Quote of the day.
“Finally we have seen the governments of the world come together and say ‘Enough!’ It is time to stop the poorly regulated arms trade. It is time to bring the arms trade under control.” Anna MacDonald, head of arms control for Oxfam International, on the passage yesterday of the Arms Trade Treaty.
(New York Times)
1. Leahy: ‘Urgent’ to consider immigration reform.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy vowed to move swiftly on immigration legislation despite calls from conservatives, including Sen. Marco Rubio, to slow down the process.
2. Background checks are still stumbling block in gun law overhaul.
With Senate Democrats still struggling to line up support, the success or failure of President Obama’s four-month campaign to overhaul gun laws will most likely revolve around a single provision: a proposal to expand federal background checks for gun purchases.
(New York Times)
3. U.S. government issues corrective order for Exxon spill.
U.S. pipeline regulators on Tuesday ordered Exxon Mobil Corp to take necessary corrective action for its ruptured pipeline that spilled thousands of barrels of crude oil into a small Arkansas housing development last week.
4. Decades after King's death, Memphis jobs at risk.
Forty-five years after King was killed supporting their historic strike, some of the same men who marched with him still pick up Memphis' garbage — and now they are fighting to hold on to jobs that some city leaders want to hand over to a private company.
5. Military sees broader role for special operations forces.
Here at the headquarters of the Army Special Operations Command, planning is well under way for a significantly increased presence in Africa, Asia, and Latin America for the Special Forces soldiers with the distinctive green berets who were the first American troops into Afghanistan after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
(New York Times)
6. Hostilities flare along Israeli-Gaza border.
Israel pressed Hamas on Wednesday to rein in rocket-firing militants in the Gaza Strip after the most serious outbreak of cross-border hostilities since the ceasefire that ended an eight-day war in November.
7. Afghanistan peace deal: Taliban talks hit deadlock.
Western hopes of leaving Afghanistan within reach of a peace deal when Nato troops pull out in 2014 are dimming, with planned negotiations in Qatar at a stalemate and Pakistan cutting back on support for talks.
8. U.S., Jordan stepping up training of Syrian opposition.
Training begun last year has been expanded and accelerated after rebel gains in the south, including capture of a stretch of the Jordanian-Syrian border near the Golan Heights, two military outposts and the country’s main border crossing with Jordan.
9. North Korea vows to expand nuclear arsenal, signaling end of talks.
Escalating the stakes of a standoff with Washington and its allies, North Korea is signaling that it will abandon two decades of negotiations to constrain its nuclear program and will close the door on any deal over its atomic weapons and production facilities.
(Los Angeles Times)
10. Extreme poverty could be wiped out by 2030.
Extreme global poverty could be eradicated by the end of the next decade under optimistic new targets unveiled by the World Bank that have divided development experts.