Quote of the day.
"You don’t have to be a technophobe or think corporations are evil to not want G.M.O.'s in your food." - Ashley Russell, a college student at a rally after a Manhattan court hearing on the use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
(New York Times)
1. Birth-control turns into political weapon.
"The Obama administration's new requirement that most health insurance plans provide contraceptive services has exploded into a high-octane political weapon, with combatants on both sides scrambling to score points among the electorate and gin up fundraising from their most ardent supporters."
(Los Angeles Times)
2. Gay marriage bill passes in Washington state.
"A bill to legalize gay marriage in Washington state won final legislative approval on Wednesday in a largely party-line vote that moved the state to the cusp of becoming the seventh in the nation to recognize same-sex nuptials."
3. Ten reasons religious conservatives love Rick Santorum.
"For all the attention paid to the clout of fiscally focused tea party conservatives and of the primacy of jobs in the 2012 election, Rick Santorum’s trifecta victories Tuesday night are a good reminder of the powerful role religious conservatives play in the GOP."
(CNN Belief Blog)
4. Missing: 5.4 million workers.
"Millions of Americans have vanished from the US labor force in the past three years, many of them so discouraged by long, fruitless job searches that they have given up looking for work, convinced that no employer wants them, according to a new study."
5. States negotiate $26 billion deal for homeowners.
"After months of painstaking talks, government authorities and five of the nation’s biggest banks have agreed to a $26 billion settlement that could provide relief to nearly two million current and former American homeowners harmed by the bursting of the housing bubble."
(New York Times)
6. U.S. revises plans for Japan base.
"The U.S. military will probably scale back plans to build key bases in Japan and Guam because of political obstacles and budget pressures, according to U.S. and Japanese officials, complicating the Obama administration’s efforts to strengthen its troop presence in Asia."
7. Syria forces bombard Homs, U.N. condemns 'appalling brutality.'
"Syrian forces bombarded opposition-held neighborhoods of the city of Homs with rocket and mortar fire on Thursday, activists said, as divided world powers struggled to find a way to end the violence."
8. U.S. and Israel split on speed of Iran threat.
"Amid mounting tensions over whether Israel will carry out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, the United States and Israel remain at odds over a fundamental question: whether Iran’s crucial nuclear facilities are about to become impregnable."
(New York Times)
9. Egypt PM defends action against NGOs.
"Kamal el-Ganzouri, Egypt's military-backed prime minister, has said Egypt will not bow to Western pressure to end its crackdown on foreign-funded non-governmental organisations in the country."
10. Greek austerity moves leave nation's economic safety net in tatters
"The country is at the edge of bankruptcy, and with more government spending cuts looming, newly impoverished Greeks are turning to charity for health care, medicines and food."