Quote of the day.
“It has reached a point where Band-Aids and baling wire are just not quite enough.” Steve Nagle, Missouri Parks Association president, on challenges of keeping parks open as states put off upkeep due to budget shortfalls.
(Kansas City Star/McClatchy)
1. Religious groups take immigration aim.
Four organizations are blanketing House members with letters pressing members to move on comprehensive reform, as the focus turns in earnest to that chamber for Congress’s next steps on immigration. In the letters provided to Politico, the groups — Sojourners, National Association of Evangelicals, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference — stress the compassion aspect of their faith in their arguments to lawmakers in favor of immigration reform.
2. Sequestration pushes Head Start families to the precipice.
Outside the Beltway, the perception of sequestration is sharply, viscerally different. Budget cuts have resulted in fewer meals for seniors, less financial aid for scientific research, poorer natural disaster preparedness, and more expensive treatments for cancer patients.
3. Judge: I can’t stop Guantanamo force-feeding, but Obama can.
A federal judge voiced sympathy Monday for Guantanamo Bay detainees but said she was powerless to stop force-feeding by U.S. authorities.
4. Zimmerman case has race as a backdrop, but you won’t hear it in court.
From the very beginning, there was no more powerful theme in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin than the issue of race. But in the courtroom where George Zimmerman is on trial for second-degree murder, race lingers awkwardly on the sidelines, scarcely mentioned but impossible to ignore.
(New York Times)
5. Crucial nuclear option decision arrives.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faces one of the biggest decisions of his career this month as he heads for a showdown with Republicans on President Obama’s stalled nominees.
6. Egypt's interim leaders lay out plan for fast transition.
Seeking to reassure Egyptians and the world about its intention to return to civilian democracy, the military-led interim government on Tuesday laid out a brisk timetable to overhaul Egypt's suspended Constitution, elect a new Parliament, and choose a new president, all in the space of about six months.
(New York Times)
7. Car bomb blasts Hezbollah Beirut stronghold.
A massive car bomb ripped through a Beirut stronghold of Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's civil war, wounding 53 people on Tuesday.
8. U.S. considers faster pullout in Afghanistan.
Increasingly frustrated by his dealings with President Hamid Karzai, President Obama is giving serious consideration to speeding up the withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan and to a “zero option” that would leave no American troops there after next year.
(New York Times)
9. Brazil poor areas get 10,000 doctors.
The changes come about a month after millions took to the streets in mass demonstrations against poor public services, corruption, and other issues.
10. Bin Laden killing: official report criticises Pakistan and U.S.
Pakistan failed to detect Osama bin Laden during the six years he hid in Abbottabad because of the "collective incompetence and negligence" of the country's intelligence and security forces, the official report into the killing of the al-Qaida chief in 2011 has concluded.