Quote of the day.
“I try to live within my means, but sometimes you just can’t.” Crystal Dupont, 25, of Houston, one of about 3.6 million Americans earning at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
(NBC News )
1. Winter snowstorm pummels Midwest, heads toward D.C.
After pummeling the nation''s midsection with heavy snow, a late-winter storm made its way Wednesday to the nation''s capital, where residents braced for the possibility of power outages. As the storm closed in, the federal government said its offices in the Washington, D.C., area would be closed Wednesday.
(Associated Press )
2. Dow’s record shows markets unfazed by tepid growth, political gridlock.
More than four years later, the crisis seems a distant memory for a number of big U.S. companies that are reporting record profits, even though many Americans remain jobless, wages have stagnated and Washington remains paralyzed in the face of the country’s tepid economic growth.
(Washington Post )
3. Immigration talks gain momentum.
With the Senate moving full-steam ahead on a comprehensive immigration bill, House Republicans are finding their way on their own strategy meant to position Washington for reform in the 113th Congress.
4. Gun advocates break with NRA on background checks.
In behind-the-scenes talks with congressional staff members and others, gunmakers, dealers and other Second Amendment advocates have offered support for more instant criminal background checks, buoying the hopes of gun-control supporters.
(Washington Post )
5. Civil rights group warns of rising danger from extreme right.
Efforts to limit gun violence and to bring about immigration reform have led to a growing backlash from the extreme right, including the so-called patriot and militia groups, a civil-rights group said Tuesday.
(Chicago Tribune )
6. Nominee to lead CIA clears hurdle after release of drone data.
The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday voted 12 to 3 to confirm John O. Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency after the White House agreed to provide more information on the legal basis for targeted killings of Americans abroad who are believed to pose a terrorist threat.
(New York Times )
7. Venezuela begins seven days of mourning after president dies.
Venezuelans began seven days of painful and public mourning on Tuesday night after the announcement that their president, Hugo Chávez, had died aged 58 after a long battle against cancer.
8. Syria conflict: Refugees number a million, says UN.
The number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict has reached a million, the U.N. has said. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said the number of people seeking haven in neighboring countries had jumped since the beginning of the year.
9. US China propose tough UN sanctions FOR N Korea.
A U.S.-China draft resolution aimed at reining in North Korea''s nuclear and ballistic missile program would impose some of the strongest sanctions ever ordered by the United Nations, in a move certain to infuriate the regime and inflame tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
(Associated Press) 
10. Iraq''s depleted uranium clean-up to cost $30m as contamination spreads.
The report, which was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warns that the contamination is being spread by poorly regulated scrap metal dealers, including children. It also documents evidence that DU munitions were fired at light vehicles, buildings and other civilian infrastructure.