Quote of the day.
"We felt it was important, while that generation is still with us in fairly substantial numbers, to bring them together to not only honor them, but in their presence make a commitment to them that not only this institution but the people we reach will carry forward this legacy." Sara Bloomfield, Director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, as elderly survivors of the Holocaust and the veterans who helped liberate them are gathering for the 20th anniversary of the Museum.
1. Congress heads home for recess, leaving to-do list behind.
Congress headed home this weekend for a nine-day break, leaving behind much of the trouble it was elected to help ease.
2. Defense spending cuts pose an economic quandary for liberals.
Liberals are increasingly facing a conundrum as the Pentagon experiences the deepest cuts in a generation: The significant reductions in military spending that they have long sought are also taking a huge bite out of economic growth.
3. Wealth gap among races widened since recession.
Millions of Americans suffered a loss of wealth during the recession and the sluggish recovery that followed. But the last half-decade has proved far worse for black and Hispanic families than for white families, starkly widening the already large gulf in wealth between white Americans and most minority groups.
(New York Times)
4. Draft proposal seeks to fine tech firms for wiretap-order noncompliance.
A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Facebook and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the effort.
5. President Obama's Mexico visit comes with backdrop of uncertainty.
President Obama travels to Mexico this week amid signs that the relationship between the United States and its southern neighbor's new government faces a new period of uncertainty after years of unprecedented closeness forged by the deadly war against Mexican drug cartels.
(Los Angeles Times)
6. With bags of cash, C.I.A. seeks influence in Afghanistan.
For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks, and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.
(New York Times)
7. Islamist rebels create dilemma on Syria policy.
In Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, rebels aligned with Al Qaeda control the power plant, run the bakeries, and head a court that applies Islamic law. Elsewhere, they have seized government oil fields, put employees back to work and now profit from the crude they produce.
(New York Times)
8. Hope dims for Bangladesh survivors.
Rescue workers in Bangladesh have given up hopes of finding any more survivors, after a fire delayed their efforts to dig into the rubble of a building that collapsed five days ago.
9. Militants try to shape Pakistani election with bombs.
The wave of political violence has killed at least 60 people in recent weeks, and many of the attacks have been directed at candidates from secular parties opposed to the Taliban.
(Christian Science Monitor/AP)
10. Wars push number of internally displaced people to record levels.
Wars in Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) pushed the number of people internally displaced by armed conflict, violence, and human rights violations to 28.8 million last year, the highest figure recorded by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) in Geneva.