Quote of the day.
“Facing the collapse of a state and society, it is Islamist groups that risk gaining ground if we do not act as we should. We cannot let a revolution that started as a peaceful and democratic protest degenerate into a conflict of militias.” Laurent Fabius, foreign minister of France, warning countries that support the Syrian opposition to honor their pledges of aid.
(New York Times)
1. Obama to announce his immigration reform proposals in Las Vegas.
The Obama administration has developed its own proposals for immigration reform that are more liberal than a separate bipartisan effortin the Senate, including a quicker path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, people with knowledge of the proposals said.
2. Senators unveil bipartisan immigration plan, but opposition looms.
The GOP's loss of Latino votes in November boosts the chances of bipartisan immigration reform, leading senators say, but conservatives raise doubts.
(Los Angeles Times)
3. Obama urges police chiefs to help pass tougher gun laws.
President Obama met Monday with law enforcement leaders, including officials from four communities where mass shootings took place recently, and urged them to help him build support in Congress to pass his proposals to toughen gun laws.
4. 23 states raising minimum wage or weighing increases.
Nearly half the states have increased their minimum wage this year or are considering plans to hike it as the economy transitions from recession to a stronger recovery.
5. U.S. weighs base for spy drones in North Africa.
The United States military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region.
(New York Times)
6. Israel: Iran slowing nuclear program, won’t have bomb before 2015.
Israeli intelligence officials now estimate that Iran won’t be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015 or 2016, pushing back by several years previous assessments of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
7. Egypt's army chief warns of 'state collapse' amid crisis.
Egypt's armed forces chief has warned the current political crisis "could lead to a collapse of the state." … He made his statement following a large military deployment in three cities along the Suez Canal where a state of emergency has been declared.
8. Confirming North Korean nuclear test almost impossible.
North Korea appears all set to detonate an atomic device, but confirming the explosion when it takes place will be virtually impossible for outsiders, specialists said Tuesday.
9. Former Guatemala leader faces genocide charge.
This is the first time that genocide proceedings have been formally initiated in the Central American country over the 36-year civil war that ended in 1996. The war left an estimated 200,000 people dead, according to the U.N.
10. U.K. troops to be sent to Mali.
A major increase in the U.K. commitment to help French and African forces in Mali and the region has been confirmed by Downing Street and the defence secretary, Philip Hammond, in an urgent statement to the House of Commons.