Quote of the day.
"It's hard to live without water." - Mike Wahlfield of Wahlfield Drilling in Comstock Park, Mich., on record demands for water as the Midwest drought worsens.
1. Survey of Asian Americans shows wide range of strongly held religious beliefs.
The first comprehensive look at the religious lives of the nation''s 18.2 million Asian Americans finds most are devoted to their faith traditions -- but many are disconnected from any affiliation.
2. 12 dead in Colorado theater shooting.
A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into a crowded movie theater in suburban Denver at a midnight opening of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others.
3. House approves $606B defense budget.
The House approved a nearly $606 billion Pentagon budget bill Thursday evening after agreeing to cap core defense appropriations at 2012 levels — $1.1 billion below what was recommended by the Republican leadership.
4. Congress debates ‘taxmageddon.’
Five and half months before the deadline for potential disaster, Congress broke into heated debate this week over a January fiscal meltdown that could lead to nearly $600 billion worth of tax hikes and automatic federal spending cuts next year.
5. Legal battles erupt over tough voter ID laws.
Lawsuits over voter identification laws could affect millions of voters, as opponents of the laws argue that they suppress minority votes and supporters say they prevent fraud.
(New York Times)
6. Racial profiling trial begins for Ariz. sheriff.
A group of Latinos is arguing in federal court that Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio''s deputies carried out racial profiling as part of policy of discrimination.
7. U.S. food aid program criticised as 'corporate welfare' for grain giants.
Two-thirds of food for the billion-dollar US food aid program last year was bought from just three US-based multinationals. The main beneficiaries of the program, billed as aid to the world's poorest countries, were the highly profitable and politically powerful companies that dominate the global grain trade: ADM, Cargill and Bunge.
8. Syria rebels seize key border crossings.
Syrian opposition fighters have taken control of a number of border crossings with Iraq and Turkey, as state television said the country's intelligence chief, who sustained injuries during Wednesday's attack, has died.
9. Hezbollah is blamed for attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.
American officials on Thursday identified the suicide bomber responsible for a deadly attack on Israeli vacationers here as a member of a Hezbollah cell that was operating in Bulgaria and looking for such targets, corroborating Israel’s assertions and making the bombing a new source of tension with Iran.
(New York Times)
10. More U.S. aid heads to Yemen.
In the latest sign of Washington’s deepening involvement in Yemen’s battle against an al-Qaeda affiliate, the U.S. military is preparing to give more than $100 million in counterterrorism and security aid to the Arabian country this year.