Quote of the day.
"Any side involved in a conflict like this has decided to fight for power. If they fall short of achieving national power, they have to settle for functioning as an organized party within the country." - “Mawlvi,” a senior Taliban commander, in an interview with The New Statesman.
1. Food stamp cuts fire up Dems.
Food stamps are fast becoming a flash point for the House farm bill this week — but also an increasingly partisan, even racially tinged debate in Congress over the future of the social safety net in these hard economic times.
2. Obama policy on immigrants is challenged by Chicago.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he would propose an ordinance that would bar police officers from turning over illegal immigrants to federal agents if the immigrants do not have serious criminal convictions or outstanding criminal warrants.
(New York Times)
3. Eric Holder vows to aggressively challenge voter ID laws.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday vowed to be “aggressive” in challenging voting laws that restrict minority rights, using a speech in Texas to make his case on the same day a federal court was considering the legality of the state’s new voter ID legislation.
4. Flawed forensics prompt case reviews.
The Justice Department and the FBI have launched a review of thousands of criminal cases to determine whether any defendants were wrongly convicted or deserve a new trial because of flawed forensic evidence.
5. Study finds global warming makes heat waves more likely.
The findings, especially the specific numbers attached to some extreme events, represent an increased effort by scientists to respond to a public clamor for information about what is happening to the earth’s climate.
(New York Times)
6. Thousands in Cairo protest high court ruling.
Thousands gathered in Cairo in protest of a ruling by Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court to freeze a decree issued by President Mohamed Morsi to reinstate the Islamist-led parliament.
7. DR Congo warlord Thomas Lubanga sentenced.
Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for recruiting and using child soldiers in his rebel army in 2002 and 2003. … In March, he became the first person to be convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) since it was set up 10 years ago.
8. Annan urges end to Syria pockets of violence.
UN and Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan has said that top-level talks with the Syrian leadership have failed and that a new approach, focusing on pockets of violence and building "from the ground up rather than the other way around", is needed to stop the fighting.
9. Spain imposes further austerity measures.
Spain's government imposed further austerity measures on the country Wednesday as it unveiled sales tax hikes and spending cuts aimed at shaving (EURO)65 billion ($79.85 billion) off the state budget over the next two and a half years.
10. U.S. to demand disclosures as it eases Myanmar sanctions.
The United States plans to ease sanctions this week to allow its companies to invest in and provide financial services to Myanmar but will require them to make detailed disclosures about their dealings.