The Top 10 Stories of December 19, 2012

By Duane Shank 12-19-2012

Quote of the day.
“I see them coming back day after day, more defeated, more tired out, wondering, ‘When will it be my turn?’ And it’s heartbreaking. This is the age when you want to show the world you have value.”  Kristine Cunningham, executive director of Roots, a shelter for young adults in a church basement. Tens of thousands of underemployed and jobless young people, many with college credits or work histories, are struggling to house themselves in the wake of the recession. 
(New York Times)

1. Boehner backup tax plan shakes up negotiations to avert fiscal cliff.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) veered off the bipartisan course he had been charting toward a broad tax-and-entitlement deal with President Obama and instead Tuesday pushed a GOP package to extend tax cuts for income up to $1 million.
(Washington Post)

2. Cliff talks turn into public posturing.
House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to pursue a fiscal cliff backup plan looked like an attempt to go his own way. But it was really about bolstering his position in the one-on-one talks with President Barack Obama.

3. Broad gun control efforts introduced in wake of shooting.
The first concrete responses to the massacre in Newtown, Conn., began emerging on Tuesday, as state leaders proposed measures to curb gun violence, corporations distanced themselves from an event that has traumatized the nation and the White House pointed to gun control measures that President Obama would champion in the months ahead.
(New York Times)

4. Grief mixes with impatience in shattered Newtown.
Mourners overlapped at back-to-back services as funerals began in earnest in a Connecticut town that lost 20 of its children and seven adults to a gunman, with emotions and tempers in tatters amid a global crush of media attention to a community once known mostly for its bucolic atmosphere and sterling school system.
(Associated Press)

5. Obama faces backlash on Hagel for Pentagon.
Pro-Israel groups, neoconservatives, and even some former colleagues on Capitol Hill are confronting President Obama with a growing backlash against Chuck Hagel, the ex-senator tipped as his leading candidate for defense secretary.  

6. South Korea's Park leads presidential race.
Park Geun-hye could become the country's first female leader as early results give her 52.5 per cent of the vote.
(Al Jazeera)

7. Benghazi panel strongly assails role of State Dept. in attack.
An independent inquiry into the attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi faulted the State Department for a lack of seasoned security personnel and for ignoring requests for more guards.
(New York Times)

8. More attacks on polio workers in Pakistan.
Armed men have killed three more people working on a polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan, officials said, as the nationwide drive against the crippling disease suffered a third day of bloodshed.
(Al Jazeera)

9. U.N. Security Council's EU members to condemn Israeli settlements expansion.
The unusual statement, expected this week from the UK, France, Germany, and Portugal, follows blunt criticism from the U.S. of Israel's announcement on Monday of plans to build an extra 1,500 homes in the settlement of Ramat Shlomo.

10. Prime Minister urged to help end first nation chief’s hunger strike.
Chief Theresa Spence of northern Ontario’s remote Attawapiskat First Nation stopped eating a week ago, vowing to die unless the government started showing more respect for aboriginal treaties.
(Globe & Mail)

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