Quote of the day.
“The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me.” Judge Colleen McMahon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in her ruling that the Obama administration acted lawfully in refusing to disclose information about its targeted killings of terrorism suspects.
1. Lawmakers gird for next fiscal clash.
With the resolution of the year-end fiscal crisis just hours old, the next political confrontation is already taking shape as this city braces for a fight in February over raising the nation’s borrowing limit.
(New York Times)
2. Republicans start new Congress bruised and divided.
In the wake of bruising fights in their own ranks over the "fiscal cliff" and aid for victims of superstorm Sandy, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives open a new Congress on Thursday more divided than ever.
3. Immigration change to ease family separations.
Obama administration officials unveiled rules on Wednesday that will allow many American citizens — perhaps hundreds of thousands — to avoid long separations from immediate family members who are illegal immigrants as they apply to become legal residents.
(New York Times)
4. Clinton leaves hospital after treatment for clot.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was released from a New York hospital on Wednesday, three days after doctors discovered a blood clot in her head.
5. All-volunteer military may desensitize U.S. to war.
While the U.S. population has grown since the draft ended in 1973, the military has shrunk. But this all-volunteer force appears to be passing from generation to generation, bringing up the worrying notion that the United States is developing a warrior class.
6. Al Jazeera targets U.S. expansion after buying Current TV.
Al Jazeera has acquired Current TV, the cable television network founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. The Qatar-owned broadcaster plans to replace Current with a new Al Jazeera America news channel based in New York, doubling its U.S.-based staff.
7. U.S. drone strike kills key Pakistan Taliban commander.
A U.S. drone strike killed a key Taliban commander, his deputy, and eight others in northwest Pakistan, intelligence sources and tribal leaders said Thursday, deaths that could substantially alter the power balance in the Taliban heartland of Waziristan.
8. 60,000 killed in Syrian war, says U.N.
At least 60,000 people have died in Syria's conflict, the U.N. human rights commissioner has said, citing an "exhaustive" study which has sharply increased the number of those believed killed.
9. Jordanian peacekeepers released in Sudan.
Two Jordanian peacekeepers have arrived in the Sudanese capital after their release following 136 days of captivity in Sudan's troubled Darfur region.
10. Africa's energy consumption growing fastest in world.
At 4.1 percent growth, Africa’s per capita energy consumption is growing faster than anywhere else, driven by improved infrastructure, inward investment, and efforts to tackle corruption.
(Christian Science Monitor)