The Top 10 Stories of February 11, 2013

By Duane Shank 2-11-2013

Quote of the day.
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry."Pope Benedict XVI, announcing his plans to resign the papacy on February 28.
(Associated Press)

1. Measure to protect women stuck on tribal land issue.
Obscure as it might be, the issue of tribal court powers … has become the last remaining controversy holding up Congress’s broad reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act.
(New York Times)

2. Economists gain optimism.
The nation's economy and job-creating engine will start to purr later this year as business activity picks up — more than offsetting federal government cutbacks, predict economists surveyed by USA TODAY.
(USA Today)

3. Giffords eases steadily into new life, and cause.
Gabrielle Giffords, the former Democratic congresswoman from Arizona, is settling into the third act of her public life as she shifts to dedicate her career to reducing gun violence.
(New York Times)

4. Ex-Virginia executioner becomes opponent of death penalty. 
Since leaving his job in 1999, Jerry Givens has become one of the state’s most visible — and unlikely — opponents of capital punishment. His evolution underscores that of Virginia itself and the nation.
(Washington Post)

5. Young, liberal, and open to big government.
On a central philosophical question of the day — the size and scope of the federal government — a clear majority of young people embraces President Obama’s notion that it can be a constructive force, a point he intends to make in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
(New York Times)

6. Obama to renew drive for cuts in nuclear arms.
President Obama will use his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to reinvigorate one of his signature national security objectives — drastically reducing nuclear arsenals around the world — after securing agreement in recent months with the United States military that the American nuclear force can be cut in size by roughly a third.
(New York Times)

7. Iran and Hezbollah build militia networks within Syria.
Iran and Hezbollah, its Lebanese proxy, are building a network of militias inside Syria to preserve and protect their interests in the event that President Bashar al-Assad’s government falls or is forced to retreat from Damascus.
(Washington Post)

8. Mali rebels launch guerrilla attack on Gao.
An armed rebel group, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO, has claimed responsibility for an attack on the city of Gao in northern Mali and a suicide bombing the day before.
(Al Jazeera)

9. Gen. Joseph Dunford becomes U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. took over Sunday as the newest and probably last U.S. commander in Afghanistan, charged with ending America's longest war even as insurgents continue to challenge the U.S.-backed Afghan government.
(Chicago Tribune/Los Angeles Times)

10. Tunisia Islamist leader says unity government imminent.
An agreement is imminent on a new national unity government for Tunisia to resolve the simmering political crisis brought on by the assassination of an opposition politician, the leader of the powerful Islamist party told the Associated Press Monday.
(Associated Press)

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