The Top 10 Stories of January 30, 2013

By Duane Shank 1-30-2013

Quote of the day.
"It's hard growing up with all this violence that seems to be happening all the time, in public and at school. But most people my age, we say it's terrible, we mourn on the day, and we move on. Because we have to. I think it pushes us to be the best we can be, so we can make a difference for the future." Colin Janison, 16, a high school junior in Las Vegas, on how his generation copes with the events of our times.
(USA Today)

1. Obama urges speed on immigration plan, but exposes conflicts.
Seizing an opening to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws, President Obama challenged Congress on Tuesday to act swiftly to put 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States on a clear path to citizenship.
(New York Times)

2. GOP lawmakers see automatic cuts as leverage.
Driven by frustration over deficits and debt, Republican conservatives are pushing a politically risky move to permit painfully large automatic spending cuts to strike the Pentagon and domestic programs alike in an effort to force Democrats into making concessions on the budget.
(Associated Press)

3. Giffords, NRA official, to testify at gun hearing.
Wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will appear as an unscheduled witness Wednesday at the year's first congressional hearing on curbing gun violence, adding drama to a session that was already slated to hear from a top official of the National Rifle Association.
(Associated Press)

4. To open eyes, W-2s list cost of providing a health plan.
As workers open their W-2 forms this month, many will see a new box with information on the total cost of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. To some, it will be a surprise, perhaps even a shock.
(New York Times)

5. Senate confirms John Kerry as secretary of state.
Sen. John Kerry was easily confirmed by the Senate Tuesday to become the next secretary of state, installing the first key member of President Barack Obama’s national security team in his second term.

6. Israeli warplane struck target on Syria-Lebanon border.
Israeli warplanes have attacked a target on the Syrian-Lebanese border, according to unconfirmed reports, following several days of heightened warnings from government officials over Syria's stockpiles of chemical weapons.

7. Mali conflict: France says its troops now in Kidal.
French forces say they have entered Kidal in the north of Mali, the last major town they have yet to secure in their drive against Islamist militants.

8. U.S. signs deal with Niger to operate military drones.
The U.S. government appears close to opening a new front in its fight against Islamist militants by planning a new base for surveillance drones in the west African country of Niger.

9. Israel skips U.N. review on rights.
Israel became the first country to withhold cooperation from a United Nations review of its human rights practices on Tuesday, shunning efforts by the United States and others to encourage it to participate.(New York Times)

10. AP Interview: Top U.S. General confident in Afghans.
The top commander of U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan believes government security forces have improved faster than expected and will be ready to take the lead in the 11-year-old war against the Taliban when foreign combat forces take a back seat this spring.
(Associated Press)

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