The Common Good

Weekly Wrap

The Top 10 Stories of August 14, 2013

"I was always focused on negotiating for my team but never as good at negotiating for myself." Dawn Lepore, former chief executive at Drugstore.com, in a new Bloomberg report that finds that out of the top executives at each of the companies in the S&P 500 index, only 8 percent were women, and that these women at the top ranks of Corporate America earned 18 percent less than men.

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The Top 10 Stories of August 13, 2013

"I feel like I’m stuck in a perpetual nightmare. I can’t seem to adjust to this life. In the Marines, we have a motto that we never leave a man behind. I feel like I’ve been left behind.” Milton Tepeyac, a deported veteran who served eight years as a U.S. Marine, scrapes by on $3 an hour in the northern Mexican city of Hermosillo.

1.
Al-Qaeda expands in Syria via Islamic State.
A rebranded version of Iraq’s al-Qaeda affiliate is surging onto the front lines of the war in neighboring Syria, expanding into territory seized by other rebel groups and carving out the kind of sanctuaries that the U.S. military spent more than a decade fighting to prevent in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(Washington Post)

2. Bulger found guilty in racketeering case.
James "Whitey" Bulger, who ruled this city's violent underworld before eluding capture for 16 years, was convicted Monday in a sweeping racketeering case, including involvement in 11 murders. Mr. Bulger stood grim-faced with his hands clasped in front of him as the verdict was read. The 83-year-old, who has been in federal custody since 2011, faces life in prison at a sentencing scheduled for Nov. 13.
(Wall Street Journal)

3. North Carolina governor signs extensive Voter ID law.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Monday signed into law one of the nation’s most wide-ranging Voter ID laws. The move is likely to touch off a major court battle over voting rights, and the Justice Department is weighing a challenge to the new law, which is the first to pass since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act. 
(Washington Post)

4. Racial discrimination in stop-and-frisk.
Judge Shira Scheindlin of Federal District Court in New York upheld the bedrock principle of individual liberty on Monday when she ruled that the tactics underlying New York City’s stop-and-frisk program violated the constitutional rights of minority citizens. She found that the city had been “deliberately indifferent” to police officers illegally detaining and frisking minority residents on the streets over many years.
(New York Times)

5. Two powerful signals of a major shift on crime.
Two decisions Monday, one by a federal judge in New York and the other by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., were powerful signals that the pendulum has swung away from the tough-on-crime policies of a generation ago. Those policies have been denounced as discriminatory and responsible for explosive growth in the prison population.
(New York Times)

6. U.S. retail sales data points to improving economy.
A gauge of U.S. consumer spending rose in July at its fastest pace in seven months, a sign of quicker economic growth that could strengthen the case for the U.S. Federal Reserve winding down a major economic stimulus program.
(Reuters)

7. Hillary Clinton calls for election reform.
Potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton kicked off a series of speeches on Monday with a call to combat what she called an "assault on voting rights." She spent most of her 45-minute talk to about 1,000 members of the American Bar Association assailing a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a significant part of the Voting Rights Act and discussing what she sees as "deep flaws in our electoral system" as it relates to racial discrimination at the polls.
(Associated Press)

8. Air pollution takes toll on China's tourism.
China, one of the most visited countries in the world, has seen sharply fewer tourists this year — with worsening air pollution partly to blame. Numbers of foreign visitors have declined following January's "Airpocalypse," when already eye-searing levels of smog soared to new highs.
(Associated Press)

9. Clashes break out in Cairo between pro-and anti-Mursi factions.
Clashes broke out in central Cairo on Tuesday when supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi came under attack as they marched to the Interior Ministry, a Reuters reporter said. Supporters of the new military-installed government hurled stones at the marchers and threw bottles at them from balconies. Police then fired tear gas at the pro-Mursi protesters.
(Reuters)

10. Kerry works to shore up relations with Brazil.
Secretary of State John Kerry will seek to allay the concerns of Brazil's top leaders about U.S. surveillance in their country while highlighting the expanding relationship the U.S. is nurturing with the economic powerhouse in Latin America.
(Associated Press)

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The Top 10 Stories of August 12, 2013

Editor's Note: Starting next weekDaily Digest is getting an update! Click HERE to learn more about the change.

“A vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities. However, many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate this problem rather than alleviate it.” Attorney General Eric H. Holder plans to say Monday, ­according to excerpts of his ­remarks that were provided to The Washington Post. 

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The Top 10 Stories of August 9, 2013

Quote of the Day
“This Eid comes with a lot of stress and pain all over the Islamic world. The message I would send is that we need to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters in these countries, and to pray to God that he relieves their pain and suffering." Omar Shahin, president of the North American Imams Federation, and a native of Jordan who attends the Islamic Center of Laveen in Arizona.
(Sojourners / Religion News Service)

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The Top 10 Stories of August 8, 2013

"I am good, very excited. It's a big surprise. This opens a path for other Dreamers in Mexico." Maria Peniche, 22, one of the nine activists known as the Dream Nine, who have been released from federal custody after spearheading a campaign against mass deportation.

