The Top 10 Stories of July 8, 2013

By Duane Shank 7-08-2013

Quote of the day.
“This is a pride for us, that this is led by women. … Even if I don’t reach that day when the Sahara is independent, I am completely convinced that the next generation is going to live the day of independence.” Aminatou Haidar, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and the most recognizable face of Western Sahara’s nationalist movement for independence from Morocco, in which women have taken a prominent role.
(Washington Post)

1. Immigration, student loan top congressional agenda.
Republicans and Democrats will put good will to the test when Congress returns this week to potentially incendiary fights over nominations, unresolved disputes over student loans, and the farm bill, and the uncertainty of whether lawmakers have the political will to rewrite the nation's immigration laws.
(ABC News/AP)

2. Farmers worry about fate of immigration bills.
For northern Michigan fruit grower Pat McGuire, the most potent symbol of the immigration debate isn't grainy television footage showing people slipping furtively across the U.S.-Mexican border. Instead, it's plump red cherries and crisp apples rotting on the ground because there aren't enough workers to pick them.
(Associated Press)

3. Agriculture at crossroads in Congress.
After two seasons of failure, American agriculture is at a genuine crossroads in Congress. Will it continue to be whittled down by the left and the right? Or can it go up the middle with compromises that revive the urban-rural coalition so important to past farm bills?

4. In secret, Court vastly broadens powers of N.S.A.
In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage, and cyberattacks.
(New York Times)

5. In rural Tennessee, a new way to help hungry children.
More than 1 in 4 children now depend on government food assistance, a record level of need that has increased the federal budget and changed the nature of childhood for the nation’s poor.
(Washington Post)

6. Massacre in Cairo deepens Egypt crisis.
A deadly shooting at the site of a sit-in by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Cairo, demanding the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, has left dozens of people dead. The Egyptian health ministry said at least 42 people had been killed and more than 300 injured in the incident early on Monday morning.
(Al Jazeera)

7. Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia offer asylum to Edward Snowden.
Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua have offered asylum to Edward Snowden, the U.S. whistleblower who is believed to have spent the past two weeks at a Moscow airport evading U.S. attempts to extradite him.

8. Quebec rail disaster shines light on oil-by-rail.
The deadly train derailment in Quebec this weekend is set to bring intense scrutiny to the dramatic growth in North America of shipping crude oil by rail, a century-old practice unexpectedly revived by the surge in shale oil production. 

9. Election of new head of Syrian opposition seen as victory for U.S., Saudi Arabia.
On Saturday in Istanbul, the Syrian Opposition Coalition, the group that the United States has designated as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, elected Ahmed Assi al Jarba, to lead the group. Jarba is described as a secular moderate with close tribal and political ties to Saudi Arabia.
(McClatchy News)

10. After protests, forums sprout in Turkey’s parks.
Turkey’s parks have become safe places to gather and speak freely, with people arriving each evening in dozens of parks nationwide to discuss what happens next.
(New York Times)

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