The Top 10 Stories of June 12, 2013

By Duane Shank 6-12-2013

Quote of the day.
"We are cursed as human beings with this element that''s called hatred, prejudice and racism. But it is my belief that, as it was Medgar''s, that there is something good and decent in each and every one of us, and we have to call on that, and we have to find a way to work together." Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of former NAACP leader Medgar Evers, who was murdered on June 12, 1963, 50 years ago today.
(Associated Press)

1. Obama backs bill to overhaul immigration as debate is set.
As the Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to begin debating an overhaul of the nation’s immigrations laws, President Obama offered a wholehearted endorsement of the bipartisan proposal, which presents him with a chance to reach the kind of landmark accord with Republicans that has eluded him on the budget and gun violence.
(New York Times)

2. House members voice skepticism about surveillance programs.
Members of Congress on Tuesday expressed growing doubts about the way the country’s top-secret surveillance programs are managed, even as the top legislators from each party voiced confidence in the programs and showed little interest in a public discussion of the issue.
(McClatchy News)

3. Protests in North Carolina challenge conservative shift in state politics.
Week by week, Monday by Monday, since April 29, a growing coalition assembled by the N.A.A.C.P. has challenged the newly conservative Republican leadership in North Carolina, raising its voice against the loss of the state’s centrist government and what they see as diminished recognition of the poor and minorities.
(New York Times)

4. Bloomberg hits Dems in the wallet.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is targeting Democratic senators that opposed gun control legislation, sending letters on Wednesday to donors asking them to withhold money from the four.

5. New Mexico has highest rates of childhood hunger.
New Mexico is the most food-insecure state for youths in the nation, according to a report by Feeding America, a hunger relief charity and network of more than 200 food banks in the nation.
(Chicago Tribune)

6. Syrian war may be tilting regional balance of power in Tehran’s favor.
As fighters with Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement wage the battles that are helping Syria’s regime survive, their chief sponsor, Iran, is emerging as the biggest victor in the wider regional struggle for influence that the Syrian conflict has become.
(Washington Post)

7. Turkish protesters and police battle for control of Taksim Square.
Turkish riot police using teargas and water cannon battled protesters for control of Taksim Square in Istanbul on Tuesday night, hours after the prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, demanded an immediate end to 10 days of demonstrations.

8. U.S. general: Do not abandon Afghans.
The commander of international forces in Afghanistan has warned the international community not to turn its back on Afghanistan.

9. Sole cleric in Iran presidential vote poses moderate challenge.
A moderate cleric best known for his conciliatory nuclear talks with world powers has emerged as the sole beacon of hope for reformists in the campaign for Iran''s presidential election on Friday.

10. Nelson Mandela responding to treatment.
South Africa''s first black president Nelson Mandela is "responding better" to treatment in hospital, President Zuma saysMr. Zuma told parliament he was happy with the progress being made by Mr. Mandela after a "difficult few days".

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