Quote of the day.
“I would like a pope who has had direct experience working with a diversity of people and who understands the joys and challenges of ordinary Catholics trying to live the Gospel in the midst of chaotic family lives and stressful job situations.” Sister Florence Deacon, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, on what she hopes for in the next pope.
(The Daily Beast)
1. Activists arrested at White House protesting Keystone pipeline.
But that controversial project — which ranks as one of the top climate decisions the president will have to make this year — took center stage Wednesday as 48 activists engaged in civil disobedience at the gates of the White House.
2. Border security 'never stronger,' Napolitano tells senators.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who sits at the center of the nation's immigration debate, pushed back Wednesday against congressional demands to tighten border security further before creating a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.
(Los Angeles Times)
3. Senate Democrats try to force Hagel vote.
Accusing Republicans of a new level of obstruction, Senate Democrats moved on Wednesday to force a vote on President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense.
(New York Times)
4. Senators delay a vote on Brennan.
A Senate confirmation vote on John O. Brennan as CIA director has been postponed for at least two weeks as lawmakers step up pressure on the Obama administration to provide more information about its drone campaign against terrorism suspects.
5. In U.S., big strides in reducing domestic violence.
The rate of partner-to-partner violence dropped 64 percent between 1994 and 2010, a Justice Department report has found. The trend, almost unnoticed, stems from a broad shift in attitude toward domestic violence.
(Christian Science Monitor)
6. 100th self-immolation reported inside Tibet.
A former Tibetan Buddhist monk protested Chinese rule by killing himself through self-immolation this month, becoming the 100th person to do so inside Chinese-governed Tibet, according to reports on Wednesday by Tibet advocacy groups.
(New York Times)
7. Agencies warn Congress not to use humanitarian aid as tool against Assad.
Humanitarian groups are lobbying hard against a proposal by several U.S. senators that would turn over the delivery of millions of dollars in U.S. aid to a Syrian opposition council that’s criticized as too weak and too political to handle the responsibility.
8. Anger is growing among Iraq's Sunnis.
In recent weeks, Sunnis by the thousands have carried out a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience, closing off the main roads to Fallouja and Ramadi in the west and mounting demonstrations in Samarra, Baghdad, and Mosul.
(Chicago Tribune/Los Angeles Times)
9. Journalism under attack across the globe imperils press freedom.
An unprecedented rise in the number of journalists killed and imprisoned in the past year, coupled with restrictive legislation and state censorship, is jeopardising independent reporting in many countries, according to a report issued today.
10. Analysis: Arabs mired in messy transitions two years after heady uprisings.
Gritty political transitions are under way in nations where "revolution" has triumphed, ushering in contests over power, identity, and religion, continued economic and social malaise, new opportunities for Islamist radicals, lawlessness, and a surge in sexual violence against women that has gained publicity.