Quote of the day.
“We lose a piece of history every time we lose one of those guys. The reality of it is, we’re about to lose all these folks.” Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Museum, on the passing of a generation of African American ballplayers.
(Kansas City Star/McClatchy News)
1. Supreme Court conservatives express skepticism over voting law provision.
The Supreme Court’s conservative majority strongly suggested Wednesday that a key portion of the landmark legislation protecting minority voting rights is no longer justified and that the time has come for Southern states to be freed from special federal oversight.
2. Sequester votes expected to fail.
Washington’s Great Sequester pregame show ends in the Senate on Thursday with Republicans still divided over how to disarm the doomsday budget machine they built in the previous Congress with Democrats and President Barack Obama.
3. Democratic governors fear gun reform moment has passed.
Now that expanded background checks seem to be the only initiative that may pass Congress, the most powerful bloc of gun-control proponents in the country is conceding that the gripping sense of outrage following the Sandy Hook massacre has ebbed.
4. Civil rights icon Rosa Parks given a place of honor in the U.S. Capitol.
Civil rights activist Rosa Parks’ nine-foot bronze statue was unveiled in a ceremony Wednesday that included remarks from President Barack Obama and leaders of Congress, echoing words of her determination and legacy for the future.
5. America must not 'dictate' to world.
Decorated Vietnam veteran Chuck Hagel was sworn in as U.S. defense secretary on Wednesday after a bruising Senate confirmation battle, promising to renew old U.S. alliances and forge new ones without attempting to "dictate" to the world.
6. Trauma sets female veterans adrift back home.
Even as the Pentagon lifts the ban on women in combat roles, returning servicewomen are facing a battlefield of a different kind: they are now the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.
(New York Times)
7. $60 million in new aid to Syria opposition.
The Obama administration said Thursday that it will provide the Syrian opposition with an additional $60 million in assistance and — in a significant policy shift — will for the first time provide nonlethal aid like food and medical supplies to rebels battling to oust President Bashar Assad.
8. Two Palestinians held in Israeli jail end hunger strike.
Two Palestinian held in an Israeli jail without trial have ended their hunger strike, Israeli officials said. …Two others, Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawna, are still on hunger strike and are being treated in hospital.
9. Fresh violence threatens DR Congo peace deal.
Less than a week after the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring African nations signed a peace accord to hold off hostilties, a fresh wave of violence has erupted in the central African nation.
10. Haiti launches 10-year plan to eradicate cholera.
The Haitian government's $2.2 billion 10-year plan to eradicate cholera was launched on Wednesday against the backdrop of the United Nation's rejection of a legal claim from more than 5,000 victims.