The Top 10 Stories of February 22, 2012

By Duane Shank 2-22-2012

Quote of the day.
"The ashes are an invitation, opening the door for us to the practices of Lent, a first step, a reminder of our mortality and God's creative power. We take that invitation and that core truth out into places where people really need that.” - Rev. Emily Mellott of Calvary Church in Lombard, Ill., joining more than 70 Episcopal parishes in 18 states to bring Ash Wednesday to the streets by offering the Christian sign of repentance to anyone who seeks it at train stations, coffee shops, and street corners.
(USA Today)

1. Supreme Court to consider affirmative action in higher education.
"The justices will hear an appeal from a white student from Texas who seeks an end to 'racial preferences' in college admissions. A majority of justices appears likely to side with her."
(Los Angeles Times)

2. White House to call for cutting corporate tax rate.
"The Obama administration Wednesday will unveil a framework for reforming the corporate tax code that would lower the top rate from 35 percent to 28 percent but generate more total revenue by eliminating ''dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies'' and creating a minimum rate on foreign earnings."

3. Negative campaign ads more frequent and vicious.
"Four years ago, just 6 percent of campaign advertising in the GOP primaries amounted to attacks on other Republicans; in this election, that figure has shot up to more than 50 percent, according to an analysis of advertising trends."
(Washington Post)

4. Texas becomes battlefield in Keystone XL pipeline fight.
"The politically volatile Keystone XL pipeline is becoming embroiled in a widening controversy in Texas as supporters tout the promise of jobs and other economic benefits while increasingly vocal opponents say the project would trample property rights and endanger water supplies in East Texas."
(Ft. Worth Star-Telegram/McClatchy)

5. Journalist Marie Colvin killed in Syria.
"The veteran Sunday Times correspondent Marie Colvin and the French photographer Remi Ochlik have been killed in the Syrian city of Homs when an artillery shell hit the house in which they were staying."

6. Clashes in Afghanistan over Quran burning.
"Hundreds of protesters have clashed with police and security forces in Afghanistan in a second day of angry demonstrations over reports that copies of the Quran were burnt at an airbase used by NATO and coalition troops."
(Al Jazeera)

7. Iran defiant as U.N. nuclear talks fail.
"The U.N. nuclear watchdog ended its latest mission to Iran after talks on Tehran's suspected secret atomic weapons research failed, a setback likely to increase the risk of confrontation with the West."

8. UN to boost Somalia peacekeepers.
"The UN Security Council is expected to vote to increase the African Union's peacekeeping force in Somalia, as Ethiopian forces advance on a key city held by al-Shabab militants."

9. Rudd strikes first.
"The Labor Party will undergo a leadership ballot on Monday morning after Kevin Rudd quit his post [as foreign minister] and flew back to Australia to challenge [Prime Minister] Julia Gillard for the job she took from him 20 months ago."
(Sydney Morning Herald)

10. Palestinian prisoner ends hunger strike.
"A  Palestinian detained by Israel, Khader Adnan, has agreed to end his 66-day hunger strike as part of a deal under which he will be released without charge."
(Al Jazeera)

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