Quote of the day.
"Each day in our parishes, social service programs, hospitals, and schools, we witness the human consequences of a broken immigration system. Families are separated, migrant workers are exploited, and our fellow human beings die in the desert. This suffering must end." Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Migration, speaking as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opens its annual spring meeting.
(Catholic News Service)
1. Farm bill passes Senate.
A landmark five-year Farm Bill cleared the Senate on Monday evening, setting the stage for a long-delayed fight on the House floor next week over major revisions in agriculture policy and the future of food stamps.
2. US: No plans to end broad surveillance program.
The Obama administration is weighing whether to charge a government contractor with leaking classified government secrets while it defends a much-criticized National Security Agency surveillance program as an indispensable tool for protecting Americans from terrorists.
3. Coming attractions: Shutdown, debt limit fight.
With Washington consumed by scandals this summer, the White House and GOP congressional leaders are slowly lurching toward a potential debt default or government shutdown this fall.
4. Washington state hires climate consultant to shrink greenhouse gases.
A legislative workgroup chaired by Gov. Jay Inslee voted unanimously Tuesday to hire a Virginia-based climate consultant to examine Washington state’s options for reducing greenhouse gases that are contributing to global climate change.
(Bellingham Wash. Herald/McClatchy)
5. Government holds high-level meetings on Syria.
The United States could decide as early as this week whether to arm Syrian rebels, U.S. officials said on Monday, as Secretary of State John Kerry put off a Middle East trip to attend meetings on the subject.
6. Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif declares end to secret approval of US drone strikes.
In office for less than a week, Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, vented his anger Monday at two recent U.S. drone strikes, all but accusing his country’s overbearing military of lying to Pakistanis about its cooperation with the CIA to eliminate terrorism suspects in northwest tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.
7. Police clear Istanbul's Taksim Square.
Turkish riot police have cleared Istanbul's Taksim Square, which has been occupied by anti-government protesters for close to two weeks. Police deployed water cannon and fired tear gas and rubber bullets, causing many protesters to flee the square into adjoining Gezi Park.
8. Taliban expected to sustain surge ahead of election and NATO pullout.
In the latest in a series of dramatic Taliban attacks across Afghanistan, a team of seven heavily armed fighters staged a bold raid on NATO’s operational headquarters at the Kabul airport Monday before being fought off and killed by Afghan security forces.
9. French homeless seek refuge in offices.
The squat at Number 2 rue de Valenciennes is both a political battleground and a symbol of France's dysfunctional housing market. Activists helped the families move in to draw attention to how Europe's second biggest economy, which prides itself on its welfare system, is struggling to provide basic shelter for many of its 65 million citizens.
10. Girl-centred advocacy could protect 600 million girls from violence.
Girl-centred advocacy and systems change require long-term investment in girls' leadership and organizational development. Integrating ''gate-keepers'' — parents, community and religious leaders, and other influential local people — is necessary to ensure the success of girl-centered advocacy efforts.