The Top 10 Stories of April 17, 2012

By Duane Shank 4-17-2012

Quote of the day.
"What I am asking for is a campaign for the poor, the hungry, the middle class, the people who are going to be eviscerated by the Ryan budget. My church, the Catholic Church, needs to speak out loud on this issue." - Rep. Rosa DeLauro, speaking of a letter she sent to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
(Catholic News Service)

1. Christians, not Congress, can solve immigration crisis.
Hispanic evangelical leader Samuel Rodriguez said Christians must realize the importance of dealing with the issue of illegal immigration, and urged them to rise up and apply biblical principles rather than leave it to "self-seeking" Republican and Democrat lawmakers.
(Christian Post)

2. Senate falls short in vote on "Buffett Rule" millionaire tax.
The “Buffett Rule’’ — the Democratic-authored effort to impose a minimum tax on millionaires — is probably dead for awhile, fatally wounded by a largely partisan Senate vote Monday.
(McClatchy Newspapers)

3. Republicans to slash food stamps.
From food stamps to child tax credits and Social Service block grants, House Republicans began rolling out a new wave of domestic budget cuts Monday but less for debt reduction — and more to sustain future Pentagon spending without relying on new taxes.

4. Antipoverty tax program offers relief.
It is tax time, the season when the country’s largest antipoverty program, the earned income tax credit, plows billions of dollars into mailboxes and bank accounts of low-income working Americans … It is the most important financial moment of the year for many people in the bottom half of the wage bracket.
(New York Times)

5. Afghan assaults signal evolution of a militant foe.
Western military and intelligence officials acknowledged on Monday that they were surprised by the scale and sophistication of the synchronized attacks in Afghanistan on Sunday, seeing it as a troubling step in the evolution of the Haqqani Taliban network from a crime mob to a leading militant force.
(New York Times)

6. Troops out next year, PM pledges.
Australia's combat and training operations in Afghanistan could be over, and most of the troops back home, as early as the middle of next year, Julia Gillard announced today.
(Sydney Morning Herald)

7. U.N. condemns North Korea rocket-launch attempt.
The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's recent failed rocket launch as a violation of council resolutions, and also given warning that it would take further action in the event of a new missile launch or nuclear test.
(Al Jazeera)

8. Syrian troops widen shelling attacks.
The Syrian regime widened shelling attacks on opposition strongholds Tuesday, activists said, targeting a second town in a new sign that a U.N.-brokered cease-fire is quickly unraveling despite the presence of foreign observers.
(Associated Press)

9. Palestinian inmates begin strike.
More than 1,200 Palestinian inmates held in Israeli jails have begun a hunger strike to protest against what they say are unfair prison conditions.

10. How much does the military cost each country?
Is the global arms trade recession-proof? Almost, it appears. While government spending is being cut across the globe, military spending is staying remarkably steady. The world''s countries spent $1.7tn on their militaries last year, according to new figures published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).

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