Quote of the day.
"Close to 60 per cent of Yemeni children under the age of five today are suffering from chronic malnutrition. That makes Yemen the country with the highest level of chronic malnutrition in the world after Afghanistan." - Gert Kapelari, representative of the United Nations Children''s Fund (UNICEF).
1. American confidence in religion at all-time low.
The Gallup Poll released data this week showing that Americans currently have the lowest confidence in organized religion than at any other time, with Protestants proving the most trusting group while distrust among Catholics is attributed to child sex abuse scandals.
2. Democrats threaten GOP with ‘fiscal cliff.’
Democrats are making increasingly explicit threats about their willingness to let nearly $600 billion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts take effect in January unless Republicans drop their opposition to higher taxes for the nation’s wealthiest households.
3. At annual meeting, U.S. governors come out swinging over Medicaid.
The issue that dominated the annual National Governors Association meeting this weekend in the historic Virginia town of Williamsburg was the court''s ruling that Congress cannot penalize states who refuse to enroll a wider group of people in Medicaid, which is operated by states with federal reimbursements.
4. Two classes, divided by 'I Do.'
Long a nation of economic extremes, the United States is also becoming a society of family haves and family have-nots, with marriage and its rewards evermore confined to the fortunate classes.
(New York Times)
5. Syria, Iran discussed during Clinton Israel visit.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham and Israel's president spoke Monday about the need to halt Syria's violence and Iran's potential production of nuclear weapons, underscoring American support for an ally in a difficult neighborhood.
6. Egypt's military chief steps up political feud.
The accelerating dispute between the military and the Brotherhood marked the latest unpredictable turn in Egypt’s chaotic transition, and underscored the challenges Mrs. Clinton faced on her two-day visit to Egypt.
(New York Times)
7. Red Cross declares Syria conflict a civil war.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has said it now considers the Syrian conflict a civil war, as activists reported intense battles between rebels and government forces in the capital, Damascus.
8. Climate change likely to bring food inflation.
The United States has just had its hottest first half-year ever. The corn crop is suffering, corn prices are soaring. Extreme weather is also hitting Russian wheat. Is global warming threatening a repeat of the destabilizing 2011 global food price shock?
(Toronto Globe & Mail)
9. Pakistan polio campaign faces Taliban hurdle.
Local Taliban and Pakistani warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur, whose followers are fighting Western troops in Afghanistan, have banned polio vaccinations in the northwestern tribal region of Waziristan to protest against US drone attacks
10. African Union picks woman leader.
The African Union has chosen South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its leader, making her the first woman to hold the post.