Quote of the day.
"In normal circumstances, when you're digging fire lines, you make sure you have a good escape route, and you have a safety zone set up. Evidently, their safety zone wasn't big enough, and the fire just overtook them. By the time the other firefighters got in, they didn't survive." Art Morrison, Arizona State Forestry Commission, on the deaths of 19 firefighters in a wildfire in central Arizona.
1. House prepares to take up immigration bill.
The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said Sunday that any attempt at comprehensive immigration legislation cannot offer a “special pathway to citizenship” for those in the United States illegally.
2. Obama's climate change plan 'isn't a war on coal,' says U.S. energy secretary.
The U.S. government is not waging a "war on coal" but rather expects it to still play a significant role, energy secretary Ernest Moniz said on Sunday, rejecting criticism of President Barack Obama's climate change plan.
3. Why gay marriage and abortion have been decoupled.
Public opinion on abortion has held constant for 30 years. But on gay marriage, acceptance has grown dramatically in just 10 years – most notably among young evangelical Protestants.
(Christian Science Monitor)
4. U.S. casualties hit 5-year low in Afghanistan.
The shift to Afghan security forces leading in combat and the ongoing reduction of U.S. troops here have driven American casualties during the first half of 2013 to the lowest level in five years.
5. For many 20- and 30-somethings, paying off the cost of college takes priority.
Rising tuition costs and an anemic job market are feeding this vicious cycle, as a generation with more student loan debt than any other is struggling to find its economic footing. This confluence of economic trends makes Congress' impending decision on student loan rates all the more critical for today's college students.
6. Obama visits prison cell that helped shape modern South Africa.
On Sunday, Mr. Obama stood in that same tiny prison cell — now a monument to Mr. Mandela, South Africa’s first black president — and showed his wife and two daughters the place where Mr. Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years behind bars during his long campaign to end his country’s policies of racial apartheid and oppression.
(New York Times)
7. Egypt's Brotherhood HQ overrun after protests.
The headquarters of Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood was overrun and looted on Monday as President Mohamed Mursi refused to heed millions who took to the streets demanding he resign.
8. Kerry: ‘Real progress,’ but no Israel-Palestinian agreement.
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry ended three days of intensive shuttle diplomacy Sunday without achieving Israeli and Palestinian agreement to restart long-dormant peace talks, but he said that differences between the two sides had narrowed significantly.
9. Bugging friends is unacceptable, warn Germans.
The leaders of Germany and France have rounded angrily on Washington for the first time, signalling that ambitious EU-U.S. trade talks scheduled to open in Washington next week could become an early casualty of the burgeoning transatlantic espionage dispute.
10. Middle-class rage sparks protest movements.
Around the globe, this is the summer of middle-class discontent, particularly in the developing world. From Istanbul to Rio de Janeiro, from Bulgaria to Bosnia, the pent-up frustrations of an engaged citizenry are being triggered by a series of seemingly disparate events.