The Top 10 Stories of April 24, 2013

By Duane Shank 4-24-2013

Quote of the day.
“It’s been Obama versus Obama on whistleblower policy. Until recently, there was a virtual free-speech advocacy for whistleblower job rights that’s unprecedented, more than any other president in history. At the same time, he has willingly allowed the Justice Department to prosecute whistleblowers on tenuous grounds.” Tom Devine, legal director of the nonprofit Government Accountability Project.
(Washington Post)

1. Boston bombing suspects appear to lack ties to foreign terrorist groups.
The injured suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that he and his brother were driven by hard-line Islamist views and anger over the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but had no ties to foreign militant groups, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
(Washington Post)

2. Immigration bill would aid security, Napolitano says.
Legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws would further strengthen the country’s security system to guard against cases like the Boston Marathon bombings, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday in the last of three hearings on a bipartisan immigration proposal.
(New York Times)

3. Republican split on immigration blunts party rebranding.
Since the bill was rolled out last week, a rift has emerged among conservatives that has played out in Senate hearings on Capitol Hill, on conservative talk shows, and in social media such as Twitter and blogs.
(Chicago Tribune/Reuters)

4. Senate hearing blasts Obama’s refusal to share details of drone program.
Democratic and Republican senators joined a former deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday in urging the Obama administration to make public more information about its top-secret targeted killing program amid questions about the legality and effectiveness of hundreds of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere.
(McClatchy News)

5. Obama plans W.H.-GOP budget group.
President Barack Obama is reaching out to Republican senators — the most receptive participants from his recent “charm-offensive” dinners — to jump-start talks to reach a “grand bargain” on entitlements, spending, and taxes, according to White House and Congressional officials.

6. Kidnapped Syrian bishops still missing, despite reports otherwise.
The fate of two prominent Orthodox bishops reportedly kidnapped in northern Syria remains uncertain, after their churches were unable to verify a claim that the pair had been released by their "terrorist" captors.
(Christian Science Monitor)

7. Dozens killed in battles across Iraq.
Gun battles erupted in cities with Sunni majorities across Iraq on Tuesday after security forces from the Shiite-led government stormed a Sunni protest encampment in a village near the northern city of Kirkuk.
(New York Times)

8. Nato urges Pakistan to fight militants.
Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called on Pakistan to combat militants who use the country as a launch-pad for attacks on neighbouring Afghanistan.

9. Israeli general: Syrian 'regime has used and is using chemical weapons.'
Israel's top intelligence analyst on Tuesday accused the Syrian regime of using lethal chemical weapons in an assertion that puts pressure on the U.S. over its pledge to intervene should Damascus cross what it has described as a "red line."

10. Suspect in Canada terror plot denies charges.
A man accused of plotting with al-Qaida members in Iran to derail a train in Canada was due to appear in a Toronto court Wednesday after declaring at his initial court appearance that the charges against him are unfair.
(Associated Press)

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