The Top 10 Stories of June 1, 2012

By Duane Shank 06-01-2012

Quote of the day.
“The board recognizes this matter has deeply touched Catholics and non-Catholics throughout the world as evidenced by the thousands of messages of support as well as the dozens of prayer vigils held in numerous parts of the country. It believes that the matters of faith and justice that capture the hearts of Catholic sisters are clearly shared by many people around the world.” - Leadership Conference of Women Religious National Board in a statement responding to the Vatican critique of their organization.
(National Catholic Reporter)

1. Black pastor reaches across the Southern Baptist divide.
The Rev. Fred Luter Jr. has long been a prominent African American voice among a largely white denomination with a segregationist history. Now he is poised to become its first black president.
(Los Angeles Times)

2. U.S. hiring slows sharply.
U.S. employers created only 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year … The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in April, the first increase in 11 months.
(Associated Press)

3. Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it denies equal rights for legally married same-sex couples, making it likely that the Supreme Court will consider the politically divisive issue for the first time in its next term.
(Washington Post)

4. Edwards jury deadlocks on five counts, acquits on one count.
The jury in the John Edwards trial on Thursday found the former presidential candidate not guilty on one of six counts in his campaign finance trial and announced it could not agree on the five remaining counts. Judge Catherine Eagles declared a mistrial on the five counts and dismissed the jurors
(Raleigh News & Observer/McClatchy)

5. GOP stands down on social issues, focuses on jobs.
Republicans stung by the culture wars that dominated the nation''s political discourse this year are standing down on social issues, acutely aware that the presidential and congressional elections five months off are expected to turn on a thin margin of cash-strapped independent voters neither party can afford to alienate.
(Associated Press)

6. U.S. drawn into Yemen as violence rises.
U.S. policymakers might talk down "boots on the ground" in Yemen but with an estimated several hundred military advisers already deployed, Washington and its allies are already being drawn ever deeper into the country. 
(Reuters)

7. Obama order sped up wave of cyberattacks against Iran.
From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons.
(New York Times)

8. UN rights chief warns Syria in grave danger.
The United Nation''s top human rights official has warned that Syria could descend into civil war unless the international community supports a peace plan and an investigation into the killing of more than 100 civilians in Houla last week.
(Al Jazeera)

9. A new front line in the U.S. drug war.
With Washington’s attention swinging from Iraq and Afghanistan — and with budget dollars similarly flowing in new directions — the United States is expanding and unifying its antidrug efforts in Central America, where violence has skyrocketed.
(New York Times)

10. Egypt's infamous emergency law expires.
Egypt's emergency laws, widely used under the rule of ousted President Hosni Mubarak to silence political opponents, have expired for the first time in 31 years, the country's ruling military council announced on Thursday.
(Al Jazeera)

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