The Top 10 Stories of December 4, 2012

By Jessica Turner 12-04-2012

Quote of the day.
"It wasn't like a battle, you know. He pretty much got ambushed, that makes it difficult." Jim Russell on the loss of his son killed during an attack by Afghan soldiers entrusted to work alongside their U.S. partners.

1. Syria crisis: NATO in chemical weapons warning.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has underlined U.S. President Barack Obama's warning to the Syrian government not to use chemical weapons against its own people. At a NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels, Rasmussen said their use would be "completely unacceptable."

2. Syrian leader hit by setbacks in fighting and diplomacy.
Fierce fighting on the battlefield and setbacks on the diplomatic front increased pressure on the embattled Syrian government as fresh signs emerged on Tuesday of a sustained battle for control of the capital, Damascus.
(New York Times)

3. Iran’s claim of drone capture is denied by U.S.
Iran said its Revolutionary Guards Corps naval forces captured an American drone that it said entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf, state television reported on Tuesday. The claim was quickly denied by the United States.
(New York Times)

4. Boehner, House GOP leaders offer ‘fiscal cliff’ counterproposal.
House GOP leaders endorsed a debt-reduction plan Monday that would raise tax collections by $800 billion over the next decade, but they refused to budge on higher tax rates for the wealthy, the central issue dividing Republicans and Democrats.
(Washington Post)

5. Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council to oversee vote on draft charter.
Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council agreed Monday to oversee a national referendum on the country's draft constitution, a move that suggested at least a temporary easing of the crisis between the courts and President Mohamed Morsi.
(LA Times)

6. U.N. chief urges faster response to global warming.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged governments to speed up slow-moving talks to forge a joint response to global warming. Ban described climate change as an "existential challenge for the whole human race" as he addressed the opening Tuesday of the high-level segment of annual U.N. climate talks involving environment ministers and climate officials from nearly 200 countries.

7. Egypt increases security ahead of opposition march.
Egyptian riot police beefed up security around the presidential palace Tuesday ahead of a massive rally planned by activists protesting the Islamist leader's assumption of nearly unrestricted powers and a draft constitution hurriedly adopted by his allies.

8. Powerful typhoon kills at least 40 in Philippines.
At least 33 villagers and soldiers drowned in a southern Philippine town Tuesday when torrents of water dumped by a powerful typhoon rampaged down a mountain, engulfing emergency shelters and washing away an army truck, officials said. The deaths raised the toll from the storm to at least 40.

9. E.P.A. rule complicates runoff case for justices.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. did not seem happy during a Supreme Court argument on Monday about whether the Clean Water Act applies to runoff from logging roads. The source of his frustration was a last-minute action from the Environmental Protection Agency that was expressly calculated to address the legal issues before the court.
(New York Times)

10. Obama calls on Russia to renew weapons pact.
President Obama called on Russia on Monday to renew a two-decade-old nuclear disarmament program that Moscow has threatened to cancel as the two sides try to figure out the future of a rocky relationship now that elections in both countries are behind them.
(New York Times)

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