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The Top 10 Stories of August 7, 2013

"Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Human-induced climate change requires urgent action." A headline in a newly released two-page statement by the American Geophysical Union, which represents some 60,000 scientists who study the Earth.

 

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The Top 10 Stories of August 6, 2013

Quote of the Day:
"The values of The Post do not need changing. The paper’s duty will remain to its readers and not to the private interests of its owners. We will continue to follow the truth wherever it leads, and we’ll work hard not to make mistakes. When we do, we will own up to them quickly and completely." Jeff Bezos, in a statement to Washington Post employees after purchasing the paper.

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The Top 10 Stories of August 5, 2013

Quote of the Day:
“For the past decade, the U.S. has been able to hide Bagram behind the shield of ongoing military conflict in Afghanistan. What’s happening now is that the shield is disappearing and what’s left is the legacy of the second Guantanamo, which is going to last beyond the Afghan war.” Tina M. Foster, director of the International Justice Network, which represents more than 30 detainees in the jail at Bagram air base outside Kabul, Afghanistan.

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The Top 10 Stories of August 2, 2013

Quote of the day.
“I’m working as hard as I can. Every time I talk to my boss I ask, ‘Is there any more work?’ I’m trying to go to school so I can get a better job, so I can get off welfare.” Yolanda Williams, Philadelphia, who works part-time and receives Medicaid and food stamps to support her disabled husband and unemployed daughter, while also attending school.
(NBC News)

1. U.S. employers add 162k jobs, rate falls to 7.4 pct.
U.S. employers added 162,000 jobs in July, the fewest since March. The gains were enough to lower the unemployment rate to a 4 1/2 -year low of 7.4 percent.
(Associated Press)

2. Dozens arrested in pro-immigration protest at U.S. Capitol.
Dozens of leaders in the immigration movement were arrested Thursday after they blocked a major intersection near the Capitol in a protest of Republican opposition to an immigration overhaul that would include a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million immigrants who are in the country illegally.
(McClatchy News)

3. G.O.P. rifts lead Congress to spending impasse.
Hours before leaving on summer recess, Congress on Thursday hit a seemingly intractable impasse on government spending, increasing the prospects of a government shutdown in the fall and adding new urgency to fiscal negotiations between the White House and a bloc of Senate Republicans.
(New York Times)

4. House GOP takes another cut at food stamp bill.
House Republicans are proposing to double their food stamp savings to nearly $40 billion by rolling back waivers for able-bodied adults and targeting funds to states that are willing to impose greater work requirements on the parents of young children.
(Politico)

5. Unions get creative to halt decline in membership.
With union membership on the decline, labor leaders are getting more creative — and some say more desperate — to boost sagging numbers and rebuild their waning clout.
(Associated Press)

6. Global warming, more wars? Climate could spark more conflict.
Peacemakers are likely to be in great demand by 2050 if global warming proceeds unabated. That is the implication of a new analysis exploring the links between climate change and conflict.
(Christian Science Monitor)

7. Kerry says Pakistan drone strikes could end as bilateral talks resume.
The U.S. secretary of state, John Kerry, and his Pakistani counterpart, Sartaj Aziz, said on Thursday the two countries will resume high-level negotiations over security issues. Kerry suggested that disputed drone strikes could end soon.
(Guardian/AP)

8. Iran assails house sanctions bill.
Iran reacted angrily on Thursday to the overwhelming approval of harsh legislation on sanctions by the House of Representatives, saying the action would further complicate stalled negotiations aimed at resolving the protracted dispute over the Iranian nuclear energy program.
(New York Times)

9. U.S. says Egypt restoring democracy.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said Egypt's military was "restoring democracy" when it ousted elected President Mohammed Morsi last month. Mr Kerry said the removal was at the request of "millions and millions of people."
(BBC)

10. Spree of prison breakouts stirs fear of new Al Qaeda threat.
In less than a week, more than 2,000 prisoners, many of them Islamic militants trained by Al Qaeda, have been broken out of detention in Iraq, Libya, and Pakistan in spectacularly violent raids.
(Chicago Tribune)

Editor’s note:

Friends.

I am transitioning into a different role at Sojourners, so after nearly 7 years, today is the last Daily Digest I will do. Sojourners will continue to bring you the news you need to know, although the format may change. I have thoroughly enjoyed producing the Digest, and I have always been grateful for the emails with your appreciation, suggestions, and critiques.

Thank you.

Duane

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The Top 10 Stories of August 1, 2013

Quote of the day.
“I wanted to be part of creating a community where survivors and hard-living people could feel welcome.” Don Durham, founder of Healing Springs Acres, a community farm in North Carolina that provides people a means of serving their neighbors by growing thousands of pounds of produce for area feeding ministries.
(Associated Baptist Press)

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