Quote of the day.
"Silence is not an option when 30 million of our brothers and sisters live in poverty. Silence is not an option when 11 million undocumented individuals continue to live in the shadows. And by the way, they are undocumented and not illegal. Because a human being made in the image of God cannot be illegal." Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, preaching at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
(CNN Belief Blog)
1. Obama gives bold vision of American future.
A self-assured President Obama on Monday used his second inaugural address to lay out a bold liberal vision of the American future, drawing direct links between the origins of the republic and some of the most vexing political issues of the day. Full transcript here.
2. Speech gives climate goals center stage.
President Obama made addressing climate change the most prominent policy vow of his second Inaugural Address, setting in motion what Democrats say will be a deliberately paced but aggressive campaign built around the use of his executive powers to sidestep Congressional opposition.
(New York Times)
3. National public high school graduation rate at a four-decade high.
The percentage of students at public high schools who graduate on time has reached its highest level in nearly 40 years, according to the most recent federal government estimates released Tuesday.
4. Wary DOD slows spending.
Every day at 5 p.m., when the Defense Department announces the day’s contracts, it’s not uncommon for the total sum to exceed $1 billion. But now, with the budget process upended on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon is trying to slow the rate at which money is leaving the building until it has a better sense of what to expect for this year’s funding.
5. Ban Ki-moon: climate agreement tops 2013 wishlist.
The U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says his top hopes for 2013 are to reach a new agreement on climate change and to urgently end the increasingly deadly and divisive war in Syria.
6. U.N. agency warns of rising unemployment.
More than 197 million people worldwide are jobless, and an additional 39 million have simply given up looking for work, a United Nations agency said on Monday, warning that government budget-balancing was hurting employment and would probably lead to more job losses soon.
(New York Times)
7. Algeria’s prime minister describes militant attack, defends intervention.
Algeria’s prime minister spoke publicly Monday for the first time about militants’ kidnapping of hundreds of foreign and Algerian workers last week, describing an international group of militants, including at least one Canadian who “coordinated” a well-organized attack that killed 37 people.
8. French and Malian troops enter Diabaly.
French and Malian troops have entered the key central Malian towns of Diabaly and Doutenza, both of which have been in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked rebels for weeks.
9. Israel goes to polls, set to re-elect Netanyahu.
Israelis voted on Tuesday in an election that is expected to hand hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a third term, opening the way for a showdown with Iran and bolstering opponents of Palestinian statehood.
10. Planes sent to evacuate Russians from Syria.
Russia is sending two planes to Lebanon to evacuate more than 100 of its citizens from Syria, the Emergencies Ministry said, in the clearest sign yet that Moscow may be preparing for President Bashar al-Assad's possible defeat.