The Top 10 Stories of August 17, 2012

By Duane Shank 8-17-2012

Quote of the day.
"Your whole life your job defines who you are. All of the sudden that’s gone, and you don’t know what to take pride in anymore." - Yundra Thomas, Corona, CA, who is participating in a California program that helps long-term unemployed people find jobs.
(New York Times)

1. Obama, Romney offer clear choices.
The presidential race is on, full blast, and it’s now clear this election will be a stark choice between two candidates with dramatically different visions of how to govern America.

2. CO2 emissions in U.S. drop to 20-year low.
In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.
(Associated Press)

3. Army saw spike in suicides in July.
Thirty-eight soldiers killed themselves in July, the worst month for suicides since the Army began releasing figures in 2009, according to Pentagon officials.
(Washington Post)

4. U.S. reliance on Saudi oil heads back up.
The United States is increasing its dependence on oil from Saudi Arabia, raising its imports from the kingdom by more than 20 percent this year, even as fears of military conflict in the tinderbox Persian Gulf region grow.
(New York Times)

5. Dozens killed in South Africa mine shooting.
South African police killed 34 people in a shooting at a mine in North West province, the country's police chief says. Officers shot at the workers who were protesting on Thursday afternoon over pay at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, some 100km northwest of Johannesburg.
(Al Jazeera)

6. Securing Syria chemical weapons seen tough.
The U.S. and its allies are discussing a worst-case scenario that could require tens of thousands of ground troops to go into Syria to secure chemical and biological weapons sites following the fall of President Bashar al-Assad's government, according to U.S. and diplomatic officials.

7.  India migrant exodus continues.
The exodus of people from India's north-eastern states living in the southern cities continues as migrant workers flee Bangalore and Chennai, reports say.

8.  Taliban leader urges insurgents to cut civilian deaths.
Reclusive Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has urged insurgent fighters, who he said had successfully infiltrated the security forces, to avoid civilian deaths after a swathe of suicide bombings this week killed 63 people.

9. Bangladesh mulls solar-energy options.
Authorities in Dhaka install solar lighting as part of effort to reduce the South Asian nation's huge power shortfall.
(Al Jazeera)

10. Assange asylum offer leads Ecuador and UK into diplomatic row.
A major diplomatic row over the fate of the fugitive Julian Assange erupted after the WikiLeaks founder was offered political asylum by Ecuador to escape extradition from Britain over allegations of serious sexual assaults.

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