Quote of the day.
"It's not just 'brain drain.' It's a loss of institutional knowledge and experience and how the Senate works and how to get things done." Jennifer Duffy, a Cook election analyst, on the 43 percent turnover rate in the Senate since 2008.
1. Biden urges mayors to help sell Obama gun plan.
Vice President Joe Biden looked to the nation’s mayors Thursday to help rally public opinion in support of the Obama administration’s push for new legislation aimed at curbing gun violence.
2. Republicans may offer short-term extension of borrowing limit.
Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the Republicans’ former vice-presidential nominee and an influential party voice on fiscal policy, said Thursday that Republicans were considering allowing a short-term extension of the federal debt limit of a month or so to foster more discussion about spending cuts.
(New York Times)
3. As State Department nears completion of Keystone XL review, both sides dig in.
The State Department is close to completing a draft of an environmental review that will help determine whether President Obama approves the Keystone XL pipeline, as environmental and energy industry groups sought to bolster their position with new information.
4. A looming Democratic divide.
Democrats are going to have to face a central and unresolved question about their political identity: Will they become a center-left, Democratic Leadership Council-by-a-different-name party or return to a populist, left-leaning approach that mirrors their electoral coalition?
5. Seeking to harness Obama''s campaign resources for a second term.
As he launches his second term, President Obama may get help from an ambitious new political organization being built out of his reelection campaign, a group that could reshape how future presidents harness supporters to press their White House agendas.
(Los Angeles Times)
6. 60 hostages dead, missing in Algeria standoff.
About 60 foreign hostages are still unaccounted for three days into a bloody siege with Islamic militants at a gas plant deep in the Sahara, Algeria''s state news service said Friday.
7. Syrian rebels accuse jihadist groups of trying to hijack revolution.
A schism is developing in northern Syria between jihadists and Free Syrian Army units, which threatens to pitch both groups against each other and open a new phase in the Syrian civil war.
8. Movement of missiles by North Korea worries U.S.
The discovery by American intelligence agencies that North Korea is moving mobile missile launchers around the country, some carrying a new generation of powerful rocket, has spurred new assessments of the intentions of the country’s young new leader, Kim Jong-un.
(New York Times)
9. UN fails in attempt to restart Iran nuke probe.
U.N. experts returned from Tehran on Friday without sealing a long-sought deal that would restart a probe of suspicions that Iran worked on atomic arms, adding to doubts that upcoming separate talks between six world powers and the Islamic Republic will succeed in reducing fears about Iran''s nuclear ambitions.
10. Dramatic sit-in ends with a whimper and a deal.
Days of high political drama in Pakistan ended with a whimper on Thursday when top officials successfully brokered a face-saving deal with an Islamic cleric who staged a four-day sit-in with thousands of his followers in the heart of the country''s capital.