Quote of the day.
“I felt like I was being asked to bury John Wayne. How does one bury someone who is epic?” Father Howard Draberk, on conducting the funeral for Hilmar G. Moore, the mayor of Richmond, Texas, for 63 years.
(New York Times)
1. Obama takes push for higher taxes on wealthy to workers at Michigan plant.
The visit to Michigan was the latest stop in a public-relations effort by the White House aimed at harnessing Obama’s popularity across the country to generate momentum behind his plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
2. In talks, House majority weighs loyalty to voters.
As their leaders inch toward agreeing to higher tax rates, dozens of House Republicans find themselves caught between the will of a larger American public that favors higher taxes on the rich and the wishes of constituents who re-elected them overwhelmingly to oppose the Obama agenda at every turn.
(New York Times)
3. Charities fight changes on deductions.
Most Americans who file income tax returns won't be affected by proposed changes in how charitable contributions are deducted because they don't itemize their deductions, federal income tax records show. That hasn't stopped charity officials and others from lobbying Congress to fight any change in deductions as part of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations.
4. Right-to-work debate heats up ahead of Michigan vote.
Even with the outcome considered a foregone conclusion, the heated battle over right-to-work legislation in the traditional union bastion of Michigan shows no sign of cooling.
5. Obama plans push for immigration reform.
As soon as the confrontation over fiscal policy winds down, the Obama administration will begin an all-out drive for comprehensive immigration reform, including seeking a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants, according to officials briefed on the plans.
(Los Angeles Times)
6. Pentagon says Afghan forces still need assistance.
As President Obama considers how quickly to withdraw the remaining 68,000 American troops in Afghanistan and turn over the war to Afghan security forces, a bleak new Pentagon report has found that only one of the Afghan National Army’s 23 brigades is able to operate independently without air or other military support from the United States and NATO partners.
(New York Times)
7. Exclusive: U.K. military in talks to help Syria rebels.
A plan to provide military training to the Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime and support them with air and naval power is being drawn up by an international coalition including Britain.
8. Egypt braces for protests over constitution.
Pro-government and opposition protesters have started to gather in Cairo for rival rallies for and against a controversial constitutional referendum proposed by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
9. El Salvador told to investigate 1981 El Mozote massacre.
El Salvador should investigate a civil war-era massacre that left some 1,000 people dead and bring those responsible to justice, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights rules.
10. Israel suspected over Iran nuclear program inquiry leaks.
Israel is suspected of carrying out a series of leaks implicating Iran in nuclear weapons experiments in an attempt to raise international pressure on Tehran and halt its program.