for a resolution to the mass protests approaches.
8. Kerry says U.S. and Russia working toward Syria talks.
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that the United States and Russia were still working toward holding an international peace conference on Syria and agreed that it should take place “sooner rather than later.”
(New York Times)
9. British PM discusses Afghan peace in Pakistan.
Helping to bring stability to Afghanistan would be in Pakistan's interest, British Prime Minister David Cameron told his counterpart during a two-day visit in Islamabad.
10. Pakistan drone strike kills 17.
At least 17 people have been killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike on a compound in north-west Pakistan, Pakistani officials say.