Quote of the day.
“I have some pretty strong feelings that those who have been to war are the best to keep us out of it. They have felt the wounds of war, physically, mentally and emotionally. They bring to the table all that they need to bring, and that is that wars are disastrous.” Max Cleland, a former Democratic senator from Georgia who lost three of his limbs fighting in Vietnam, speaking of the nominations of John Kerry and Chuck Hagel.
(New York Times)
1. Biden to meet with gun-safety, victims groups.
Seeking to spur fresh action on gun legislation, Vice President Joe Biden is meeting at the White House with victims groups and gun-safety organizations.
2. 2012 hottest year on record in contiguous U.S.
Temperatures in the contiguous United States last year were the hottest in more than a century of record-keeping, shattering the mark set in 1998 by a wide margin, the federal government announced Tuesday.
3. Immigration''s new rival: gun control.
President Barack Obama promised immigration reform leaders that their cause would top his second-term agenda, making January their month. But immigration advocates are beginning to worry that their fight could slip behind a cause that wasn’t even an issue during the election: gun control.
4. Problems prompt federal review of Arctic drilling operations.
After a series of problems plagued the debut of offshore oil drilling in the U.S. Arctic, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Tuesday ordered a high-level, expedited review of oil operations in Alaskan waters aimed at achieving “safe and responsible exploration for energy resources in the Arctic.”
5. Why President Obama is picking fights with Congress.
Obama, the same president who campaigned twice on breaking the cycle of conflict in Washington, sees the utility — even the necessity — of rattling Republican cages as he plunges into a succession of upcoming battles over the nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, the debt ceiling, $1 trillion in automatic budget cuts, immigration reform and gun control.
6. U.S. considers complete Afghanistan withdrawal on eve of Karzai visit.
U.S. officials have raised the possibility of a complete military withdrawal from Afghanistan for the first time, as President Hamid Karzai arrived in Washington for three days of discussions over military and economic ties.
7. In old Taliban strongholds, qualms on what lies ahead.
In conversations with dozens of tribal elders, farmers, teachers and provincial officials, three factors loomed large: dissatisfaction with the Afghan government, the imminent departure of Western troops and recognition that the Taliban are likely to return.
(New York Times)
8. UN wants to use drones for peacekeeping missions.
The United Nations, looking to modernize its peacekeeping operations, is planning for the first time to deploy a fleet of its own surveillance drones in missions in Central and West Africa.
9. Hopes fade that talks with PM will end Idle No More protests.
Hope that Friday’s face-to-face discussions between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and first nations leaders will end protests and disruptions across across Canada is fast disintegrating. Idle No More organizers will hold their own Friday meeting for chiefs that were not invited to the talks on that day with Mr. Harper.
(Toronto Globe & Mail)
10. Haitians still struggling three years after earthquake.
The narrow corridor home deep inside the mountain was supposed to be a new beginning, a place where Alexandra Simin could have a fresh shot at life after nearly two years of sleeping on a dirt floor in a fetid tent city.