Quote of the day.
“Even though older people are less likely to be homeless than other people because they have more of a safety net, because there are more and more older people in general, we are going to have more and more elderly people vulnerable to homelessness.” Nan Roman, president and chief executive of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, on the growing number of elderly people who are homeless.
(Wichita Eagle/McClatchy News)
1. Obama pledges push to lift economy for middle class.
President Obama, seeking to put the prosperity and promise of the middle class at the heart of his second-term agenda, called on Congress on Tuesday night to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour, saying that would lift millions out of poverty and energize the economy.
(New York Times)
2. Obama on gun control: ''This time is different''
Obama on Tuesday amplified his calls for Congress to take up new gun controls, arguing that the Newtown, Conn., shooting massacre has changed the debate and clarified the need for tougher laws to protect the nation''s children.
3. Senate votes overwhelmingly to expand domestic violence act.
The Senate, with broad bipartisan support, voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to expand the reach of the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 by fortifying the power of American Indian tribal courts and explicitly protecting gay victims of domestic abuse.
(New York Times)
4. Senate panel recommends Hagel for defense secretary.
A key Senate panel voted along party lines Tuesday to recommend the confirmation of former Sen. Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, sending his nomination to the full Senate despite opposition from Republican senators over his stances on Iran, Iraq and Israel.
5. Senators take up immigration in first hearing.
Senators are weighing one of President Barack Obama''s second-term priorities at the first Senate hearing on a comprehensive immigration overhaul. Many stubborn fault lines are sure to emerge.
6. Pope Benedict thanks public for love and prayers.
Pope Benedict XVI has thanked the public for their "love and prayers," as he made his first public appearance since announcing his resignation. The Pope was cheered by crowds as he entered and began speaking at a weekly audience in a hall at the Vatican.
7. Afghan president welcomes withdrawal.
The Afghan government on Wednesday welcomed President Barack Obama''s decision to bring home half of the 66,000 American troops in Afghanistan within the next year, and said its forces are ready to take responsibility for the country''s security.
8. N. Korean nuclear test raises tension, shows progress toward viable weapon.
With its detonation Tuesday of a “smaller and light” nuclear device, North Korea moved closer to its top technological goal of building an atomic weapon small enough to mount on a long-range missile, a capability that would turn the secretive police state from a regional menace into a global one.
9. Divided Damascus confronted by all-out war.
MiG warplanes roar low overhead to strike rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad on the fringes of Damascus, while artillery batteries pound the insurgents from hills overlooking a city divided between all-out war and a deceptive calm.
10. Iran says it has begun upgrading uranium centrifuges.
Iran said on Wednesday it had started installing a new generation of machines for enriching uranium, an announcement likely to annoy the West and complicate efforts to resolve a decade-old dispute over its nuclear program.