Quote of the day.
“The women, I think, are going to reach across the aisle a lot more. We’re a lot more pragmatic, but we do come from all different backgrounds.” Rep. Tammy Duckworth, (D-IL), on the record number of women in Congress.
(New York Times)
1. U.S. economy adds 155,000 jobs, rate stays at 7.8 percent.
U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during tense fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington. The solid job growth wasn't enough to push down the unemployment rate, which stayed 7.8 percent last month.
2. Conservatives rebel against Boehner.
Conservative opposition to John Boehner’s reelection as speaker on Thursday was more determined than it originally seemed, as a small band of hard-liners either flat-out opposed the speaker or simply abstained from casting a ballot.
3. White House moves forward on immigration ahead of reform fight.
The Obama administration’s decision this week to ease visa requirements for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants represents its latest move to reshape immigration through executive action, even as the White House gears up for an uncertain political fight over a far-more-sweeping legislative package in the months ahead.
4. On religion, Capitol freshmen are more diverse than their incumbent colleagues.
The 113th Congress is being heralded for its number of women and minorities, but that diversity extends to religion, too. Newly revised numbers released by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life show the 113th Congress' freshmen class is more religiously diverse than the lawmakers they will be joining in Congress.
(CNN Belief Blog)
5. Shell’s foundering ship has some questioning wisdom of Arctic drilling.
Critics want a halt to offshore Arctic drilling in the wake of Shell’s latest mishap in the waters off Alaska, but there’s no sign the Obama administration and key members of Congress are backing off their support for drilling in the sensitive region.
6. More than 240 arrested in U.S.-led crackdown on global child porn.
U.S. special agents identified 123 victims of child sexual exploitation during a five-week-long global crackdown on child pornography that resulted in the arrests of 245 people in the United States and overseas.
7. Insider attacks in Afghanistan shape the late stages of a war.
The surge in attacks has provided the clearest sign yet that Afghan resentment of foreigners is becoming unmanageable, and American officials have expressed worries about its disruptive effects on the training mission that is the core of the American withdrawal plan for 2014.
(New York Times)
8. Anti-government protests rage across Iraq.
Thousands of Sunni Iraqis have continued to protest in Fallujah and other in Iraqi cities against the Shia-led government in Baghdad.
9. Huge Fatah rally allowed in Gaza.
Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction are holding celebrations in Gaza to mark its 48th anniversary. The rival Hamas movement, which governs Gaza, allowed Fatah to hold its first mass rally there since Hamas ousted Fatah's forces five years ago.
10. Chief on hunger strike demands action within 72 hours.
Canada’s native leaders have petitioned the Prime Minister and the Governor-General to gather three weeks from now to discuss perceived failings in the treaty relationships — but an Ontario chief on a hunger strike to force such a meeting says she can’t wait that long.
(Toronto Globe & Mail)