Quote of the day.
"Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart." Pope Benedict XVI, with his first tweet as @Pontifex.
(Catholic News Service)
1. Groups say they’ll push ‘right to work’ in other states.
The conservative groups that supported Michigan’s new “right to work” law — winning a stunning victory over unions, even in the heart of American labor — vowed Wednesday to replicate that success elsewhere.
2. No progress in 'fiscal cliff' talks as new poll hits Republicans.
Sharp differences remained on Wednesday between congressional Republicans and the White House in talks to avert the "fiscal cliff" of steep tax hikes and budget cuts, and negotiators warned the showdown could drag on past Christmas.
3. Executives push for ‘fiscal cliff’ deal.
With corporate tax rates and tax breaks up for grabs, chief executives are personally stepping forward to lobby Congress and the White House on taxes, seeking to set priorities while conceding that some taxes will have to go up.
4. Latino groups warn Congress to fix immigration.
The nation’s largest Latino organizations warned Congress on Wednesday that they will keep a report card during the immigration debate next year, with plans to mobilize their voters against lawmakers who do not support a comprehensive immigration bill.
(New York Times)
5. Whites no longer a majority in U.S. by 2043.
White people will no longer make up a majority of Americans by 2043, according to new census projections. That's part of a historic shift that already is reshaping the nation's schools, workforce, and electorate, and is redefining long-held notions of race.
6. Syria uses Scud missiles in new effort to push back rebels.
President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have resorted to firing ballistic missiles at rebel fighters inside Syria, Obama administration officials said Wednesday, escalating a nearly two-year-old civil war as the government struggles to slow the momentum of a gaining insurgency.
(New York Times)
7. Russia acknowledges Assad losing control.
Syria's most powerful ally, Russia, said for the first time Thursday that President Bashar Assad is losing control of his country and the rebels might win the civil war, dramatically shifting the diplomatic landscape at a time of enormous momentum for the opposition.
8. U.S. wants collective effort to rein in North Korea.
Obama administration officials said they intend to put more energy into working with other major powers, especially China, to pressure impoverished North Korea with new sanctions following Pyongyang's defiant launch of a long-range rocket.
(Los Angeles Times)
9. Mandela makes progress.
"Doctors attending to former president Mandela have reported that he has made progress and are satisfied with the way he is responding to treatment," presidency spokesperson, Mac Maharaj said.
(The Africa Report)
10. Young Afghans form new political movement with hopes for the future.
In a country where politics is often seen as a byword for corruption, and which is still dominated by jihadi-era commanders, a small group of influential young Afghans have started a civil and political movement that hopes to transcend old ethnic and sectarian divides.