Quote of the day.
"We have a dream that our president will understand the intergenerational injustice of human-made climate change. That he will recognize our duty to be caretakers of creation, of the land, of the life on our planet. And that he will give these matters the priority that our young people deserve." James Hansen, NASA scientist, at a White House rally on climate change.
1. Obama to 'put everything I've got' into gun control.
In the aftermath of the Connecticut school massacre, Mr. Obama vowed to rally public opinion to press a reluctant Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, expand background checks, and toughen gun-trafficking laws.
(New York Times)
2. Experts applaud Obama’s sweeping gun-control plan.
President Barack Obama’s wide-ranging plan to curb gun violence in America isn’t likely to be enacted in full, but experts say the sheer breadth of his proposal will provide a national blueprint for action that can guide lawmakers, fuel a powerful lobbying effort, and sustain a national dialogue on gun control.
3. More conservatives plead with GOP to abandon debt-ceiling ultimatum.
With the U.S. likely to hit the limit on its borrowing authority as early as mid-February, more and more Republicans are publicly beseeching their party to drop the game of chicken — calling it both bad policy and bad politics — and focus instead on other, less-risky opportunities to push for spending cuts.
(Christian Science Monitor)
4. Military suicides rise to a record 349.
The U.S. military lost more service members to suicide than combat last year as the number of troops who took their lives rose to a record high.
5. Deficient levees found across America.
Inspectors taking the first-ever inventory of flood control systems overseen by the federal government have found hundreds of structures at risk of failing and endangering people and property in 37 states.
6. Attackers warn of explosive end in Algeria.
A tense and confusing standoff developed Thursday between government forces and armed attackers holding dozens of hostages, including Americans and other foreigners, at an internationally managed gas field in Algeria. News reports said that some captives had escaped and others had been caught up in fighting.
(New York Times)
7. Panetta ‘confident’ that U.S. will clear legal hurdles to helping France in Mali.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Wednesday that he is “confident” the United States can overcome legal obstacles to provide military help to France for its drive against al-Qaeda-linked militants in Mali.
8. Afghanistan national security agency attacked by suicide bombers.
A team of suicide bombers attacked a compound belonging to Afghanistan's spy agency Wednesday, killing at least one guard and injuring 33 civilians in a brazen strike at the heavily fortified heart of Kabul, the capital, officials said.
(Chicago Tribune/Los Angeles Times)
9. Syria allows U.N. to step up food aid.
Syria's government has authorized the U.N. World Food Program to extend its reach in the country where 2.5 million people are suffering from hunger, according to officials.
10. Prospects for nuclear talks with Iran dim.
Four weeks after agreeing in principle to nuclear talks, Iran has gone silent about its plans for the negotiations, baffling U.S. and European diplomats while also signaling internal discord over what analysts on both sides see as the best chance in years for a nuclear bargain with the West.