Quote of the day.
“There will be people all over the world today who are now scared witless.” Richard Murphy, research director for Tax Justice Network, a British-based organization, on the leak of 2.5 million files detailing the offshore bank accounts and shell companies of wealthy individuals and tax-averse companies.
(New York Times)
1. U.S. economy adds 88k jobs, rate drops to 7.6 pct.
U.S. employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, the fewest in nine months and a sharp retreat after a period of strong hiring. The slowdown is a reminder that the job market''s path back to full health will be uneven.
2. Obama budget would cut entitlements in exchange for tax increases.
President Obama will release a budget next week that proposes significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security and fewer tax hikes than in the past, a conciliatory approach that he hopes will convince Republicans to sign onto a grand bargain that would curb government borrowing and replace deep spending cuts that took effect March 1.
3. Conservative groups back immigration reform.
High-profile conservative groups are taking on an unexpected cause: passing immigration reform. A diverse mix of the Washington consultant class is cutting TV ads, revving up the grassroots and advising lawmakers on messaging and strategy in hopes of getting a bill across the finish line this year.
4. Obama administration seeks to overhaul international food aid.
The administration is proposing that the government buy food in developing countries instead of shipping food from American farmers overseas, a process that typically takes months. The proposed change to the international food aid program is expected to save millions in shipping costs and get food more quickly to areas that need it.
(New York Times)
5. Kerry joins push to free pastor in Iran.
Efforts to win the release of an American pastor held in an Iranian prison got a boost from remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry that gave a nod to U.S. allies to intervene, the pastor''s wife and supporters say.
6. North Korea moves missiles to east coast.
North Korea has reportedly positioned two intermediate-range missiles on to mobile launchers on its east coast, as tensions in the region continue to escalate despite international efforts to defuse the situation.
7. Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli soldiers in West Bank.
Palestinian protesters clashed with soldiers after thousands of mourners turned out for the funerals of a 64-year-old cancer-stricken prisoner and two teenage boys shot dead by the Israeli military, the latest sign of the increasing turbulence across the West Bank.
8. Powers seek concrete response fromIranon nuclear offer.
World powers urged Iran on Friday to give a "clear and concrete" response to their offer to ease some economic sanctions if Tehran stops its most sensitive nuclear work, in talks aimed at calming tensions that threaten to boil over into war.
9. International support key to MDG progress.
International support is critical for the world''s poorest countries to make progress on the millennium development goals (MDGs), said a U.N. representative on Thursday, 1,000 days before the MDG target date.
Gordon Cosby, Rebel Pastor Who Impacted Mainstream Christianity, Dies at 95.
The Rev. Gordon Cosby spent much of his 95 years bucking mainstream Christianity, first by welcoming women, people of color and the poor as leaders and then by creating a hugely influential church with no actual physical church, no denomination and very few people.
(Washington Post News Service)
Roger Ebert dead at 70 after battle with cancer.
Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago.