The Common Good

The Top 10 Stories of August 15, 2013

“We have reached a state of harder polarization and more dangerous division, with the social fabric in danger of tearing, because violence only begets violence. The beneficiaries of what happened today are the preachers of violence and terrorism, the most extremist groups, and you will remember what I am telling you." Mohamed ElBaradei, former interim vice president and  a Nobel Prize laureate and former diplomat who had lent his reputation to selling the West on the democratic goals of the military takeover, wrote in a public letter to the president.

1. Morsi supporters call for protest marches as crackdown death toll rises in Egypt.
Supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi called Thursday for protest marches after a violent government crackdown triggered clashes across Egypt, leaving more than 500 people dead and the promise of a speedy transition to democracy in tatters.
(Washington Post)

2. Lutherans elect Elizabeth Eaton first female presiding bishop of ELCA.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on Wednesday elected the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton as the denomination’s first female presiding bishop. Eaton received 600 votes against incumbent Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, who received 287.
(Religion News Service)

3. Intermittent nature of green power Is challenge for utilities.
The 21 turbines at the Kingdom Community Wind farm in Vermont soar above Lowell Mountain, a testament in steel and fiberglass to the state’s growing use of green energy. Except when they aren’t allowed to spin at their fastest. That has been the case several times in the farm’s short existence, including during the record July heat wave when it could have produced enough much-needed energy to fuel a small town. Instead, the grid system operator held it at times to just one-third of what it could have produced.
(New York Times)

4. Egypt's Christians under attack, may want to flee country.
Christians make up about 8 million of Egypt's population of 80 million and have been victims of Muslim attacks for years. Some Christians were worried when Islamists took over Egypt's government in 2012 and relieved when the military ousted them from power last month. But the ancient Coptic communities here that predate Islam by centuries say they now see a new wave of violence against them since the ouster.
(USA Today)

5. As Mideast talks resume, security, sovereignty conflict.
As in previous Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, success will hinge on finding a way to reconcile Palestinian desires for a true independent nation with Israeli demands for concrete steps that assure they will never again face terror from Palestinian territory.
(USA Today)

6. The way forward on immigration.
What is most striking to us are not the differences, but the similarities, in many of the views expressed by those on both sides of the reform debate. As co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Immigration Task Force, we have mapped this common ground and believe there is ample room for achieving consensus. Today we are releasing initial recommendations to fix several key areas of the U.S. immigration system.
(Politico)

7. Jobless claims drop to pre-recession level.
There were 320,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports. Not only is that 15,000 fewer than had been filed the week before, it's also the lowest number for any single week since before the U.S. economy officially slipped into its most recent recession, in December 2007.
(NPR)

8. Bradley Manning 'sorry' for hurting U.S. at Wikileaks trial.
Private First Class Bradley Manning has apologized for hurting the U.S. by leaking a trove of classified U.S. government documents to Wikileaks. At a sentencing hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland, Private Manning, 25, said he had mistakenly believed he could "change the world for the better."
(BBC News)

9. The challenge of helping the uninsured find coverage.
Like many organizations across the country, Ms. Daily’s agency, Northern Virginia Family Service, is hoping to win a federal grant to help uninsured people in the state sign up for coverage under President Obama’s health care law. With the money, she hopes to hire at least a handful of “navigators” — a new category of worker created under the law to educate consumers about new health insurance options and, starting in October, to walk them through the enrollment process.
(New York Times)

10. BP sues U.S. government over contract ban.
British energy giant BP is suing the U.S. government for banning it from federal contracts after the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, documents showed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last year barred BP from competing for new federal contracts following the catastrophic accident three years ago, which left 11 people dead and sent millions of barrels of oil churning into the Gulf.
(Al Jazeera)

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