The Top 10 Stories of February 17, 2012

By Duane Shank 2-17-2012

Quote of the day.
"Anthony died as he lived — determined to bear witness to the transformation sweeping the Middle East and to testify to the suffering of people caught between government oppression and opposition forces." - Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, announcing the death of foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid while on a reporting assignment in Syria. Shadid’s dispatches for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The Associated Press covered nearly two decades of Middle East conflict.
(New York Times)

1. Passions flare as House debates birth control rule.
"President Obama’s compromise plan to require free insurance coverage of contraceptives for women touched off a tumultuous debate on Thursday in which members of Congress mixed political theater with soul-searching over potential threats to religious liberty."
(New York Times)

2. House approves drilling and Keystone XL.
"House lawmakers on Thursday approved a plan to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline and expand drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."

3. Indiana right-to-work law could prompt copycats.
"When Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation this month making Indiana the nation''s first new right-to-work state in more than a decade, it turned up the heat on a long-simmering debate about the true intent and impact of the controversial anti-union laws."
(McClatchy Newspapers)

4. Foreclosure abuse still widespread.
"A report this week showing rampant foreclosure abuse in San Francisco reflects similar levels of lender fraud and faulty documentation across the U.S., say experts and officials who have done studies in other parts of the country."

5. New consumer bureau targets bill collectors, credit bureaus.
"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to place debt collectors and credit bureaus under federal supervision for the first time, after an explosion in complaints about their practices."
(McClatchy Newspapers)

6. Intelligence chief sees limited benefit in attack on Iran.
"An Israeli bombing attack might set back Iran''s nuclear development program by one to two years, America''s top intelligence official told a Senate committee Thursday, indicating that viable military options are far more limited than Israeli leaders have suggested."
(Los Angeles Times)

7. Pakistan hosts neighbours for summit talks.
"The leaders of Iran and Afghanistan are meeting Pakistani officials in Islamabad for summit talks aimed at bringing about a lasting peace in the region."
(Al Jazeera)

8. Syrian city shelled after UN vote.
"Troops are shelling intensively parts of the Syrian city of Homs, activists say, a day after the UN General Assembly called for an end to violence."

9. Libya observes anniversary of revolution.
"Libyans have begun observances on the first anniversary of their uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, while interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil vowed to act firmly against further instability."
(Al Jazeera)

10. Locked cells hampered inmate escape from prison fire.
"Human rights advocates and the relatives of the more than 350 inmates who died in a Tuesday night fire say the deaths were unnecessary and blame the negligence of staff at this prison in northern Honduras."
(El Nuevo Herald/McClatchy)

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