The Top 10 Stories of February 27, 2013

By Duane Shank 2-27-2013

Quote of the day.
"To love the church means also to have the courage to take difficult, painful decisions, always keeping the good of the church in mind, not oneself." Pope Benedict XVI in his farewell speech in St. Peter’s Square.
(Associated Press)

1. Mass release of immigrants is tied to impending cuts.
Federal immigration officials have released hundreds of detainees from detention centers around the country in recent days in a highly unusual effort to save money as automatic budget cuts loom in Washington.
(New York Times)

2. Hagel’s rough road to Pentagon foreshadows challenges ahead.
Chuck Hagel’s painful, prolonged, and divisive nomination battle in the Senate finally ended Tuesday, but it is only a prelude to the national-security challenges that will greet him on his first day of work at the Pentagon.
(Washington Post)

3. House likely to pass Senate Violence Against Women Act.
House Republicans seem to be resigned that their version of the Violence Against Women Act is a loser with their own members and are likely to pass the Senate bill this week without changes.

4. Study ties black-white wealth gap to stubborn disparities in real estate. 
The large and growing wealth gap separating white and black families is the product of stubborn barriers that disproportionately consign African Americans to less-valuable real estate and lower-paying jobs, according to a new study.
(Washington Post)

5. Justices turn back challenge to broader U.S. eavesdropping.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned back a challenge to a federal law that broadened the government’s power to eavesdrop on international phone calls and e-mails.
(New York Times)

6. Iran hails turning point in nuclear talks.
Iran has declared that negotiations with a group of world powers have reached a "turning point" after it was offered a series of concessions, including sanctions relief on gold and petrochemical exports, in return for acceptance of limits on uranium enrichment.

7. Egypt opposition to boycott polls.
Spokesman Sameh Ashour said the decision was taken because of concerns the polls would not be free and fair.

8. U.S. officials propose sharing drone surveillance data with Algerians.
The American ambassador to Algeria and senior counterterrorism officials have proposed sharing more information with Algerian security forces to help them kill or capture militants in their own country and in areas just across their borders.
(New York Times)

9. U.S. weighs plan to provide direct aid to Syrian rebels. 
The Obama administration is moving toward a major policy shift on Syria that could provide rebels there with equipment such as body armor and armored vehicles, and possibly military training, and could send humanitarian assistance directly to Syria’s opposition political coalition.
(Washington Post)

10. Italy votes against austerity leaving EU in turmoil.
Three years of German-led austerity and budget cuts aimed at saving the euro and retooling the European economy were left facing one of their biggest challenges as Italian voters' rejection of spending cuts and tax rises opened up a stark new fissure in European politics.

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