The Top 10 Stories of July 31, 2013

By Duane Shank 7-31-2013

Quote of the day.
“What this research reveals above all is that poverty is hugely complex and controlled by myriad forces. The interconnectedness of the world through globalisation means the poorest and most marginalised face negative pressures from all quarters making it harder and harder to sustain a livelihood." Neva Frecheville, post-MDGs policy analyst for the Catholic aid agency Cafod, on a new report that the wellbeing of many poor people has deteriorated over the past 15 years as a result of factors beyond their control.

1. Manning is acquitted of aiding the enemy.
Pfc. Bradley Manning was convicted of multiple counts of violating the Espionage Act for leaking documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, but was found not guilty of the more serious charge of "aiding the enemy."
(New York Times)

2. Immigration lobby prepares to camp out in Republican districts over recess.
Supporters of immigration reform worry the August recess could be their Waterloo, and are planning events, rallies, and editorial board meetings to keep their legislative push alive.
(The Hill)

3. Obama pushes for tax change to fund infrastructure; Republicans push back.
With a “grand bargain” on taxes and spending long stalled, Obama on Tuesday offered what the White House called a new deal: cutting corporate tax rates while boosting investments in job creation.
(McClatchy News)

4. Obama''s no-Congress strategy.
President Barack Obama is planning to bypass congressional Republicans with a surge of executive actions and orders on issues like voting rights, health care, job creation, the economy, climate change, and immigration.

5. House plan on food stamps would cut 5 million from program.
Nearly half a million people who receive food stamps but still do not get enough to eat would lose their eligibility for the program under proposed cuts that are expected to be taken up again by Congress.
(New York Times)

6. Ousted Egypt leader in good health, says EU''s Ashton.
Baroness Ashton said she had two hours of "frank, in-depth" discussions with Mr. Morsi on Monday, without giving further details of the conversation. Mr. Morsi had access to news and followed developments, she added.

7. Middle East peace talk negotiators agree that ''all issues are on the table.''
Flanked by Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni and veteran Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Kerry said both sides had agreed to seek a final status agreement within nine months.

8.  UN reports spike in Afghan civilian casualties.
The United Nations said on Wednesday that civilian casualties in Afghanistan had dramatically increased by 23 percent in the first six months of the year and blamed the insurgency for the vast majority of the dead and wounded.
(Associated Press)

9. House weighs Iran measure amid doubts on timing.
Legislation that would impose the toughest sanctions to date on Iran over its disputed nuclear program has been scheduled for a vote in the House on Wednesday, four days before the inauguration of that country’s newly elected president, a moderate cleric who has made improved relations with the United States an important goal.
(New York Times)

10. Zimbabweans vote in crunch poll.
Long queues form at polling stations in Zimbabwe as people vote in fiercely contested presidential and parliamentary elections which have been already hit by fraud allegations.

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