Afternoon News Bytes: March 20, 2012

By the Web Editors 3-20-2012

THE HUFFINGTON POST: Mexico Earthquake 2012: 'Strong' Quake Reportedly Rocks Mexico
The Associated Press is reporting that a "strong" quake has hit Mexico City. CNN's Rodrigo Javier also confirmed the earthquake, noting that the US geological services said that a 7.6-magnitude quake hit near Acapulco.
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THE WASHINGTON POST: Paul Ryan’s Budget: Should The Poor Pay For Deficit Reduction?
Here’s the basic outline of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget in one sentence: Ryan’s budget funds trillions of dollars in tax cuts, defense spending and deficit reduction by cutting deeply into health-care programs and income supports for the poor.
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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Climate, Science, And Religion (OPINION)
Being neither a biblical scholar nor a prophet, I am unqualified to judge what falls either within or outside the parameters of God's domain. But I would like to point out for your consideration that really, really bad stuff has happened on our planet in the past.
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THE FINANCIAL TIMES: Saudi Arabia moves to calm oil market
Saudi Arabia is taking steps to cool the overheating global energy market, boosting its exports to the US and re-opening old oilfields to expand production, as the world’s largest oil producer tries to prevent damage to the global economic recovery.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES: The New Suburban Poverty
In many of America’s once pristine suburbs, harbingers of inner-city blight — overgrown lots, boarded up windows, abandoned residences — are the new eyesores.
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MOTHER JONES: And You Wonder Why We're Broke? (Chart)
This chart from the International Institute for Strategic Studies—part of the think tank's recent report, "Military Balance 2012," more or less speaks for itself. Supporters of American militarism will look at this and say, "Well, we're spending a smaller proportion of our GDP on warfare than some of these other countries." But look at those countries: They're tiny, and they also happen to reside in a less-than-stable Middle East.
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SALON: The Coming Fight Over Violence Against Women
Reauthorizing the once-bipartisan Violence Against Women Act used to be a matter of Senate routine, but it has now gone the way of debt-ceiling negotiations — into the trenches of partisan warfare.
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SLATE: You Can’t Occupy This
In post-Occupy America, it’s often hard to know whether new citizen protest laws signal the end of free speech or a mere tweak of the machine. That looks to be the case with the new anti-protest bill that passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly two weeks ago and was signed into law by the president soon thereafter.
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THE CHRISTIAN POST: Open Doors Rates Congressmen on Religious Freedom Stance
Americans should know how elected officials rank when it comes to their votes on religious freedom issues, said Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.).
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THINK PROGRESS: Santorum’s Warning: Breaking Christian ‘Moral Bounds’ Will Lead To ‘A Very Dangerous Place’
With a horse-saddled Ronald Reagan statue at his back, Rick Santorum argued during a rally in Moline, Illinois Monday afternoon that living outside of God’s “moral bounds” will lead to anarchy and a larger government.
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"Afternoon News Bytes: March 20, 2012"
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