Quote of the day.
"I can’t see any reason for having as large an inventory as we are allowed to have under New Start, in terms of real threat, potential threat." - Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), urging the administration to seek cuts in nuclear warheads below the treaty ceiling.
(New York Times)
1. Immunity offered to certain immigrants.
The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives.
2. Are Catholic bishops abandoning nonpartisanship?
Some Catholics are beginning to wonder out loud whether the bishops have abandoned their historic nonpartisanship — or, at least, are at risk of being seen that way — as they press forward with a vigorous campaign against contraception provisions in President Obama's healthcare plan.
(Los Angeles Times)
3. With justices set to rule on health law, two parties strategize.
The Supreme Court’s decision is expected as early as next week but more likely the following week. Rarely in the high court’s history has a decision had so much riding on it, for the economy, for the vast health care industry and for the nation’s body politic — from the White House race to the 435 House campaigns.
(New York Times)
4. Deserted homes plague cities.
Some local governments hardest hit by population losses are struggling with what has been left behind: large numbers of abandoned housing units.
5. EPA plans to tighten national soot standards.
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce a proposal Friday to tighten the nation’s soot standards, a move that could help deliver major health benefits by the end of the decade but force some oil refiners, manufacturers and other operations to invest in pollution-abatement upgrades.
6. Blow to transition as court dissolves Egypt's Parliament.
A panel of judges appointed by Egypt’s ousted president, Hosni Mubarak, threw the nation’s troubled transition to democracy into grave doubt Thursday with rulings that dissolved the popularly elected Parliament and allowed the toppled government’s last prime minister to run for president, escalating a struggle by remnants of the old elite to block Islamists from coming to power.
(New York Times)
7. Bahrain convicts medics for role in uprising.
An appeals court in Bahrain has convicted nine medics for their role in the country's pro-democracy uprising, despite widespread criticism of the trial from international human rights groups.
8. Al-Shabaab pushed back in Somalia by African peace enforcers.
Ethiopian forces have also driven them out of the southern city of Baidoa, and Kenyan troops, now part of the Amisom peacekeeping force, are edging towards their stronghold in the port of Kismayo. Amisom commanders, Somali government officials, and residents of Mogadishu say al-Shabaab, which means "the youth," is on its last legs.
9. A U.S.-Pakistan stalemate?
Years of mutual mistrust and tactical mistakes, now complicated by upcoming elections in both countries, have brought the strategic relationship between the United States and Pakistan closer than ever to a dead end that neither appears able or willing to avoid.
10. Coming weeks may prove crucial to world’s faltering economies.
The U.S. economy is stumbling, the global economy is slowing and the next few weeks are likely to be crucial in determining the pace of business activity for everyone from Boston to San Francisco, Beijing to Sao Paulo.