Quote of the day.
"It changes the narrative. It’s the last thing they expect to hear from someone in this uniform, and it’s the last thing the enemy would tell them." Major Dawud Agbere, Muslim U.S. Army chaplain in Afghanistan, on his counseling Afghan soldiers to work together for their country, rather than to dwell on ethnic and tribal divisions.
1. Senate's leader sets showdown over changes to filibuster.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada took a defiant and uncompromising stand on Monday before a showdown on the future of the filibuster, saying that Republicans must stop blocking executive branch nominations or he will try to change rules to “save the Senate from becoming obsolete.”
(New York Times)
2. Bringing civil rights charges against Zimmerman would be hard.
Current and former Justice Department officials said Monday that bringing civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old in Florida, would be extremely difficult and may not be possible.
3. Senate pushes House to begin farm bill conference.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow called on House Republican leaders Monday to begin talks promptly on their pared-back farm bill rather than wait for the House to act on a separate nutrition and food stamp package later this month or in September.
4. Classified programs challenged in court.
The recent disclosure of U.S. surveillance methods is providing opponents of classified programs with new openings to challenge their constitutionality, according to civil libertarians and some legal experts.
5. Pennsylvania voter ID law back in court.
Pennsylvania’s photo ID law returned to state court on Monday, this time for a trial on whether the new measure can be enforced by state officials without disenfranchising a significant number of voters in the state.
(Christian Science Monitor)
6. 255 suspects caught in nine-nation child sexual predator sweep.
Authorities have arrested 255 alleged child predators in the United States and eight other countries in an operation led by a U.S. agency that illustrated a growing trend called "sextortion" in which children are blackmailed into providing pornographic images of themselves.
7. Kerry in Jordan for new round of Mideast diplomacy.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is launching a new round of Middle East diplomacy as he tries to prevent crises in Egypt and Syria from overtaking his bid to restart stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
8. Egyptian liberals embrace the military, brooking no dissent.
A hypernationalist euphoria unleashed in Egypt by the toppling of Mr. Morsi has swept up even liberals and leftists who spent years struggling against the country’s previous military-backed governments.
(New York Times)
9. Iran’s next president faults Ahmadinejad on economy.
Iran’s president-elect, Hassan Rowhani, painted a bleak picture of the country’s economy on Monday, blaming the departing administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for high inflation and unemployment, and saying it “has left much work to be done.”
(New York Times)
10. Pakistan Taliban says its fighters in Syria.
The Pakistani Taliban has said its first batch of fighters has arrived in Syria to fight alongside rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.