Quote of the day.
“I wanted to be part of creating a community where survivors and hard-living people could feel welcome.” Don Durham, founder of Healing Springs Acres, a community farm in North Carolina that provides people a means of serving their neighbors by growing thousands of pounds of produce for area feeding ministries.
(Associated Baptist Press)
1. House approves deal that would save students millions in loan fees.
The millions of college students and parents who will borrow money from the federal government for the coming school year can plan on much lower interest rates than originally offered, as the U.S. House overwhelmingly voted 392 to 31 on Wednesday to approve a Senate plan that would allow interest rates to move with the financial markets.
2. Senate panel presses NSA on phone logs.
Senators of both parties on Wednesday sharply challenged the National Security Agency’s collection of records of all domestic phone calls, even as the latest leaked NSA document provided new details on the way the agency monitors Web browsing around the world.
(New York Times)
3. White House, GOP lawmakers looking at ''grand bargain'' on spending.
President Obama visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday to push his "grand bargain" to create middle-class jobs, while the real action went on behind the scenes as negotiations continued on a bipartisan budget deal to avoid a government shutdown this fall.
4. Fugitive Snowden slips out of Moscow airport for ''secure'' base.
Fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden slipped quietly out of Moscow''s Sheremetyevo airport on Thursday after Russia granted him temporary asylum, ending more than a month in limbo in the transit area.
5. Sending message to Iran, House approves tougher sanctions.
The House overwhelmingly approved legislation on Wednesday that would impose the toughest sanctions yet on Iran, calling the measure a critical step to cripple the country’s disputed nuclear program and brushing aside calls for restraint by critics who said the Iranian president-elect should first be given a chance to negotiate.
(New York Times)
6. U.S., Pakistan to resume high-level negotiations.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Pakistani counterpart, Sartaj Aziz, said Thursday that the two countries will resume high-level negotiations over security issues.
7. Egypt vows to end sit-ins by supporters of deposed president.
Egypt’s military-backed government instructed its security forces on Wednesday to end two sit-ins by tens of thousands of supporters of the deposed Islamist president, a decree that many feared could lead to a new round of violent confrontations.
(New York Times)
8. UN chemical weapons inspectors to visit Syrian sites.
Syria has agreed to allow U.N. investigators to visit three sites where chemical weapons have allegedly been used, the U.N. has said.
9. UN gears up for DRC offensive as Goma laments escalating violence.
The U.N. is deploying an offensive combat force for the first time in an attempt to neutralize eastern Congo''s myriad armed groups. … On Tuesday, the U.N. announced the brigade''s first operation would be to assist the army with the enforcement of a disarmed "security zone" that spans from Goma to Sake.
10. Zimbabwe election was ''huge farce'' - Morgan Tsvangirai.
At a news conference, Mr. Tsvangirai said that Wednesday''s poll was "null and void." The largest observer group earlier said up to a million people were prevented from voting.