The Top 10 Stories of February 24, 2012

By Duane Shank 2-24-2012

Quote of the day.
"Hospitality is not at the margins of scripture. Jesus wasn''t kidding around when he said, ''I was a stranger and you welcomed me,''" - Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, at the G92 South Immigration Conference at Samford University, Birmingham, AL.

1. Families in extreme poverty double.
"The number of families living on $2 or less per person per day for at least a month in the USA has more than doubled in 15 years to 1.46 million."
(USA Today)

2. Federal housing grants are being cut.
"Four cities in Miami-Dade County are bearing some of the deepest cuts in the country in federal housing money designated for nonprofit groups that serve the poor, the elderly and the developmentally disabled. … Nearly 1,000 communities across the country faced a second year of cuts — some of them steeper than ever — in the block grant money handed out by the federal housing agency."
(New York Times)

3. Number of deportation cases drops by nearly a third.
"The drop recorded in the last three months of 2011 may reflect the Obama administration''s plan to focus its deportation efforts by weighing a variety of discretionary factors, including whether the person is a veteran, came to the U.S. as a child or is a college student."
(Los Angeles Times)

4. Army avoiding PTSD claims?
"The head of the Army’s Madigan Healthcare System, one of the largest military hospitals on the West Coast, has been temporarily relieved of command amid an investigation over whether the Army has avoided diagnosing returning combat soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder to save money."
(Los Angeles Times)

5. Gay marriage question evolves one state at a time.
"Though same-sex marriage is racking up victories in state legislatures and federal courts, and gaining public support, especially among younger people, it could be years before gay and lesbian couples can marry in all 50 states."

6. Protests in Afghanistan over Quran burning.
"The fourth straight day of protests over the burning of Qurans at a NATO base in Afghanistan have led to the death of nine Afghans."
(Al Jazeera)

7. Annan named UN-Arab envoy on Syria.
"The United Nations and the Arab League have appointed Kofi Annan, a former head of the world body, to act as a joint special envoy on Syria, as international representatives gather in Tunisia to discuss measures to halt the escalating violence in the country."
(Al Jazeera)

8. U.S. cites progress in shadowy Africa military mission.
"The United States said on Thursday it was making progress with its African allies in its push against Uganda''s notorious Lord''s Resistance Army (LRA), but gave no clear end date for the shadowy U.S. military operation unfolding in central Africa."

9. EU tar sands pollution vote ends in deadlock.
"The issue is seen as a key test of the EU''s ability to implement its climate change policies while under heavy pressure from the Canadian government and oil companies who want to prevent billions of barrels of tar sands oil from being designated as especially harmful to the environment."

10. Rudd still the people's pick.
"Kevin Rudd lacks the support of his caucus colleagues but will enter the leadership ballot on Monday as the people''s favourite, with an exclusive poll showing he leads Julia Gillard as the preferred Labor leader."
(Sydney Morning Herald)

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